County Secondary School – additional information

The information below has been extracted from school magazines scanss of which have been kindly provided by Ann Popham (Marchent).

The School magazine of Summer 1950 states that it is the first to be printed rather than typed by girls of the school. The Head Prefect’s report notes that this will be the end of the second year of the school.

The School received a further allocation of books from the County Library bringing the total to 600. Senior Pupils undertook a long-weekend trip to London. Reports are given by  3 ‘School Houses’: Bent; Mendip and Steart.  Club notes mention old time dancing, tennis, cycling and a ‘Mock Parliament’ (debating). There is a hope to expand activities to include  Dramatics and Model making. Sports reports covered athletics, cricket, tennis and swimming

A highlight  of the term was a visit to Bristol, including the zoo (where one boy was seen giving away his lunch to the monkeys), the suspension bridge, the Museum and Art Gallery, and Wills’ Tobacco Factory! An upcoming  summer holiday trip to the Lake District is also mentioned.

In his report the headmaster notes that sporting activities have been carried out despite the continued lack of playing fields. He also states that an official school uniform has now been introduced, though it is clearly not compulsory.

In the December 1950 magazine the Headmaster reports that, the intake of an 11 year age  group has completed the reorganisation of the school the school as a secondary school, with numbers above 200 (a doubling of numbers since the opening, completely filling the available accommodation).

There was a report on the Speech Day and prize giving, held at the Town Hall in July, at which the 4th Form Drama Group presented scenes from The Merchant of Venice.

Football matches are reported against Highbridge, Huntspill, St Andrew’s Knowle Hall and Oakover. The formation of a school choir is mentioned.

School Staff 1950

The Summer 1951 magazine reports the introduction of the GCE exam to the school, which was only being taken by a small number of pupils at that time. The magazine was being run at a financial loss and concerns were expressed for its future. A loan by Burnham Gazette and Weston Mercury, of printing blocks for photos, was acknowledged. The formation of an Operatic Society is mentioned, and that rehearsals were underway for Gilbert & Sullivan’s  Iolanthe.

A visit to London by 50 pupils is recorded, where they were accommodated in the ‘Deep Shelters’. The trip. Of several days, included the Tower of London, the Zoo, Madame Tussaud’s,  the House of Lords, Eton and Windsor, a Thames river trip and theatre shows. A highlight was a day at the Festival of Britain where the Dome of Discovery and the Telekinema were particular favourites.

In his address at the Speech day the Headmaster lamented the inequality demonstrated by the lack of facilities for ‘secondary modern’ schools. He added “Burnham must be unique since the school consisted only of pupils and staff, and that on one occasion the school was compelled to close since the owners of two buildings required them for their own purposes.” The event was also addressed by Lord St.Audries.

The Spring 1952 issue mourns the death of King George VI and mentions the schools contribution towards a wreath.

Speech Day 1952

The school magazine of December 1952 welcomes the new Headmaster Mr W.N. Edge. In his notes he makes particular mention of the success of the Country Dancing and the Old Time Dancing Clubs (the latter using the Methodist Hall and with an average attendance of 60) and the hope of producing a school play in 1953. The magazine  thanks its advertisers for support and urges all pupils to buy a copy as this is the only way to make it financially successful. The Head Prefect’s report mentions the particular success of the school library and how pleasing it is to see more pupils wearing school uniform.

There is an article describing the function of  The Parents’ Association, which it mentions was founded in 1949 and had raised £500 during that period by way of fetes and sales of work. It adds that this has been spent on sports equipment, an amplifier, a printing outfit, a projection screen, Youth Club prizes and a Christmas Party. It makes particular mention of a special sale which raised £52 for the Lynmouth Disaster Fund.

The Hockey Team was shown as playing games against Oakover and St Christopher’s Schools.

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