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Friern Barnet Photo Archive

Watcombe School
The Friern Barnet Photo Archive
Watcombe School

"Friern Barnet Official Guide 1947"
Picture added on 12 March 2010 at 16:08
This brings back memories of my time at Watcombe. Mrs Williams was a friend of my Grandmother. Miss Kitchener, a teacher, married (1943?) and Miss MacFarlane had quite a temper! she was a peripatetic history teacher. We went into the cupboard under the stairs in an air raid!! During break we had to walk quietly around the garden, or sit on the seats - NOT step on the flower beds.
There was a lovely warm old-fashioned coal fire with doors and big flue in the classroom.
My days there were very happy. Nice and near to home.
Added by Mrs Sheila Holwell (nee Pullen) on 31 December 2012
I went to Watcombe School at the age of 5 in 1944. We couldn't all fit into the cupboard during air raids but had to stand in the hall while a piece of cardboard was fitted over the front door window! Miss MacFarlane was a terror and practiced favoritism to an outrageous degree. I wonder what happened to Mrs Williams daughter, Miss Cissie.
Added by Ann Sayer (nee Bird) on 09 September 2016
I attended Watcombe from 1946 for two or three years. Miss MacFarlane was a rather frightening teacher, but there was also Mrs Gibson who taught us geography - after a fashion. Miss Cissie was the class teacher, and she had a squint that made it confusing when one was addressed as 'You'. She remained in Friern Barnet, attending North Finchley Congregational Church for many years after retirement until in her 90s. I walked to and from school with my neighbour in the Ridgeway, Martin Leigh. We weren't normally taken and/or collected.
Added by David Garrett on 28 January 2017
It is interesting to hear more about Miss McFarlane. Frank Wells was there at the same time as myself (41 - 42?) who I believe became a Doctor, but she pushed him across the room at History lesson, and I think he banged his head on the wall. I wonder if he is still around. Mrs Williams was very fair when it came to discipline. I got let off detention once because I told the truth. I never forgot that!!
Added by Sheila Holwell on 15 February 2017
I was at Watcombe from about 1951-1958 I think. I remember Miss MacFarlane, Mrs. Williams and Miss Cissie. Elizabeth Gleed was there as a pupil and I sometimes walked up the road with her to school. The song Linden Lea was one we sang - brings back memories! Mrs. Williams I remember as a kind lady.
Added by Michael Thain on 29 March 2020
I was at Watcombe between 1952 and 1955 - I went on to Clark’s College in Finchley. I remember Mrs. Williams and Miss Cissie with great affection and was very happy at school. Does anyone remember the name of the dog ? I think of him in the kitchen when we lined up for our milk - lukewarm from standing on the stove - I didn’t like the milk but I loved the dog. As I get older I think of those days more often - we lived in Bethune Avenue and I walked to school through the recreation ground every day. I too remember the singing - in the downstairs classroom overlooking the garden the piano in the corner. Those days bring back Dr.Banardo’s cottage collecting boxes, saving stamps on a Monday morning, lovely illustrated history books - one each! - and an overall atmosphere of kindness and hope.
Added by Margaret Livingston nee Angood on 12 May 2020
I recently uploaded the school photograph taken in about 1947 but sadly it doesn't seem to have been posted. I also added the names of most of the children. I think the education at Watcombe was very good and seemed to cover a wide range of subjects from watercolour to poetry quite apart from the three Rs.
Added by Ann Sayer nee Bird on 12 May 2020
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