Mrs McCaffrey's Day School

2 Langford Place

2 Langford Place - Mrs McCaffrey's school
Jane Leaver


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.

Ruth Doniach

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.


This page was added on 13/04/2016.

Comments about this page

  • I went in the 1950s, I don’t remember there being boys at the school. I definitely remember the curtseying, and a girl having to wear a paper on her back which said “This girl bites” as a punishment. I also remember the fish on Friday and being fascinated by the dumb waiter!

    By Bronwen manchip white (09/07/2023)
  • Just stumbled on this… I had no idea that the macaroni cheese went back an entire generation earlier than my own journey of disgust. Still can’t eat it, or boiled carrots!
    I was there from ’75-’77 made some friends I still have today. Knew my times tables by age 4 and could read at 3. I learnt to curtesy, tell the time, and also that little boys who chewed their pencils deserved a spanking. That was Mrs West. For us girls it was manly standing in the corner when we forgot our times tables.
    Barbaric and shaming behaviour by all accounts, but I did actually enjoy school… apart from the macaroni!

    By Jo Chadwick (nee Goodkind) (19/04/2023)
  • I was there in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Other than Friday lunch – which I threw up all over the lunch room – I loved the place. Reading all of these comments about the disgusting Friday lunch made me smile. It was like the scene in Stand by Me when I let it out. I never had to eat that revolting stuff again. To this day if I get a whiff of boiled carrots or macaroni and cheese I am in bad shape, and don’t get me started on jelly.

    By Louise Alexis Rosen (15/02/2023)
  • I went to this school and remember daily crying at the door, holding my Mums legs so she wouldn’t make me go in. It was an awful place and I’d go so far as to say it was abusive. I remember on one occasion not knowing the answer to a comprehension question and (after asking the teacher for help) being humiliated in front of the whole class by having a younger child brought up (from a lower year) to read the comprehension out loud and the teacher shouting “see how stupid you are, even a younger child can read this?” in front of all my classmates. The following day my Mum asked Mrs McCaffrey (at the door on the way in) if one of the teachers could possibly spend some extra time at break teaching me more about comprehensions. That day I was called down to the staff lunch room and shouted at in front of all the teachers and told “if you ever get your mother to complain to us again, you’ll see what happens to you”. I never told my parents anything else about that place (as I was too scared to). I also remember being told that if we didn’t finish our disgusting lunch, we wouldn’t be allowed out for break. To this day, I still have a phobia of sausage rolls due to this school. I’ve found venting this very therapeutic – thanks!

    By Victoria (20/07/2022)
  • I was there from 1954 to 1956 and the only thing I remember was throwing up the macaroni and cheese!

    Our daughter moved to London from New York (where I moved in 1976) and we now have a 9 month old grandson going to a pre-school facing Hamilton Terrace.

    I was texting with family about my first school, also I’m St John’s Wood and discovered this page. I’m flabbergasted. Including that everyone remembers the macaroni and cheese! I could never bring myself to eat thereafter!

    By Paul Noble (11/01/2022)
  • I was at Mrs McCaffrey’s at that time too.
    Jane Leaver (neé Pearl)

    By Jane Leaver (20/02/2022)
  • I think that was the school I attended in the 1950s. My Dad was in the US Air Force, stationed at the American Embassy. I believe I was there for first or second and third grade. To this day, my memories are of the lunchtime bangers (loved) and the rice pudding (hated). Diane (last name?) went to school with me and shared the special carrots her mother fixed. Wouldn’t it be amazing to find her again via this text!

    By Sheryl (formerly) Winneshiek (05/06/2021)
  • I was there in 1958. I have the cup ‘for excellent progress’ and I remember the macaroni cheese.

    By Richard Charkin (12/04/2021)
  • One of my brothers went to McCaffreys in the early 60s and I went there from 1972-76. Unfortunately I don’t have very fond memories of the school. I remember curtseying at the front door every morning. I loved sausage and mash on Wednesday, but the macaroni cheese on Friday was the lunch from hell, along with rhubarb. I always got made to stay behind at lunch until I’d finished it and watched out of the window whilst all the other children were in the playground.

    By Samantha Rabin (nee Eker) (01/02/2021)
  • I remember being made to stand up in disgrace for a long time because I didn’t know the capital of France.
    I remember children being given the slipper. We used to sing God save the Queen.
    I too remember the lunches – macaroni cheese, and fish in batter on Fridays – but I liked them.

    By Marcia Randell(nee Marks) (25/11/2020)
  • I was there in 1954 for one year. I was six and a half. We came to London from New York, and stayed in England for a few years, before returning. I remember only eating noodles and boiled carrots that were sent up to me, in the dumb waiter. It was a wonderful memory, except when I was sent home for making in my pants.

    By Harry Briffel (12/07/2020)
  • I attended the school from 1957 to 1959.The only teacher I remember is a Mrs Yarwood, a very sensible and understanding woman.
    She handed out various badges to be worn for a week: a blue “Merit” badge, a red “Courtesy” badge, a green “Good Conduct” and a yellow “Helper” badge.

    By Johan Enegren (25/04/2019)
  • i went to Mrs. Mcafrey’s school when I was 3 or 4.

    One memory does stick in my mind.

    There was a prize giving and every child in the class was given a prize – except me. I was so upset. I was left to the end.

    When the teachers realised that I had been left out their mistake was quickly rectified and I was given a book.

    I was more than thrilled, because whilst all the children had been given large coloured picture books, I was given Enid Brighton’ s The Treasure Hunters – a proper book with 300 pages and ‘no’ pictures!

    I felt I was  grown up! Or maybe they thought I could read properly and would end up being a writer or something. I became a singer/songwriter!

    By Robert Habermann (29/01/2017)
  • I went to Mrs Mc’s in 1955 aged 5.  My main memory is a boy called Howard Taylor who was always being told to ‘go and fetch the slipper’ sorry Howard wherever you are!

    By Annie Walder (04/07/2016)

Add a comment about this page

Your email address will not be published.