A Community Network for Bowes Park and Bounds Green
Does anyone have any memories or information about Beaumaris School, please? It was a small private school which was in existence from at least 1907 to 1966. At first it was where Bounds Green Station now stands, and shortly before building work on the station began (it opened in 1932) the school moved to Brownlow Road, where a small block of flats, also called "Beaumaris", now occupies its former site. The teachers were six sisters whose surname was Chapman. This information was provided by Haringey Local Studies at Bruce Castle. The reason I'm hoping to find out more is that I have recently been put in touch with a lady aged 93, now living away from the area, who attended the school. She is planning to write about her memories of it, and would like to supplement her own recollections with information from other sources.
An large late Victorian looking pile with grounds called Ranelagh House previously occupied the site of Bounds Green Underground Station, and I have seen a photograph of it dated 1930 in one of Albert Pinching's books on the area. The house is shown in both the 1894 & 1912 OS maps I have but would certainly been large enough to operate as a small private school, although it is not marked as such. Other than the relatively contemporary block of flats you mention, I have not come across any references to this school. Please post any further information you may uncover here onsite as it adds to our local knowledge, and thanks in anticipation.
Richard, thank you for your reply, which prompted me to ask Haringey Local Studies whether Beaumaris School could have been in Ranelagh House. Thanks to help from the HLS staff (what would we do without them, and Enfield LS as well?!) I discovered that the house named Beaumaris was next door to Ranelagh House. I followed this up on the 1911 Census (on Ancestry.co.uk), and found that the house names in Bounds Green Road from the corner of Brownlow Road were Ranelagh House; Beaumaris; Walmer Lodge; Rosebank; Glenster Villa; Camden Lodge; May Cottage; Cranbrook; The Cedars and Elmswood. I think the first five of these must have been demolished to make way for Bounds Green Station. I had previously come across the fact that Cranbrook and The Cedars were reduced to rubble by the bomb at the Station on 13th October 1940, and May Cottage and Camden Lodge were so badly damaged that they had to be demolished. Bounds Green Court was built in 1951 on the site of these four houses. Elmswood is now Sovereign Court.
I will certainly share any further information I get about Beaumaris School.
Great stuff - thanks for that, Lena!
I was quite surprised that there was room for five houses on the Station site, especially as at least two of them - Ranelagh House and Beaumaris - must have been quite large.
My sister and I went to Beaumaris School in the 1950s, when I was five years old (it was a Prep school for boys, but mainly a girls school). Two sisters were running the school at that time, the Headmistress being Dorothy Chapman. We are happy to share memories of the school if you would find it useful. My email address is email@example.com.
I must have gone to Beaumaris School in 1951 as my mother told me that I was just coming up to 4 years of age when I started at Beaumaris. Naturally my recollections are extremely limited and not necessarily entirely accurate. My elder brother Gordon also attended the school. My very vague memories are of a large house which smelt damp. My teacher was very strict and not at all nice. Thankfully my mother soon realised this was not a nice school and my brother and I were withdrawn. The uniform, as mentioned by Graham and Deborah was a dirty brown with a prominent badge on the blazer pocket. I actually have a photographer of my brother and I in our school uniforms.
I also attended Beaumaris School. The Uniform came from Bourne & Hollingsworth. Dark Brown gym tunics, dark cream shirts and dark brown knee high socks. Summer was brown and white check dresses with panama hats, brim down at the front to show the "B" on the ribbon. Miss Flack used to stand at the exit to make sure hats were on straight. The winter berets (brown) had the "B" badge at the front. Miss Dorothy Chapman used to sit at a high desk at the front of the lrge room. Her sister, Miss Monica, was in the room at the back to the right. Miss Monice would check that skirts were 1 1/2 inches above the knee - you knelt on the floor and it was measured. The girls also had to wear dark brown knickers, which Miss Monica would regularly check were being worn. The staircase had a highly polished bannister and when standing in line for morning assembly or lunch. One of the school assistant would stand at the top of the stairs with a long handled mop - if your hand went of the polished bannister the mop handle descended. If using the toilets, which were at the top of the stairs, at lunch time one child stood on each landing to await their place in the toilet! I believe Miss Flack did Geography and Art - I still have my old school reports. On Ascension Day the school would have a service and then go on an outing. I can remember Hampton Court one year and my hands acquired many splinters from the trestle tables where the picnic was. Result late into school as my mother was picking out said splinters. My fault and I had lines. Ones parents never did anything wrong - only you. If late, dinner money forgotten, lessons not finished in class on time, lessons done in class and marked - you stayed late to complete or write lines. Sixth form girls were allowed to wear skirts and stockings. There was a grass badminton court in the garden. Beaumaris rules applied outside of school if you were in school uniform - I lived in Wood Green and my mother had a hairdressing business so would send people to collect me, if I had an ice cream or drink and was still in school uniform and seen by staff member then more lines! I also have an autograph book with names in which I will add to.
