Wednesday 2 May 2018

Eton Wick: a newcomers story

45 Queens Road, September 1960
My husband John and I along with our daughter Amanda moved into our new home at 45 Queens Road on the first Sunday of September 1960. Our first task on Monday morning was to shop. The village parade of shops had a fishmonger, butcher, chemist grocer, newsagent and a greengrocer. Milk was delivered by local farmer Bill Cooley.

John went to the village school to enroll Andrew and Steven. The headmaster was Mr. Moss who visited us in the evening to get details before he had left the house he had enrolled John as a collector for the PTA football scheme which raised money for the swimming pool and other amenities for the school.

Later Michael joined the family at Eton Wick, having taken his eleven plus and passed. He was awarded a place at Slough Grammar School.

Betty Denham
In May 1963 I wrote an advertisement for a job to help with the family budget.

State registered nurse. Mother of 4 school age children wants to put “some jam on their bread and butter” by looking after someone else's under 5’s for-profit   By the hour, 1/2 day, all day or week.  Terms reasonable.

On Tuesday, June 18th I started looking after the three Wallington children and the cat who lived in Windsor. Mr. Wallington was a reporter and sub-editor on the Sunday Times newspaper.

I did this for about 18 months before going to train and work for Mothercare as assistant manageress at their Slough Shop. I traveled to Harrow on the Hill five days a week for three months training and then started at Slough.  Amanda was at school at Eton Wick so she went to a neighbour, Mrs. Fearn, after school until I or John got home from work. John was then working for Dow Chemical at Winkfield and often did not get home until after six thirty.  Saturday working was a problem and John would sometimes take Amanda to Winkfield with him. After one year I found family life and working shop hours did not work out.

Looking for a more suitable employment I saw an advertisement in the Slough paper for a Health Visitor Assistant mainly working in the local area schools. The hours were more suitable to fit in with my family life. Applying successfully, I started working with Health Visitor Miss Humphries and Doctor Barker who was working as a school doctor from the Surgery of Doctor Fliday at the Taplow health centre. This job was most successful. It gave me school hours and school holidays and also it brought me two very good friends. Elsie Humphries the area health visitor and Jean Barker the school doctor.

My area was Eton, Eton Wick, Dorney, and schools in the Britwell area of Slough.  My problem with this school nurse post was the traveling as I am unable to drive and had to rely on Buses to get me around the area. Fortunately, after three years or so, a vacancy arose for a full-time school nurse at the Westgate School, Cippenham, Slough. I applied for the post to the Headmistress, Mrs. McGowan giving Doctor Barker and Miss Humphries as my referees. Doctor Jean Barker phoned the headmistress, Mrs. McGowan telling her to look no further, take Mrs. Denham you will find no-one better. The school is within walking distance of Eton Wick and several Eton Wick children attended Westgate who I knew and had seen when visiting Eton Wick school for medical inspections.  Not only the convenience of getting to the school but the staff were very good and here again, I made many friends. School activities and the social life of the school made for a very happy employment.

By Betty Denham - resident of Eton Wick for 39 years from September 1960 to September 1999.

Health Visitor Assistant with visits to Eton Wick School and the Village Hall Baby Clinic.
A member of the Eton Wick & Boveney Women's Institute including being Treasure and President.

John and Betty Denham 

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