The Bells!

Royal Wanstead School – Senior Boys Routines and Bells – Summer Term 1963

A resounding memory for everyones school life, even today, is the sound of a bell signalling the start of school and the various other times when pupils need to move or muster.

So I thought it would be of interest to publish this lovely part of Royal Wanstead School History and remind the 1960s Old Wansteadians of the 26 bells that would ring out during their school days!

Royal Wanstead School Routines and Bells
©Friends of Royal Wanstead School – Part of the Russell Wild Collection
(The original photo can be viewed  in the RWS Photo Archive by clicking here)

During the school week the first bell would ring at 07:20 – The Rising Bell – and from that point the day would be punctuated with bells for lining up, lessons, chapel and meals.  To following chart shows the details of the timings…

And there was no rest at the weekend, with lessons on Saturday mornings and Chapel services twice on Sundays.  However, there was also “Village Leave” on Sundays for the boys to visit the local shops of Wanstead and Snaresbrook.  I wonder what they got up to?

Do remember this time?  Do you remember Village Leave on Sundays and what you got up to?  If so, please comment below and share your memories!


  1. I recognise John Lavender’ handwriting after all this time. He was headmaster of course. First stop on Village Leave was the corner sweet shop, inevitably known as the tuck shop. Milk gums were one of my favourites. First shop on the left as we got to the High Street.

  2. Thanks for commenting Peter! I did think it looked like Mr Lavender’s signature at the bottom (I’ve seen it on a few school reports!)

    Milk gums, those dusty white chews…Mmmm was always my favourite growing up too.

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