I am not sure how old I was when I started at Beaumaris, probably four or five, 1940 or 1941, and I wore that brown unform until spring 1945, I think. I remember three, or possibly four of the Chapman sisters. Dorothy was the headmistress, Miss Monica handled various subjects, Miss Sylvie taught French, I think, and I am not sure if Norah, who had housekeeping duries, was another one of the sisters. I too remember the garden, which had an Anderson shelter. Whether or not we could all fit in there in case of a daytime raid, I cannot say. One of my friends was Jane Willis, and one afternoon we walked down Brownlow Road together and the air raid warning siren went off. I went to her home on Bowes Road, instead of continuing to Westminster Drive, where I lived. Later, my mother was upset because she did not know where I was. I remember other students, who I hope are still living, all of us now in our eighties. There were quite a few boys, including John Hubbard and Brian Wilkinson, on whom I had a childhood crush! The Bailey ssisters, Beryl and Sheila were students, a little older. Beryl was a championship ice skater and was allowed to miss some time at school, because she was an Olympic hopeful. I understand that an English gentlemsn coaching skaters here in Baltimore, Maryland USA, my home since 1952, remenbers Beryl Bailey. A national UK magazine had an article about her showing photos of her at school in that big classroom, filled with other students. I discovered it on line recently and am sure I spotted my friend Jane Willis towards the back.
We used to go off site for gym. It might have been in a hall at St. Gabriel's church, or another church nearby. Miss Dorothy was in charge. There was a play presented, I think held in a St. Gabriel's space, "The princess who loved nursery rhymes". I was the princess and Shirley Manning, later known as Evelyn, was the king. Miss Monica was in charge, as I recall. She had a good singing voice, and liked to perform Saint-Saens" "Softly awakes my heart ', from Samson and Delilah, whenever she could. She sang it either before or at intermission of our childhood performance.
The curriculum was advanced for our age in some areas, such as English. Why do I remember the de Coverley Papers? Yet In mathematics we did not have to learn the multiplication tables, but each had a little book containing the times tables up to 12X12. That led to a problem I will mention later.
One day when we were out in the garden, one of the teachers came out holding a box she said was American candy. E.ach of us received a pastel sugar coated almond. Now in the U.S. for 68 years, I have had my fill of American sweets.
I had some issues with the sloppy timekeeping for bell ringing at the school, and developed a punctuality anxiety. My parents decided it was a time for change, and as some other contributors to this correspondence have related, I too ended up at St. Angela's. Mother Mary Bernard was horrified that I had never been made to learn those times tables, and gave me a few summer lessons before I started there in autumn of 1945. Evelyn Manning arrived at St. A's not long after.
My memories include walking up that Brownlow Road hill, Yet if I stayed at Beaumaris until the end of the 1944/45 academic year, I do not remember the damage caused by the V2 which fell on Brownlow nearer to Bowes Road in December of 1944.
This correspondence thread pertains to Beaumaris, but if any Westminster Drive residents of my vintage read this, I am sure that I will remember them.
My name is Dennis Bailey and I am the younger brother of Beryl & Sheila Bailey, both of whom you mention in your thread. I can give you a bit of information about Beryl and also some thoughts on Beaumaris School, although I was never a pupil there but I did visit on a few occasions and my sisters told me many tales. As far as Beryl is concerned, yes, she did make the British Olympic team, going to St Moritz in 1948 as first reserve but she did not skate. She did, though, represent Gt Britain in European and World Championships between 1949 and 1952. Her best effort was to take fifth place in the European Championships in 1952. She also managed third place in the British Amateur Championships and won the British Professional Championship of 1953 after turning professional. She then appeared in numerous ice shows around the Country. Unfortunately, Beryl suffered ill health in later years and died twelve years ago. Sheila lives just five minutes walk away from where I am.
As for Beaumaris where can I start? As a small child after WW2 I found the teachers very odd and the building imposing but not particularly frightening. I think Beryl was untouchable because of the prestige she brought to the school and I cannot imagine that she was ever punished but she was a very good pupil and just with everything else in life she was studious, methodical and dedicated.. Sheila was much the same but did once get rapped on the hand for some misdoing. I do remember going to the Beaumaris sports day which was quite bizarre. Highlight was the flowerpot race where pupils walked on flowerpots which could be lifted with string. Sheila tells me there was a Miss Evelyn who seemed to live in the attic or else was put up there during school hours. Sheila remembers her descending now and again in the manner of Miss Haversham. One of the sisters acted as the cook but I do not remember her name. One really decent teacher was Mr Baldwin, reputedly an Oxford Don. How ever he got to teach at Beaumaris, one will never know. Unlike other writers to this thread, my sisters moved from Bowes Road School to Beaumaris because of their treatment at the former school. I also went to Bowes Road and can verify that many of the teachers there were obnoxious. I remember Miss Howells who was quite rotund and Miss Chappel who was thin. Both bullies. Miss Gardiner, who taught the new entrants was lovely, as was Miss Meadows, a young teacher. Mr Sinden taught both my brother and I (thirteen years apart) but he also taught Warren Mitchell and you can find a thread about his experiences on the net. Mr Sinden was a monster. But I digress. You mention Jane Willis. Sheila tells me that she knew her and that her parents ran the greengrocers in Bowes Road. You may remember the other sisters, Rosemary and Thora Edwards whose parents owned the Butchers shop in Warwick Road. As a young teenager I once played tennis with Rosemary, who was five years older than me (one set all).
As for me, I was born in Warwick Road before WW2 and lived there until 1970. My mother and father moved to the family home in 1933 and my mother lived there for about 65 years.
I hope this is of some interest to you or to anybody else who might read it.
Lastly, I am intrigued about the ice skating teacher in Baltimore. He must be very old to be still teaching ice skating.
To everybody - keep well during these difficult times.
I joined Beaumaris school in 1942 at the age of 3 and stayed until about 1950. It was a prep school for
boys but mainly all girls. It was a large detached house in brownlow road, from memory I think there were
5 sisters - Miss Dorothy Chapman - headmistress, Miss Monica, Miss Elvie, Miss Evelyn and one who
remained in a room at the top of house all the time - we never saw her.
Miss Evelyn was based downstairs - semi basement, she gave us a cup of milk and a current bun mid morning and soup at lunch time. Norah used to be in the kitchen helping and tidying. There was a large
garden at the back with a netball pitch marked out which we used we also played badminton. On the
ground floor was the main classroom where Miss Chapman sat at her desk. There was also a piano in the
front window where Miss Monica would play and sing. On the top floor there were 2 more classrooms and
I think the toilets.
some of my friends were Regina Spivak, Annie Anderson, Ann Bird, Jill smith, Peter Leonard,Peter and
Gary Rowley. The sisters had quite a few cats which would roam around and parts of the house smelt of
Cats wee YUK! We had a times table test every morning by a prefect. I was hit on the hands many times
with a ruler by Miss Chapman for talking in class. Very strict with uniform - dark brown gym slip, cream
blouse, dark brown knee high socks, brown knickers and brown beret (big B badge) in the summertime
Panama hats plus badge and brown and white check dresses brown plimsoles. If you were seen eating outside school wearing uniform you got 100 lines or had to stand on a narrow form with hands on head.
We had sports day at Bloomfield Park and had 2 plays which were held in St. Gabriel’s Church Hall.
There were other teachers - Miss Flack, Miss Lamb Mr Baldwin a couple I can’t remember the names of.
My memories of Beaumaris are good education, timekeeping, very good manners, very strict which I
think are a good foundation. We had lots of fun and laughter outside school.
Jean Jones (nee Moore) February2022