Coronation Tea Laindon Park School 1953

By Val Scurlock (née Newman)

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Coronation Tea Laindon Park School 1953' page

Val Scurlock nèe Newman

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Coronation Tea Laindon Park School 1953' page

John Peters

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This page was added by Val Scurlock (Nee Newman) on 20/06/2013.
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Back again! Gray matter almost expired. Might start using that as an alias: Graham Atter! John Langton, Christine Thompson, Terry Rattenbury, David Parmenter, Linda Brazier, Pat Mayhew, Kelvin/Melvin Higgs/Hughes? Also the surname Maitland comes to mind. Lastly Polly George, whose dad was a builder that she used to "help" during the school holidays. This would explain her abnormal strength and the fact that she was able to beat up most of the boys in the school. 

By Donald Joy
On 21/11/2016

Nice one Richard, yet more names of the day. Maybe a few more to jog a few more memories: Russell Stubbs, Denise Allen, Marilyn Bradfield, Linda Gilbert, Raymond Broom, Peter Stringer, whose mother had some connection to the school, I remember her playing piano at the school play and other occasions. Another name I've never forgotten because of the trauma she caused me and others is Maureen Hanson. She liked to play "kiss chase" by grabbing a boy and planting a big wet horrible kiss upon him and then using him as an aide in capturing her next victim. And so it went on until every boy in the school playground had been subjected to her womanly attentions. Yeuk !  More names to follow when the grey matter permits. 

By Donald Joy
On 18/11/2016

I remember that the room for the Coronation Tea Party is indeed the one used by Mr Stone in Autumn 1957. I was with that class until the Christmas. In the New Year I was allocated another classroom and a new teacher, Mrs E Hodgson. Some of the boys in that class were Keith English, Robert McMasters, Barry Keeble and Brian Stepney. Some of the girls were Jacqui Sheppard, Janet Smithers, Carol Hudson and Jill Strutt. There was a brilliant visit to the Natural History Museum at the end of the year when we were more interested in the trays of birds eggs than any of the other exhibits. The classroom that term was opposite the new canteen steps and was more sunny than the one used by Mr Stone. Some great lessons in music given by Mr Rand and some eye candy provided by Miss Davies.

By Richard Haines
On 18/11/2016

Back again! The more I peruse these photos the more puzzled I become. As previously mentioned classes numbered 40 plus pupils at this time and to my mind there doesn't appear to be a large number of children in the 2 photos. Also the age ranges seem quite varied. So my question is: were these just a select few or were there other parties for other groups?

Considering the total number of pupils who attended this school at this time, the number of children shown (of vastly differing ages) makes no sense to me. Am I missing something?

By Donald Joy
On 17/11/2016

I seem to recall another teacher who went on to the missing list after suffering a nervous breakdown, Mr Simpson. Now teachers were either pretty soft back then or, we children must have been quite a handful. I feel sure it was the former as I seem to recall us pupils being particularly well behaved???

A tad miffed to not get a mention from Richard Haines but it was a long time ago and there were a lot of names to remember, as Richard said, classes were numbered in the mid 40s. Strangely enough I do recall rather a lot of those names even after all this time. However I don't remember the room shown in these photos and just look at that floor. Were we really subjected to that?

By Donald Joy
On 15/11/2016

Just looked on Google Maps to see Laindon Park school and got quite a shock. This bears very little resemblance to the school I went to, but that was a long, long time ago. I then surfed the surrounding area and got even more of a surprise. Yes the graveyard can be seen to be well tended as was not the case throughout my younger years. No sign of the church hall or the vergers bungalow and it appears that many other bungalows that used to be in Pound Lane have gone and been replaced by quite a large building. Old peoples' home maybe? I really shouldn't have been so surprised at the changes. When I think back to all of the many changes I witnessed as Laindon lost its identity and became just another part of the behemoth that is Basildon. 

By Donald Joy
On 14/11/2016

I do not remember this room as a canteen or hall. In my time,( I started in 1955), the front  part of it was the library with a classroom behind. One rather sad memory of this room is of a teacher, I think it was Miss Elliott, having a nervous break down and wrecking the library.

