Feedback3 - Hazelbury Road Open Air School

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Hazelbury Open Air School - Feedback 3

December 2014 - Ivor Blight (the son of Mrs. Blight, the teacher)

Hi, Ivor.

Thanks for your email. I would be delighted if you would scan the photos and send them to me so that I can add some to my website along with your comments.

Any additional information about your mother that you can provide would be interesting. Do you know what year she first taught at the Open Air School?

I am amazed that your mother commuted by bicycle from Chingford. That’s a good distance even for the road conditions of the time. Meanwhile, we children got bused from much closer areas! And yes, the roads in the area are much changed today. The road that I grew up on no longer exists!


Hi Jeff,

Attached are my pictures of my mother at Hazelbury.

Merry Christmas


Hi Jeff,

My daughter recently retrained to be a maths teacher in North London. One of her colleagues was interested in her grandmother's history as a teacher so she googled it and found your website. Mrs. Blight was my mother; she taught at the school until she retired in the early 1980s. Unfortunately she died in 1985 - strangely while on holiday in Germany visiting her sisters.

She was still cycling to school when she retired - from Chingford - not a journey many would contemplate doing now given the roads that now knife through the area.

I often went to the school in the late 50s as I had longer school holidays than my mother and would cycle to meet her there and go back together.

I have a few photos of her at school from your era. If you like I could scan them and send them on to you.


Ivor Blight

Hi, Ivor.

I received the photos in the .zip file. Many thanks. These are an excellent addition to our memories of the school.

Only one photo is dated. If you have any idea as to the dates, approximate or otherwise, of the other photos that would be a help. I think they are all taken after I left in 1953 since the buildings seem to have been changed. The colour photo of Harry H. Corbett is maybe much later than the black and white ones. Do you know what the occasion was?

I am unfamiliar with Mr. Ellis. I assume he is a teacher. Perhaps he replaced Mr. Robinson. The dated photo (July 1958) shows Dennis Young. I’m unfamiliar with the name. Was he a teacher, too? It is good to see photos of Mr. Rapley, Mrs. Male, and Miss Moscrop, too.

Many thanks.


Hi Jeff,

I'm afraid my idea of dates is pretty hazy. In the Steptoe one, I assume he was opening a school fete, I guess is in the 70s. All the others would be well before the 1958 Dennis Young photo. He was a teacher who went off to a boys' boarding school in Yorkshire shortly after that photo.

Mr Ellis was also a teacher who continued on into the 60s I think. He probably did replace Mr. Robinson.

I am surprised if the ones showing my mother teaching outside are later than 1953 - I don't think she wore her hair like that much into the 50s.

Sorry I can't be of more help.

Best wishes


Below are the photos that Ivor sent. My reasons for feeling that they date after I left in 1953 are:

     1. Photos 1, 2, 4 and 5 show desks with tubular metal legs. The desks I remember were folding wooden desks with wooden legs.

     2. I don’t remember the building shown in photos 1 and 5.

     2. Photo 3 shows the entrance to class 1 having a brick construction around the door with what looks like a covered walkway leading to it.

            Behind the walkway are windows that may be an update to the old open-sided rest shed.

     3. 1n 1953 there were no teachers named Mr. Ellis and Mr. Young. Mr. Robinson, who was there in 1953, does not feature in the photos.


Can you help date these photos? Do you recognize any of the pupils? Click on a photo to see a larger version.


Hi Jeff,

I assume that the photo of my mother with one small boy dates from later - perhaps the later 60s. It will be interesting to see others’ comments  and detective work.

There was a boy in the school in the late 50s called John Quilfeldt; his parents came over from Germany at some time. We were good friends with the family who lived off Bowes Road. I would be interested in hearing from him if he contacts you.



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