A school outing in 1947

Teachers will know all the procedures associated with the school outing risk assessment. As we understand it you have to think of every possible thing that could go wrong and have a plan for what you’ll do if it actually happens.

I’m going to guess things weren’t like that when, in 1947, Market Lavington School took a group of youngsters on an outing to Westbury. They certainly wouldn’t have needed a plan for what to do if the coach broke down on the motorway. Well obviously there was no motorway – but there wasn’t a coach either for the mode of transport was bicycle. This might have restricted travellers to those with bicycles but we can be sure there was no fuss about safety helmets, hi-vis clothing, back up transport for the weary or anything like that. Two teachers went and one would like to think that one led the way whilst the other was the sweeper at the back, jollying along those running out of puff and making sure nobody got lost or left behind.  These days the front and back markers would be able to communicate with each other. Back then they’d have needed to keep within shouting distance.

Somebody, so perhaps there was a third unrecorded adult, took photos of the group in Westbury where they arrived at a play park.

Market Lavington School - outing to Westbury in 1947

Market Lavington School – outing to Westbury in 1947

The youngsters and at least one adult pose here on a slide. The slide of course involves a high climb with the chance to fall onto the ground with no softer matting to protect the youngsters.

For a second photo, our donor, Betty who is one of the girls in the picture, has captions.

A group of children and teachers pose for the camera

A group of children and teachers pose for the camera

And here is Betty’s caption.


E Stowe, the tall man at the back was the headmaster of the school. Apparently his nose was quite a prominent feature and all the youngsters called him ‘Pecker’. Sybil Baker, in the middle of the middle row was also a teacher, perhaps better known as Mrs Perry.

The boys are Howells, Glyn Arnold, Bert Cox, Gordon Baker, Gordon Porter and Brian Smith.

In the middle row we have Mavis Boulton, Joy Ellis, Molly Petts, Sybil Baker, Val Smith, Joan Perry and Betty Gye. Janet Stiles, Joy Razey and Marion Phillips make up the front row.

Now that’s a lovely photo, well captioned and a great reminder of times past when simple trips out obviously created pleasure and memories.

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