The school log book was a kind of diary kept by the head teacher, it shows us exactly what Mrs. Willet was thinking and gives us a record of school life as it actually happened.
The following extracts start in September 1939 just a few days after the outbreak of WWII.
The paintings used to illustrate this section have been taken from an interior photograph of the school and colored on the computer.
|September 10th. I have kept the school open since the evacuation began for the children to come in and read and play games.
September 22nd. I accepted more private evacuees on Monday and the numbers on my registers were 37 on my own register and 7 on the Willesden register, making a total of 44. I can only seat 38 properly and have been using the library boxes as seats and chairs (adult size) as tables.
October 20th. Four children were found to be suffering with Impetigo.
October 27th. This week only 3 Willesden children attended. The others have gone back. The Impetigo is better.
December 8th. 7 children returned to London this week. Only one unofficial and two official evacuees attended this week. I therefore have 25 children on the register.
|December 11th. The children had to wear coats. The room was so cold. There was a horrible smell of coke and smoke. The thermometer registered 46 degrees F (about 5C). There was no fire in the grate. The stove had been lit for the first time this winter. The chimney was damp and the coke fumes were dreadful. The children began to complain one after the other that their throats hurt, so we went outside until 11 O'clock leaving door and windows open wide to allow fumes to escape.|
|December 22nd. This afternoon we had a mothers day. We gave 2 plays, 5 recitations, 4 carols, 2 songs and one Irish dance. It was done to give the children the pleasure of dressing up. The London children were especially glad and excited about it all. The parents thoroughly enjoyed it.
School closes for the Christmas holiday, there are 3 parties and a social arranged by people in the village for the children during next week.
|January 26th. Some children have German Measles.
February 2nd. The attendance has dropped to 49.2% this is owing to German Measles and the weather.
February 16th. The stove has smoked terribly this week. Yesterday the fire made by Mrs. Chapman had not burned through by 3.45 . All day long the room was continually filled with yellow smoke, though I opened every window in turn. Smoke issues from all the joints in the pipe. I told Mrs. Chapman not to light it today.