Broadfield School

Primary school

By David Sands

Some readers might remember Broadfield School which was a small private ‘primary’ school which operated in St.Francis church hall off Oaklands Avenue.  Presumably named as it could be accessed from the top of Broadfield Lane from Hampermill Lane.

I went there from 1944 until I had to leave at 10 years old and go to Watford Fields in order to take my 11 plus exam.

Mrs Blount

The school was run by Mrs Blount who lived in Cedar Road assisted by Ms. Rosemary Golding who lived in Raglan Gardens.  When Rosemary Golding was married she lived with her husband in a caravan at the bottom of the garden in Raglan Gardens. There was a gate leading out to the top of Broadfield Lane and a 2 minute walk across to the school.

There could have been no more than maybe 30 pupils in all and in order to use the toilets you had to walk from the hall through the church to the opposite end by the front door where they were situated.  We used to go on nature walks down Broadfield Lane and then at the end of the day the whole school lined up in order to shake hands and say goodbye to Mrs Blount.

I think the school closed in the 50’s and sorry but I don’t have any photos.   Maybe someone else has ?

This page was added on 18/11/2011.

Comments about this page

  • Today something went through my mind, two names that I could not get out of my head for some reason, then I googled Mrs Blount and Rosemary Golding. The Head teacher and her assistant at the little primary school attached to St Francis church in Oxhey, Watford – So many years ago.
    I was stunned that others had done the same and someone had set up an internet site.
    I lived in Oxhey as a boy and went to Broadfields school from 1945 to 1948. (Born in 1940 I lived at 90 Hillcroft Crescent just a small walk and across a field to the school)
    That was the best education I ever had, they were wonderful teachers. I’ll never forget them. Rosemary was so good and caring. And Mrs Blount was the boss
    Then in 1948 my parents moved to another town and for me it was all downhill from there on until to my great relief I was finally kicked out of school at age 16

    Something I remember: being hauled out of bed on May 8th 1945 (VE day) to watch a communal bonfire in the field with a wax effigy of Hitler on top being burnt.
    Plus touring with my mother through a shot down plane in the streets of Watford.
    Plus the nightly assembly of thousand bomber aircraft taking off from nearby Stanmore aerodrome.
    My mother said she didn’t know what we’d do for news when the war had ended!
    John Colenutt, Canada

    By john colenutt (01/09/2019)
  • I would love to hear from anyone that attended Kingsfield and Broadfields schools in Hertfordshite England.

    By Michael Dennis Richman (04/07/2018)
  • I was hovering over my computer one morning while looking at an old school photo on the wall in my den that was taken while I was attending Kingsfield School in Bushey, Hertfordshire. I decided to look back at some of the comments from former students who attended Broadfields School where I spent five years of my life, and subsequently wrote a short Bio in remembrance and tribute to Mrs. Enid Blount. I just want to say that everyone who wrote such kind words about Mrs. Blount and to include Miss. Dinan were correct in their accounts and brought back fond memories of these individuals. They were professionals and very special people, and we should all be very grateful that these ladies came into our lives while we were so very young. I remember Ross King, Mike Wheemys, and Tim Edmonds and even have some photographic memories of these students that still remain in my old brain-box. Any former student that would like to share old times with me may contact me at: mrich@hush.com. I now reside on the United States but come to visit Watford and surrounding areas once a year for family reunions.

    Michael Dennis Richman 

     

    By Michael Dennis Richman (21/03/2016)
  • I was born in 1951 at 44 Brookdene Ave and guess I joined Miss Dinan’s class at Broadfields in 1956 or so, overlapping with Dennis Richman (above) and also went on to Kingsfield School, in Eastbury Road opposite Oxhey Park. I have followed the spelling above but remembered her with great fondness as Miss Dianne. I remember her setting up her section of St. Francis’ Church hall each day, involving her young charges in taking little desks from the side cupboards. And being being asked to play with varying size sticks – to help I guess with numbers.

