Medburn School, Watling Street, Radlett

Old school days

By Ruth Fayerman

Did you go to this school? My family lived at Medburn House in the 1960’s, when we bought the premises as a dog boarding kennels. The previous occupier had converted the large shool hall to house 15 small dogs. 

Dog Kennels

The folding central partition was still in place, which had divided the area into 2 classrooms. Over a period of time we increased the number of dogs we boarded by converting the out buildings. The boys toilets became the dog kitchen, the wet weather shelter accomodated another six dogs, and, a relic of the second world war, an air-raid shelter was made into 12 kennels for large dogs.

Woodwork Classroom

In the playground stood a wooden hut that had been used by pupils from Aldenham School as their ‘woodwork’ classroom; and the family demolished this in 1970. During the years we lived there a number of our clients remembered walking to Medburn School from Radlett and the surrounding area.

This page was added on 15/05/2009.

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  • I was born in Radlett in 1948 and pretty sure I went to this school. We lived in Scrubbitts Square so we went to school down the hill and then turned right and up the hill to the school crossing over Watling Street. I remember cutting through a vicarage on the main road I think, and in autumn we filled out pockets with conkers that fell from the trees there. I remember the sheds in the playground and everyone rushing to see who could occupy the sheds at play time. I remember the milk bottles, frozen in winter, that were brought into the classroom and put in front of the fire to thaw out and how we all rushed to get the frozen ones if we could. I remember too going to have our lunch up the road from the school and how we used to store the fatty meat in our mouths and spit it out as we went back along the road to the school. I do remember what we called “the Congo” – the Congregational Church on the main road in the village and a Clarks shoe shop where we used to look at our feet as they were x-rayed by the machine to see what size we needed. Cheers to all ex Radlett people. I now live in Auckland New Zealand but have such fond memories playing in the woods going up to Scrubbits Square !

    By Janice Chong (25/04/2020)
  • Hi All
    I went to Medburn from about 1946 to 1950, I remember the teachers well. Took the eleven plus there also and also went to Watford Grammar. we used to walk from there to Radlett where I lived with my family in a flat over the International Stores, next to the Congregational Church. Do you all remember the day that rationing came off sweets. The tobacconists and sweet shop nest to the International Stores had a queue outside that stretched forever. Then they had to re impose rationing again. Lots of other memories

    Peter wells

    By Peter Wells (15/02/2019)
  • I went to medbourn 1950/53 yes it was just as described A Mrs Eaton was the junior teacher before we went into Mr Coopers class.Mr Cooper was a fearsome man although I never got caned by him but always lived in fear of it He was succeeded by Mr Aitcheson who took over from Mrs Eaton at first He organised a holiday in Brugges which I went on with 11 others still got the photo I passed the 11+ and went to Watford tech high school

    By Barry Hill (04/04/2018)
  • Hi James it was great to read your Medburn story —we went to the school at the same time and I think your sister I also recall was it Shirley ?? I was born in St Albans in 1935 and then moved to Radlett in 1939 –we moved backwards and forwards to Camp road during the war and lived with my Grand parents and my great grand mother–have many memories —used to get the bus to Medburn –Dicky WhiteHead one of the then three teachers used to travel on the same bus all the way from St Albans
    The other teachers was the Head Reg Cooper and Miss Hewitt–who as the other article mentioned was a cane teacher–and you also had to cross Watling Street and cut the cane that he was going to cane you with.111 It was a great school plenty of Soccer and Cricket– l will always remember the Doodle bombs /Convoys and the Prisoners of War marching past the school
    Yes also remember Brian Berry from the news agency and Barber shop and the Coles /Clarks/Hoopers/Hills/Powells and the Kileys families

    I left Radlett with Mike Franklin in 1959 we emigrated to New Zealand on the Captain Cook-out of Glasgow–Mike lives in Dunedin NZ with Judy who also taught at the school in Battlers Green —-we still keep in touch with each other and our old school mates Mike Harpin/Clive Scales and John and David Sutherland from Letchmore Heath —sadly we lost our great mate Jock Harris–we all try to catch up every few years and visit all the Radlett local pubs and talk of the old days
    I have been living in Sydney Australia for 50 plus years its always amazing how those early days keep coming back to me —I always bore my wife Sue and my daughters Luisa and Samantha with the life of growing up in the 1940s/1950s around the Radlett area

    Cheers to all of you—
    Len Rust

    By Len Rust (09/09/2017)
  • Went to Medburn 1949/53?.By coincidence spoke to lady who had the kennels at Tesco in St.Leonards!