By Paul Stickland
On 13/11/2016

I've just been looking at Google Street View. Some further things to report, the canteen, built in 1956 has gone, to be replaced by a car park. The windows I thought looked over Church Road alas, seem to be part of a store cupboard or similar which has narrow slit windows, these look original so I am definitely wrong there. The french windows, looking out to the school field are new and agreeing with what John Peters says I can't recall them being there back in the day. However, here it stands, our school John and Valerie, we were lucky to have gone to study there, so long ago best wishes to you both.

By Richard Haines
On 12/11/2016

Hi John Peters, thanks for confirming the room. It is definitely the same one I am thinking of. As you say, there were windows looking over the school playing field on the western wall. On the northern wall were more windows, all the same style, looking towards the A127 direction down Church Road. When I was in that room our teacher was Mr Stone. It needed to be a big room too, most classes were about 46 in number as we were baby boomers born in 1947. The boys I can remember were Brian Archer, Andy Darroch, Arnold Frost, Kenny Prince, Ronny Cannings, Philip Trew and Howard Davies. Some of the girls were Gillian Bull, Susan Gregory, Pamela Lane, Valerie Newman and Prudence Wakefield.

Mr Stone had a huge flat map of the world produced in linen, hanging near the blackboard area. We used to marvel at the number of pink coloured countries of the British Empire and the hugeness of the USSR in comparison. Happy Days.

By Richard Haines
On 12/11/2016

Richard, The Coronation tea party was held in the room facing west over the school field.  So far as I can recall, it was the largest room in the school and, in my days, was used not only as a classroom (I spent my final year in there with Mr. Alexander Blackford) but also as the school hall.  I believe that it may have been used for Assembly, Open Days and any other special occasions. The windows in photo 2 face west and I guess they are much the same now as they were when the school was built.  I did notice, however, when looking on Google Maps recently, that there are now some French/Patio doors leading out of the room on to the playground.  I am pretty sure they weren't there in the 1940's.

By John Peters
On 11/11/2016

I found the information on SEAX.  Just re-checked and it was indeed 1956 when the old hall was replaced with new canteen-cum-hall, but the school did took over the former schoolteacher’s house in 1966.  Thanks for noticing that Richard.

By Nina Humphrey(née Burton)
On 10/11/2016

Nina, are you sure you don't mean 1956. That would tie in with my memory of it looking new in 1957. Either way the school was brilliant, all the children were friendly and the teachers I had, Mr Stone and Mrs Hodgson were absolutely first class. My only regret is not being good enough to get my 11 plus there and I recall only about 5 children actually made it in 1958. The main memory for me as an ex-Barking boy was feeling so safe in that cosy school atmosphere.

By Richard Haines
On 10/11/2016

In 1966 the old canteen which had opened in 1941, was replaced with a new canteen-cum-hall with an adjoining kitchen and classroom.  In the same year, the school took over the former schoolteacher's house as additional accommodation.

By Nina Humphrey(née Burton)
On 10/11/2016

Also I wonder which year the 'new' school hall was built, the one at higher level which was used for school dinners. It was there in Autumn 1957 but I guess it was quite new then. A fascinating little school, I'm glad I got my one year there 1957-1958 before going to LHR.

By Richard Haines
On 10/11/2016

One other thing I would like to know is which room this photograph was taken in. The big blackboard area and the row of windows down one side looks a bit like Mr Stone's room which also had windows looking out down towards Church Road and the Arterial Road direction. The green Eastern National bus used to wait for us in the afternoon after school, taking us back to the High Road.

By Richard Haines
On 09/11/2016

Hello again Val & Richard.  Yes, I think I may have done my best to try and confuse you.  I have just remembered that Sheila also had a sister Carol and I believe it is Carol sitting next to Sheila and not Susan who, as you say, was much younger.  Sheila is the 8th person down on the right-hand side and I think it must be Carol just beyond her at the far end of the table.  I am sure someone will correct me if I am wrong.  If Susan was at the party, I guess she would have been sitting on the other table with the younger pupils.

