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The School Map 1899
The School Map 1899

School 1950s

Charney Bassett National School was erected in 1871, soon after the 1870 Education Act, with support from Edward Bouverie Pusey. The school was renamed The Bouverie Pusey School in1906. The school was closed in 1944 but reopened again in 1950. The school was closed in July 1981.

The Bouverie Pusey family of Pusey Estate owned the land around Charney and had built the New Road and its houses for their estate and farm workers.

Kelly’s Directory of Berkshire, 1887 records; 

Kelly's 1887 entry for the school
Kelly’s 1887 entry for the school

Kelly’s Directory of Berkshire, 1899 records;

Kelly's 1899 entry for the school
Kelly’s 1899 entry for the school

Kelly’s Directory of Berkshire, 1915 records enlargement of the school;

Kellys 1915 entry for the school
Kellys 1915 entry for the school

The school continued to educate the children from Charney and Lyford from five to fourteen years until just after the Second World War when it was closed through lack of numbers.

It was re-opened, this time for five to eleven year old children who would go on to Faringdon and later Wantage Schools. When Denchworth School closed, the children from Denchworth also came to Charney. In July 1981 the number of children attending the Charney (Bouverie Pusey) School dropped to thirteen and the school was closed for the last time.

The school building was put up for sale by tender in 1986 – School Sale Document (PDF).

School Mistresses

DateSchool MistressTeachersSource
1883Miss Emily CrispJasmine House
Maud Ody (p87)
1887Miss Emily CrispKelly's Directory
1891Miss KingMaud Ody (p87)
1895-1920Mrs Alice AtkinsonMaud Ody (p87)
1899 & 1915 - Kelly's Directory
'20sMiss HaresMaud Ody (p88)
'20sMiss StoneMaud Ody (p88)
'20sMrs LongMiss Hetty Stevenson
Miss Vera Bedwell
Maud Ody (p90)
1929-34Miss Lilian M A WickeraSheila Terry - card from school mistress to Sheila's father on being decorated by the King in 1943
1950sMrs Price (Nee Benson)
Miss Talbot
Miss Jenny Knapp
Ruth Gerring, Sheila Terry, Joe Ody
?Diane Brooks and Linda BeerRuth Gerring
1970Mrs Marsh (teacher)
Mrs Preece (teacher)

From Joe Ody:

Mrs. Price retired in 1961

Mrs. Powell Supply Teacher for 1 year. I can remember she came from Wallingford and she told the class about the evacuation of Tristan Da Cunha in October 1961. [the entire community of Tristan da Cunha was evacuated following the start of a volcanic eruption between the old fishing factory and the Settlement.]

Mrs. Marsh Head Teacher from September 1962 till the School CLOSED in 1984. I can remember she walked from her home in Beggars Lane to the School in the bad winter of 1962/63 to keep the School open; to the disgust of us children! Her Husband was Mr. Peter Marsh Head Teacher of St. Nicholas School Abingdon.

Mrs. Tolbert was the infant Teacher all the time I was at the School from 1956 to 1963. Unfortunately she married a bigamist. I went to Faringdon School with her Daughter.

Mrs. Shella Price, a Supply Teacher, came to the School for 2 weeks as a stand-in when Miss Benson got married to Mr. Price.

Mrs. Packer a Supply Teacher. Mrs. Packer lived at Sheep House Farm (The Pig Farm) on the way to Fyfield. She was a supply Teacher at Charney School for over 20 years.

Mrs. Rosemary Packer was a Supply Teacher before she went to teach in Stanford in the Vale. She was Mrs. Packer Daughter in law.

Maureen Aldor a Supply Teacher from Denchworth.

Teachers in the 70’s and 80’s:
Mrs. Preece
Mrs. Warren
Mrs. Wilmer till the School CLOSED.

Berkshire Education Committee
Berkshire Education Committee
Never Absent Never Late
Never Absent Never Late

Attendance Medal


NEVER ABSENT NEVER LATE – Female figure representing learning, open book in lap, with children gathered around, one holding another book and a hat/boater to the right. All within laurel leaves.

