The History of Charlbury through ... schoolrooms all over town 1945-58
Janet Jeffs for Charlbury Museum
In the late 1940s and early 1950s there were two schools in Charlbury - the Infants' School (for children 5/6 yrs old) on Grammar School Hill, and the County School on the Playing Close which took children from 7 to 10 yrs old, and - including those from Leafield, Finstock, Ramsden and Stonesfield - up to school leaving age (which from 1944 was 15 yrs). The head of the County School was Mr H.Osborne.
There was a post-war bulge in population, and a shortage of space. Several of us born around that time remember receiving our early education all over town. After the Infants School, we moved at the age of 6/7 to Fisher's Lane, upstairs in the Methodist Church School Room with little Mrs Wilson in Standard 1. (Big- taller - Mrs Wilson was based at the Playing Close School.)
As 8/9 year olds we were allowed into the Playing Close School with Mrs Lawson in Standard 2. Classrooms were scarce, so two temporary classrooms were built in the School Gardens in 1948. As 10/11 year olds we crossed Enstone Road to the School Gardens with Mrs Franklin for Standards 3 and 4. Other buildings co-opted as extra classrooms at other times were the Parish Room attached to the old Vicarage in Church Lane, and the Morris Room upstairs at the Corner House. School dinners were served in the School Canteen on the path between Sheep Street and the Playing Close. Playtimes were spent wherever possible.
After the age of 11, pupils either stayed at the County School or, if they passed the 11+ exam, they went to Chippy Grammar School. By 1955 plans were in hand to build a new Secondary Modern School in the School Gardens. The Infants School on Grammar School Hill closed in 1957, and the County School on the Playing Close became the Primary School for Infants and Juniors, with Tom Asbridge as the new head. And those two classrooms in the School Gardens? Eventually one vanished, and the other served as the Football Social Club till recently.
We will tell the story of the Spendlove secondary school in a later posting.