From Watford Field to Victoria School 1942
Memories of Victoria School from 1942
By Arthur Hall
I left Watford Fields school in 1942, and transferred to Victoria School situated in Addiscombe Road. Entry was via an alley called I believe, ‘Victoria Passage’. On the corner was a confectioners, further along the passage was a Blacksmiths which manufactured wrought iron gates, and fences etc., also shod the occasional horse.
I should mention that lessons were frequently interupted by air raid sirens, which sounded like a ships siren. The siren was a steam siren attached to a chimney at Benskins Brewery, and was called ‘Big Bertha’, intermittent blasts meant danger, and you had to take cover in an air raid shelter situated in the school grounds, a long lasting blast meant that it was safe to leave the air raid shelter.
The teachers that I can remember at Victoria were Mr Wells the Head Master, Mr John Hard, Mrs Murrell, Mrs Eaton, Miss Bentley, Mr Holmes – ‘Corker Holmes’ – our science teacher, and our woodwork teachers were Mr Chalmers , and Mr Lilley, my last Teacher was a Mr Cookman who arrive in 1945 after leaving the armed forces.
While at Victoria, we were expected to ‘Dig for Victory’ , and had school gardens attached to allotments in King Georges Avenue, and at the bottom of Cassiobury Park. I am not sure whether the man who took us for gardening was a teacher, or a volunteer, his name was Mr Winkmann.
My schooling in Watford ended when I left Victoria School in 1946, as the age for leaving was 14.