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Banstead Village

Final Days of Burgh Heath Methodist School
The Banstead Image Library
Final Days of Burgh Heath Methodist School

1963 Final Days of Burgh Heath Methodist School

This photo was taken in the final days of Burgh Heath Methodist School in 1963. It includes both staff and pupils and was taken in the front of the outside toilet block. Below are the names of those people my brother Dave and I could remember in full or in part, we’d really like to know the names of those we could not remember, so if you know any of them please post their names on here, and which number they are!!

Looking back, a surprising number of the pupils, including my brother and me, were from the Preston Hawe estate on the other side of the heath. Whilst facilities at the school were very basic I do recall my time with affection. Some of the things I remember from this time include:

Cuthbert and Mary the hand puppets used by one of the teachers, as a teaching aid I think, that would come out of the class room cupboard as a treat.

Lunch was served at the War Memorial Hall, which was also used by St Marys School. I remember crossing the Brighton Road (single lane then) with the lollipop man to go to lunch.

The big freeze in 1963 and Burgh Heath pond was frozen solid for what seemed weeks, and the usual warnings about going on the ice and falling through were abandoned during this time as it was so cold and the ice so thick. Well having said that no one went near the willows because of the story of the deep well that existed there as you were sure to drown, as had poor Mr Marshall – wow what a myth!. You could walk on the ice right across to the island, which was I think the emblem of the school, yellow on green??

Before, and after school, we would go to the shop opposite the school on the same side as the Sheepshearers, what was the name of the shop. Anyway I do recall buying jubblys there, as well as maypoles (paper tubes with sherbert in them). Having said that I recall going to Bides on the estate for pre-school sweets, but they sold Walls Ice Cream so were not the sort of refined establishment that would sell jubblys.

Round the corner was the Corn Stores, I can still smell it now a mixture of paraffin and hay smell LOL, plus you could buy and look at pets there such as rabbits, goldfish. There was also the barbers, where Bert Carter would cut your hair. Only one style though short back and sides, and it would be cut with you sitting on a board across the arms of the barbers chair.

I also remember one day my older brother on a cross country run from De Burgh school stopping and talking over the school fence to me at playtime. Then seeing him running off over the common alongside Mitchells stables to the mud track that ran through to Chetwode Road, which was full of prefabs then.

And like your other contributor I remember the blossom from the tree in the in the infant playground. I don’t think I married her at that time!! …….. Great days … Peter Anscomb

Top Row (LtoR)
1, 2, Freddie Harris, Christine Watson, Susan Pemberton, Cheryl Curtis, ?? Laxton, Christine West, 3, Shirley Griffin, Colin Blyth, 4, Ronnie Collins

Second Row
5, 6, 7, Steve Watson, 8, 9, 10, Raymond West, 11, Alan West, Kenny Card, Peter Anscomb, Gary Doors?, Lee Mace

Third Row (standing)
12, Jeanette Pemberton, 13, 14, 15, Janice Kington, ?? Davis, Mick Card, 16, Richard ‘Winker’ Watson, James Bateman.
Fourth Row (sitting)
Jill Kington, ?? Turner, Jacqui Card, Tina Watson, 17, Miss Marshall, 18, Miss Potts?, 19, Janet Tinsley, 20, Evelyn Blyth?, Twin 1, Twin 2.