EDGE – The recipient’s name is inscribed on the edge. 

The name on this one is ‘Alice Bond‘. Do you know who she or her family is? If so please let us know at the history website – we would love to hear.

The Longworth Parish Magazine September 1907 records: Prize-giving at the School. – Two boys, Sidney Dance and Charles Talbot, received the “never absent, never late” award. Charles Talbot also won the diocesan prize for Religious Knowledge, and received a prize for good conduct. The prizes were presented by Mrs F J Taylor.

In July 1910 – The Bishop’s prize of a Prayer Book, given for the best knowledge of Bible, and Prayer Book subjects was won by Edward Hammond, certificates being given to Vera Bedwell and Willie Fuller. The County Council’s medals for perfect attendance during the year were given to Dorothy Gadwell and Archie Parker, and book prizes were given : (1) for general proficiency to H. Chamberlain, E. Woodbridge, M. Kerridge, V. Bedwell, N. Fuller, C. Franklin, S. Large, S. Fuller, E. Parker; (2) for good conduct to Eva Wheeler, E. Hayden, Owen Fuller, A. Belcher, W. Fuller; (3) for good attendance to D. Bedwell, E. Barrett, K. Kerridge, T. Kerridge, A. Parker, H. Wheeler. G. Woodbridge, Archie Parker, T. Wheeler, G. Belcher, C. Bedwell, P. Gilbert. (See 1910 school photo below for some of the children).

School Outing
School Outing
Autumn 1977
Autumn 1977
Spring/Summer 1970 Back row, starting at the left: Elizabeth Douglas, possibly one of the Brogden brothers, Alison Castell, Richard Clements, Nicky Preece, next 3 unknown, Rachael Hodgkins, Martin Smith, unknown, Stephen Smith, and unknown. Front Row, 3rd from right: Tony Douglas. Teachers – Mrs Marsh, Mrs Preece.
School 1979

Joe Ody -3rd from right, back row

Pat – 3rd from right, front row

Photo from about 1966.
Back row Racheal Hodgkins far left. 2nd from left Tim Felmingham, 5th girl from left ? Diane Brooks next to her Andrew Foster. Then Margaret Dore, Philip Ireland, Jane Hodgkins. Third girl from right Linda Beer, ?Martin Smith, Julie Panting. Front row 3rd from left David Beer. 5th from left ? Steven Smith, 6th from left Steve Felmingham.
Thanks to Margaret Hill (née Dore) and Jeanne Felmingham with names.
From Jane Larnefeldt (née Atkins) ‘My brother and I attended the school between approx. 1965 – 1969. We lived on Orchard Close, having moved there from Wantage when the houses were newly built…..I can identify a few more of the children in the picture’:
Back row, third from left and next to Tim Felmingham. The girl with a polo-necked sweater and plaits is me, Jane Atkins as I was called them, and the boy to my right is my brother Julian. 
The girl next to Mrs Marsch in the second row is Jane Castell and the one next to Mrs Preece is probably Michele Green. And the one next to Michele, with the curls, is Alyson Bond, and next to her, Alison Castell. The girl at the far right of the second row is Julie Green.
In the front row the boy in the dark sweater in front of Mrs Marsch I believe to be Richard Clements, and the curly-haired lad to the far right of the front row is probably Stuart Pottle, from the Chequers. 
Unknown date
Unknown date
1955 Scholastic Souvenir Co Ltd., Blackpool. ‘CHARNEY BASSETT School’.
School photo 1922 [Ruth Gerring]
1922 [Ruth Gerring]

Nancy Haines (front row left), Harold Haines (2nd from right)

School c1910

School photo c1910

 *, Freddie? Hayden [L], *, Alder, *, *, Walter(?) Bedwell [L]

