STUDENTS at the Oxford Secondary Technical School toiled hard at their studies in the classroom.

But there was also time for pleasure, as these four photographs show. They were taken at a summer camp in 1939, just before the Second World War began.

Audrey Whitaker, who has sent in the pictures, believes the camp was held at Watchet, Somerset.

They were accompanied by John Brookes, the principal, who later gave his name to Oxford Brookes University.

As we have recalled, the school was based in St Ebbe’s, but at one time, operated on 19 different sites across the city.

This meant that pupils and staff faced long walks between lessons, causing considerable disruption to classes.

Mrs Whitaker, whose maiden name was Taylor, was one of 12 pupils – six girls and six boys – in the art department.

She writes: “The war changed all our ambitions and some of us decided to cancel our last year at school.

“I know the school rooms were all scattered in odd places, but we had excellent teachers. John Brookes was principal of the department I was in. Mr Wainwright was head of commerce, but I can’t remember the head of engineering.”

Mrs Whitaker, of Hurst Rise Road, Oxford, was friends with Jean Dutton and Margaret Johnson and kept in touch for many years.

“Eventually Jean married and went to live in America, but she came home every summer while he mother was alive. Sadly, she died several years ago. Margaret lived in Summertown and died two years ago.”

Mrs Whitaker recalls playing hockey against the technical school at High Wycombe and celebrating the success of the school team in a TV quiz.

The team took part in the quiz in a TV studio, then watched the recorded programme with other pupils, including Mrs Whitaker, at the Perch Inn at Binsey. She says: “Before the war, televisions were few and far between and the only one I knew was at the Perch.

“It was in a big frame, but had a little screen – about 8in by 10in – in black and white.”

She has fond memories of her time at the school: “It was a very friendly place. I am sure everyone prospered in their working life.”

Any other memories of the school to share with readers?