Old Burwoodian Association

1955 – 1996 Secondary school in Walton-on-Thames

Burwood Park School was a secondary school in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, for deaf pupils, almost all of whom went into full-time employment and most of whom undertook further education. Later Norfolk House sixth form college was added.

The Archive Disc

I have just had very surprising information from the Surrey History Centre.  The government passed a new law 3 years ago which apparently makes school archives closed FOR 100 YEARS !  This is, it seems, because of privacy laws.

So I am sorry to say that the new archive disc that I have nearly finished preparing cannot be sold.

It does seem that people can go to the Centre to research the Archive, but I am not clear about how much can and cannot be seen.

I have spoken with a man from the Centre and will go to see him for a long discussion (probably after Christmas) to get a clear picture of what is and is not allowed.  I suppose I can remove some items ( such as the Accession Register, it seems !!!) and the rest can probably be sold on a disc.

This was a complete surprise for me and I really cannot tell you much more until I have had the discussion.


A New Archive Disc

The OBA has been selling  3 discs with almost everything from the Archive on them.  Unfortunately they now only work on Windows up to Windows XP (and maybe on later Professional Windows programs).  However, Microformat, the company that made them, has redone everything as normal folders/ files which can be used just like any other folders/files.

I have finished going through everything, naming the folders and putting them in proper order and am now working on adding all the Archive Additions that have appeared since the original Archive was set up.

All of this will probably be on ONE disc which will work on any Windows computer (and maybe Apple as well).  Ron Gibbins will be selling the disc when I have finished adding everything, which will take a month or three.

Colin Sayer

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.


The Burwood Archive

This was created to keep alive the history and memory of the School and College.

It comprises some 16,000 pages of documents held by the Surrey History Centre at Woking, further documents held by the British Deaf History Society and all the school films and videos, held by Sefra for the Surrey History Centre.

The main part, at Woking, includes every copy of the School Magazine (1950s), every copy of the Boar annual magazine, and every copy of the Boar Weekly, from the first (1960) to the last, when the school closed. Unfortunately is has almost NO copies of the Old Burwoodian (the first OBA magazine), but has every copy of the Boars in Touch.

Almost all of the collection in Woking is on microfilm and can be viewed by the public (preferably by prior arrangement).

Also, most of the collection in Woking is on three CDs which can be viewed on computer. These are available from the OBA Secretary, Ronald Gibbins.

The Burwood Archive is still being added to: some 2500 photographs will be the last major addition. If you have anything you think might be of interest, do contact us !



The final part, the photographs, is still not completed. There are, I think, between 2500 and 3000 photographs to process, date and name.

A disc was available at the Edinburgh Reunion with the ones I have completed so far, with names and dates wherever possible.

The whole project will be completed as soon as possible and I shall then make it known on this website, as well as providing the Surrey History Centre with the discs and relevant information.

In April, after the Boars in Touch has appeared, this Archive section will be showing very surprising information about Burwood Park School that I certainly did not know and which will NOT be what any of you (except one ) will be expecting !!

Another project in hand is the digitising of documents sent to me by Lord Boyd, dating from 1954 to 58. These were deposited with the Surrey History Centre but I have them back to scan and put on disc.

Again, I shall announce on this Archive section when I have completed this project.

Paul Davis has provided ALL his school reports – so the Archive has a complete set of school reports for one pupil.

Simon Fisher has provided all the documents (kept by his mother) relating to his care and education, from the time he was issued with his first hearing aid as a child to when he left Norfolk House. These are both letters and forms / documents.

The Burwood Archive in the Surrey History Centre must be one of the most complete school Archives in the public domain – and certainly of any school for the deaf, I imagine, and such contributions as Paul’s and Simon’s add fine detail to the overall picture.