Florence Gladstone wrote the following in her excellent ‘Notting Hill in Bygone Days’ (originally published in 1924).
Until the beginning of the present century there was a great stretch of Common between St Helen’s Gardens and Latimer Road. Here cattle and horses grazed. This space had been curtailed in 1884 by the opening of Oxford Gardens School. This school originated in some of the leading tradesmen in the neighbourhood petitioning the Schoolboard to provide State-aided eduction for their children, but at the highest possible fee. And Oxford Gardens was a 6d school until fees were abolished in 1891.
Pam Macdonald whose family had lived on Walmer Road since 1889/90 until it was demolished in the 1960s, recalls her mother telling her that she remembered standing on a stool by the kitchen window watching ladies riding horses on Salters Field as it was called, just beyond the school.
Oxford Gardens School from 1905
Photographs and memories of two generations of ex-pupils.
My grandparents, my mother and her two sisters lived at 1 St.Helen’s Gardens in 1905. My Aunt, Evelyn Barnard was just 5 years old on her first day at Oxford Gardens Infant School which was right next door. When it came to break time, she didn’t know where the toilets were so she went home. I am sure she would have been returned very promptly!
This picture is of a class at Oxford Gardens School in 1906. It shows another Aunt, Ethel Barnard who had just started school. She is the one in the sailor suit, in the second row.
This shows Evelyn Barnard in a music lesson at Oxford Gardens School in 1913. She is in the front row, fourth from the left.
Another class in Oxford Gardens School. My mother is first on the left in the front row. She would have been 5 years old, 1908.
My own memories, 1939 – 1944
In 1939 when I was 5 years old I started school at Oxford Gardens. One of my main memories is of there being a large Wendy house in the hall where we could play. Another memory is of having to lie down on beds in the afternoon, presumably to go to sleep. I hated this.
In1939 the school was evacuated, but my sister and I did not go; my mother took my sister and me to my father’s home in Wales but we were not there very long and I came back to Oxford Gardens School. As the war continued we were going to and from the country and each time we returned I went back to Oxford Gardens.
We used to take a spoon and a cup and we would queue up with our spoons for malt and have milk in our cups.
I left Oxford Gardens in 1944 to go to Burlington School.
My sister, Beryl Jones, in the Oxford Gardens School uniform in 1950
Audrey Jones 2006
Beryl Davies has sent in two photos. The first shows children from Miss Scown’s class in the playground in 1962. In the back row are Julia Storey, Karen Hurst and Madelaine. In the second row are Sally Peake, Susan Cole, Jaquie Mott, Pamela Roberts and Joan Wall. In the front row are Jennifer Berry and Beryl Lindsay.
The second photo below was taken in Mr Barrett’s class on the top floor around 1965. In the back row are Gary Black and Nigel James and in front of them Peter McGraph, Beryl Lindsay, Pat Buzzle and Jane Galloway.