Bryn County Infants' and Junior School was one of two new
schools built in the 1950s in Church Road, Fryerns.
The first to open was Manor infants' and junior
in 1956. Bryn followed soon after in 1958 on a site next to Manor and directly opposite Holy Cross
Church and Recreation Ground.
It was the first of three planned temporary schools for mixed children below
senior entry; the others being Springfield (1962) and Chowdhary (1966/67).
The school's catchment
areas were from the new development corporation housing estates erected earlier in the decade.
The first appointed
Headmistress of the infants' school was Miss G. Jones and Mr. William H. Granath
was the first Headmaster of the junior school.
In the late 1960s Mrs. B. Jackson took over as Head Teacher of the
infant school and around 1971 Mr. Granath moved to Brightside County Junior in Billericay. Following Mr. Granath's departure
the Head Teacher of the junior school from the early 1970s was Miss M.P. Krelle.
Further changes at the top
occurred during 1973 when Mrs. Jackson left for the Headteacher's job at the new Lincewood Infants'
School in Langdon Hills. P.R. Brookman took over as Acting Head while in the juniors Mr. E.E.
Living became the new Head Teacher.
In September 1974 the two schools merged to become Bryn County
Primary which it remained for the duration of the schools life. Later Head Teacher in the 1970s
Mr. John E.K. McGeachie remained in charge almost to closure, leaving at the end of the summer term
in 1981 to take over at Lee Chapel Primary School.
The school closed in 1982 as a result
of falling pupil numbers (a fate that would also befell nearby Springfield). Mr. Deely was Bryn's
last Head Teacher.
The decision to close the school was the not the first time closure had
been contemplated. Years earlier in October 1970 pupil numbers had dropped to 320 which was considered
unacceptable and the school was deemed uneconomic to run. The local Education Committee were recommending
closure from September 1972 which was supported by the conservative controlled council in a narrow vote
but in the event the school remained open but clearly it was on borrowed time. It was also noted
that Bryn was always considered a temporary school. The school hit the headlines again the following
year in June when chairman of the Education Committee Councillor Alf Dove proposed the school transfer
itself to serve the new Fryerns XI (Craylands) housing development. His plan, which did not gain
the committees' support, included the closure of Nevendon primary, which he said could be sold to
the development corporation and incorporated into the Burnt Mills industrial estate.
Although the school had closed
it was not the end of the building - yet. Essex County Council, who set up an Education office in the school around the late
1970s, continued to use part of the building as their Youth and Community office, and in 1983 Basildon Council took over another part where
under the guidance of long serving labour councillor Alf Dove the Bryn Activity Centres for the elderly was established. This last venture proved very
successful and it was a big disappointment to the council when in 1992 the centre closed following Essex
County Council's decision to sell off the site for a residential development.
Following completion of the new development a short
cul-de-sac was named Bryn Farm Close as a reminder of the areas past.
Teachers known to have taught there
include: Mr. Ringer, Mr. Perry, Miss Harrison, Mr. Lang, Mrs. Brookmans (infants),
Mrs. Elliott, Mrs. Cook, Mrs. Hawkes, Mrs. Carroll, Mrs. Leggit, Mrs. Powell, Mrs. Bibby (infants),
Mrs. Huett (infants), Mr. Bullbeck, Mr. D. Skilbeck, Mrs. Bolton, Miss George, Mrs. Feeney, Mr. Williams (juniors), Mrs. Tilley, Mr. Watson, Mrs. Bankhead,
Mrs. Jones, Mrs. Palmer, Mrs. R. White and Mrs. J.A. Whitmore.