Wescott school 1905

Ken and Cecil continue their discussions on Wokingham in the first quarter of the 20th century. This post concentrates on the schools.

Cecil: “In 1914, when I came here, there were three state schools in Wokingham. There was the Palmer School which was possibly the most popular (now Palmer C. E. Junior School, Norreys Avenue). That has since disappeared. It has been pulled down and built over. There was the Wescott Road School (now Wescott School in Goodchild Road) which still exists and still functions. And there was the St. Paul’s School, which was situated just alongside the clock tower in Reading Road, at the confluence of Reading Road and Station Road (now St. Paul’s C. of E. Junior School in Oxford Road). Those were some of the state schools in Wokingham. But there was quite a number of fee-paying grammar schools around. There were two in Reading. There was the Collegiate School and Reading School. They were both fee-paying grammar schools for boys, and there was Ranelagh School at Bracknell, which was a fee-paying school for both boys and girls. It was co-educational. There was also a private school in Wokingham called Grosvenor School and that was run by a Miss Baker. Although its name was Grosvenor School it was more often known by the locals as Miss Baker’s School. It was situated in the house at the end of Broad Street that is now occupied by the doctors’ surgeries. Montague House 1920sAnd as it grew in size it was removed to the house in Broad Street—Montague House (now White House Preparatory School in Finchampstead Road). It was a very popular school for girls only. It was so popular that quite a few of the girls came from as far away as Ascot and Sunningdale. Those were the fee-paying schools.

The state schools—Palmer School and so on—were the places where most of the youngsters in Wokingham went. The youngsters who went to these state schools usually left at the age of fourteen—and most of them couldn’t wait for their fourteenth birthday when they were able to leave. When they left, the boys and girls went their ways”.

Note: Thanks to Bob Wyatt for the use of photos and his associated descriptions.

One Response to Schools

  1. Tommy Randell says:

    I went to St Paul’s C of E at the junction of Station Road and Reading Road from 1947 to 1954 . We had a good football team in our last years and played against Palmer and Wescott Road schools .Palmer we beat easily regularly but Wescott Road had a good team and results used to go either way . We had a plot of gardens at the bottom of the field that was behind the school and used to grow vegetables there .There was a bee hive too that my grandad and another man used to look after doing magic things with smoke to look after the bees .We used to walk to Martins Swimming pool just around the corner from the terraces and walk to St Paul’s Church for various religious occasions . We were never told much about the history of the church and school being built by the Walters family which I found out more about later but I remember getting free school dinners as my gran was was a member of the church which was handy as we moved to Evendons Lane afterwards and used to walk to and from school every day .I passed the 11 plus in Mr Meachams class in the last year and then went to Woodley Hill School later changed to The Forest after moving to a new school at Winnersh . I loved every minute of those days

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *