Early 1960s Milton School Memories

At the Wychwoods Local History Society we are always delighted to receive local photographs to add to our archive.

Two fine pictures have come to the society recently, courtesy of our friends at Charlbury Museum. These are of the pupils and staff at Milton Primary School in the early 1960s.

Daphne Jeffs and Class 1961

Daphne Jeffs and Class 1961

Daphne Jeffs is pictured here with her class of 1961. Daphne taught at the Milton School from about 1955 to the early 60s, firstly under Mrs Pearce, and then under Mac Akers, at a time when head teachers lived in the head’s house on the school site. Headmistress Mrs Pearce was a fine Welsh lady, who had taught at Milton for many years and who had a reputation for discipline. Many parents of the children in these pictures would have been taught by her. She and her husband had moved to Milton from Wales in 1927. Mrs Pearce asked Daphne to take football lessons, so she had to learn the rules of soccer pretty quickly.

Two of her fellow teachers during this time were Mrs Bacchus, who had lived in Milton for many years, and Prue Nash, who lived at Idbury and drove to school in her bubble car, even though she was almost 6 ft tall!

Mr William (also known as Bill/Willie or Jimmy) James from Charlbury was a very jolly Welshman, who we think also taught at Milton for a couple of years as supply head. There is a story that he and Daphne once took the children for a nature walk to Bruern Woods one day and were horrified when some of the children came back to them proudly holding precious saplings to take back to school. Despite their attempts to replant the saplings, the ground was too dry!

Milton School 1960

Milton School 1960

Here we have a picture of the pupils and staff of the whole of Milton School, taken in 1960. The staff in this photo are Daphne Jeffs, Mac Akers, Judy Rowell and perhaps Mrs Bacchus?

Mrs Pearce’s son Colin continued to live in Shipton till his death in January 2020. Mac Akers left Milton to take up a headship in Woodley, Reading around 1962/3, and he died some years ago.

We would be pleased to hear from anyone who has stories to tell of these 1960s schooldays, and perhaps recognise themselves and friends in these pictures?


2 thoughts on “Early 1960s Milton School Memories”

  1. I think I started at Milton Primary School in 1964 or 65. As a four year old I was taught my Miss Edgington (She was very particular about the Miss)!! In the first temporary classroom on the left of the old school. I still remember many of my class mates and strangely I remember the layout of the classroom and the smell of the plasticine stored in tins under the work bench!

    We had a lovely teacher called Miss Josie next and by this time we had graduated to the old school building . The highlight of the month at this time was when the museum brought a stuffed animal!! Some road kill was stuffed and mounted and rotated round the primary schools. Fantastic getting close to a fox, squirrel, badger and there was a magnificent hare. We were allowed to touch them and really understand the dimensions and scale of our countries wildlife.

    During these years most of my classmates stayed the same, no one moved much in the 1960’s and the new children were always a source of curiosity!

    Great excitement when we started to learn French with Monsieur Berry we must have been about 9 by then! I think he just popped by to teach us occasionally, it seemed terribly exotic. Sadly I was hopeless at it!

    The highlight was Mr Brennan’s class. Our last 2 years at Milton School. He introduced us to classical music, selecting wonderful pieces that would appeal to children. He made History, Art and English interesting and probably best of all chose wonderful books for our afternoon stories.

    One day some people arrived with tape recorders and we were told they were recording playground songs and games for posterity. Of course most of these all had their own dance or ritual. Oranges and Lemons, I sent a letter to my love, Farmers in his den, Ring a ring of Roses, War in the Air. There must be more that my old classmates would remember. We loved French Skipping with elastic, we must have been super agile. We were big ‘Handstanders’ “G O spells go” was the chant. The winner stayed aloft for the longest.

    Like all schools we loved the Christmas ritual and every year we performed the same Nativity in Milton Church next door. The familiarity of the format and the costumes were very reassuring, it meant that by the time we got to play the bigger parts we had heard the older children performing them years before. I expect I’m not the only one who can remember when and which Carol was performed.

    I sometimes recall the prayer we said every day when we put our chairs on our desks before going home, frustratingly it eludes me now. I wonder if anyone can remember it?

    Very uncomplicated days over 50 years ago and so many other memories.

  2. Delighted to find this pic of Milton School 1960 on your website.
    I grew up in Milton and remember sitting there having this pic taken.!!!!!!
    It was our last year before going on to Grammar school at Burford .
    Looking at the picture to the left of Daphne Jeff’s is Julie Griffin,Daphne,Mac Akers,two female teachers ( would not have been Mrs Bacchus- think she was retired by then) Alison Miles,?Valerie Hopkins, Jennifer Sowerby, Margaret Viner( myself) Judith Hanks to name a few.
    Interesting trivia is that the grinning boy in light shirt behind and to right of Mac is John Smith. He gained fame in the late seventies playing American football for the New England Patriots of the NFL.
    Some of this group could also be in the pic of dancing around the Maypole.1956/7
    I clearly remember having to that – hating it – put me of dancing forever ha ha.
    Hope this info will be useful or at least interesting !!!!!!

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