Bottom Row
21, Brian Mace, Victor Rossi, Dave Anscomb, Gail Harris, Valerie Davis, Susan Stubbs, Georgina Hopkins, Ann Griffin, Trevor Bird, Ian Googe, Danny Watson, 22
Picture added on 05 March 2014 at 22:11
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I should have also added to my comments that Bert Carter was for many years the Secretary of the Burgh Heath Comrades Club. The club is, I believe, still there between the demolished Roberts Stores and Heathside.
Added by Peter Anscomb on 06 March 2014
Sorry Pete had to cheat cos I was looking for you and all kids were SMILING !!
Added by Not so very skinny Lynny on 18 March 2014
Starting from the top as I remember left to right on all rows 1 . Clive Cooper 2 . Geoffrey Housego 3. Linda Watson 4. Christina West 6 Cherry Curtis 7. Lynn Brewis 9. Janet Smith10.Ann Griffin 12 Ian Horlock 2nd Row from the top L-R 1Alan Turner 6 Stanley Pile 7 David Newbury ( Ronnie & David Newbury aka Noddy & Big Ears ) ( Ronnie married Janet in playground) 3rd row from top L-R 1. Ann Hills 5.Angela Cooper 6. Janice Kington 7 . Christine Davis..for the record Missing name for Laxton was Barry
Added by Christine Davis on 29 March 2014
I remember that playground. I was there till they opened Merland Rise school. Miss Parrot was in charge. Doing games out on the green. Outside toilets. British Bulldog at playtime. Awful food at War Memorial Hall. Sitting on the board at Bert Carters for a haircut!My mum grew up with him in Banstead. Bonfire by the pond on November 5th? Going to Comrades Club, mum and kids had to go in the family room. Bertha Deates ? café. Corn chandler by the school.
We were in a prefab at 33 Chetwode Road and then council house at 102 Merland Rise. We walked over the common to school.Past the farm where they used to have a funfair occasionally.
My sister Heather was at BEREAF!SCHOOL Till 1954.
Happy memories.Doug Cusden.
Added by Doug Cusden on 25 April 2014
I chuckled when I read Doug Cusden's entry. I've always been fascinated with accents and, growing-up on the Sutton Bypass, us kids called Burgh Heath "Bereaff." When as a teenager I joined the Gas Company at the bottom of Sutton High Street,in 1948, I was fascinated and amused when phoning our Banstead showroom. Telephones weren't fully automatic then, so we'd dial BH7,then the VIGilant operator would respond with "Numberiz?" to which I'd respond, "Two five nine one" Click, click- and the distant operator, in a plummy voice would say "Burrah Heeth!". The VIG operator would say "Two fife nine one" and the BH op would say "Two fafe nane one!" Another couple of clicks, and "Nobby" Knowles, the Showroom Manager would answer, in his posh, plummy-Irish, "Gas Board Banstead, good afternon." A bit daft, I know, but all part of my warm, Surrey memories.
Added by Bill Mallion on 11 June 2014
Mrs Stanley had the tea rooms next to the pond.The shop opposite the school was Privit Stores. On the green opposite the War Memorial hall was Mrs Jones the green grocers. The corner of the Brighton Road and Reigate Road junction was known as Clarkes Corner. Mr Clarke had a shoe shop near Mr Carter the barber.
I was at the school between 1952 and 1957.
Added by Pamela Cooper on 09 August 2014
Miss Parrot who was the headmistress and Miss Marshall, were the only two teachers in the school when I was there.
Added by Pamela Cooper on 09 August 2014
Yes Miss Parrott, was the head teacher at this time, but I am sure I recall there being a male teacher at the school when I was there, and I think he was possibly the head?? Long time ago and I was only a lad!!

Sitting to the right of Miss Parrott is, I think, Miss Potts who I recall taught the second year infants/ juniors? But who is the young teacher sitting next to Miss Marshall, I think she taught the infants (first year?). It was her who used the Cuthbert and Mary hand puppets.
Added by Peter Anscomb on 10 August 2014
I went to the Church of England school and remember well Bertha's shop, with four blackjacks for a penny. But I have to confess that I was afraid of having to walk through geese on the way to school and would go the long way round, but not want to confess why I was late. They could be very vicious and looked very big! Ah yes... the smell of the Corn Stores!

