Broad Street Wrington Website:
Paul Whitehouse's Recollections 

These reminiscences are collated from contributions elsewhere on the website

Now of Belgrave, Victoria, Australia

My parents purchased Wrington Post office in 1951, and we lived there until 1954 when they bought a similar business "across the water" to be near my mother's family (Magor, Gwent)

But my parents could not "get Wrington out of their systems "so they returned in 1956 in live in Nates Lane, Cox's Green until 1960. A year later , we migrated to Australia.

Me-? I attended Wrington Village school from 1951 to 1954, and following our return in 1956, I "embussed" to the (then) Grammar School at W-s-M.

Growing up in Wrington in the fifties, my memories are many and various. To mention one incident only: I and a friend (Anthony Parsley ex-"The Arch", Broad Street) were the perhaps the final "passengers" to travel to Burrington aboard the Late and Lamented Wrington Vale Light Railway before the line was finally lifted. (albeit, probably illegally, as we were carried on the footplate by a sympathetic crew )

Although my father died two years ago, my mother is still very much with us and has many fond memories of Wrington - the Church, the Choral Society , playing the role of Hannah More in a pageant etc etc.

She will be delighted to learn of your site and, being a keen net surfer herself (at the age of 85) will soon be paying a visit.

Philip Whitehouse

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Here, Philip responds to Trevor Wedlake

Trevor Wedlake certainly has a formidable memory as his recollections about our family are quite faultless. In the period 1956-59 we indeed lived in the centre of the three ex-Lynhams homes in Nates Lane which was called (and still might be ) "Oakleigh". Yes, again, my brother Martin was born in 1957 and was duly baptised at All Saints.

My parents both both sang in All Saints' Choir and Mum remembers Essie Clark and her sister. My father continued his life-long association with the church following arrival in Australia and was ordained in 1966 . He remained an active Priest until his death in July 1999. When visiting England some years ago he was greatly disappointed that circumstances prevented him from celebrating Holy Communion at All Saints after having been invited by the then incumbent to do so.

I was greatly saddened to learn of the untimely death of Anthony Parsley. I had cherished hopes that we might get together again some time . Oh, well...

Wrington School, circa 1951. The staff, as I remember it were (and I might get the Mrs/Misses titles wrong): Mrs Gunning, Mrs Green, Mrs George, Mr Webber and the Head, Mr Waite.

Mrs Green was one of those teachers that have a profound effect on their pupils throughout their subsequent lives. This was certainly the case with myself and my sister, Celia. I also have pleasant memories of Mr Webber, who commuted to school aboard a large motorcycle.

There remains Mr G.D.Waite, the headmaster, who had all the presence and gravitas one would expect of such a man. Yet I can remember him being moved to tears while announcing to the assembled school the death of King George VI.

Which brings me to the Coronation, in June, 1953. While going through my father's papers following his death I noticed a letter from Lt.Col. Lee, the chairman of the Village Celebrations Committee, thanking Dad for his services as Hon Sec. For the children, I remember a massive party down the length of Broad Street with games and festivies at the "Rec" ('reation ground).

The memories flood back - not always pleasant. The itinerant school dentist used to come at unannounced intervals and set up shop in a room at the Memorial Hall: -and armed with a fiendish foot-powered pedal-drill !!. I gather that it was a deliberate strategy NOT to inform his victims (sorry- patients ) of his arrival in order to foil would-be truants . The whole thing was most traumatic for this rather timid small boy.

But the Memorial Hall was a venue for far happier events. There were , for example, the Pictures. We used to wait with keen anticipation the details of the next main feature to appear on a board in front of Somersetshire Bakery in Broad Street. And for your shilling (I think) you got full measure- a Newsreel, a Cartoon, a serial: Superman, Jungle Jim or Flash Gordon, and a main feature. The selection of the last was interesting and imaginative, new (that is early 1950's ) releases were alternated with all-time classics.

For example, we schoolboys relished the screening of the Errol Flynn version of The Charge of the Light Brigade, even though that film would have been twenty years old by the time it was screened in Wrington. The Battle of Balaclava was re-fought for weeks afterwards in the playground at Wrington VC School !

Apart from stimulating my own recollections, [this website] will-like nothing else could- give my own, very Australian, offspring some idea of the place where "The Old Man" spent some of his youth.