Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Top School.

The Top School.
The Cookham Rise Secondary Modern School, better known to the locals in the village as "The Top School." Was when it was first built one of the first of its kind in the country. There use to be an Honour Roll board over the inside hall door of students who had won places in Oxford University before the second world war.

The school was made up of three main classrooms and a seperate building at the end of the school grounds and was called "The Centre." The girls took their Domestic Science classes and the boys did a woodworking class. I attended the school during the wartime, and some classes had to be refined due to some of the staff being called up, so we went with a good grounding in basics from the staff that remained.

In the original photo that I used there were rows of cars parked outside, so I removed them and replaced the the original steel fence and gate. No cars for the staff in those days. The Headmaster Mr. G.H. Wood either walked to school or rode his bicycle. Miss Graham, lived just a short distance away on High Road. Miss Drew travelled every day from her home in Wargrave by train. Mrs. Isherwood came from Maidenhead every day by bus and her assistant domestic science teacher was a Mrs. Deacon, who also lived just off High Road.

Thought the girls still had their domestic science classes, these were also used to cook the school mid-day meal as well. Vegetables were produced on 40 poles of allotment which had been been started on the Alfred Major ground as part of the village Dig for Victory campaign. This is where the boys did their part with the school meals. As the "Gaffer." As Mr. Wood was know to everyone use to say. "If we can't get we will invent it."

Now looking back over those years and wartime as well I always thank now for resourceful ways our teachers made sure of a good basic education. Not only did students come from the nether regions of Cookham Dean, but from Maidenhead Court, but from as far as Coxgreen by bus. Then there were all the evacuees out of London. At one time we were a student body of around 150. So when they talk today of class size being too big! I have to smile as I survived it all, and so did many others.