Memories of St Andrew's

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Memories of St Andrew's' page

By Frank Foulds

This photo is of Margaret Smith. She was the headteacher of St Andrew's in the 1930's. She was approachable but very strict. She must have had a difficult time during the war because she had to accommodate evacuees, which meant great disruption to the timetable, etc. This meant there had to be part time schooling for all pupils.

I attended the school from approximately 1934 to 1940. To me it was a very happy school - we had prizes at the end of the year for achievement of which I still have two, and each child, I remember, had a Christmas present which were given out in the form of a treasure hunt. They were individually wrapped and named. In my opinion we had an excellent education in difficult times - Munich Crisis (1938); War (1939).
We had new, individual, desks around 1937, and we had to take a tin of polish and a duster to school to keep in the desk and clean it weekly!
Mr Guy Wilkes took the top class (Form 4). Other teachers were Miss Parker (First year infants); Miss Senechal (2nd Year); Miss Cattell (Form 1); Miss Wiseman (Form 2); Miss Sharp (Form 3).

The war had made big changes for us - evacuees arrived so we had long mornings and short afternoons, or short mornings and long afternoons.
The short periods were spent at the St. Andrew's Institute, which stood at the top of Northall - we would have nature walks, etc.
The school had an air raid shelter - it was underground and was located in the allotment area next to the school. We took bars of chocolate to put in sealed tins, and water was changed daily for drinking purposes. I found myself made shelter monitor along with Sheila Toseland.
We had lots of sport - a good football team -, and we played cricket in the playground.

1938 was the year when Kettering was made a Borough and there were to be huge celebrations on the Agriculture Field - now the Pytchley Road Estate. We practised PT displays for weeks, whitened our shoes and we had to wear white shorts. Unfortunately, it was all cancelled and we collected our gas masks instead!

Winters always seemed colder, frostier and snowier. We were encouraged to have slides on frosty days - they were always good slides because all, or most, of the boys wore boots with studs.

This page was added by Frank Foulds on 17/04/2008.
Comments about this page

I think that this page is very good. I never knew that Margaret Smith was the headteacher of St Andrew's in the 1930's.

By Isabella Tartaglia
On 18/04/2008

The headmistress in this photo was my mums headmistress, she was very strict and sometimes she caned the boys if they were naughty, as far as my mum knows she used to live in Duke st.

By Frances Jepps
On 02/05/2008

I read, with great interest Frank Foulds account of Saint Andrews school and especially that Margaret (Maggie) Smith was the Headmistress of the school in the 1930's.

I also attended the school but I was there in the early 1940's, Mrs Smith was the headmistress during this time and I beleive that she was sill in charge of the school in the 1960's.

All the teachers that Mr Foulds mentions were still there in my time and other teachers that I remember were Mrs Clay who, I beleive lived in Canon Street, Miss Hardy who tended to spray her words out. I remember well the orchard which was adjacent to the school which, I think was owned by Saint Andrews Church.  One evening a few of us from Wellington Street decided to go scrumping for apples in the orchard and we were caught by the school caretaker and he reported us to Mrs Smith who, announced to the whole school at assembly the following day that we had been caught stealing apples from the orchard, we never ever did it again.

I have fond memories of the school and its teachers who really cared for the pupils, I also felt that it was a disgrace that such a magnificent building should be demolished to accomadate a one way traffic system.

David Short 4th February 2010

By david short
On 29/04/2013

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MLA Department for Education and Skills DCMS Learn with museums Kettering Borough Council