St Bernard's Primary

St Bernard's Primary School | Poplars Close, Ruislip
(later at 17 King Edwards Road, Ruislip)

17 King Edwards Road Ruislip
(Opening comments from a Ruislip, Northwood & Eastcote Local History Society publication from 199

This preparatory school was established in 1929 by Alfred Leslie Squire MA Oxon. in two semi-detached houses in Poplars Close, which had been converted into one property. In 1944, after the death of Mr. Squire, his widow took over the running of the school. In the early 1950s, the school moved to 17 King Edwards Road premises which had been formerly occupied by Kelvin House School for many years. St. Bernard's appears to have closed in about 1963, and from 1964 onwards the premises were used for business purposes.

Visitors to this site have offered the following:-

It was located down the lane off High Street beside (old) Woolworths.  It has been closed for some years but was open for sure around 1942-44.  It had its own air raid shelter and the uniform was grey shorts with green blazer (with school badge on pocket) and green sectioned peaked cap. The pupils had Mickey Mouse gas masks to take to school with them.

To shed a little light on a school about which very little seems to have been known: I was a pupil there from around 1955 to 1961. It was in King Edward's Road, a large  private house (I think it's third from the right of Monarch's Way on the South side, as far as I can tell from Google Maps). It was run by Dorothea Squire, a widow, who taught the senior form - one teacher, all female, handled each year. Mrs Squire was a delightful if formidable woman, who loved English and English literature. A devout Catholic, she never pressed her religious beliefs on her students. The other teachers included a Miss Hendry, a Miss Hodge and (confusingly) a Mrs Hodge. It would be fascinating to hear from anyone else who attended the school. A year or so after I left Mrs Squire, having being diagnosed with cancer, closed the school. I took away one of the desks and used it to write on for some years

Dr Christopher Hobbs

St Bernard's Primary School/-

St Bernards School group picture
I was a pupil there from circa 1958 until it closed 

How well I remember Mrs Squires. She used to make us sit in the hall and recite her tables every day. What else do I recall. Country dancing lessons – reels, Gay Gordons and the like – we learnt them all. Now Mrs Hendry was a scary teacher. She once took the ruler to me when I was pushed over by a class mate I think it was Nicholas and the result of it was that I destroyed a model set we had been making for weeks. Anyway I got the blame. I remember my mother marching to the school to have a ‘word’. I also recall that we were prepared for a very special fellow classmate, the daughter of a senior Japanese embassy staff member. She was very lovely, wore her national dress which stood her out from the rest of us and very gracious but spoke very little English. Mrs Squires gave us quite a session on how we were to be extra nice to our new classmate. However our new friend was only there for  a few months before the family moved. It was a good school and we knew the boundaries. I recall it with great affection. Anyone remember me?  

Revd Canon Sheila McLachlan

I was at ST. BERNARD'S from Sept 1944 to July 1951, I remember being interviewed by Mr Squires, the headmaster, in the summer of 1944, however when I started in the September he had died and the school was then run by his wife Mrs Squires. I can remember spending a lot time in the air-raid shelter in 1944 and early 1945 because of constant flying bomb attacks. There where four forms, Mrs Bennett, Mrs Hodge, Mrs Lanham and Mrs Squires (with her dog Peggy, who would sleep under the desks).

Our rival school was Hawtrey House whom we used to play cricket matches against.

John  Sewell, Solihull, West Midlands. I attended this school from 1954-57. I was (am) an American and remember others not wanting to play with me because of my nationality. However, I must note that I received an excellent education at this school and will be forever grateful. I still have pictures of myself in uniform as well as pictures of Sports Day. I hope to return to Ruislip someday and to retrace my steps to school. I also remember my ballet class in Ruislip and still have the pattern my mother used to knit my ballet sweater.

Claire Murphy