THE recent focus on the history of some of Colchester’s primary schools has brought a number of memories back to the forefront.

Our recent appeal for information about Canterbury Road School got Susan Wilson’s father, Leslie King, searching through his memorabilia in a bid to help Ron Gooding fill in the blanks on his school photographs.

Leslie was also a pupil at the school, now re-named St George’s School, at the same time as Ron and spotted himself in the back row, second from left with his old school pal Alan Deevy.

Susan explains Leslie, who still lives in Colchester, believe the photograph may actually date to 1938, rather than 1939, because he knows he had left the school to move on to Wilson Marriage School by then.

Along with his old school reports from that time Leslie also discovered these two photographs taken during those primary school days.

One shows Leslie and his best friend Alan in Leslie’s back garden, also in 1938.

She says : “Dad is holding a dead grass snake given to him by a school mate.

“Both he and Alan appear to be in school uniform.

“I think you will see the likeness to the two boys on the far right of the back row in Ron’s photo, particularly Alan who is quite short, and that is why we are certain it is them in the other photo sent in my Ron.”

The other image is the the school’s under nines country dancing team in 1936.

“I think that was taken at the school too, it looks like they used that wall as a backdrop for all their photographs,” adds Susan.

It shows, on the back row, Alan Deevy, Phillip McDowell, Donald Munson, Leslie King, a boy they cannot remember the name of , Reginald Spalding, and Frank Spindler and in the front Beryl Pearce, Doreen Jones and Sylvia Baillie.

Susan says Leslie remembers Mr E Head, first assistant teacher, took country and folk dancing as part of the curriculum.

“This group competed at a Festival held March 28 1936 in the Moot Hall Colchester and came top with a grade 1 marking.

“So perhaps this is why the photo was taken in April 1936.”

Leslie was initially at Kendall Road Infants School, starting in May 1932, until 1934 when he moved to the Magdalen Street Boys School which was built in 1859.

Following re-organisation of the school system in Colchester that school closed at the end of January 1936 so Leslie and his fellow pupils then moved to Canterbury Road.

Susan adds : “It was familiar to him as he already had music lessons there.

“The school had a house system - Roman, Saxon, Dane & Norman, dad being in the latter.

“The headmaster was Mr Oliver Gregson.

“His form teacher was Miss DA Field , then Mr W Pratt, then Miss M E Johnson.

She adds her father remembers his school days well and even kept his school reports including the first he received soon after moving there which recognises how this may have affected him but marks him out for great things.

He also kept a newspaper clipping reporting a concert the children gave in 1936, attended by Colchester Mayor at the time Alderman Blaxill and his wife.

Leslie then finished junior school in July 1938 before starting secondary education at Wilson Marriage School in August 1938.

Wilson Marriage and the Magdalen Street school, along with the Blue Coat School and Endsleigh Schools were among a number who featured in our original article about the history of school life in Colchester.

They have all now closed while Canterbury Road School changed its name.

But Paul Doughty says his former primary school, Berechurch Road, is rarely mentioned and is keen to find out more about it.

He explains he was a pupil at the school, which was in what was the Old Garrison School from September 1947 until July 1950 but it no longer exists.

“It was near where the current Ypres Road Doctors Surgery is, between there and Berechurch Road itself.

“Unfortunately I have no photographs of either the school or any pupils.

“I do not know when it closed , but my wife went there until about 1955/6.

“This school has not been mentioned in any article on local schools but I would love to find out more about it.”

Paul recalls most of the pupils, when he was a student there, lived in the New Town area of Colchester but it was decided to send them there rather than St John’s Green School, which was opened at the end of the 19th Century.

If anyone can help with photographs of early days at Berechurch Road School, or has information about its history then get in contact on 01206 508186.