Added by Jackie Fearnley on 01 October 2014
Jackie you are right about the geese, terrifying they were, we used to peer out from the houses behind the Surrey Yeoman and if the geese were on the other side by Berthas we would make a dash across the common to get to the Hills and Mountains... now that's another story.
Added by Peter Anscomb on 01 October 2014
This is fascinating as I thought I was the only one afraid of the geese and it is lovely to hear that phrase the Hills and Mountains. I loved that bit of wilderness and the chance to see lizards. I do remember one playtime doing a handstand and one of my sandals coming off and falling into the bracken. The whole school missed the beginning of the afternoon lesson, coming out to search for it. I felt rather guilty as it had been undone when I embarked upon the handstand!
Added by Jackie Fearnley on 02 October 2014
Geese were not too bad if not near the path, noisy and a bit threatening, but the Gander was what deterred us. We always checked where he was before going by - or not! Never heard the phrase "hills and mountains" - maybe I'm too old - but I know where you mean. I don't know what caused them to be there. Was it just natural topology?
Added by Michael Funnell on 28 October 2014
I don't know either.... they were just there: a bit like sand dunes.
Added by Jackie Fearnley on 29 October 2014
Yes we used to play over 'The Hills & Mountains' great fun with a bike .. At the time the hills seemed steep but if I were to return I bet they would seem like ant hills ! I heard from somewhere years ago that bombs had been dropped there but I don't know how true that was.
Added by Christine Barella on 27 December 2014
This is probably the first picture I have seen of my old infant/primary school Burgh Heath Methodist that I attended between 1957-1962 when it closed ..Happy Memories of walking in twos across the main road to the War Memorial Hall for our school dinners with Miss Marshall who lived with her Mother in the cottages opposite. Playing weddings in the playground using the blossom from the cherry tree as confetti. The school house next door to the school that was reputed to be haunted where we had our school medicals.Top Class playing on the common unsupervised opposite during our school break ..The School had outside toilets and the school milk was left outside in the winter. There were only 3 classes ..top middle and bottom! I remember Miss Coleman, Miss Atherton, Miss Watts, Mrs Corner ? There was a rival primary school situated on the main road St Marys Primary opposite St Marys Church...next to the fusty shop owned by Miss Deats ? (The building of the school is still there now converted into apartments ) who had geese outside the back of the shop. I rememember Roberts Corn stores just round the corner from the Methodist School and the barbers shop.

We used to play over the 'hills and mountains ..and go to Kinlocks Bonfire parties...I'm thinking now of the Sugar Bowl and the Galleon (the Galleon now the garage on the corner of the Crossroads and the Sugar Bowl that became the Il pirata and then Picard Hotel then Heathside Hotel - correct me if I'm wrong on that !