 *, Hawkins? [Bedlam], *, * ,*, *

 Alfred Butler, *, *, Connie Bedwell [L], *, Phyllis Gilbert [L], Violet Butler, Freda Cox

 *, *, Henry Cox, Nellie Wheeler, Lurline Ballard [L], Helda Douglas, *, *, Hayden [L]

School Performance [Shirley Dore]
School Performance [Shirley Dore]

Kneeling front row L to R: 

Diana Sharpus, Brenda Dore, Shirley Mills, Wendy Hodgkins, Daphne Wheeler, Ruth Sharpus

Standing L to R:

Far left – Valarie Cripps, Snowman – Roger Stevens, Elf – Tony Dore, Star hatted – Maureen Clarke, far right – Peter Stevens

Behind Wendy Hodgkins – Harold Cox, just right of snowman – Joanna Ody and Colin Wheeler

Nativity (Unknown date)
Unknown date
Unknown date

The Christmas Concerts

Longworth Parish Magazine, March 1909

The Christmas Concert, held early in January, was a complete success. On January 28, through the kindness of Mrs Pusey, the school children enjoyed a Tea and Treat, at which each child received a present. The distribution of the Sunday School and other prizes was followed by a dance.

Longworth, Parish Magazine 1911, February 1911

A very enjoyable Entertainment was given by the School-children just before their breaking up for the holidays on Wednesday, December 21, at 7 p.m., the main feature of the Entertainment being a musical play, “The Snowman,” preceded and followed by songs and recitations in character.

Good Conduct

Good Conduct and Satisfactory Progress Certificate
Good Conduct and Satisfactory Progress Certificate

Bad Conduct – School Punishment Book

School Punishment Book

The School Punishment Book (May 1902 – Jan 1943) is held in the Oxford History Centre (and a copy by the History Group).

Offences include:

Balling out; talking while a visitor was in school; whistling; talking; coming late; talking whilst mistress was speaking to a visitor; careless work in dictation; taking coloured chalk; taking her neighbour’s dinner; dirty work in exercise book; throwing water over ‘x’ and wetting him through; playing during lesson; talking during marching time; spitting on the floor; bad behaviour during prayers; insubordination; throwing an article to class teacher instead of passing it; throwing a stone which broke school window; giving an impudent answer; grinning when punished; not learning the spelling set for homework; destruction of new paper given them on which to do homework (prep sketch plan of Charney); throwing blotting paper or cotton wool (soaked in ink) about the room; writing a rude rhyme on drawing board; climbing up wall of school causing damage.

These usually resulted in punishment of 1 or 2 ‘stripes/strokes with the cane’, sometimes 3.


Log Books

The Log books for the school are held in The Berkshire Records office, Reading ref C/EL 41/2. Example extracts are given below.

 Vol 1 starts 19 October 1877

Dec 7th 1877 ‘punished several boys for staying away in the morning to go hunting’

 73 Children in 1899

78 in 1904

Vol 2 starts 22 Nov 1894… Oct 1923 (no mentions of the the war)

‘I have examined the Register this morning and have found them quite correct. W H Bath. Manager’

 ‘13 March 1915. Received a communication from the Education Office that boys over 12 years of age who have been excused from attendance to enable them to take up agricultural employment are still under legal obligation to attend school under the Bye-laws and their names must not be removed from the school register. Also they must be entered for medical inspection at the next inspection and should be entered on the schedule for those children about to leave.’

Faringdon Advertiser and Vale of the White Horse Gazette – Saturday 16 January 1904
Faringdon Advertiser and Vale of the White Horse Gazette – Saturday 11 February 1905

St Mary’s Longworth Parish Magazine 1910

May 1910

The post of Assistant Teacher at the Schools, rendered vacant by the resignation of Miss Stevenson, has been filled by Miss Collett, from Maidenhead, who commenced her duties on Monday, April 11.

October 1910

A number of improvements and repairs have been made at the Schools in accordance with the wishes of the County Council. The Schools were reopened on Tuesday, September 13 after six-weeks’ holiday.

