Winterbourne St Michael’s Church of England School Founded 1813 Headmaster’s Log Book 1933-1952

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Mr J Hutchings.

Mrs M Gale.

5.9.1951 Purchased a Qualcast Panther lawn mower on behalf of the LEA for use at this School.

Visited new Headmaster at Whiteshill at noon today.

18.9.1951 Fires lit in Classes C & D.

20.9.1951 Conservative local assoc agent books School for election meeting on 18 Oct.

26.9.1951 Special arrangements made today as a result of a staff meeting with regard to dangers on the way home from School of children going down the High St. Mrs Gale will take her children to the Swan and will shepherd them over the road; Mrs Thornton will do likewise. Mr Hutchings and Headmaster will share the responsibility of taking classes A & B to the Swan. These arrangements to remain in force until the road works and sewer installations have been completed.

2.10.1951 Mrs Turner of “Penryn” visits School and makes unwarranted complaints about a member of the staff. She demanded to see the member involved and the Headmaster refused and after a good deal of profitless discussion with no little abuse, Mrs Turner was advised to send here complaint to the LEA.

10.10.1951 Inquiry from LEA with reference to Mrs Turner. Headmaster replied stating all the facts.

9.10.1951 Parents & Teachers AGM 7-30pm Headmaster chairman and all members of staff have been put on the committee.

10.10.1951 The sewer excavations are proceeding outside the School – the noise from the compressors and drills makes normal work in Room A & C impossible; also PE in the playground. Headmaster makes a vigorous complaint to chief engineer with regard the utter lack of consideration on the part of the excavators – result has been that the compressor has been moved 25 yards up the road.

Further altercations with the contractors with reference to the blocking of School entrance and the School house entrance. Nothing is done in the matter, neither is any warning given so Headmaster removes the obstruction with a heavy hammer and lots of brute force.

11.10.1951 Foreman & Engineer in belligerent attitude. Headmaster also belligerent – common sense prevails and a fairly amicable agreement is reached – the contractors giving ground on all sectors.

19.10.1951 Sewer Excavations still proceeding – immediately outside the School – the rattle of machinery and mechanical drills is most harassing.

The School soccer team visit Whiteshill today. Previous 2 matches with Thornbury and Shield Rd – both away fixtures – were won in handsome fashion. 4-0 and 7-0 respectively. (Whiteshill 0 – Winterbourne 6)

25.10.1951 School closed for election purposes. Headmaster [Alfred C Dunn] and Mr Hutchings, presiding officer and poll clerk. Mr Vincent of Hambrook School also a poll clerk.

26.10.1951 Closed for Half-Term holiday.

5.11.1951 Re-opened. Very wet day.

12.11.1951 Head Teachers’ meeting at Sodbury Grammar School to discuss the scholarship examination at 5-30pm – profitable.

Managers Meeting at 8pm. Half-day closure granted for Friday 16 Nov to enable staff to prepare the School for the sale (7th annual) on Saturday 11 Nov. Also half day closure on 20 Dec, the occasion of the annual party.

19.11.1951 A profit of £55 was made at the Annual Exhibition and Sale held on Saturday last. The sum will be used to help provide a Christmas Party, a Summer Outing, to purchase flower plants, bulbs, shrubs, etc and also a colony of bees.

21.11.1951 30 boxes of wood delivered by Lanes Ltd of Longhope (50 miles +)

All bulbs have now been planted – they include 100 Narcissus (Scarlet Elegance), 12 Hyacinths (indoor), 3 doz Spanish Iris (yellow & blue), also Crocus. These have been purchased by the School fund at approx cost of £3.10.0.

26.11.1951 Managers have agreed to lend to the County Records Office the Minute Book first started in 1813. Headmaster has already sent this valuable book, information from which will be used in the compilation of a history of Education in Gloucestershire between 1698 and 1870. Mr GH Hainton is responsible for this work. (Cheltenham Grammar School)

14.12.1951 Mr Turner, BBC Engineer, called today to check over the School wireless installation. He recommended that a new earth wire be fixed, also a complete new arial, preferably the outdoor rod type. * When fixing speaker leads to set, remember BLACK plug in centre socket and RED plug in 6 socket. [Sockets were marked 2.5, 6, 15 and 30]

18.12.1951 Headmaster [Alfred C Dunn] has to attend Frenchay Hospital to see a specialist. 10am appointment.

20.12.1951 School finished after lunch. A party was given to all the children in the afternoon, with film entertainment afterwards. (Remember meat sandwiches are more popular than cakes or trifle)

Members of the Parents and Teachers Assn made most of the cake with fat and sugar obtained on a Food Office permit.


