Mrs McCaffrey was Jane Leaver’s aunt’s governess during the War. She opened a school at 2 Langford Place where Jane went in the early 1950s and which was still open in the 1960s.
Arthur Markham whose American family came to London for a year writes :-
I went to the school for a year in 1955 to 1956. I was only four to five years old at the time so I have limited memories. I remember they always served fish or macaroni and cheese on Fridays. Mrs. McCaffrey and I got along very well. She sent Christmas cards for many years afterwards. I remember one teacher who scared me a bit as she reminded me of the wicked witch of the West from the Wizard of Oz. (Entirely a bad rap I am sure.) My father used to take me there on a double decker bus on his way to work.
Arthur’s mother, Kathleen Markham remembers:-
I finally realized Chuck (Arthur’s brother) was “sick” every Friday. Digging into the problem he said he hated the lunch on Friday and if he didn’t eat it he couldn’t lead the walk, or maybe not talk the walk , that was the exercise for the students.
I don’t remember but I guess I must have gone to bring the boys back to Bryanston Square. You have told your friends about the basket on wheels I had made at the blind center. Women used them to walk to grocery stores. The baskets, like the kind you carried on your arm were attached to wheels and a cane. With 4 children and two au pair girls I had to shop for many groceries every day. I had them make me a basket as tall as the cane. Our picture was in a local paper.
Cate Caruso remembers the day her photo was taken at school: it was the day the photographer came to take individual photos of us…the day I became obsessed with legos! My brother just sent me this photo (in 2017) and it brought back many wonderful memories of my time there. We used to ride the tube from Kensington High St.
The first was to Mrs McCaffrey’s at number 2 Langford Place – very convenient as we lived at number 14! I remember a very formal kind of teaching with emphasison geography based on looking at a large globe which formed the main teaching resource. In addition we had cardboard cut-outs which had to be placed correctly for the buildings to stand up on their own.
Jane Leaver writes:-
I was born in 1948, and started when I was two and a half and was there until I was 6 or 7, I think.
The house has since been altered : new owners have closed off the original front door, replacing it with a window, and have built a sort of front balcony entrance so as to give entrance to a lower ground floor flat.