I am pleased, Richard, that you remember my mother.  She loved working at the school amongst the children, but she eventually had to give it up due to ill-health.

By John Peters
On 07/11/2016

Also, like Valerie Newman I can't see Susan Gregory in the photograph, can we be more specific about which one she is meant to be please?

By Richard Haines
On 07/11/2016

I was in Susan Gregory's class in Autumn 1957. Our teacher was Mr Stone, a brilliant person. In this 1953 photo she would have been about 5. Also I remember Mrs Peters who used to be on dinner time duties at Laindon Park School.

By Richard Haines
On 07/11/2016

Glad you liked the additional photograph of the party, Val.  I don't know if you realise it, but Sheila and Susan Gregory's family are featured elsewhere on this site.  You can find the page easily by searching the surname.

Thanks for your comments, Donald.  As I mentioned in my earlier blurb, I am the person on the left-hand side, 5th from the front of photo 2.  The person 7th from the front, leaning forward, is my elder brother Roy Peters - not Tony Breedon. Are you pictured in either of the photos?

By John Peters
On 07/11/2016

Photo 1 right side of table, 3rd person  from front. I recognise the face but am never going to be able to put a name to her, helpful wasn't it ?

Photo 2 left side of table, 5 back from front, John ? 7th from front, leaning forward Tony Breedon, brother to June ? Depending on time of year I would have been 5 or 6 years old, which would explain my uncertainty. 

By Donald Joy
On 06/11/2016

It was great to see the two photos together. It really broadened the party. You were quite right, I can't recognise anyone on the table. I think I would have known Susan Gregory if I could have seen her, if she was at the front of the table. We were in the same class. I think I was 5 when the party happened. It was lovely times.  

By Val Scurlock
On 05/11/2016

I was very pleasantly surprised to find the photograph of the Coronation Tea Party on the Laindon History site. Like you, Val, I too have a photograph taken at the same Tea Party, but mine is of the table on the other side of the room and taken in the opposite direction. I have often wondered who might have a photo of the other table - and now I know! Although I personally have very little recollection of the party, it seems from the two photos that one table was reserved for the existing pupils of the school (those in your photo) and the other for the former pupils (those in my photo). At the time of the Coronation, I was in the 2nd year at the Romford Technical School.

In my photo (attached) we can see on the left-hand side working backwards from the front (with apologies to anyone if I have got the names wrong!) - John(?) Dodge, Peter(?) Hutchins, Brian Fynn, Geoffrey Fynn, me (leaning backwards), John Comber and Roy Peters (my brother who I think must have been in the 5th year at Palmers by this time). A bit further back is Joan Comber and Mrs. Moore from Basildon Road who you have already mentioned. At the far end of the table on the right-hand side are Sheila and Susan Gregory, who I believe still live in that part of Essex. I cannot put names to the rest of the party-goers on the right-hand side, so if anyone can add a few names, this would be really great.

These were happy days, largely due to the leadership of Jack Wilson and his staff. My mother was a Mid-day Assistant at the school for a number of years and very much enjoyed trying to keep order in the playground!

I hope this further photograph will bring back some more happy memories.

John Peters (nickname ‘Peanuts’)

By John Peters
On 26/10/2016

I am the fair haired boy I think 9 back on the left. In front of me with curly hair on top and short sides is William Bullock. 3 back on the left is Alan Starling.

By John Mason
On 01/09/2015

Where are you and the other two in the photo?  I'm useless with names.  There is a tiny bit of my forehead in sight on the left hand side of that table, I think the tenth one back, not that you can see much. My brother is just behind me, David. I think the lady with the paper hat on was Mrs Moore helping. She used to live in a bungalow a couple of bungalows back in Basildon Road.  

By Val Scurlock née Newman
On 26/08/2015

Lovely to see this picture from when I was 7 years old. Also recognise William Bullock and Alan Starling. Happy days.

By John Mason
On 23/08/2015
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