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Hi Susan
Thanks for putting your memories of Leigh Beck School onto the C.C.A site.

As you may recall I was in Mr Groves class at the same time but I must admit I'd forgotten quite a lot of the detail that you have remembered. I particularly, remember the bamboo recorders, in fact, they were the only musical instrument on which I could play a complete,if simple, tune! Somewhat in contrast to your accomplished renditions of complicated piano pieces such as '' Die Fliedermaus''.

Mr Groves also used to give up his Saturday mornings to take groups from the class on nature walks on Benfleet Downs. I often think how fortunate we were to have such a kind- hearted and dedicated teacher.

By Graham Stevens
On 28/04/2009

Hi Susan, Do you remember Miss Bell? I think she married and became Mrs Cross. She used to do magic tricks in class and produce flowers from a cake tin etc. What about Mr Broderick and his skill with a board rubber if someone was talking in class? There were 48 in my class and yet most of us could read and write. I left when I was about seven to go to the newly opened convent but I've never forgotten my time at Leigh Beck. I seem to remember the cod liver oil and malt was delicious or is it my imagination. I think a lot of Canveyites have a lot to thank Miss Vincent for.

By Maureen Buckmaster
On 02/05/2009

Hi I was in the class one down from you, I remember Mr Groves he had all the non scholarship kids polishing pennies with blue bell,

By David Larkin
On 07/04/2010

I went to Leigh Beck Primary School.......I remember Miss (Polly) Vincent, she was horrible to me as she didn't like my long hair, which was in ringlets!  I also remember a Miss Bell too!    and she wasn't much better either.   I left there to go to Long Road School, while Furtherwick School was being built.

By Sandra Heather ( nee Tayler )
On 17/06/2016

I was at the school from 1949-55, starting at 5 and a half as the school was overfull.  I spent 6 months in each of the lower classes, ending up in Mr Groves' class at 9 and waiting to be allowed to take the 11+.  It was really annoying when John Bamfield was allowed to take it aged 10 as he had an early September birthday!  That was how I caught up with Susan, whose father was a local pharmacist, and others.

I am full of admiration for Violet Verbena Vincent, Wilfred Groves, Eleanor Bell and the amazing team who held Leigh Beck together after WWII and again after the 1953 flood.  My husband cannot believe stories of us collecting chalk from the beach and bringing in roofing slates for infant classes so money could go to replacing musical instruments, etc.   How Mr Groves taught 40+ 9's to 11's in 3 mixed ability groups I shall never know!  Modern teachers require an assistant to teach 20.  Those who were able reached grammar schools and did well.   Discipline was a bit harsh with Miss V and Mr Groves holding caning licences and Mr G and Mr Broderick being aces at wielding Size 11 plimsolls onto upper legs and cracking ruler sides down on knuckles to restore attention to the blackboard.   Miss Bell and Miss Greer rivalled the legendary Mrs Skinner, of Canvey Junior for reddening forearms with resounding slaps.  Most of the staff were quite short and I remember being taller than all but Mr G and Mr B at 10 years of age, much to the amusement of waiting parents as we left school.

Sadly, I missed the bamboo recorders but Mr Groves gave me a few piano lessons at Whittier Hall before we lost the Canvey pianos to 4ft of flood water and they all ended up in the Piano Smashing Competition! 

By Yvonne Creasy nee Burgess
On 24/09/2019