1.1.1952 Asphalt Specialist rep here today with County Architect’s rep to examine the playground which has subsided in a number of places and which has given considerable cause for complaint.

2.1.1952 Messrs Hembrough have repainted the interior (dado only) of the new lavatory blocks.

7.1.1952 School re-opened – admit 6. 130 on Roll.

9.1.1952 Mr Adamson, Visual Aid Advisor, called with new lamps for the FS projector.

11.1.1952 Mr E Williamson, HMI, visited at noon – stayed to lunch and left at 1-30.

14.1.1952 School Soccer team played Patchway CE on Saturday and won 4 goals to nil. To date 7 matches have been played – 7 won with 36 goals for and 2 against!

15.1.1952 Mr Bert Tann, Manager Bristol Rovers, visited the School this evening to lecture and to show football films to an audience of 120 or so – invited by the Parents & Teachers Assn – a very successful evening.

22.1.1952 Social & Dance in the School for the PTA. Music supplied by borrowed records and Headmaster’s ancient cabinet gramophone (with pick-up) a huge success in every way.

31.1.1952 Headmaster leaves School at 2-45 for a medical appointment in Bristol at 3pm. Full & detailed arrangements have been made for Class A. returned at 3-45.

6.2.1952 His Majesty King George VI died this morning. The announcement was made over the BBC during a School broadcast. The children were told and the School flag was hoisted to half mast.

God Save the Queen.

8.2.1952 Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The whole School assembled around the flag-staff at 11am. The official proclamation ceremony was heard on the School radio and the flag hoisted from half mast (for six hours).

8.2.1952 The Minute Book (see 26 Nov 1951) has been returned and is in the Headmaster’s keeping.

15.2.1952 The funeral of HM King George VI.

The Rector, Canon SR Worters, conducted a short service at 9am. The whole School assembled in the playground at 1-55 for the 2 minutes silence (2pm). The extension loudspeaker was taken outside and the silence was observed in company with millions of others. The funeral service from St George’s Chapel was relayed in each classroom, each teacher using his or her discretion as to just how much of the service was heard by the children.

18 & 19.2.1952 Half term break.

27.2.1952 Ash Wednesday – service in church.

3.3.1952 Asphalt Specialists arrive to resurface the playground – most inconvenient. Headmaster telephones the HQ of the firm to state that this job was to be done during the Easter holiday. Arrangement is reached eventually that the job be proceeded with.

4.3.1952 Notice of Medical Inspection – it appears that the assistant medical officer will be here on the following days; March 17,18,19,20,21 & 24 – and there are only 130 children in the school ! ! ! ! ! ? !

Asphalt Specialists have arrived to resurface the playground - !

The pump in the filter bed has broken down – Gough’s electrician, who did the electricity installation on the new sanitary blocks, have been informed, also Architect’s dept.

7.3,1952 Miss Gibson called – re PTA meeting on Tuesday.

Windsor will be the venue for the Annual Summer outing – 23 May. An outing fund has been started (PO Social Savings a/c – staff as signatories, ACD and one other.) Money is taken on Mondays and Friday.

11.3.1952 Scholarship Examination. 13 candidates for whole examination. 12 candidates for intelligence tests only. 2 candidates from the Collegiate School.

17.3.1952 Doctor Hignell, assistant School medical officer begins routine inspection which is to last up to and including 24 March!!! Class A has had to be removed to Class B room for the next 6 days ! ! ! ! ! !

Messrs Read and Whelsford, Students from Redland Training College, started School practice on 10 March.

24.3.1952 Medical Inspection has finished – a day ahead of schedule.

26.3.1952 Headmaster [Alfred C Dunn] leaves School at 11-40 to attend the funeral of Dr F Crossman at Winterbourne church.

28.3.1952 Students finish practise today.

9.4.1952 School closes for Easter holiday.

28.4.1952 School re-opened. 8 new entrants. Only children who have reached the age of 5 years admitted.

6.5.1952 Several days of very wet weather. All stoves lit today.

12.5.1952 Peter Cobbin, aged 11 years, arrived at School at 10.10am – he had overslept, there being no-one to wake him as his mother goes to work at 7am every morning. ! ! !

