The following item is Contributed by John O'Sullivan with many thanks.

The following is a compilation of the details relating to The Town and Country School from the various sections (Commercial, Street and Trades) of the Post Office and Kelly's Directories

 

 

Post Office

School Name

School Address

Additional Details

1932 - 1937

St. Mary's School

1 Belsize Avenue NW3

Mrs A Geary

1940

St. Mary's School

16 Wedderburn Road NW3

Mrs E Paul & Mrs Curry Principals

1941

St. Mary's School

16 Wedderburn Road NW3

Mrs E Paul & Mrs Curry Principals

1942-1945

No Entries

 

 

1946

St. Mary's Town and Country School

38 Eton Avenue NW3

Henry G A Paul and Mrs Elisabeth Paul PhdPrincipals

Country Boarding Branch Yarkhill Court

Near Hereford. Tel. Farrington 233

1947

St. Mary's Town and Country School

 

Day Nursery and Boarding School

38 Eton Avenue NW3


40 Eton Avenue NW3

Country Boarding Branch Yarkhill Court

Near Hereford. Tel. Farrington 233

1948

St. Mary's Town and Country School

38 and 40 Eton Avenue NW3

Country Boarding Branch Stanford Park Near Rugby Tel: Swinford 50

1949

St. Mary's Town and Country School

38 and 40 Eton Avenue NW3

Tel: Primrose 4306

Henry G A Paul and Mrs Elisabeth Paul PhdPrincipals

1954

The Town and Country School

38 and 40 Eton Avenue NW3

 

1956

The Town and Country School

38 and 40 Eton Avenue NW3

Only Mrs Elisabeth Paul referred to as Principal

Kelly's Directory

 

 

 

1980

St. Mary's Town and Country School

38 and 40 Eton Avenue NW3

 

1983

St. Mary's Town and Country School (Seniors)

38 and 40 Eton Avenue NW3

Last entry

 

None of the entries I've looked at,and I've looked through the 60's as well, mention Hedgerley Wood




The Following is Contributed by Priscilla Wilder (Eaves) with many thanks.

Additional notes by Norman Barrington

 

 

I never could understand the name [St. Maryís Town & Country School] but I understand that HeinzÜ and ElizabethÜ Paul bought it with that name sometime in the early to mid thirties. I joined the school in 1937 and was nine years old. It was then located in Belsize Park but I donít remember the exact address. It consisted of two adjoining houses. The students were primarily the children of artists (musicians, writers, film producers, actor etc). It was the time of the Spanish Civil War and I remember a benefit being given to aid the anti Franco forces. Paul Robisonís son and Stella Adlerís daughter Ellen were enrolled in the school. Stella Adler was with the Group Theater which was performing in England. Paul Robison was singing in England. Ellen Solevieff was one of the older children and came from America. Her family were in the Arts and her sister Miriam was a violinist. Ellen died tragically at the beginning of World War II. In true British fashion we were not told what had happened but several members of the family died and I believe only Miriam survived.

 

The school was rather more academically oriented than it was during the war. The Paulís still owned a school in Berlin and the aim was to have children spend time (one year) in each of the schools on a rotational basis. We studied English, German and French from the earliest ages. Science education and sports were minimal although I do remember playing tennis once a week and going to the baths on Finchley Road once a week for swimming. This all came to an abrupt halt on September 4th, 1939 when war was declared on Germany. The next day we found ourselves at Paddington Station with large labels hanging around our necks with our name, the name of the school and our destination. In our case it was Dartmouth. From there we must have been taken by bus to Beesands where the school had found lodging in a relatively small house at the end of the beach. My mother had come with us as one of the teachers and she was joined by my Aunt Margie, my fatherís sister, who assisted in the housekeeping/cooking department. I slept in one room in a fishermanís cottage with my mother and Aunt. We all shared the same feather bed which I recall was wonderfully warm!

 

School supplies were scarce to non-existent. We used slate from a local quarry for writing purposes and we shared a few textbooks. There was no library in town and books were borrowed. We couldnít swim as the beach was mined and the fishermen had a narrow space in which to keep their boats to prevent mine accidents. The beach was strafed by the Luftwaffe but no mines were detonated and I recall no injuries to children or fishermen. The greatest problems to everyone were the oil spills from sunken vessels in the English Channel. The oil saturated the seabirds and poisoned the fish. The fishermen would haul in their nets and pull out large balls of tarry substance and their polluted fish and crabs. Ultimately they caught few crabs even though Beesands was famous for large hauls of these creatures.

 

The night before D-Day we were evacuated to Yarkhill in Herefordshire. The train stopped in Bristol which had been practically flattened the night before by incendiary bombs. Fires were burning everywhere and I remember being frightened because my grandmother lived there. My father was on the platform and told us the family was safe. My grandparents had bought a house just outside Bristol and spent the nights there. I assume they took the train or bus each evening and returned to the city in the morning. My father was in the RAF and had stopped to say hello before leaving on assignment.

