Thundersley & Hadleigh School Photos 1947-1961

Can you identify a relative or friend?

If you went to school in Thundersley and were born in about 1933, you might find yourself in the last photo, with Mr Phillips, taken on 25th February 1949 when the children were fifteen. Some of the names have been guessed at but help is needed! See if you can spot a familiar face and help complete the record.


Staff of Hadleigh Infants School circa 1949/50.

L to R (rear row) Miss Bennewith; Miss Daphne Hewitt; ???; Mrs Echevarri; (front row) Mrs Clist; Miss Small; Miss Nellie Hersey, Head; Miss Beryl Major, Secretary (later Mrs Worsdale).

At that time Miss Jameson was secretary of the Junior School: she later went to the newly-built King John School in Shipwrights Drive and was succeeded at Hadleigh by a Mrs Elgar, of Meadow Road.


Hadleigh School Staff, July 1961

L to R Miss Bennewith; Mrs O’Connor?; Miss Nellie Hersey; Mr J. Denton; Miss Daphne Hewitt; Miss Small; Mrs Echevarri? Can anyone recall their Christian names, I wonder?


Thundersley Teacher Mr Phillips with Beryl Major and John Grigson working on a local history project


Thundersley School Netball Team 1947

L to R (rear row) Mrs Hipsey; Jean ?; Barbara ?; Miss Stevens; Sally ?; June ?; Miss Williams; (front row) Stella Trimnell; Diana Wilkins; Beryl Major; Barbara Lewis; Frances ?


Thundersley School Football Team at the start of the 1947-8 season. L to R (rear row) Len ?; Peter ?; John Warman; Mr Phillips; Terry ?; Geoff ?; John Stewart; (front row) Derek ?; Geoff ?; Dennis Keys; ??? [possibly Dilan?]; Michael ?


Mr Phillips (fairly new to the school) with the large Class 1 (37 pupils!) at Thundersley School (Dark Lane) in February 1949.

In those days, a child could leave school at 14. My Mother-in-Law Audrey Horner, (just a year older than these children) had left Thundersley School in 1947, been (briefly) to a secretarial “crammer” in Chalkwell and – by the time this photo was taken – had been working the past six months in London as a secretary, aged just fourteen and a half. There was nothing particularly unusual about this. Beryl Major (who supplied these photos) went straight from being the youngest pupil in Class 1 at Thundersley to being the school secretary at Hadleigh! There is little doubt that our children “grew up” much earlier a generation ago.

Front row from left: fifth across is Eric Hemmings (recently moved into the area from Ringwood, New Forest).

Second row from left: Stella Trimnel; ???, Barbara Lewis; Brenda Edwards?; Mr Phillips; Beryl Major; ???; ??? and, extreme right, Peggy Colbear.

Third row from left: third across is Brenda Lunch and eighth is Betty Carter.

Rear row names recalled are third from right John Grigson and extreme right John Stewart. Fifth from left in the back row (tall and smiley) is Den Keys (son of George and Edith), [captain?] and goalkeeper for the school soccer team.

These photos were kindly donated by Mrs Beryl Worsdale (neé Major) of Shoeburyness. Beryl was Captain of the Thundersley School Netball Team in 1947 (age 13) and in 1949, (age 15) became the School Secretary at Hadleigh Infants.

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  • The only thing I remember about Dark Lane school is when I attended a fire there in approx. 1963/64

    By John Fingleton (01/08/2013)
  • I, too, think PHOTO A depicts Miss Flatt. When I was at school in the 50s I also remember Miss Grimshaw, Mrs Matthias (who took us for music), Miss Slow (who taught sewing and inspected our hands to make sure they were clean!), Mrs Davies, Miss Webb, Mr Stewart and Mr Layrum who cycled to school and always took the top year in the Juniors! Do other pupils remember them?

    By Anne Game née Smith (25/02/2012)
  • PHOTO A. We think the third person from the left in the back row could be Miss Kathleen Flatt. We LOVED Mrs. Echevveri !

    By Sally Reeve and Roland Welton (29/01/2012)

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