Balfour Road School

A 97 year old ex-pupil

By Janet Whatling

One of the first pupils

Having recently discovered your website I thought you might be interested to know that my 97 year old mother, Lilly Whatling nee Hymas was one of the first children to attend Balfour Road school when it opened in the early 1920s.

Lived in Gordon Road

Her first school in Loder Road was then demolished so that a small estate of council-owned flats could be built, one of which she and I have lived in since 1967. In the 1940s and 1950s, my brother Alan and I, together with our cousins Brian and later his brother Barry Blacker, also went to Balfour Road school, as did many of our friends in Gordon Road where we lived in those days.

Mum worked part-time

My mum, by then a war-widow, worked part-time at the school looking after children during the midday break and sometimes helping serve meals in the canteen. We remember Mr Slater very well and also Mrs Moore, Mr Divall and the formidable Miss Cowtan. I can also remember Mr Divall whacking me with a ruler for talking in class. No doubt I behaved myself after that. Happy days, well most of the time anyway.

This page was added on 01/11/2011.
Comments about this page

I have just left Balfour Junior School and started at a new secondary school. I also went to the Infant School there and my younger sister still goes there. Balfour Infant School and Balfour Junior School have recently become a primary school, but the school is still as good and cheerful as ever. I didn't know the school opened in 1920, I thought it was way older than that!

By Isabella Nelson (03/11/2011)

I was at Balfour Road School from 1934 to 1939. I lived in Hollingbury Park Avenue. I have a lot of stories to tell!

By John Booker (24/07/2012)

My mother Hilda Mary (Peggy) Herriott, who was born in 1923, attended Balfour Road School in the 20s.  Her family lived at 24 Gordon Road from 1911 to the 1980s and consisted of her father Herbert, mother Clara and her siblings, Clara, Katherine (Kate), Doris, Elsie and Herbert (Bert).

By Terry Green (01/04/2014)

I have two postcards of childrens' class photographs. These are postmarked 1905 so clearly the school was built before 1910.

By Eddie Miller (27/04/2014)

Seeing Terry Green's post: his mum's family were called Page. My mum was one of 10 siblings and they lived at 26 Gordon Road from the 1910s into the 1920s. Mum and her siblings all attended Balfour. They were obviously friends of the Herriotts. Small world!

By Michael Hines (30/10/2014)

I attended Balfour Road Primary during the early 1950s, as did my brother David. Our dad was the Mr Divall mentioned above. We moved to Worcestershire where he took several different headmasters' jobs. Coincidentally, Mr Slater's nephew, David Slater lived in the next road to us in Kidderminster and went to the same school. He was later to become my dad's deputy head and a real friend to my dad. Strange coincidence that dad had worked for Eric Slater for years and then had his nephew working for him for years.

By Chris Divall (22/11/2014)

I attended Balfour Road Primary during the early 1950s, as did my brother David. Our dad was the Mr Divall mentioned above. We moved to Worcestershire where he took several different headmasters' jobs. Coincidentally, Mr Slater's nephew, David Slater lived in the next road to us in Kidderminster and went to the same school. He was later to become my dad's deputy head and a real friend to my dad. Strange coincidence that dad had worked for Eric Slater for years and then had his nephew working for him for years.

By Chris Divall (23/11/2014)

I went to Balfour Road school in 1934. Anybody remember me?

By John Booker (15/11/2015)

Hi Chris, I think you used to live over the road from us in Lyminster Ave, Hollingbury. I remember playing with you and David and your Mum, Connie. If you wish you can contact me at flybo1@optusnet.com.au

By Peter Wood (16/11/2015)

I just had to make a comment. I lived in Gordon Road at that time. There was a Bonfire Night party in, I guess, the Whatling's house into which all the "gang" were invited. Upstairs Janet was being born. In a fairly short interval we all trooped upstairs to meet Janet. Just a few hours old.
Thanks for the post Janet

By John Wingate (06/06/2016)

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