 

We arrived at Yarkhill and were astonished by it's size in comparison to the digs in Devonshire. Three floors but only one bathroom. There was, however, an outside loo. The grounds consisted of a grass tennis court in front of the house, a large vegetable garden to one side and an access road with farm buildings on the other. Yarkhill was the home of a gentleman farmer who was now in the armed forces. The farm grew fruit including a variety of currents and hops. There were cows in the fields but I am not sure whether they belonged to our farm. Gypsies came during the fruit and hop harvesting time to pick. We also helped with the picking and I remember loving the smell of the hops, the warmth of the sun and the luscious berries. It was heartwarming to see the small gypsy babies tied to their motherís back with huge scarfs or to see them in the edge of the hop crib. It was the first time I had seen breast feeding! Workers were paid by the bushel basket. The gypsies spoke some English but they conversed among themselves in Romany. Most were illiterate and my mother would read letters from their husbands or boyfriends who had learned to read and write in the army. I remember admiring the bright clothes and long black hair. I thought the women were exotic. Their life seemed so romantic. I was completely unaware of their hard life without running water and inadequate clothing and food.

 

Several people involved with the school were very special to me. Rosamund Gardener joined the staff in 1941 or 2. She had been a teacher in Monserrat for several years and was an artist. She taught English and Art but taught anything else that she felt was needed. She was a fiercely independent woman, a real feminist and completely committed to teaching. I have kept up with her over the years. She lives in Taos, New Mexico. After the war, Roz went to the University of London and earned her Ph.D in Psychology. While at the London school she met Dorothy Barnett who was an archaeologist and writer. They became life long partners and Roz moved to San Francisco where Dorothy had a house. Thy both lived very interesting and productive lives. Their friends were numerous and once they retired o Taos, Roz began painting again. Elizabeth Paul, our Headmistress had a tremendous influence on me. My love of language and a certain joie de vivre, filled me with a longing to be part of that European heritage which was so steeped in culture, personal refinement and gentility. Elizabeth gave me my first pair of high-heeled shoes which I wore when I took my school Certificate Exam at the Malvern School for girls. They were taken away from me as soon as I arrived and I never saw them again. As a teacher and friend, Elizabeth always encouraged me and whenever I went back to England I went to see her in her Chiltern Hills retirement house. She was a very bright and passionate woman who played favorites but I was lucky to be one of them. Then there was Madame Selva or was it Silva? A diminutive but forceful woman and Elizabeth Paulís mother. She wore a chatelaine and many keys dangled from her waist. She was the mistress of the food and held the keys to the storeroom. She never learned more than a few words of English which forced us to speak German to her. She communicated with Harry (the cook and former stablehand and groom) via gesture and expressive one word utterances of either German or English. Harry was a marvelous character, a rotund and jolly man who had never been married and who took the whole of the school on as his family. I think it was the happiest time of his life. Joan Askins told me that when the school left for Bedfordshire he tried to follow it and walked all the way. He was either no longer needed or the school had already moved back to London but it was a heartbreaking story. The children I remember were Michael Derwood, Joan Askins, the Bowleys both Robin and Ann, Ernie Weiss, Arnie Altschul?, Andrea Strasser, the petite and beautiful granddaughter of Haile Sellasie who was a day student. John Mates tended the garden and the Wares (husband and wife) both taught and helped in the house for a period of time. I took piano lessons from Michael Mullinar and ballet lessons with his wife Mary. They lived in a neighboring village and it was a great occasion when we saw the Mullinarís first baby, Keith. Michael gave music appreciation lectures at Yarkhill fairly frequently and I remember every record that he played and discussed (Das Lied von der Erde, Harry Janos, A Child of our Time, FaÁade, Peter Grimes and of course Vaughn Williamsí works). The latter was Michaelís great friend and patron.

I remember plays in French and German played in the barn behind the house. I remember the half-hour breaks in the morning and afternoon when we had a slice of bread with margerine and another with jam. We had one sweet a day which was served, I believe after supper. It was always porridge and a slice of margerine covered bread for breakfast. The main meal was at noon. Although most foods were limited we had plenty of vegetables, potatoes, and fruit.

 

I am now grateful for our many experiences because I think we grew up to be caring, adventurous, multilingual citizens of the world. It was indeed a unique intellectual trip into adulthood.

 

Priscilla Wilder (Eaves).

October 17th, 2003

 

 

Ü Normans Notes: According to public records still available Mrs. Paulís husbandís name was in fact Heinrich which is as I always understood it to be, however she habitually called him Paulie pronounced Pow-lie. Also Mrs. Paul spelled her name Elisabeth, that is, not with a Ďzí

 

I would like to thank Keith Mullinar for his assistance in assembling some of this information, and remind you that there is more early history on the excellent site by Ernie Weiss.

Ernie died in August 2006. It would certainly be a shame to lose his excellent material, so I have provided an archive of it, exactly as it was in Late 2006, which can be seen by clicking here.