Brenda Wellstead (1961-68)

Brenda Wellstead whose husband Brian managed Sherborne Park Nurseries ("The Gardens") reflects upon those years.

Brenda Wellstead, is the wife of Brian who Managed the Sherborne Park Nurseries (generally referred to by the boys as simply The Gardens.) He took up the post after his father left and went on to manage the poultry farm for Sir Henry and Lady Carden in Berkshire. On his actual retirement in 1981 went out to Canada.

Mr Wellstead senior took over running The Gardens after Jim Webb, who left after his son was killed in an a farming accident.

Brian and his wife carried on until July 1968, when things had become difficult with JHM. Contrary to what I was told they did not have a large family. Brian had sisters called Jean and Cindy and a younger brother named Jeffery.

Brenda and Brian stayed behind for a while after the school closed. They were both involved in creating the Inventory of things gardens related. He as Caretaker and Brenda was involved in listing (link to the Inventory) the furniture – wardrobes, chests of drawers, beds etc, much of which was sold to The Royal School in Wolverhampton in 1968.

Francis Johnson, who was a local lad (from No. 47 - just past the Post Office) helped her husband clear out the school for auction. This included dismantling all the beds and passing them down the lift shaft – sometimes on the lift and sometimes just down the shaft!

She corrects us on a number of points:
- Jack Lee was Canadian not American
- The Chef was Lithuanian not Polish
- Mrs Mosey had 2 daughters before meeting JHM, Kay and Pippa.

Apparently JHM was a keen Stamp Collector and whenever there was a new edition whatever denomination he would buy a sheet and have them franked by the Post Master in the village.

Brenda told me about a number of School Secretaries, at least one of whom is still alive. There was Barbara McHale who lived in East Lodge and later in Burford before she died. Janet Muriel McGown who left in pregnancy and now lives in East Lothian. Then ther was Rachael who had a red MG.

Mrs Sallis and Mrs Hooper were the last Laundry Maids. Later Mrs Sallis cleaned eggs in the poultry farm.

She says in her time Dick O'Donnell was the Handyman. She also spoke of two 'ghosts' – The Blue Boy who walked the church and The Grey Lady who walked near JHM's flat. She says of how chilly it was in one of those rooms.

Brenda and Brian had another post before emigrating to Canada where they have had a farm for 25 years. They live near in Ontario near Lake Huron. Brenda has promised me more information and possibly some pictures.

Anne "Mouse" Mosey did have a donkey, unfortunatly it died from eating yew as you may remember there was an awful lot of it round Kings!!
12 Jan 2012

On September 22nd 1960, Ernest (Mr Wellstead senior) and Rose with four children Brian, Jean, Jeffrey and Cindy took up residence at Sherborne Park Nurseries.

In April 1966 Ernest, Rose Jean and Cindy moved to Berkshire. Brian stayed and in May he married Brenda and they stayed until July 13th 1968. (I have more family information if anyone is interested. Ed)

Someone asked: “Was there a Summer School in 1967?” Yes there was, the boys were all Asian with limited English spoken; not a lot of teachers were there. We can only remember Jack Lee and Mr. Chadwick. I am fairly sure the term didn’t end, as there were a lot of boys leaving all of a sudden.
13 Jan 2012.

I was asked if I would look after the school office; the secretaries were no longer there and there was nobody to answer the phone. I don’t recall the Moseys being there at the time. They must have been at Woootton-Under-Edge. In the August of that year J.H.M. and Mrs M went on holiday to Switzerland, the children and Mrs Harding (Mrs M's Mother) were with them. We got to look after Mrs Harding's dogs. They returned in the middle of September; we have letters sent from them at the time.

Pictures of the Wellstead Family 1964/65 and 2010. Jean & husband Martin Jean & Cindy 1964 Jeffery Wellstead 1965 Brenda 1965 Brian Wellstead 1965 Ernest & Rose Wellstead 1965 Brenda & Brian 2010

Brian and I had already left Sherborne before any inventory of the remaining school effects for auction was made, when we left there were still a lot of things to remove, we have no idea who the auctioneers were or when the event was held, I would think that the Gloucestershire Echo would have advertised it, may be one of the local OBs might remember?

I have another bit of trivia who can remember the Sherborne Family dogs burial plots and head stones on the left of the path past the changing rooms/greenhouse on the way to the nurseries/gardens? The head stones were set into the wall, not sure how many there were.

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