Charges for letting of school premises 20 July 1950

Here is part of the letter setting out the charges for using the school: 

The full set of Charges and the whole letter can be seen by clicking this link.

School Building Layouts

1870 to (Pre-extension) c1962+

The drawing below, by Ruth Gerring, shows the layout of the school in 19??. This seems to have remained largely unchanged since the school was built shortly after the Education Act in 1870.

The two school rooms were used according to how many pupils were in Infants or the Older class.

The girls’ toilets and we think a staff toilet were adjacent to the fields in the South West Corner of the plot and the boys’ toilets were where what is now (2020) the asphalted entrance to the disused McBains builders yard. The toilets were emptied via a truck that used to visit or disposed on to the field (see item below).

The coke store we think was brick structure to the south of the school adjacent to the boys’ playground.

Post c1962+

In 1962 Sutton Griffin & Sweetnam,  87 Northbrook Street, Newbury drew up plans for extensions to the school and this became the layout until closure. The original ‘Little Room’ was converted to a cloakroom and toilets and a large class room added to the North West together with a staff room, staff toilets and a kitchen. The plans are held in the Berkshire Records Office.

Lavatory Bucket Disposal 1950s

Original copy held in Berkshire Records Office

Form of Tenancy Agreement

To:- The Clerk,
Berkshire County Council,
Shire Hall,

I, George Curtis [pensioner] of “Twoways”, Charney in the County of Berks offer to the Berkshire County Council for the Council’s function as Local Education Authority for the Bouverie Pusey School Charney aforesaid a tenancy of all that piece or parcel of land of .024 acres or thereabouts situate on the west side of and being adjacent to the said Bouverie Pusey School, and which is more particularly delineated on the plan annexed hereto and thereon coloured pink for the purpose of disposing there on of the contents of the lavatory buckets used at the said Bouverie Pusey School, on the following terms and conditions:-

  1. The tenancy shall endure for one year from the 24th June, 1950, and shall continue thereafter until determined by either party giving to the other six month’s notice in writing expiring at the end of a school term.
  2. The consideration in respect of the tenancy to be at the rate of 10/- per annum, and shall be payable by equal half-yearly instalments on the 24th June and 25th December in each year
  3. This offer, together with a written acceptance shall constitute the agreement.

G Curtis

To:- G Curtis Esq,

I, Harold John Cooke Neobard the Clerk and duly authorised Agent of the Berkshire County Council agree on behalf of the County Council to become the tenant of this land on the terms and conditions above stated



Disposal site

School Meals

School Meals Week Ending 21 Feb 1964
School Meals Week Ending 21 Feb 1964

Originals held by Joe Ody

School Meals Week Ending 21 Feb 1964
School Meals Week Ending 21 Feb 1964

Reading Evening Post – Monday 21 July 1969
School plan re-think after opposition
Evening Post Reporter
A PROPOSAL to close a Berkshire primary school is being reconsidered because the school’s managers have strongly opposed it. Mrs Barbara Sheasby, chairman of Berkshire Education Committee’s schools’ management sub-committee said the committee wanted to re-examine its plans to close Denchworth Primary School, near Wantage, alfer consultations with the school’s managers. Her committee reported that a representative of the education department met the managers to discuss the future of the school on July 2.
It was clear that the managers, who claim to be speaking not only for themselves but for the people of the village, are opposed to the discontinuance of the school despite the inadequacy of the buildings and site and the small number on roll.” The committee’s report adds that the managers objected to sending the children to a neighbouring school in Charney. two miles away, when they had what they considered as a good a school on the doorstep. They thought it wrong for infant children to have to remain away from home for the whole of the school day. The managers visited Charney Bassett School but felt there was insufficient room to absorb the children from Denchworth where there are 18 pupils.

