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. 

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  • Hi guys . I am tracing my family tree.
    I am not sure whether my great uncles house was in Little Burstead or great Burstead. I found it many years ago with my father, it was down a long lane basically mostly wooden chalet style. My dad was born 1918 spent some time there in the 1920’s. Back in the day he remembered a duck farm nearby.
    There was also a unique collection of houses not far away. In a sort of crescent. The story goes that back in Victorian possibly Edwardian times the local station master, sold plots of land off to Londoners to build houses. He provided champagne and strawberries on the train for possible buyers.
    Any info would be so gratefully appreciated.
    Kind Regards Steve Rich.

    By Steve Rich (02/09/2022)
  • I attended the school from 1944 to about 1949 when it closed. My teachers were Mrs Collins and MIss Storey. I lived just over the back fence at “The Lodge”, dad worked for Mrs. Asplin in the “big house”. I remember the bad winter of 1947, the snow came over the top of my wellie boots. Mrs Buckledee ran the kitchen.

    By Peter Rushen (11/05/2021)
  • Hello Pat. My great-grandfather lived and raised his 8 children in Rose Cottage from the early 1900’s.  Rose and Ivy Cottage were then converted into one property by one of my Great-Aunts.  I’d be keen to know if you have any photographs of the property from the time you lived there.

    Kind regards Melloney.

    By Melloney Mason (01/10/2017)
  • Hello Margaret, I am Barbara Coopers sister Pat now Pat Banks. Barbara, my brother Ron who lives in Basildon and I am the one with ginger hair and we lived in Ivy cottage for years. Barbara now lives in Braintree, I live in Australia. I well remember the Fell boys, they used to tease us girls and we would run past their place whenever we passed by. Kit Hoskins was at the time and remains my best friend, she lives in Basildon with her husband Les Whiskin. Kind Regards Pat.

    By Pat Banks Nee Cooper (26/08/2013)

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