Archive Update – 2nd April 2012

Archive Update

Burwood Park School Ltd

Most of you reading this update know a lot about Burwood Park School – but which one ?

The advertisement on the right appeared in 1934.  It also appeared in 1938.

Companies House says that Burwood Park School Ltd was registered “about 1929” (we are hoping for more accurate information soon.)  It seems that it closed when the war started.

It was Roy Staines who first saw half a sentence on the internet about “a school in Burwood Park run by Jean Byrne.”

When we started looking for more information about this first school nobody knew anything about it: not the Surrey History Centre, not the Walton History Society, not Walton or Hersham Libraries: in fact nobody had ever heard of it !

However the Surrey History Centre found that the school was in the business registers for 1934 and 1938 and the Walton History Society discovered that Burwood Park, Preparatory School for Girls, was advertised in the Official Guide produced by Walton and Weybridge UDC, for the years 1934/5 to 1936.

In 1927 the Earl of Iveagh bought Burwood Park, but he died in the same year.  His son, the next Earl of Iveagh and Lady Boyd’s father, then went on to develop Burwood Park for building .  He started by forming Burhill Estates and building the network of roads in the park.

But you can see from the 1934 advertisement that he also set up the first Burwood Park School and, if Companies House is right, very soon after taking over the Park.  (Just two years, perhaps.)

There exist five photographs, which, I think, were amongst the photographs that Mr Wood had in a drawer in his office in 1960, which seem to be of this first Burwood Park School Ltd.  (I cannot find the originals now !!)

(You will find the other three photographs elsewhere on the website – see what differences you can see from the school you knew …)

If you know Burwood Park School for the Deaf look very carefully at this photograph: it is clearly the dining room that we used until moving to the Gym.  But look at the far end on the right.  You can see light coming in through an open door.  Also, to the left of the far window there is another door, probably leading to the kitchen.  Then the furniture is nothing like the 1955 furniture and only about 18 places are laid.  And the lights …

You will recognise this bedroom, of course.  But look at the far bed: there is a Teddy Bear on it.  How many of the boys who came in 1955 had Teddy Bears on their beds ?  Also there is a fireplace, the lights are quite different as are the bedside cabinets, coverlets and chairs.

C.S.

Posted in Archive.