    By Tony Buckle (12/11/2016)
  • For sometime now I’ve been looking for a reference to my ‘old’ school and I’m pretty sure this is it – so, do I remember Medburn School? In early 1949 we moved from Abbots Langley to Battlers Green just outside Radlett – I must have been about 5 years old. I recall first attending an infant school on Watling Street in Radlett and later moving to another school, also on Watling Street but some way south, towards Elstree. From memory – it was set back well off and to the west of the main road and was a typical small late 1800’s country school arrangement with a couple of class rooms, vaulted ceiling/high windows and open fire/stove (in the winter I recall milk crates being brought in to thaw) with living accommodation for the head teacher (and family). There was a (railed?) playground to the north/side of the main building and a large rough/unkept grassed area alongside that with an air raid shelter stuck right in the middle of it (smelled of apples and mildew). Behind the main building was a long wooden hut built a few feet off ground on a brick plinth; it was divided into a couple of rooms (with a set of central wood steps for access from ground level) one of which I always thought was for ‘craft’ activities…? It was the sort of prefabricated clinker built structure imported by the 1000’s from Canada during the war – I know I managed to get a very painful splinter down one finger nail digging around in the insulated cavity for a birds nest where an outer board had split!! There were two playing fields behind the hut – one a football pitch (doubling as cricket field during the summer plagued by moles if I remember rightly) running parallel to Watling Street and a second somewhat rougher football pitch (to the south across a ditch, broken hedge/tree line) running perpendicular to Watling Street. I must have got to/from Radlett by bus (too far for a 6/8 year old to walk and then the A5 would have been a busy trunk road) although I don’t recall making any regular journey. I was in the 1st Aldenham Cub pack and ‘the’ very youngest member of Aldenham Parish church choir (still got a picture of us somewhere). Either the school or Cubs had brief use of an out door swimming pool at nearby Haberdashers school (the pool was rough lined grey cement…!!). I know we (my younger sister and I) ‘enjoyed’/endured a wet fancy dress Coronation Day street party at Battlers Green in June 1953 and then shortly after departed Southampton for Quebec, never to return to Hertfordshire. Hope I’ve jogged some memories for others.

    Apologies if this little recollection is duplicated, made a mess of my first effort to post.

    By John Harries (06/02/2016)
  • I’ve been trying to find something like this for some time now. My parents moved from Watford to Radlett in 1949 (I would be about 5). I first attended a school in Radlett just south of the village alongside the A5 (only vague recollections I’m afraid) and later another school further south, nearer Elstree – this must have been Medburn (it was on the west side of the A5) set well back off the carriageway. Typical turn of the century small village school (two classrooms?, fireplace/stove for heating as in winter I recall the milk crates being brought inside) with accommodation for the headteacher/wife etc. Playground to side (might have been some sort of metal railings enclosing) and behind was the wooden ‘hut’ (which I recall as being an art/craft room + one other room, perched some feet off the ground on a brick? plinth – it was double walled with clinker laid rough wood to the exterior and some sort of insulation between. I have a painful recollection of  getting a splinter down a finger nail from a broken section on the outside; think there was a bird nest inside!!). I remember an air raid shelter in the middle of a rough field to the right side of the main building/playground – always smelt of mature apples. There were two playing fields behind the wooden hut. One was a football pitch that ran parallel to the A5 and cricket field in the summer, plagued by moles if I remember correctly. There was second football field (to the south end of the main field, across a ditch/hedge) that ran perpendicular to the A5. Must have got to school by bus as we lived on the outskirts of Radlett, between it and Aldenham. I remember the estate Coronation street party (wet all day); the family left the country for Canada in spring 1954, my sister and returning a year later followed a few months later by my parents to live in Cheshire (ever since).  


    By John Harries (03/02/2016)
  • Evacuated to Radlett 1939 did woodwrk in hut (not Aldenham)landmine dropped halfway when walking to school. Mr Cooper ruled by cane. Became hospital administrator & lay school inspector. Now 82 & in Surrey. Still in touch with Brian Berry

    By james kiley (23/01/2011)