St Laurence School -
St Laurence C of E School was opposite the Wishing Well and had three classrooms: Infants, Juniors and Seniors.
In the late 1960’s discussions began between the Education and Church Authorities regarding the merging of Upwey and Broadwey Primary Schools, due to falling pupil numbers.
Broadwey St Nicholas C of E School moved to a new site adjacent to Broadwey Secondary Modern School (now Wey Valley School) in 1972 and the children of Upwey joined them four years later in 1976.
It was a sad time as pupil numbers were once again on the increase. Bill White, the last headteacher at the school, recorded in his logbook:
‘So ends an era for Upwey, the end of the village school, but the memories of its activities will live on as will the personalities of the children who will contribute strongly at their new school in Broadwey and who look forward confidently to enjoying their new facilities.’
The village has been extremely fortunate in that the school building became a village community centre in 1978, retaining its character and many of the features from its days as a school – the fact that you can still go into the playground which still has the bicycle shed and toilet block. In what was the junior classroom you can still see the bookshelves and the glass cabinet where the jar containing a pickled snake was kept -
Approaching the Well
84 Church Street, was a general provisions store run by the Samways’ family until Mr Eckersall took over in the 1940’s.
As you entered the shop the wall to the right was lined with jars of sweets such as gob stoppers, vividly coloured sherbert which stained your fingers and 4 a 1d sweets. During the devastating flood of July 1955 sweets and tins from the shop were found over a mile away in Watery Lane.
In 1977 Mr Eckersall took on the post office duties after the death of the postmistress (Miss Dunn, Elwell St). Upwey lost its post office in 1979 after the death of Mr Eckersall, as the premises were sold and converted to residential use.
Looking north from Elwell St junction in the 1920’s. The group of fir trees were known as the 12 Apostles, but by the 1960’s there were just 3 left standing and these have long gone.
The Masons Arms was originally an Ale House, obtaining a spirit licence during the 1940’s.
In March 1990 the owners Devenish Brewery proposed to close the pub and sell the site for housing development. This was successfully challenged by locals and the pub remained open. Following refurbishment it reopened as ‘The Riverhouse’ in July 2000.
Upwey Mill was owned and run by the Meech family, who also had the mill at Sutton Poyntz and took over Broadwey Mill in the 1950’s. The mill purchased grain from local farmers, which was stored in the granary opposite – local children would enjoy watching the sacks being hauled up and down from the loft – and if a bag spilt or fell would be able to take home some grain for their chickens in their pockets. The granary (was converted into a house in about the 1980’s).
For a time, from 1987 to 1992 the mill was opened as a visitor attraction and flour was once again ground there, but the costs required to meet health, safety and hygiene laws were too great for this to continue.
It’s now privately owned; in 2008 work was carried out to enable the mill to produce hydro-
The building on the right was established as an Independent Meeting House in 1809; later becoming a Methodist Chapel. In 1932 the chapel closed and the building, which belonged to Southbrook House, was used as a meeting room for groups, such as the Scouts, Sea Scouts and TocH. Some time ago now it was converted into a dwelling.
The cottages (side on, centre of picture) were demolished as part of road improvements in the 1960’s.
Mr J T Lovell, a Broadwey resident, established ‘The Creamery’ in St Mary St, Weymouth in 1840. Supplies of milk, butter, clotted cream, newly laid eggs, poultry and fresh cream junkets were sent twice a day from Westbrook and Upwey Farms. Other Westbrook farmers over the years were Mr A Rogers; Mr Comben from Portland and now Mr Foot.
The footpaths across the farm were well used by local people. One led to Ward’s copse where children gathered bluebells, primroses and other wild flowers to take home for mother. Link to Memories
The big barn was often used for village celebrations such as the Coronation of King George VI in May 1937 and Queen Elizabeth II’s Coronation in 1953..
There were watercress beds next to Westbrook Farm (now Island Gardens Nursery) which were run by Jack Gee on his return from the war in 1947 until he retired in 1974. He sold mainly to local hotels and Weymouth wholesaler ‘Wigmores’. Deliveries were made by van and often, if more supplies were needed, baskets of watercress would be sent to Weymouth on the bus and collected at the Kings Statue.