I'm pretty certain I joined Oswestry in 1947 (aged 8/9) and left about 6 years later 1952/53. Not quite making Senior School and completion of my schooling due to a family problem.
The Headmaster then was Mr Williamson with his brother (the Vicar) running the house in town. We had Mrs Richards as the cook, a lovely Welsh lady who'd lost her husband and with the job managed to get her son as a boarder for free (they could only speak Welsh). I have a school report for Xmas 1951, when I was in Form III with J.F. Tilley (or Jilly) as the form master.
My best pal there was John Goddard, with someone Macdonald (all of us from Manchester area) and someone Steele (a local farmer's son). Steeles had a marvellous farm house nearby with secret passageways which we used to explore on Sunday visits.
John and I used to look after new boarders, one of whom was Julian Ormsby-Gore (son of Lord Harlech) who boarded whilst his parents were in Washington D.C. as the British Ambassador. We used to visit their home and enjoyed the ride on model railway and the lovely grounds and lakes with the waterfall you could walk behind. Julian unfortunately died many years ago.
John and I also worked the school farm, with him milking the cows and me generally cleaning out; this got us into the orchard for the apples.
I visited the school last year and saw the tree planted by Mr Williamson’s daughter. This brought back many happy memories. Ann used to be able to invite one of us boys round on a Sunday for tea and a play - she had Dinky toys and was a good tree climber. More often than not I was the chosen one. Please remember me to her if you meet.
I have a postcard for the design plan for the School Memorial Hall; building of it was started the year after I left. I have seen the finished place.
A couple of years ago we stopped at a cafe/service area on the bypass and I spoke to a lady there whose husband was at Oswestry the same time as me. Unfortunately I lost her name, but believe he was a day boy. On one of our visits, I met a member of staff and it was lovely to point out to her the many places and things I remember; I even phoned my mother from outside the old Headmaster’s office (punishment room) I couldn't find the old swimming pool (outdoor) as it’s now a housing estate.
[I responded with general information about OOs on the database who might match Derek’s descriptions but with no success and reported that I had remembered him to Ann Williamson at Founder’s Day and she had recalled him. A second note followed - HY]
Marvellous that you were talking with Ann Williamson; it would wonderful if she remembered me - I hope she did.
Pity about John Goddard, we visited his childhood home of Harewood Lodge, Broadbottom, Glossop sometime ago. The Lodge is now flats, and the farm has many houses built on it. We spoke to some residents who had tried to trace the family but without any luck... We'd also contacted the Goddard Society, and they had no luck either. It’s a shame for the Goddards were very well known in the Glossop area with their business.
The Steeles could be from Treflach Hall. The place was like a large manor house with farm. As I said it had secret passageways behind the wooden panelled walls. We used to walk to it on the Sunday afternoon walk so it wasn't too far away. Oh!! The dear old Wynnstay Hotel. It’s where our parents used to stay on their once a term visit (that was all parents were allowed). We had some lovely Sunday lunches there. Also there was a lovely Tea Rooms across the road which we visited. It was really old place next to the Church.
You're more than welcome to use the bits I wrote to you. Or if you wish I could write a longer version of my days at Oswestry. They truly were happy days with many fond memories.
After I left Oswestry, I went to school in Southport, then joined the Royal Navy. The Navy kept me away and I lost contact with John and the School.
Derek Poulton OO (1947-1953)Derek now lives in Penwortham, near Preston, and not been in contact with the OO Society for many years and wonders what happened to his friends from all those years ago that he has now lost touch with. Derek's enquiries have led to the report on the news from Treflach Farm and the Steele family that follows.