Faringdon Advertiser and Vale of the White Horse Gazette – Saturday 22 February 1913 School Concert

Faringdon Advertiser and Vale of the White Horse Gazette – Saturday 22 February 1913 

CONCERT. —A very successful concert was given in the Schoolroom Friday in last week. The items, with but one exception, were presented the scholars Bouverie-Pusey School. A French minuet by six infante girls was much appreciated, while “A nursery rhyme tea-party” was prettily performed by Ruby Clapton and six infants. Special mention must be made of the “Singaphone,” in which Miss Marjorie Kerridge as “Professor,” and Mister A. Parker as “Billy,” caused much amusement, and were re-called by an appreciative audience. A short play entitled “Grump’s blunder,” was well received, the characters being sustained by :—W. Hammond as “Grumpy” ; M. Kerridge “Mrs Grumpy”; K. Kerridge as “Britannia” (servant); J. Roberts as “Tom Flinders”; W. Mayers as “Village constable”; K. Mayers, E. Read, and C. Franklin as “Village women.” During the interval Mr Kerridge kindly recited.

Berkshire Chronicle – Saturday 25 July 1903

Mr Pike, Lyford. Charney School 1903

Berkshire Chronicle – Saturday 01 November 1879

Berkshire Chronicle – Saturday 01 November 1879

The eighteenth meeting of this association was held at Charney on Saturday, October 18, the kind invitation of the Rev. J. Whitehurst.
Rev. D. Camilleri, vicar of Lyford. read paper on “Superfluities and Deficiencies in English Elementary Schools.” Premising his remarks by some extracts from the inquiries of our predecessors, he referred to a report of the National School Society of 1840, in which he heard of a population of three thousand with no school of any kind, of a district of eight thousand in which about a hundred received instruction for hour or two on Sundays, of another population of eleven hundred with an excellent school for boys but not for girls, of a parish of eighteen thousand which only two hundred received week day instruction, and that not in Church school. The Parliamentary Committee 1838 anticipated the greatest evils to society unless persevering and strenuous efforts were made to cope with the prevailing grievance and an Inspector of National Schools reported in 1840 that the most ignorant classes supplied the rioters of 1830. Comparing the state of other countries at the same period he instanced American manufacturer who did not like to employ English workmen because they were so dissipated…………

Reading Evening Post – Tuesday 02 May 1972
These are the Berkshire primary schools losing staff. The reduction follows the name of the school and includes cuts in part-time teachers, shown as decimals. …….
Charney, The Bouverie, Pusey, 0.1

Public Health

Faringdon Advertiser and Vale of the White Horse Gazette – Saturday 21 November 1908 Public health


Faringdon Advertiser and Vale of the White Horse Gazette – Saturday 21 November 1908
PUBLIC HEALTH REPORT. Mr Gerard C. Taylor, County Medical Officer of Health, has just issued a voluminous report on the health of the County for 1907. We cull the following digest relating to the Faringdon Rural District.

For diphtheria, school closure was found necessary Kingston Lisle, Charney Bassett, Buckland, Hinton Waldrist, Faringdon, and Longworth; also at Charney Bassett, Buckland and Hinton Waldrist on account scarlet fever.

School Attendance Offence

Faringdon Advertiser and Vale of the White Horse Gazette – Saturday 05 January 1918 School Attendance

Faringdon Advertiser and Vale of the White Horse Gazette – Saturday 05 January 1918
Present: Captain F. C. Loder-Symonds (in the chair) and Mr J. Fletcher.


George Clapton, Charney, was summoned for a similar offence in respect to his child Ruby, aged 13, who, the School Attendance Officer stated, had made 81 attendances out of possible 128. Sickness accounted for four absences; on other occasions she had driven a milk cart from Charney to Challow and had not reached school until after the register had been called. The defendant had written a letter to the Education Committee in which he stated that the child had only been kept home by illness, and on the day named she was ill in bed with influenza, and it would have been practically murder to compel her to go to school. The officer stated that the child was absent from school in the morning of that day but was present in the afternoon. The Chairman said the defendant had made excuses in the letter which were not true, and he would be fined 10s. He ought to have been present to answer the charge.