Fringe Box



Westborough School In the 1940s – Were You There?

Published on: 23 Aug, 2016
Updated on: 2 Mar, 2024

By David Rose

Here are some photos of Westborough School and nursery school from my collection, mostly dating back to the 1940s and one perhaps into the 1950s.

I feature them following two comments recently received on The Dragon from reader Penny Tomkins to a story published here back in 2013 titled Can You Help Solve Mysteries of Guildford Schools History.

She enquired about any pictures of Westborough School.

Does anyone recognise any of the pupils? If so, please leave a reply in the box below.

Pupils at Westborough School from about the mid 1940s. This photo and the next one was supplied to me by John Scott over 10 years ago. Click on all pitcures to enlarge in a new window.

Pupils at Westborough School from about the mid 1940s. This photo and the next one was supplied to me by John Scott over 10 years ago. Click on all pictures to enlarge in a new window.

'Westborough war kids'.

‘Westborough war kids’.

Does this one date from the early 1950s?

Does this one date from the early 1950s? Or is it also from the war years?

This composite picture was sent to me many years ago by Christine Mudd, Flat 8, Crosfield House, of Gerrards Cross, Bucks. Her Family lived at 19 Hill View Crescent during the Second World War. She was a teacher at the nursery school that was in prefab huts next to Westborough School, opened during the war for mothers who were working. Her Father, W. Wheeler, was in F Company, 4th Surrey Battalion (Guildford) Home Guard.

This composite image was sent to me many years ago by Christine Mudd, of Gerrards Cross, Bucks. Her family lived at 19 Hill View Crescent during the Second World War. She was a teacher at the nursery school that was in prefab huts next to Westborough School, opened during the war for mothers who were working. Her father, W Wheeler, was in F Company, 4th (Guildford) Battalion Surrey Home Guard.

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Responses to Westborough School In the 1940s – Were You There?

  1. Derek Pollard Reply

    August 27, 2016 at 2:14 pm

    From the poses and the arrangement of the mats (from the school hall) I am pretty certain that the top photo and the third down are from June 1947.

    I have another of my own form (aged eight) which my mother has dated. No names I am afraid except for my own photo.

    Possibly the top photo is the top form (Mr Lawrence’s) and mine (Miss Egglestone’s) is the parallel form to the third photo.

    I don’t remember any other group photos being taken.

    The gardener and caretaker was Mr Digweed – now how appropriate is that!

  2. Charles Graham Reply

    August 27, 2016 at 9:38 pm

    The picture you thought was 1950 was in fact 1946/7. My wife is in the picture, third girl from right in second row and she can recall the names of many in the picture.

  3. John Lomas Reply

    August 28, 2016 at 8:59 am

    I wonder if any of the Westborough Nursery children, in the composite image, can also be seen on this film from the British Film Institute?

  4. Barbara Lewis Mallyon Reply

    September 2, 2016 at 4:40 pm

    The first photograph was taken in mid 1940s, most of the children were born about 1936, the second photo was also taken mid 1940s, some are the brothers and sister of those in the first photograph born about 1938.

    I will also give you some of the names of those in the photographs.

    There are a couple of more photographs, I will send you copies of these of the children of Westborough School.

    Head Mistress: Miss Wilby
    Other teachers: Mrs Arnott, Miss Edney, Miss Ottway.

  5. Mary Grove Reply

    September 18, 2016 at 3:33 pm

    My mother-in-law, Brenda Grove (nee Green born 1932), thinks the boy on left of second row in first picture from mid 1940s may be her brother Alan Green.

    She remembers the teachers mentioned and Tommy Mallyon.

  6. Raymond Chudley Reply

    December 14, 2016 at 1:51 pm

    I attended Westborough Council School the first day it opened, prior to then it was held in the Congregational Church Hall.

    The photos are post war as the windows had X tape on them.

    I don’t recall any class photos in my time.

