This piece joins others together - Aldringham Church and its Magazines, Aldringham School Teachers and Pupils, Cecil Lay through Bird's Farm, and his father being head master at the school. It also raises some questions - please let me know if you can explain them.
When reading the October 1933 issue of the
St Andrew's Church, Aldringham Monthly Magazine on this website, Mrs Mary Flatman saw the wedding mentioned on 5 September, 1933, was that of her parents, Dulcie Constance Kett and Irwin Arthur Took.
Mary contacted me and sent photographs and copies of the items included here.
Mary told me that her mother, Dulcie Kett,had been a teacher at Aldringham School for 12 years before she married. Upon leaving the school in August 1933 she was presented with this booklet, as a memento of her time at the school and wishing her the best for her future. The booklet includes the names of Managers, Teachers and Scholars at the school between 1921 and 1933. She was also given a Silver Fruit Basket, and cases containing a Silver Condiment Set and Fish Eaters. Dulcie Kett was clearly a popular member of staff.
Dulcie Kett's marriage to Irwin Took at Aldringham Church was evidently special, featuring in local newspapers with a photograph.
Dulcie's mother, Mrs Phoebe Amelia Kett, was head teacher at Aldringham School for many years. Her husband, Herbert Clayton Kett, originally from Wenhaston, farmed Pantile Farm from about 1911 to 1940. What a lovely location for Dulcie to have spent her youth.
Mary's photographs show the Farm House and some of Dulcie Kett's pupils at the farm. Can you name any of them? The photos clearly show that Pantile Farm House is what is now known as Bird's Farm House. I haven't been able to ascertain when the farm house's name was changed and have found conflicting information.
Census data from no later than 1911 includes Bird's Farm - but it does not include Raidsend, the house Cecil Lay built for his mother, completed in 1914. 'Lay' is the name of the one male and two female residents of the School House, so presumably Cecil Lay's parents and another. See the Cecil Lay history.
Did Cecil Lay design the current (Pantile) Bird's Farm House? If so, it must have been an early design - he only became a member of the Royal Institute of Architects in 1912. Perhaps the original Farm House was replaced by the current building some time after then or might he just have modified the original?
Oddly a map used during World War II shows Pantile Farm. Pantiles is the name of the 'big house' situated near to the farm house - that was a Cecil Lay design too. As the Ketts lived at Pantile Farm for so many years that was obviously its name, though Mary believes that Pantile Farm no longer exists (and I don't believe it does, only Bird's Farm). Can you shed any light on this anomaly? When was the name of the farm house changed?
Mary's cousin was born in Thorpeness and mentioned to her that he had attended Aldringham School for about a year when he was 5 or 6 years old. This would be about 1948. He remembered a Teddybears' picnic and a boy who cycled to school picking up and taking a snake to school. The snake, an adder, bit the boy's leg and he went to hospital. Do you share those memories and do you know who the boy was?
Among the Aldringham School photographs are several including students and teachers at the School, some taken when Dulcie Kett and her mother were there. Thanks to Peter Drew and those who helped him with the names of those in the photographs. If you can identify other staff or pupils please let me know.
Mary's father, Irwin Took originally came from Halesworth and died in 1968. On what would have been her parents' Golden Wedding Anniversary in September 1983, Mary took her mother back to Aldringham Church. Visiting the church at the same time was an old pupil of her mother's, but unfortunately Mary doesn't remember her name. Was it you or do you know who was there then?
We are very pleased Mary got in touch through the website. It's interesting to be able to add more history to the site, although this raises more questions - if you can enlighten us please do by contacting the website.
If you can add to the information above,
or would like to comment on these pages
Glen Simpson on 04/08/18 wrote:
I was one of the last of at least three generations of my family to attend Aldringham School. The earliest I know of was my grandmother, Mildred Mary "Millie" Button, who was born about 1898. There was in the family a school photo of her class, but sadly I don't know what became of it.
The next generation was her daughter (my mother) Joyce Eveline Vincent, born 1923. She had two brothers, Walter and Eric, who also attended the school; Walter is named on the War Memorial on St Andrews Church, having lost his life when HMS Ibis was sunk in World War II.
Interestingly, on the remaining wall of an old barn, now incorporated into a modern house, in Beacon Hill Lane, Thorpeness are a number of carved initials from 1939, my mother's being among them ("JV").
I attended Aldringham School between 1953 and 1959, when I went to Leiston Grammar School. Teachers I remember at Aldringham were Miss Wolf, who taught the infants, and Mrs Clay, the headmistress, who taught the top class. The middle class had several teachers during my time; first there was Mr Archdale, who left soon after I arrived; then came Mr McConnell, who made much more of an impression on me. There was also a student named Mr Bond for a short while. I lived in Thorpeness, and we children from that village used to go to and from school on the Eastern Counties no. 222 bus each day.
I left the area when I went to work for British Rail in York, where I still live, and no longer have any family or connections in the Aldringham and Thorpe areas; perhaps someone who reads this will remember some of the teachers and family I have mentioned.