White's recollections of her father
Henry Anson, Head teacher of Churchill & Sarsden School
October 1894 to 31st August 1929.
Father – the late W. H. Anson,
Head Teacher of Churchill School 1892
My father came to Churchill, I
believe, in 1892 and for a while before marriage stayed at Sarsden
Woodyard with Mr. & Mrs. Williams. In 1894 he married my mother
Louise Liner at Desborough, Northants, and they set up home in the
School House in Sarsden Rd. Churchill where they lived until my father
retired in 1929. Then they moved to ‘Two Ways’ at the bottom of
Kingham Rd. still in the village. They had a family of 6 children —
Muriel Louise, Andrew William, Mary, James Bernard, Edyth, and Frederick
Far many years the school came under
the Sarsden Estate, which included Churchill, Sarsden and Lyneham, some
9000 acres. The estate agent lived at Sarsden and in my day was Mr.
Under my father Churchill school
became well known and pupils came from Kingham, Idbury, Fyfield,
Lyneham. Rollright, and Kingham Hill. The Cornwell children came daily
by Pearce’s bus and said it always stank of paraffin? Carrier Pearce
as he was called, went round nearby villages selling cotton, thread,
needles, laces, candles, and the paraffin was in a large can on the
cratch of the bus - hence the smell!
My father was in full charge. In my
time the Infants dept. was attached to the house where we lived. The
teachers names then were Miss Croxton and Miss Peachey, in the infants.
In the top school my father always had a male assistant, and I vaguely
remember Mr. Claridge and Mr. West. Other teachers were Miss Gwinnel,
Miss Stringer, Miss Matthews, Miss Thorns — still alive in her 90’s,
Miss Lundars, Miss Duester and Bertha Hope. The Rev. E. Johnson came
once a week and took prayers and the scripture lesson in the top class.
Churchill was very definitely a C of E school, and that may be why
children from other villages attended. I can well remember seeing 150
being marked on the attendance board.
In the first world war my father was
a special constable and in the Volunteers who were duly drilled in the
playground by Mr. Blair. I still have my fathers truncheon from the 1914
— 1918 war.
As well as being shoolmaster he
formed a Coal Club, a Medical Club, a Clothing Club and a Pig Club. Lots
of villagers kept a pig including the Ansons
The Chipping Norton Doctors )- Kelly,
Russell, O’Shea and Berts all had clubs for their patients who paid so
much a month — another job for my father.
The church, the choir, and the organ
were very special to him. When I married ~ 1936 there were 10 men and 12
boys in cassock and surplice in the choir. During father’s lifetime I
remember he put on a Cantata in the church. The Estate were always
helpful and they erected 2 platforms in front of the pews, and there was
an orchestra of violins and cellos etc. Mr. Edgar Smith the Ch. Norton
Church organist came and presided. As father was conductor the church
was packed. Mrs Tuson, the Rector’s daughter had a superb treble
voice. She sang beautifully.
I have not forgotten my dear mother.
She was the hidden power behind my father. She was somewhat shy but her
heart was in the right place. I well remember taking puddings, special
cakes etc. to the very elderly who lived alone.
I end this somewhat disjointed account, I must add that my father was a
founder member of the Stow Choral Society, and Churchill Choral had a
wonderful reputation. The Rector’s daughter Mrs. Tuson, already
mentioned, was a great asset as a soprano, and the late Miss Flossie
Treweeke was an accomplished pianist
Those were happy days at Churchill,
where everyone knew everyone, and there was for many years my dear
father to help the villagers along life’s way.
1985 (date written in pencil)