There were 3 separate schools - Infants, Juniors and Seniors, each with its own Headteacher. Teacher and author Norman Bridge started at Birchfield in 1916; Head of Infants at the time was Miss DAWSON, and the Principal was Mr SMITH, who later moved to a city centre grammar school and was succeed by Mr HALLAM. Other teachers he recalls were Mr CRAWFORD and Mrs HILL. Mrs BRIDGE later returned as a teacher, although Norman had transferred to Clint Rd.
Marged attended the school in the 1940s. The school was built around a central hall, with a balcony running right around the upstairs perimeter, and another short balcony on the top floor. There were two flights of stairs, which were never used by pupils, actually IN the hall, the choir stood there to sing for concerts etc.
There were air raid shelters below the school. They were used if the alarm sounded during the day, and local people used to travel over there at night during the bad blitz – Marged’s mother, aged about 25, would have to struggle with two children and a big bale of bedding etc.
Marged also remembered: The swimming baths were not used in the 1940s onwards. They were storage for millions of cardboard milk bottle tops - part of the supposed salvage initiative - waste not, want not. They never re-opened, so far as I know. What a sad waste! However, Nadine remembers using it in school-time and in school holidays in the late ‘50s and ‘60s. The pool finally closed in the late 1960s; children had swimming lessons at other schools.
The old building was demolished in 2000, and replaced. In 2002, the school took in pupils from Acorn Nursery and became known as Phoenix.