Bletchley Senior School's First Chronicle

A school report, 1939

Bletchley Road School [BLEP389].
Bletchley Road School [BLEP389].
The school canteen [BLEP3609].
The school canteen [BLEP3609].

In 1939 the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Education visited the town to help celebrate the first anniversary of the Senior School in Bletchley Road. The First Chronicle was published to mark the occasion. The document runs to nearly 40 pages and covers a wide range of topics. The school activities are described in some detail, covering familiar subjects such as English, Science and History but also Agricultural Instruction – an appropriate recent introduction in rural Buckinghamshire. And there are reports on prizes and sports day.

Mr D. E. Cooke, Secretary for Education, wrote in his Foreword, ‘I am certain that parents will feel that Bletchley Senior School has begun well a career that will bring great benefits to the area.’

Messages to the Chronicle include:

… We people who have been entrusted with the local government of this township, have watched with interest the growth of the school. C. D. Flack, Esq.

… the senior children are assembled together in premises equipped for the wide range of activities which we associate with a modern school … Kenneth Lindsay, Esq, MP

… Their task is no easy one, for the standards to which they are working are of the very highest – nothing less … Major J. P. Whiteley, MP, CC

Mr E.C. Cook, Headmaster, aired his concerns regarding ‘the provision of a hot mid-day meal for 170 children who will not be going home for lunch‘:

They must have a good, substantial hot dinner’

‘They cannot be left to roam the streets aimlessly’

‘A wet luncheon hour might be a nightmare!’

The canteen was run by dedicated staff; even so the watchful eye of Mr Cook kept everybody on their toes. Mrs Gibbs and her assistant were in the kitchen, ably helped by the girls who laid the tables.

All those having paid their shillings on a Monday looked forward to a varied menu:

Monday – Oxtail stew, potatoes, spotted dick
Tuesday – Savoury meat, potatoes, baked beans, jam tart
Wednesday – Liver and onions, roast potatoes, peas,jam layer pudding
Thursday – Meat and potato pie, potatoes, mixed vegetables, apple pudding
Friday – Salmon rissoles and chips, peas, trifle


What would today’s children make of that?

Comments about this page

  • I was at BSM (Bletchley Secondary Modern) in the period 1952–55, and have fond memories of the place. I think there were three Jones teachers (not all related I think) – Mr Heald (Metalworking), Mr Bennett (Woodworking), ‘Basher’ Parfitt (Drama), Mr French (Music), ‘Tug’ Wilson (?), Bubby Harris and Wilf Rose (PE), Bill Puryer (Dep. Head Master I think – to whom recalcitrants were referred for strokes of the cane).

    By John O'Hara (07/05/2022)
  • My parents went to the Bletchley Road schools and some of the teachers were still there in the 1960s! I loved Leon Secondary School especially the music and drama lessons and was in several shows and concerts. They also tried to teach us art and musical appreciation with famous art prints regulary changed along the corridors. When walking into assembly in the mornings varios pieces of light classical music would be played.

    By Valerie Young (05/04/2021)

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