    Miss Wilby was head teachers, others were Miss Crips, Miss Schwarts.

    I have copy of my School Report dated 31/5/1936 signed by Miss Willby.

  7. Ken Hooper Reply

    August 3, 2017 at 6:46 pm

    I was at Westborough school from 1939 to 1944. I recognise some of those in the photos particularly those who lived in Woodside Road. Alan Green lived next door but one. I certainly, remember the teachers particularly Miss Ottaway, Miss Knowles and Mr Lawrence.

    I still have the letter sent by Miss Willby to say I had passed the 11 plus to go to the RGS. I passed the exam aged 10 and had to go to Northmead for two terms which were the worst years of my school days.

  8. Anthony Collins Reply

    April 20, 2018 at 12:34 am

    I attended Westborough School from Spring 1940 to Summer 1942.

    I had been evacuated from London to live with relatives and was therefore classified as a local child for school attendance.

    My teachers were Miss Crowther, Mr Fox (until he was called up – did he survive the war?), then Mrs Savage, who enabled me to obtain a scholarship to the secondary school close to my home in New Cross, London, that I joined in the autumn of 1942, evacuated to Oxted.

    My cousin, 20 years my senior, charged with my care also looked after three teenage girl evacuees from Wandsworth Techical School, a lumberjack lodger, as well as her own son.

    Her husband was in the army.

    Miss Wilby was headmistress during the period of my attendance for whom I have fond memories.

    The school had a much improved influence upon my education than any of the three primary schools I had attended in London prior to the onset of the war.

  9. Marianne Britton Reply

    July 6, 2020 at 11:53 am

    I attended Westborough School from 1945 until 1950 when I transferred to Onslow, County Secondary. I have fond memories of both, lessons in the copse in very hot weather at Westborough, and also celebrating Empire Day there.

    I believe my sister Eileen Kersley was the first head girl at Onslow, (I hope this isn’t family myth) I was an also a prefect.

    I have a photo that I will post sometime. Wonderful inspiring teachers, Mr Thorn, headmaster, Mrs Gowers geography and needlework, Miss Marsh, girls PE, Mr McCabe English, Miss Ellis, domestic Science. Happy Days.

  10. Jennifer Hallett (nee Edwards) Reply

    August 22, 2020 at 12:29 pm

    I would dearly love to see more Westborough School photo’s, especially the group class photographs. I attended school there until 1955.

  11. Penny Tomkins Reply

    August 9, 2021 at 8:43 pm

    I was born 1940 and lived in Southway Avenue. I remember the teacher’s name I was friendly with, Barbara Grimble then Barbara Hilton. there was also a June Peto and one with the surname Etherington.

    • Michelle Twiselton Reply

      May 7, 2022 at 1:34 pm

      June Peto was my aunt. Sadly she died in September 2021.

  12. Grant McTaggart Reply

    December 15, 2021 at 5:07 pm

    I went to Westborough School in the mid-sixties and left in 1967. The headmaster was a Mr Butler who used to walk around with a cane. Other teachers at that time were Mrs Kent and Mr Price.

    I remember being taken for swimming lessons at the old Castle Street Baths.

    I now live in Cornwall and work as a commercial beekeeper producing tons of honey which is sold in my [award winning] Tintagel Honey Shop.

    I cannot say I enjoyed my time at Westborough School but compared to Park Barn Secondary School it was a dream.

    • David Staniforth Reply

      May 2, 2022 at 9:48 am

      Is this the same Grant McTaggart who worked at the Sports Centre Gym and had a red Viscount Aerospace bike we worked on for him at Pedal Pushers?

  13. Andrew Balchin Reply

    December 16, 2021 at 5:27 pm

    I went to Westborough Primary in the mid-1950s and then on to Park Barn Secondary, leaving in 1966. The only teacher’s names I remember is Mr Fitzgerald who taught geography.

    I’d love to see some pictures from those times or hear from others who were there too.