    What really has stayed in mind is her leading Nature Walks into and down Broadfield Lane at the back. Miss Dianne had new cards each time according to the season to help her. She did seem to have an amazing ability to identify trees, shrubs, flowers and seeds – and to communicate about their parts including anthers and stamens. We brought these back and pressed these as Robert describes above. Some 30 years later I conjointly set up the first environmental management programme at Brunel university, wondering how much led on from those Nature Walks.

    At breaks we would be more or less let loose under the trees and in the land in front of the Church, which was well set back from the road. A seemingly long gravel road led to Oaklands Avenue, to the left of which was a large field. Girls seemed to gather near the Church and boys played football on the grass. I remember feeling quite bored with the football and random running about on the field but of course excluded from the tighter girls’ group. Generally a bit bored with breaks that were thus a bit of a trial.

    I also found Mrs. Blount very strict when I moved up and felt oppressed by the amount of time spent sitting and waiting e.g. for others to read their reading cards. Other positive memories include her encouragement to breathe fully at the start of the day (hands on chest + breath in and out), to listen to music from an (even then) ancient black trumpet gramophone, e.g. to Grieg’s ‘In The Hall of the Mountain King’ and to march with swinging arms to marching music.

    One morning I ran up Oaklands Avenue and caught up with Mrs Blount who was pushing her bike up. She said something encouragingly like “You have a good way of running.” This made me feel very good and helped me see myself as a runner. This may have led to getting into school teams at Kingsfield and Merchant Taylors’. I would back all the positives mentioned above, particularly by Mike. I also enjoyed the grounding in geography, music (remembering Miss  Prebble) and religion and felt fine starting the next school, and then passing Kingsfield’s Common Entrance exam with the year ahead. I think Mike is right that we all left the school with an enormous advantage from having experienced such a school.

    I have a good memory of visiting after university at no. 18 Kingsfield Road, to have a kind and happy reception – which kind of completed things well. We now live along that road and will welcome contacts with those from Mrs. Blount’s school and those uncomplicated years. 

    By Ross King (14/12/2015)
  • I also, together with my brother and sister, attended Broadfields during the mid-50s.Originally we lived in Vivian Gardens (a relatively short walk away) but, whilst at the school, moved to a new address in Cedar Road. You might imagine our reaction when we discovered that Mrs Blount (the Head-Mistress) lived next door!

    Our collective memories of Broadfield have always been incredibly positive. The teaching methods applied by all of the staff and Mrs Blount herself, were wonderful as they would always keep you interested in whatever you were learning and this would have the effect of encouraging you to  want to “do better”. This incentive was rewarded by the ability to get “stars” for your work which, as has been mentioned elsewhere, you would receive at the end of the week in a semi-formal line-up. This created a degree of competition between the pupils to do their best and a degree of rivalry existed!

    One of the other teachers (or possibly one already mentioned, but with a change of name after getting married perhaps?) was a Miss Prebble who would give us music/singing lessons etc. The whole ethos of teaching in the school was to provide a totally well-rounded education. Although the age that pupils left the school was low, I am sure that the level of education achieved significantly surpassed what would have been expected of children at that age. Although the curriculum was based primarily upon the 3 Rs, this was enhanced with other subjects (geography, music, religion) which thereby provided a very broad spectrum of learning for the young pupils. I still remember the graded levels of spelling books and mathematical tables that were being used and which provided a sound foundation for use in later life. I know that we all left the school with an enormous advantage from having experienced such a school.   

    By Mike Weemys (04/02/2015)
  • I attended Broadfield school from the start of summer term in 1956 through to the end of summer term 1958, when I left to go to Kingsfield School.  At the time my father was the vicar of St Matthew’s Oxhey, the parent church of St Francis’ in Oaklands Avenue.  I don’t have any photos of the school, but I do have a photo of me in my Broadfield School blazer and cap on the lawn outside Oxhey Vicarage on my first day at school. I also have all but one of my school reports, each signed by Mrs Blount and each recording the number of stars that I had been awarded that term.
    One of my abiding memories is marching in to the school in a line each morning while somebody, it might have been Miss Dinan, played Percy Grainger’s ‘Country Gardens’ on the piano.  I also remember making Christmas decorations, including a star for the Christmas tree which survived in the family ‘Christmas box’ for many years.