18.5.1952 Dr Hignell returns to examine those children absent at the routine inspection. Miss Gibson calls (PE).

22.5.1952 Ascension Day – service in church followed by the bun ceremony – and School closed.

23.5.1952 A Party of about 150 children, parents, staff, friends, went to Windsor today – most successful in every way. Trip included a tour of the castle, a river excursion with tea on board the boat – cost adults 25/-, children 15/6. each child received a packet lunch and 2/6 pocket money.

30.5.1952 Miss Bishop, Laundry, paid to 28 March 1952.

Close for Whitsun recess (1 week).

9.6.1952 Return to School – admitted 5 (5 years of age).

26.6.1952 Managers meeting. Miss B Avent (Redland Training College) appointed to fill vacancy caused by the resignation of Mrs Thornton – appointment to take effect from beginning of the Autumn Term. Managers granted 2 days closure on 10 & 11 July to enable Headmaster and 2 staff to attend Teacher’s Refresher Course at Cheltenham.

2.7.1952 Miss Gale absent ill. Miss B Avent has come in on supply.

8.7.1952 Headmaster attends Frenchay Hospital 9-30.

14.7.1952 Mrs Gale calls at School – hopes to return next week.

15.7.1952 Chapel outing – number of children absent – this year an effort has been made yet once again to synchronise all the outings on one day, and it has to be recorded that the organisers of the chapel outings will not co-operate – this is not due to active opposition but rather laisser faire – an effort will be made again for the 1953 spate of outings.

10 & 11.7.1952 Mr Hutchings and the Headmaster [Alfred C Dunn] attend a Teachers’ Refresher Course organised by the County NUT Assn at Cheltenham. Mrs Gale unable to attend because of illness. The managers granted 2 days closure thus using the last 4 occasional holidays of the ten they are empowered to grant annually for sundry purposes.

18.7.1952 Evening trip by coach – PTA. Left School at 6-30, travelled to Hawkesbury Upton, Wotton under Edge, Frocester Hill (top) Selsey – Stroud for refreshment – returned via Avening and Tetbury.

22.7.1952 Miss Avent finished supply duty today. Headmaster visits contractors who will decorate the School during the holidays with reference to a few modifications and also to make arrangements about keys etc.

23.7.1952 Mrs Gale returns to duty. Miss Gibson, PT organiser, calls.

Mrs Hacker calls today with reference to the scholarship examination results. (Gillian)

Mr Seymour, electriciuan, calls – small repairs.

David Walburton, Brenda Ricketts, Michael Rees. These three have secured places at Chipping Sodbury Grammar School.

Miss Windyatt, assistant School meals organiser calls today!

School Photographer – Tempest & Co. (satisfactory)

Headmaster receives summons by telephone to enter Frenchay hospital tomorrow as a patient (about 10 days) – after some consultation the operation has been postponed.

Whiteshill Council School, rounders and cricket team visited today – result [blank]

24.7.1952 Headmaster leaves School 10-15 to visit bank (salaries, kitchen staff etc).

School closes for summer holiday.

August Arnolds – Stock. Total cost £45/11/5, less £1/11/8 for new log book, [this one nearly full] 7/2 for new Registers.

1.9.1952 School re-opened. Headmaster telephones Education Office with reference to arrangements to be made during his absence in hospital. Mr Hutchings to become acting head master. Mrs Thornton to come in on supply.

[The entries continue in a different hand…]

2.9.1952 Mr JJ Hutchings commenced duty as acting Headmaster, Mrs Thornton commenced duty in charge of Class B.

5.9.1952 Fires lit today in B & D class rooms.

10.9.1952 All fires lit today.

11.9.1952 School visited by Rev Canon Worters.

12.9.1952 Mr Dunn, looking well after his operation and discharged from hospital today, called in to see us.

16.9.1952 Nurse Palmer completed her inspection today.

23.9.1952 Miss Gibson, PE Organiser, paid a visit, staying about 15 minutes.

29.9.1952 Mrs Gale absent; hopes to be in tomorrow.

30.9.1952 Mrs Gale still absent..

1.10.1952 Med Cert received from Mrs Gale.

2.10.1952 Mrs Slater commenced duty in charge of infants, replacing Mrs Gale.

7.10.1952 PTA meeting; attended also by parents and staff of Winterbourne County School. Excellent quiz, but poor attendance.

