We REJECT the Council’s plan for The Gower. GHEF remains committed to re-establishing The Gower building as an asset to the community.

Austin Hall, Memories of ‘The Gower’

Life time resident of Gower Street and St. Georges, His memories of The Gower Street School.


Mr Austin Hall, who was born in 1930, in St. Georges, and has lived there all of his life. A lifelong pigeon flyer and breeder, as were his father and grandfather before him. A keen gardener and a very good fly fisherman, he paints in oils and has some wonderful portraits of his Springer Spaniels and Labrador retriever dogs. He lives in the cottage nearly opposite the old Lilleshall Company where he worked nearly all of his life. And at 85 years of age he is a mind of local information.

I started school in 1935, at the age of 5 years, school days started at 9 o’clock and finished at 3 pm for the infants and 9 o’clock until 4.15 pm for the senior children. There were no facilities for school dinners, if you wanted a dinner you went home at lunch time. There was a small canteen where you could get a cup of tea. Classes were all mixed so were play times, there being two play areas round the back of the school.

The school building was split into four separate school rooms, as you entered the school the cloak rooms was in front of you, beyond that was the ‘house where the caretaker lived, also in this area was the small canteen. To the left were two class rooms, the far left class room was Miss Onions, who was a very good teacher but strict. Miss Onions lived locally, on The Nabb, just passed where the Albion pub stands today. The second room was Miss Shepherds, later to become Mrs Whittingham, whose family owned two shops at Ketley.

To the right, as you enter, was the assembly hall where we had a morning assembly, not a religious gathering just a few songs before starting the day.

This room was the class room of Miss Vaughan, the head teacher, from Trench. The last room was used by Miss Jones, always warm being above the boiler room.  Miss Jones lived by Fenns Crescent. There was another teacher, Miss Perry, who filled in if one of the other teachers was sick or on leave. Miss Shepherd also ran the Ketley carnival and one year had us dressed up as the seven dwarves out of Snow White.

The Caretakers rooms were occupied by various people during my time at school, but they only did the job after the school day finished, many having jobs during the day. Mr Williams was the first one I remember, then, in order, Mr Newbold, Mr Barber and Mr Purcells.

I finally left school at the age of 14 years to begin work at the Lilleshall Company.

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Mr Austin Hall aged 5 Years

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Wrockwardine Wood Board School




  1. My memory of the staff when I was there in 1942-1948 was that the teachers were Miss Vaughan, Head, Miss Jones, Alice Onions and Miss Whittingham who while I was there married and became Mrs Price. She subsequently died very young.

  2. I started the school when I was 5 years old 1953 and stayed there until I was 11, somehow I passed my 11+ and went to Wellington High School for Girls, I remember Miss Vaughan, Miss Ruben and Mrs Mellor. Mr Taylor was head when I was there, I used to love him reading to us at the end of each day when I was in his class. I loved every day at this school, except when I got a slap from Mrs Mellor when we were on a nature walk.

  3. Mrs Williams was the cook for the school dinners and a Mrs Dabbs was her assistant, they were both lovely, and we had lovely dinners and puddings, except semolina etc! yuck.

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