The Wesleyan School was a small "Voluntary School" in Church Street. [See also Voluntary Schools]. The building had been built as an Ebenezer Chapel in 1807. The Victorian County History states that the "Wesleyan Chapel, erected in Church Street in the early 19th century, was enlarged 1807, and replaced in 1869 by a handsomer building in Charnham Street. The Church Street premises were then used for a Day and Sunday School".
The 1847 Kelly Directory informs us that Thomas Ward was master of the Wesleyan School in Church Lane (sic!).
A postcard of 1921 shows Mr Caleb Camburn with his dates as headmaster: Feb 1886- July 1910 at the Wesleyan School, and Sep 1910 – Mar 1921 at the Council School.
The 1903 Kelly Directory describes the Wesleyan School as "Mixed and Infants, originally old chapel erected 1807. Will hold 150 children, average attendance 115. Mr Caleb Camburn Master".
For a first-hand account, see listen to the audio-archive and notes notes of a conversation with Alfred "Sonner" North, who was born 1898, and who attended the Wesleyan School from the age of 3-4 years until 1910. He lived in Eddington and walked to school for 9am, back home for lunch at mid-day, and returned to school for the afternoon from 1 until 4pm. He recalls there being about 150 children, with 4-5 teachers. These included the Master, Mr Caleb Camburn (very strict and austere, and caned a child for bad manners in front of the class), and two assistant teachers, Mr Hall and his sister Miss Hall. They all taught in the one large main room. The infants were in a room where the flats are today, and he recalls his first infant teacher, Miss Lovelock (who later married Bert Withall and worked at TW Alexander, grocer). Alfred North was awarded a Bronze medal for "Never Late, Never Absent". When he was twelve in 1910 he went to the All-Age Council School in Fairview Road. He left school at the age of 14 years.
In fact, when the Council School opened in 1910, the Wesleyan and all the other voluntary schools closed, all children moving to the new school for the start of the September term.
The building was used as A W Neates sale room, then...
1988 Bibi Harris Antiques "Warehouse of Continental and decorative furniture and accessories".
- Old Wesleyan Chapel and School, Church Street, Aug 2001
- Mr Caleb Camburn, c1910, Headmaster of Wesleyan School, and later first Headmaster of All-Age Council School.
- Wesleyan School children, c1909. Mr Caleb Camburn in back row, left. [Mapson, undated, from Primary School collection]
- "School Boys, Hungerford - Hocktide Festivities" 1902, (at the Wesleyan School in Church Street. The Tuttiman is George Batt, baker at 50 High Street). [Sir J Benjamin Stone]
- "School Girls, Hungerford - Hocktide Festivities" 1902, (at the Wesleyan School in Church Street. The Tuttiman is George Batt, baker at 50 High Street). [Sir J Benjamin Stone] (Kindly sent by Dr Jim Whittaker, Jun 2016)
- "School Girls, Hungerford - Hocktide Festivities. Mr Camburn, Master" 1902. (at the Wesleyan School in Church Street). [Sir J Benjamin Stone]
- Wesleyan Schools, Jul 1910. prior to the move to the All-Age Council School. The building was later converted to several residential flats.
- The senior pupils at the Wesleyan School, July 1910, shortly before it closed. (Kindly sent by Emma Mulder, Jun 2018)