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Denmark Road High School

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In 1942 the kitchen was improved, the attics opened up for storage and a scullery, serving hatches were made and the cafeteria system brought in.

By late 1943 the school was fully integrated into the School Meals Service under Miss Finlay, the City Supervisor.

Some tuck was still sold mid-morning.  As rationing became more severe all that could be offered were sandwiches of bread, margarine and a sprinkling of sugar.

From the beginning of the War, Miss Ludbrook took charge of horticulture. The Parks Department ploughed up 580 square yards and it became possible to provide the kitchens with vegetables throughout the year.  Girls worked at the gardens in the their lunch hour, and  evening and weekends.  Sometimes they had to arrive early to pick icy Brussels sprouts before school and carry them in big wicker waste-paper baskets up to the kitchens on the top floor.  

Monica Sims recalls:

"One wintry afternoon, instead of the enjoyable gym lesson we had looked forward to all day, we were driven by Miss Durston to pick caterpillars off the cabbages.  The atmosphere of seething injustice while we put the shining yellow things in jam jars was of an intensity which starts revolutions in more practically minded communities."

In 1943 there was a general shortage of labour.  Some of the seniors were allowed to take temporary work at the Post Office before Christmas.


Taken from ‘My Brook Became a River’ ….

When hostilities ceased, the general mood was one of relief and thanksgiving rather than victorious jubilation.  On VE Day (Victory in Europe) May 8th 1945 the School assembled for a special service in the morning, and had an afternoon of games and refreshments, before going home for two days’ holiday.  On VJ Day (Victory in Japan, the cessation of fighting in the East) the Guides were in camp at Haresfield and went up to the Beacon in the morning to see the bonfire lit, and to view the glowing beacons on the distant hills. 

As in WW1 the war had brought many more families to Gloucester because of the industries.  In 1945 there were 640 students at the school compared to 430 before the war, lessons were taught in the corridors and in the attics and the Sixth had to give up their sitting room and make do with a cupboard next to the Art Room!

The school became a maintained grammar school, with three forms of entry.  The Junior school was phased out.

The 1944 Act had removed the restriction on married teachers.  The above photograph, taken in 1945, is the last to show a group of teachers made up exclusively of spinsters.  It wasn't until 1953 when a male teacher joined the full-time staff.


What's happening in history?

1st of January 1942 : First Edition of Desert Island Discs
16th of May 1943 : Dambusters Raid
6th of June 1944 : D-Day Landings
17th of September 1944 : Operation Market Garden - Allied invasion of Holland
12th of November 1944 : Tirpitz Sunk
30th of April 1945 : Hitler’s Suicide
7th of May 1945 : Nazi Germany surrenders - VE Day
9th of May 1945 : Channel Islands liberated
6th of August 1945 : Hiroshima
17th of August 1945 : Animal Farm Published
24th of October 1945 : Formation of UN
20th of November 1945 : Nuremberg Trials begin