Loudwater School stories

Folk drawing

John Baker of Forge House, born 1904

I started at Loudwater School at the age of 6 or 7 years old when the Headmistress was a Mrs. Trimmings – a German lady – who had a small daughter Christine who was in the Infants School at the time. Strangely, she disappeared from the village shortly before the first world war. Mrs. Trimmings young assistant was Lucy Holmes, daughter of the village policeman PC Holmes.

A Loudwater childhood, kindly supplied by the Mulley family (memories written in 1993)

Kings Mill stood on the site where Biffa is now. Many of us used to go this way to school. We walked down through an avenue of horse chestnut trees, the path being made of old railway sleepers. You can imagine the fun we used to have as children especially when it was 'conker time'. After leaving the mill behind we used to go over a field where, at the present time, all the new offices have been built. Prior to this a factory used to be on this site. It used to produce valves.

Kingsmead Road has had many new houses built over the years. At the opening of Bay Tree Close there used to be a sweet shop where most of us schoolchildren stopped to buy sweets if we went that way to or from school.

It was sad for us to learn of the demolition of the school because we did have lots of good times there. We all made many friendships which have lasted all our lives. Now there are bungalows there. Higher up School Lane is of course your modern day school which I am sure you find much warmer and more comfortable than our was. I can tell you it was very cold and draughty in the midst of winter with an anthracite burning stove in each classroom.

Gordon Randall, kindly supplied by his son John

In 1992 my young grandson came home from Loudwater School and asked if I had attended there during the years of the Second World War. When I said 'yes' a silly little grin crossed his face and he giggled - there's a naughty boys book at school with Gordon Randall in it, is that you? This innocent family conversation led to an opportunity to visit his class at school and relate some of my memories of Loudwater during the war years and I have an audio tape of that happy morning.

The naughty boy's book of which my grandson spoke is still, I believe in existence at Loudwater School. Mr. Nunn, the then headmaster, made many entries about the same three boys and the names Hudson, Randall & Springell appeared on almost every page. We felt at the time that it was because' Nunny' as we called him didn't like us. I remember being sent to the bottom of the stairs to await Mr. Nunn, and having stood there for over half an hour I ran off home, hotly pursued by him. He caught me when 'old Ma Jones'(as we called her) stopped me. I was dragged back to school and thrust up the entrance steps, when I got to the top I turned round and hit out catching the headmaster with an uppercut. I can still hear Joyce Bernard shouting "give him another one little 'un". During the ensuing tussle he picked me up and carried me up the stairs, at the top I kicked out and knocked his glasses off, they fell all the way down to the lower floor and broke. Hence an entry in the book' for striking the headmaster one stroke. This may well have been one of the only occasions that he did catch up with me for I have many memories of being chased and most times I made it to the hedge in King's Mill where we had a warren of tunnels which only the smaller boys could get through.

Due to the influx of evacuees there were 'overflow' classes held in the Sunday School Hall at St. Peters. I was there on my eighth birthday whilst my father's funeral was taking place in the church, I tried to get to it by climbing out of the window but was held back by the teacher. These days it probably would not occur as people are aware of the psychological damage of a situation like this.

The school at that time was situated at the bottom of the hill on Kingsmead Road, where the bungalows now stand and the site of the present school was allotments. At the top near the railway line Mr. Rogers kept his pigs, he had previously kept them in his back garden but the neighbours complained.

I was born in Loudwater at Queens Cottages, Sunnyside, which was in Boundary Road opposite Railko's. They have long since been demolished. We moved into a new council house in Fassetts Road in 1939. Access to Fassetts Road was from Station Road or at the far end by a footpath from London Road through the 'old Mill' (Kings Mill). This footpath was made from old railway sleepers and was lined with 'Conker' trees, very picturesque but after dark pretty scary. As mentioned before we had tunnels and camps in the hedges on this site where we spent may happy hours playing. Hanging from an old oak tree we had a rope swing and one day my younger sister fell from it and broke her arm needless to say I got the blame especially as she said I'd made her do it. Our school summer holidays were spent playing in the old sandpits in Rayners Avenue where Wycombe Heights Golf club now stands. Many happy hours were spent there by most of the boys in the village we would spend all day there playing quite safely,a pleasure that the children of today miss out on.

Written in 1988 for the Bucks Advertiser

The older residents who remember Loudwater as a proper village 50 or 60 years ago say it has lost some of its community spirit. “They've built houses where the school was, houses on the orchard and at the coalyard.” said one. “There is a new generation in Loudwater now. It's all changed and nobody knows anybody anymore.”

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