    By Tim Edmonds (25/11/2014)
  • I’m not sure I’m in the right place! I went to my first school in Oaklands Avenue, Watford in the mid 1950s as I lived in Brookdene Avenue. But it wasn’t private. I remember learning to tie a bow at the front of the class – as a left handed I struggled a bit! Then on to Watford Field where Mr Colman was head. Ah, happy days. Went back last month but school has gone, any photos?

    By Janis (14/02/2014)
  • My name is Michael Dennis Richman and I attended Broadfields School in 1955 until 1959. I left Broadfields school and went to a nearby Prep School called Kingsfield Prep School, near Bushey on the Watford Road. I attended Kingsfield Prep School for 6 long miserable years , and the school was operated by  a Head Master named Mr. Sobey. When my Dad died in 1962 he became  really nasty towards me, and used to give me the stick about 3 times a month just for not wearing my uniform correctly. However, during my time at Broadsfield School I was a pupil in the kindergarten section and the teachers name was Miss. Dinan. She was a lovely Irish lady who liked me very much as I think she had a crush on my Father who brought me to school every day. This helped me greatly when I caused trouble in the play ground. I then graduated to Enid Blount’s senior part of the school. She was very strict, but was a wonderful and dedicated teacher, and Head Mistress. I think she lived for her school and her pupils, and I felt secure when attending her classes and loved to be there. When we had religious classes I loved to hear her stories about the Bible, and she simplified things when it came to her feelings about how religion should be taught. My recollection of her is quite vivid and I would remember that even though she was a tough old lady, she was a good sound human being. There are things I have never forgotten about my days at Broadfield School, and Enid Blount made entry  into my next school a credit to her intelligence and excellence as a devoted educator. I now live in the USA and I am sure that no junior school here in the US could ever compare to her little church annex in that lovely part of Hertfordshire, England. Thanks, Michael Dennis Richman

    By Michael Dennis Richman (31/03/2013)
  • I have no direct recollection of the school, but Robert mentions two of the former pupils, Barry and Philip Golding, both of whom I had the pleasure of knowing at Watford Grammar School for Boys during the period 1954-61. Both lads were fine sportsmen and Philip, in particular, was captain of the WGS 1st XI in the 1962 and 1963 seasons (I was captain in the preceding year). As a member of Bushey Cricket Club until August 1965, I also knew their late father, Reg, who had been a fine all-rounder in the 1930s and would turn up occasionally and umpire one of the matches between EWP Dutton’s XI and the club Sunday side. The boys’ grandfather was Jack Golding, a club stalwart who played many times for the County and who is credited with the highest individual score for Bushey CC of 195. Jack coached for a time at Harrow School, was an expert groundsman and, in his later years, a respected umpire.

    By John Swain (27/08/2012)
  • I also went there in the 1960’s and left when it closed in about 1967. I remember Mrs Blount. A lot from the school migrated to the affiliated school in Harrow called Brookside House School when Broadfields closed. If I can remember more I will add more.

    By Graham Tricker (27/07/2012)
  • I haven’t thought about it for decades but I also went to Broadfield School. Born in 1946, I must have been there in the early 50’s. E.E.Blount was a lovely old lady, who I feel was a great teacher able to get people to want to learn. She had a husband who wore a black eyepatch and I feel was very into wild flowers, and pressing them into books. I remember 2 boys at the school named Golding, maybe Philip and Barry? who lived in Raglan Gardens. One I think hit the news in danger as a famous international reporter Obviously they belonged to Mrs Golding, but I’ve never realised that before. I think she probably left shortly after my arrival and was replaced by Miss Dinan. I remember her organizing the Xmas play where my key role was carrying sticks and treading in the sods of somebody. I also seem to remember lining up on a Friday afternoon to either receive a star or not. Did 3 of these give you an enamel badge? Like David above I remember the church, but for being sent there, just once, for a long cold contemplation after having misbehaved. I remember some boys had season tickets! One last memory is of a girl named Rosemary, with whom I used to compete for top spot. I’ve not seen her since, but if, by some million to one shot she reads this, it would be fun to hear from her.

    By Robert Norfolk (03/02/2012)

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