    I too remember being taken for swimming lessons at Castle Street baths although never learnt to swim!

    Did Grant McTaggart have an older brother, I wonder? I remember the surname.

  14. David Reading Reply

    December 17, 2021 at 2:24 pm

    I entered Westborough School in the early 1950s, joining Miss Edney’s class. My memories are a hotchpotch of good and bad.

    There was a story going around that Mr Clarke, in punishing pupils with the slipper, took a run-up from the other side of the classroom: just an urban myth, I’m sure, but one that took hold.

    I remember the fearsome Miss Lynch and her painful slaps on the back of the leg; and the practice of being ‘shown the cane’ by headmistress Miss Wilby as a way of reining us in.

    Despite all this, the atmosphere at Westborough was generally bright and positive, and my six years there were happy ones: a feeling shared by other ex-pupils I’ve met since then.

    • David Staniforth Reply

      May 2, 2022 at 9:50 am

      Hello David, long time since I saw you.

      We met at my first day at Westborough – “The Little Boy With Ships On” as you described me. We sat next to each other.

      • David Reading Reply

        May 3, 2022 at 2:33 pm

        In response to David Staniforth – I remember that first day clearly, and I remember the T-shirt of his – the one with ships on. I think we last met at his bike shop, maybe 15-20 years ago. I guess he’s probably retired by now. As I said in my original message (above), they were generally happy years. Hope you feel the same.

        Do you have any pictures you could submit to The Dragon?

        David Reading is the Ash reporter for The Guildford Dragon NEWS

      • Duncan Povey Reply

        March 2, 2024 at 1:03 am

        Hello Dave,

        Great memories of you as a scout leader St Francis Westborough, happy to catch up on your news if The Guildford Dragon NEWS will kindly pass on my email address to you.

        I caught the travel bug from you all those years ago 1967 onwards.


        Mr Povey’s email address has been forwarded. Ed

  15. David Bailey Reply

    May 2, 2022 at 11:08 pm

    The photo shown as Westborough war kids was the Beckingham Road children’s 1945 party, (not a school party) please note the wonderful cake, to our disappointment this was not real, it was made of plaster.

    I am in the front row dressed as a pack of cards my older brother Eric is in Russian uniform standing behind the girls dressed as red cross nurses.

  16. Keith Birch Reply

    December 5, 2022 at 5:13 pm

    I was a St Francis Scout (along with David Staniforth) whose meetings were held at Westborough school from approx 1960-65.

    Prior to that, the Cubs and Scouts met in Foxburrows Avenue, later returning to our own building built on land between Foxburrows Avenue and Roundhill Way in approx 1965.

    • Christian Zizold Reply

      June 6, 2023 at 3:48 pm

      I was a St Francis scout for a year, around the time of 1989, but I had to return to Bolivia South America urgently with my family and lost touch, sadly.

      What happened to the old scout hut?

  17. Michael Brett Reply

    January 24, 2023 at 11:17 am

    I attended Westborough and Onslow schools the same years as Marianne Britton mentions in her post. Mr Jones was the boys’ PE teacher and Mr McCabe took school trips abroad. I recall a few names, mainly boys from the football team.

    I was also a St Francis Scout in the very early days when the meetings were in a hut behind the church. I was patrol leader of Kingfisher Patrol. Afterwards, I left I joined the Guildford ATC squadron which was based in Stoke Park.

    I have a few mixed photos that I will try and post, including an end-of-war street party in Grantley Gardens where I was born, in 1940, in my grandmother’s house. My other grandparents lived in Beckingham Road.

  18. David Bailey Reply

    January 25, 2023 at 11:23 am

    I can still remember Michael Brett’s grandparents who lived in number 17 Beckingham Road, as my family lived next door in number 19.

    I think they had a chicken coop in the back garden. We may have been in the same class at Westborough school but I went on to Northmead, until I was 15.

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