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The Convent Bocking

A Memory of Bocking

Late 1949 early 1950 I stayed with my mother, Mrs Dorothy Violet Lee (nee Gobbitt) at The Convent, Bocking. Born 1943 I would have been aged 6-7yrs. My time there was to await the move into our new home at 140 Church Street, Bocking End. On reflection, am at a loss as to why we stayed at the Convent. We were Church of England, and can only assume appropriate accommodation was not available at the time we moved from Suffok to Essex. A small number of 'guests' there at the time, mostly women who had fallen on hard times. I remember my mother being so grateful for the Convent kindness and hospitality. I did not attend the school attached to The Convent. I enjoyed 'borrowing' the ladies' jewellery often within easy reach of a passing 7 yr old on their dressing tables! When my mother found out where I had 'borrowed' them from, I was severely reprimanded with a very smacked bottom indeed!! Nevertheless, all was forgiven and eventually we thanked our hosts for our refuge and help, before we settled into 140 Church Lane, Bocking and I to attend The Institute School, with Miss Jessie B Thompson then Principal/Headmistress 1950 until 1956 before The John Bunyan School replaced the spaces, where Miss Thompson and her staff, including Miss Firmin; Mrs Allen; Miss Howlett; Miss Cockerell had so much supported.

The school curriculum at The Institute has been confirmed as being based on the Montessori/Freobel methods of teaching which encouraged much exploration with music and movement, art making, poetry, dancing, pageants, nature studies and individual attention given to every child.....I shall remain ever grateful for these days at the school and thank the numerous respondees to my enquiries with regard to this 'mystery' school that remained hidden due its changes in name 1946 to Bocking End County Primary. Due to the boiler room fire in 1947 Miss Thompson was obliged to find alternative accommodation for the growing number of pupils and The Institute, Upper Bradford Street, became one of most important of school venues. If anyone has any further information or a photo of the Convent or have a photo/s photos of The Institute School please contact:

A memory shared by Diana Lee Gobbitt , on Jan 31st, 2013.

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