|Before Bletchleys expansion began, many children attended Bletchley Road School, now known as Knowles Middle School.
Many schools were built to accommodate the overspill children. One such school was our own - Eaton Mill Combined School. When Eaton Mill was first opened in September 1953 it was called Water Eaton Junior School. A paradise for both teachers and pupils, the school was the first of its kind in North Bucks. Because of its design, called 'American Ranch' style, Water Eaton Junior School was nicknamed The sunshine school - a modern building which captures the sunlight in every classroom.
|The above photographs show the extensive use of windows in the 'American Ranch' design of the school.|
|Gone were the stuffy passages of old. Here were bright , spacious corridors with french windows leading straight onto the playground.|
|Mr. W.C. Crisp was the Headmaster when the school first opened and remained so until his retirement. He came from Bletchley Road School and brought several of his teachers (and pupils) with him! One such teacher was Miss Joan West - she remembers Mr Crisp and her years at the school fondly:
We had assembly every morning and Mr Crisp was very insistent that we had good manners. One thing that we as staff found rather strange at first was that he sat inside the door and every child who passed him had to say excuse me, and when 300 odd had said excuse me we thought that rather funny. But we learned to respect him for that afterwards because after that no child passed you in the school without saying excuse me - so it paid off!
|The staff of 1953 with Mr. Crisp centre and Miss West far left.|
|Miss West continues:
'We had Christmas concerts, of course, and we had Christmas parties. We started off in the classrooms and Father Christmas would come round to each classroom to see the children. And we had a Christmas lunch in the canteen which the children always enjoyed. In those days, the children who stayed for lunch sat at tables of 8. Each member of staff sat down and had lunch with the children and chatted to them. It was a social occasion and I think it was extremely good. At Christmas we always paraded the plum pudding around the playground - the children thought that was good fun, too.'
|Parading the plum pudding around the playground at Christmas.|
|Sports at Water Eaton. Click here to hear about the 'bluebirds' and the 'robins'.|
|Mr. Crisp with the 1955 athletics team when they won the North Bucks Shield at Wolverton.|
|Early in 1955 a famous singer and performer from London visited the school with the BBC. His name was Donald Swann and he was famous for singing 'Mud, mud, glorious mud'. He came to record the children playing all kinds of weird instruments made up from the kitchen for use in a radio programme. The idea was that children who listened to the programme could make up their own pantomime and use kitchen equipment to make their music. Mr Swann played the piano for this and when the staff went to meet him at lunch time he played his 'Glorious mud' song for them.
[See picture left.]
|In September 1972 Water Eaton Junior School became Water Eaton Combined School when 5-7 year olds joined the school. Then, in September 1973, it became Eaton Mill Combined School, as we know it today.|
|This plaque was awarded to Miss West on her retirement.|
|Other new schools to accommodate overspill children included:
Saints Junior in 1956 Wilton Secondary in 1956 Castles Infants in 1957 Bletchley Grammar in 1957 Rivers County Primary in 1964 Denbigh County Secondary in 1965 St Marys R.C. Primary in 1968 Abbeys Primary in 1969
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