All good memories of fishing in the willows near where Miss Marshall cottage was situated (tea rooms) and skating on the pond after school. I remember the Sheep Shearers and the Surrey Yeoman and catching newts and tadpoles in the Newt Pond behind the Sheep Shearers. Our school badge had an emblem of the pond with the tree in the middle Green & Grey uniform and gaberdeen macks and wellie boots :-) Would love to hear from anyone who shares my memories.......My memories by Christine Davis
Added by Christine Barella on 27 December 2014
I too went to Burgh Heath school and I too am in your last school photo I was sitting next but one to Miss Marshall. My name Christina Watson. Bottom row to my left is Gail Harris and top row right third in is Freddie Harris her brother, then my sister Linda Watson. Row below her fourth one in right is my brother Stephen Watson.
Back to top row left is third and forth row in are Christine and Russel Milton.
6th from left bottom row is Georgina Hopkins.
I do know some of the others in fact a fair few. I loved that school and cried when we had to go to Merland rise infants. I'm still in contact with Ggail Harris; she was my best friend at school we went all through school together sharing the same
teachers and are still friends today. I recall them geese. Berthas was the store, well that's what we called it. The corn stalls and barbers did back onto our outside privies, not so private either.
The May tree was so lovely blossom every where sadly I do not have many pictures of the school. and although I recall the school and heath I for a long time had no recollection off due to having been gravely ill with encephalitis in my mid twenties. Now almost nearing my sixties things pop in and jog my mind so this site's been a good read. I hope more can recall these past places.
Thanks Christina Parish (was Watson)
Added by Christina Parish on 04 May 2015
These descriptions remind me of a bitter argument I later had on the 406 bus with my best friend at Reigate County School, who lived in Walton Heath. She thought her village pond was better than ours in Burgh Heath but I don't think it even had an island!
Added by Jackie Fearnley (was Shreeve) on 04 May 2015
I remember you Christina ..I knew Linda & your Brother Steve who is with Jackie Ware sister to my very best friend the late Linda Brown nee Ware ! Also remember your Dad Len and I knew you as Tina .. I cried as well having to go to a much bigger school Merland Rise albeit for 1 year ..I loved my little Church School ..My name was Christine Davis and have a sister Val; we are both in the photo ..My very best friend at the School was Jill Kington .. Your sister Linda I think was my age and was in my year at De Burgh ..I have a group Memories of Tadworth WOTH Lower Kingswood & Banstead if you would like to join x
Added by Christine Barella ..nee Davis on 05 May 2015
Someone mentioned Headteachers name for Burgh Heath Methodist School. As far as I can remember it was Miss Fletcher from when I started in 1957 until approx 1962 when she left. Another Head teacher was put in place but I think she was dismissed and then I think it may have been Miss Copeland when it closed, sitting next to Miss Marshall '
Added by Christine Barella ..nee Davis on 05 May 2015
Hi, the name Christine Davies does ring a bell. My father's name was Peter Watson. Len,was the name of the man. My sister married Len Squires. Gail Harris is here with me today and she too has been down memory lane.
Added by Christina Parish on 09 May 2015
Hi Christina ..Sorry but I thought Steve Watson's Dad was Len who used to do repairs on the estate .. I'm getting muddled up lol ..I also made an error - my first best friend was Janice Kington standing next to me in the photo, not Jill her sister ... My sister Val is sitting in the front next to Gail ..I remember Freddie very well hope he is doing ok ? I lived in Hatch Gardens .. You should join my group 1,300 members lots of memories .. Hope Linda is doing ok too ! xxx
Added by Christine Barella ..nee Davis on 10 May 2015
Hi Christina, yes. I remember your dad, I was only talking about him the other day with brother Dave. I can remember when he worked in the council maintenence from the workshop in Longfield Crescent/Preston Lane, next to the old junkyard, where I got caught by Copper Lynn, the local beat copper, when in search of pram wheels for a barrow. The lookouts Kenny card and brother Dave having done a runner.!! BTW how's Steve, please give him my regards.
Added by Peter Anscomb on 10 May 2015
Wow how amazing to look at the photo. I think I left the school in 1960ish. I remember the three classroom and having lessons in the hall. Miss Fletcher was the head teacher. We used to have music and movement in the hall guided but the radio and of course singing together. I remember the common as I walked to and from Tadworth to get to school. Prior to that we lived in a council flat in Woodlodge and Wonford I can't remember which one came first. I remember the pond and it being frozen. Bertha's stores and the furniture store around the corner where my friend lived and her father died so she left and went to the Royal Masonic School for Girls in Rickmansworth. Was there an air raid shelter opposite the school?
Added by Mary Clarke nee Haughton on 31 October 2015
The hills and mountains what a blast from the past, my brother Philip and I would ride our bikes over them and scare ourselves to death, they seemed so steep. My cousins Hilary and Rodney Cassady lived with their parents Reg and Kenny In Wood Lodge on the ground floor until the late 50's when they moved to Tattenham Way. Bertha's geese used to frighten the life out of me, I had to pass them each time I went to Wood Lodge. My grandparents had the Sheepshearers and my father was the Racehorse trainer Cyril Mitchell and we lived in Heath House.
Added by Lou McGhie formally Lindy Mitchell on 22 July 2016
Omg I have the very same photograph as this, I loved my days at this school and hated my year at Merland rise. So many faces I remember and such happy memories.

