My school days at Little Bursted
Some of the children at my school came from Dunton Road
I came originally from Lt. Burstead and attended the little Church of England school in the village before moving on to Billericay Senior School and after that the Chelmsford Tech. Some of the children at my school came from Dunton Road – and may have gone on to the Senior school at Laindon – I remember the three Fell boys, Barbara Cooper, and children called the Hoskins, but there was also a lovely looking girl and her brother with wonderful ginger hair! Unfortunately, my memory fails to remember her surname. This would be in the years 1939-1945.
There were only two rooms in the school, the infants and then we went up into the other room at age seven. The head teacher when I first attended was a large lady called Miss Williams whom I was terrified of. We were taught to sew hems on sheets for her own use and to knit stockings – however, I wasn’t clever enough for those items, took me all my time to knit dishcloths!!
My second head teacher was Mrs. Collins and the infant teacher was Miss. Storey – much more kindly women who taught us well in difficult surroundings – our dinners were brought up in a van in metal containers, cooked at Billericay School and we all enjoyed them and they were quickly eaten at our wooden desks, no room for tables!
There was no sanitation as such, outside loo with wooden seat and no flush toilet – emptied after school hours by the male caretaker, who also attended the coal fires, our only form of heating in the winter.
Our playground used to be divided into two, boys and girls entered in separate gates and played separately, until Mrs. Collins took over and then the fence in between was removed to make the playground larger, which could become quite muddy in wet days, as it was not made of asphalt, only gravel and dirt! But that never stopped us from playing hopscotch, conkers, marbles, swapping our comics, skipping with long rope, ball games etc.
In all they were good days, especially going outside on very hot afternoons to sit under the big old chestnut tree on the grass while our teacher read to us. The school was up the top of the village opposite the war memorial. Perhaps there were some of the children from Dunton Road that will rember the old school.