South Benfleet School Staff 1947

Group Photo

On the back of the photograph the following names have been written:

Left to right: Mr Ford, Mr Wallis, Mr Bayley, Mr Gardener, Mr Bell, Mr Whitehead, Mr Phillips, Mr Bonser.

Miss Harrison, Miss Hall, Mrs Punt, Mrs Williams, Miss Walford and Miss Peacock.

Also states the date as 1947 do you agree?

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  • I believe it was Miss Gale who was the Head Teacher of the Primary School. She had grey plaits wound round her ears which looked like headphones. She took us for reading and we were all a bit afraid of her. Miss Webb was my favourite teacher. Miss Bass and Miss Harrison took us for PE. I seem to remember that Miss Walford spat when she talked, and Mr (Daddy) Seagar threw gym shoes at miscreants. Miss Hall was the teacher I remember most. She took the ‘scholarship’ class. She wore her hair in small bubbly curls on top and it was a light mauve in colour. She was very strict and very handy at rapping knuckles with a ruler if you were naughty. There were 52 in our class and you were seated in the order of the test results which were taken, I believe, once a week. For the general knowledge test all the class would stand and she would go round each one asking questions. If you got a question wrong you had to sit down. I met my future husband Ken in her class. We met up again at the Methodist Youth Club some years later. Other memories are of the air raid shelters with their little escape hatch at the side and receiving chocolate powder sent over by the Americans. We couldn’t resist dipping into it on the way home. I too remember the Searle twins from the Baptist Christian Endeavour meetings where we used to hang out to play table tennis amongst other things.

    By Elizabeth Cockburn nee Betty Carpenter (05/03/2021)
  • I remember all these teachers apart from Mr Ford, Mr Bonser and Mr Phillips. Also I thought a Mr Blake was a teacher there before going to King John’s.  My memories of Benfleet Primary School from 1944 – 1951 in the infants I remember Miss Scale who I thought was Head Teacher and a Mrs Shaw. Every so often we were asked to take a clean container which was filled with a chocolate powder that was very sweet which I ate but think it was meant to be taken home for our parents to make drinks with. 

    In the Juniors I remember being in Mr Whitehead’s class (I think he left early for health reasons) a very kind man. Also in Miss Harrison’s class who was a great friend of Mrs Bass but think Miss Harrison took an instant dislike to me and think I was sent to Mr Woods office for the cane at least once a fortnight.  I think he got fed up seeing me outside his office door – his daughter Anita promised to marry me if I washed my ears and knees – I must have been a scruffy little urchin. 

    I believe we had our dinners in a wooden building which was Mr Wallis’s classroom.  My favourite teacher was Mrs Peacock who taught us in the library across the road from the main school building until I went to King John’s school.  My two brothers were at school at the same time as me their names are Alan and Trevor.  My friends were Micky and Billy Howard, Peter Allgood plus the Searle twins Peter and Paul many more but can’t remember all their names.  I believe one of the male teachers held boxing matches in the Library building with some of the older lads which some of us little ones watched and thought was great fun.

    Brian Geach nicknamed Darkie

    By Brian Geach (03/01/2014)
  • Does anyone remember Miss Hall’s spelling tests? She taught us to “break up” long words into syllables and I shall never forget the longest one of all – unhyper/simetrico/antiparallel/ipipedicalisation/alergraphically! She was strict but must have been a wonderful teacher to get me through to Westcliff High in September 1947!

    By Betty Turpin (21/02/2013)
  • I recognise a few of the teachers photographed. Mr Wallis, Mrs Punt, Mr Phillips, Mr Bell and Mr Bailey were all teaching at King John School when I attended there in 1954. I was hopeless at needlework, which Mrs Punt took, but when she knew that my brother had been in her class at Benfleet school a few years earlier, she was extremely nice to me!

    By Kay Butler (08/05/2012)
  • I remember Miss Hall very well as she was a friend of my mother.  I was rather scared of Miss Hall as I did have my knuckles rapped on a few occasions. She was quite handy with a ruler!!  I always remember Miss Hall with a lace hanky tucked into her watch strap, and if I remember correctly, she taught us to knit and I hated knitting a pair of red and yellow striped mittens. We also lived next door to Mr Bayley in Clarence Road, although I don’t really remember much about him out of school. 

    By Janet Pain nee Stevenson (05/05/2012)
  • I remember Mr Bell as I went to King John in the 1970’s. He must be the same man.

    By Paul Fretwell (23/04/2012)
  • And is Mrs. Punt the same teacher that taught needlework at the King John School in Thundersley in the 1960’s. A Miss Mason had the classroom next door, who I believe also taught needlework. Anyone remember these teachers.

    By Carol Powley (23/04/2012)
  • I remember Mrs Punt and Miss Mason. I remember during their needlework lessons we had to make gingham skirts to wear for school. Mrs Punt checked every seam, every hem, every knot, every 10 minutes throughout the lesson. If it was not 100% perfect, she made us unpick it all and start again.

    By Eileen Gamble (23/04/2012)
  • Could the gentleman named as Mr Bell be the same Mr Bell who taught art at King John School in the 1960s? He looks very much like him! 

    By Eileen Gamble (22/04/2012)

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