Doreen Bartlett's School Days - From 1941

From 1941 at Benfleet Primary School

Doreen Bartlett nee Honour 

Moved to Benfleet in 1939 aged 3 years,

Doreen started at Benfleet Primary School in 1941. Often during the War years they would have lessons in the air raid shelter.

When the time came to go to King John School, they had not finished enough of the classrooms for their year to occupy so for a time they were bussed up to Hadleigh to St James Church Hall, which had previously been a Church School, they knew it as the Morgue school!

Their teachers went with them so they could cover most of the school curriculum.  One time they had to abandon the school as the fumes from the heating boiler were making the children ill, they had to go home until they acquired new heaters.

King John School was a progressive school, Doreen and other children helped to show many visitors around who came to see how the school was working. They cooked meals and invited teacher to eat with them. When they were in their last year if they were going into office work, they helped in the school office answering the phone and other office duties.

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  • Hi Carolyn,  my family were neighbours to Gates family for many years,  Colin, Amy, Frank.

    By Maureen Cassidy (13/05/2014)
  • Carolyn, the road our family and Gates family lived in was Thundersley Pk Rd. Happy days, contact me.

    By Maureen Cassidy (13/05/2014)
  • Eileen Gates is my aunt – Don do you remember my dad Colin Gates? There were 8 brothers and sisters, I think they lived in Kents Hill Road down the bottom end.

    By Carolyn Blake (24/03/2014)
  • I knew Doreen Honour [now Bartlett] well, at both Benfleet Primary and King John. I had moved to Hadleigh in 1946, and when King John School opened, all the Benfleet, Hadleigh and Thundersley kids of 13/14 years were sent there. Doreen, Eileen Gates, I think Maureen Chenery and another girl from the Kents Hill area were all close friends, as they had been in Benfleet Primary. I had a pash on the ‘another girl’, I can’t recall her name. Me, my best friends Alan Gibbs and Peter Leggett all of Hadleigh palled up with them for a while in that 13/14 year old boy/girlfriend way, but the great attraction of the multiple schools amalgamation overwhelmed such fragile relationships. If I recall, Doreen lived in a house that backed onto the Benfleet Golf course, and when a V2 landed near to Hope Road [?] on one of the greens, Doreen’s house had all its back windows blown out. The hole formed a deep pond that was still there when I moved to Hadleigh, great for newts as I remember! 

    By Don Thompson (28/11/2013)

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