Note from LNW: Thanks Linda, do send us any names you recall as people often google their own name and some will be delighted to find this photo.
Added by Linda Poole was Watson on 06 November 2017
For some reason I missed that fascinating contribution from Lou McGhie: I came to the church of England school as a nine year old from the suburbs of London in 1955 or 56 and found it all very strange. For one thing we had learnt italic writing and now I had to learn how to do a different kind of joined up writing. I had come from a school where we did projects and learnt about maths by weighing lentils and using a real chain to find out about proportions of a mile. Sitting down and reading rather dull books was quite hard and I used to spend nearly every break time writing lines for having talked. I think only two of us passed the 11+ exam and so I lost touch with most of my class mates... except for Hilary Cassady, who had befriended me and taken me riding. Unfortunately on one occasion we went out without saddles and possibly hats and my horse bolted on Epsom Race course. I did lose consciousness but did not have any bad injuries. I had to stay in bed for a week and I can remember Hilary coming round with a horse at which I was allowed to look through the window. I would love to be in touch with her again. And of course I remember Cyril Mitchell, and probably met you Lou. I think he may have been a friend of my father, also named Cyril. Did he play golf at Kingswood at all? Did you have a brother called Philip? Do get in touch.
Added by Jackie Fearnley on 09 November 2017
Top row is not Christine Watson its Linda Watson and fourth row is Christina Watson as its me and my sister in picture. Also our brother Stephen Watson who is fourth in second row. Tina was just my name, shortened.
Added by Mrs C Parish( Ne Watson) on 11 November 2017
Starting from the top as I remember left to right on all rows 1 . Clive Cooper 2 . Geoffrey Housego 3. Linda Watson 4. Christina West 6 Cherry Curtis 7. Lynn Brewis 9. Janet Smith10.Ann Griffin 12 Ian Horlock 2nd Row from the top L-R 1Alan Turner 6 Stanley Pile 7 David Newbury ( Ronnie & David Newbury aka Noddy & Big Ears ) ( Ronnie married Janet in playground) 3rd row from top L-R 1. Ann Hills 5.Angela Cooper 6. Janice Kington 7 . Christine Davis..for the record Missing name for Laxton was Barry
Added by Christine Davis
Added by Christine Barella ( nee Davis ) on 19 November 2017
I remember the name Cusden and wonder if Heather Cusden went to the county grammar school for girls at Reigate, as I seem to remember travelling with someone of that name on the 406 bus every day, but not sure if the dates would be right as I started there in 1957. Possible alternatives are that I knew her through girl guides or church.....
Added by Jackie Fearnley on 21 November 2017
Lou McGhie mentions her cousins Rodney and Hilary Cassady. I was in the same class as Rodney and travelled on the same buses to Reigate with him. As she notes they lived on the ground floor flat in Wood Lodge which was a big house surrounded by woodland and was where Aberdour school now is. It's main entrance was on the A217 opposite the entrance to Tangier Wood. Rodney would sometimes invite me to watch a television "cowboy" film after school. (We hadn't a TV). It was quite scary to walk back home through the woods after that. The A217 was completely unlit except for one light (two bulbs) on a transformer at the junction of Tattenham Way. I believe they did move to Tattenham Way, but then lived in Shawley Crescent. Before those houses were built I almost trod on a leveret (baby hare). I still remember the shock (in 1952?) as it leapt away just before my foot touched it.
For a few days I went to St Mary's school on the A217 (was a house last time I was there), but then transferred to Banstead infants.
Added by Michael Funnell on 23 November 2017
Sadly both Rodney and Hilary have both passed away, they were both far too young. Both suffering from asbestos related cancer,which we believe was inhaled from the atmosphere in Liverpool where they were born and lived after the war. There was a massive rebuilding program and asbestos was widely used. They moved down to Burgh Heath in 1950 to live with my family in Heath House (the stables) until they found the flat in Wood Lodge.
Added by Lou McGhie on 26 November 2017
Oh I am sad to hear that. I would have liked to have talked to Hilary again. And particularly sorry to hear of the reason for their deaths.
Added by Jackie Fearnley on 27 November 2017
I' don't ever remember a Miss Parrot being a Headteacher I remember Miss Fletcher when I started then when she retired there was another Headteacher which complaints were made against and she left abruptly finally and I'm pretty certain it was a Miss or Mrs Copeland or Coleman as Head that took over until 1963
Miss Marshall was never a Teacher she was more of a Secretary who dealt with registration etc but could still give you a good telling off !
Added by Christine Barella ( nee Davis ) on 27 November 2017
It's a shame I can't edit but just a couple adjustments top row left to right 10 is Shirley Griffin and not Ann no 13 is Ronnie Collins ( at the end) The Teachers left to right Miss Potts Miss Marshall Miss Copeland Miss Watts and Mrs Atherton
The twins first names were Alison & Barbara but I can't remember their surname .The old brain cells are beginning to slow down 😊

LNW: Christine, I have sent you the complete list as I have interpreted it from the various contributions. If you can update/correct it, I will add it at the top. Lewis
Added by Christine Barella ( nee Davis ) on 28 November 2017
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