8.10.1952 Football. Winterbourne CE, 1 – Little Stoke C, nil.

11.11.1952 Football. Winterbourne CE, 2 – Patchway C, 1.

13.10.1952 Informed by Headmaster, Mr AC Dunn, that he will return to duty on Monday next.

13.10.1952 PTA outing to BBC to see West of England Light Orchestra. 21 members made the trip and all enjoyed the evening.

17.10.1952 Mrs Thornton, Supply teacher in charge of B Class, finished her duties with us today. Mr JJ Hutchings relinquished position as acting head teacher today.

20.10.1952 AC Dunn returns to duty.

24.10.1952 Half Term.

3.11.1952 School re-opened.

6.11.1952 It is with profound regret that the Headmaster has to record the death of Mrs MH Gale, infants mistress at this School.

10.11.1952 Headmaster [Alfred C Dunn], Mrs Thornton (ex staff), Mr Chappell, manager, and Mrs Harwood, parent, attended the funeral of Mrs Gale at Pucklechurch. Wreaths were taken from management and staff, from the children, and one from the Warren Family. Many people and children contributed towards the cost of the wreaths.

21.11.1952 Half day to enable School to be prepared for Annual Exhibition and Sale.

New FLAG POLE arrives and is fixed (Messrs Drew, Frampton) to replace the one blown down in the recent gale. The ed com has agreed to meet the full cost.

A framed photograph of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth has been put in the School today (Messrs Bailey, Winterbourne Hill).

22.11.1952 Annual School Exhibition & Sale – a great success – showing a profit of about £46/10/6. This sum to be used to provide a Christmas Party, to help finance a summer outing to Coronation, London, to purchase visual aids etc and bulbs, shrubs & plants for the gardens and borders.

24.11.1947 Peter Vardy, aged 5 years, fell down and fractured his left forearm this morning. Headmaster [Alfred C Dunn] took him to Frenchay hospital, having collected his father on the way – an accident which took place at 8-50, i.e., before school began.

1.12.1952 Very heavy snow during past few days – attendance remains pretty good.

3.12.1952 Thaw setting in.

13.12.1952 More snow.

15.12.1952 Severe winter weather – attendance good.

16.12.1952 Intelligence test (1953 allocation of places) taken today.

17.12.1952 General thaw.

19.12.1952 School close for the Christmas Holiday. A party was given to the children by the staff.

[This Log Book ends here, at the last page of this 302-page leather bound volume.

A letter from a parent, found inserted near the end of the log book, tells us a lot about Mr Dunn, and is transcribed here as a tribute to his character and the good work he did…]

Bridgeyate, Warmley,

29 Jan 1952.

Dear Mr Dunn,

I thought you would be interested to know that John passed out successfully as a musician in HM Royal Marine Bands, he passed out last July at the age of 17½ but had to wait until his 18th birthday in Dec before he could leave the boys wing. He is now on board the Implacable in the Home Fleet at Portland, as the Home Fleet is joining the Med Fleet for the Spring Cruise. He passed his matriculation a year last Dec (1951) & got enough marks to pass him educationally for Band Corp. ( He will take the rest the course sometime this year. He hopes eventually to take his Bandmaster’s Cert & get his LRAM, & he will be at Sea fir the next 2½ years. He is 5ft 11 and weighs 11 stone.

John, apart from all his success in his work, has turned into a very nice boy. My husband and I feel that a great deal of this is due to you; when John came to you he was on a bad patch. I don’t know what you did or how you did it, but whatever it was, it was the solution to a very difficult problem. I was sorry to see him leave Kingswood GS, but now I am glad he did, as we both think that the short time he spent with you was a great help to him, & has been a stepping stone to a good career and a useful life. We are very grateful to you for your goodness to John and thank you with all our hearts. I am enclosing his last report for you to see, he will not receive another. Will you please return it, as it must go back to the school.

I hope you and Mrs Dunn and the children are keeping well. Roger is growing very tall, he is at Oldland Secondary School, & getting on quite well, he sits for the Scholarship in March. He is in the Warmley Church Choir, and also the School Choir. He sang with the South Glos School Choirs at Central Hall last year.

I hope I haven’t bored you, but we thought it was only fair you should know that John was on the right road, especially as you have had a hand in it.

With best wishes to you & your wife & family, Yours Sincerely, Barbara Weeks.
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