History of North Ascot

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Schools

North Ascot Community Centre (Fernbank Road) was the original Ascot Heath School. Tina Harfield went to Ascot Heath in 1961. Her Grandmother (from Kennel Ride) went to Ascot Heath School and she was born in 1877. (Facebook)

Natalie Paknadel (then Rabin) was evacuated from Poplar (near Docklands) to Sunninghill in September 1939. Woodcote (Windsor Road, North Ascot) became a Jewish Community hostel in 1942. The 31 children at Woodcote attended the Ascot Heath Schools in North Ascot. Natalie's brother studied Hebrew at Woodcote. Schoolteachers supported many fund-raising campaigns. They sold National Savings Stamps and took children to patriotic celebrations for Empire Day and War Day parades. In Warships Week Ascot Heath schoolchildren went to see Forever England at the Hermitage Cinema and during Victory Campaign Week they watched In Which We Serve. ('Remembering Wartime').

Shortly after the end of World War II a group of young Holocaust survivors was rescued from Belson and flown to the UK to recuperate. Thirty of them were housed in Woodcote. Local children used the race course as a playground. Locals remember meeting a group of unfamiliar boys on the Ascot racecourse. It was autumn 1945, and they were playing football, wearing striped jackets from the concentration camp. ('The Belson Boys').

In the early 1950's first year schoolchildren went to school in the small building on the corner of King Edwards Road, by the Royal Hunt Pub. Pupils then moved across the road to the hall behind the old Baptist Church, then on to the school at Fernbank Road. Once Charters School opened, Ascot Heath School was for children up to eleven plus only. The old Ascot Heath School in Fernbank Road closed as a school in 1966. The new Ascot Heath School in Rhododendron Walk opened in 1966. They later reopened the old school in in Fernbank Road to cater for more children. In the 1980's Ascot Heath School was still on two sites. Infants were at the old School in Fernbank Road and juniors at the new school in Rhododendron Walk.

Christine Weightman thinks that the first school (now the library) was a church school. When the new school developed, the church provided the buildings for the infants school and Bracknell Forest Council funded the junior school. Miss Cory was at the old school during the war and is referred to in Christine Weightman's book 'Remembering Wartime'.

Pubs

When Ascot Racecourse was founded in 1711 by Queen Anne, the Royal Hunt Pub was already a popular drinking establishment for royal huntsmen. Other pubs emerged later from shops, bakers and blacksmiths.

In the 1950's The Nursery Inn was a pub in Nursery Lane. Local children used to go the race course and collect bottles, then take the empty bottles to The Nursery Inn to get pocket money. They used to purchase a very large packet of broken crisps for one old penny. The Queens Stag and Hounds was a pub in Fernbank Road (now Admiral Kepple Court). Cranbourne Tower was another pub that did not survive the turn of the century. In more recent years The Gold Cup was closed. The only pub remaining in North Ascot is The Royal Hunt, but it has been closed since 2015.

Parishes and SL5

Up to the mid 19th Century, there was no Ascot Parish or Sunningdale Parish. Sunninghill Parish encompassed Sunninghill, Sunningdale and Ascot, including some of North Ascot. This changed when three new churches and the railway arrived. In RBWM today, civil parishes include Sunninghill & Ascot Parish and Sunningdale Parish. In BFC today, civil parishes include Winkfield.

Post codes are an innovation introduced in the 1970's to make post sorting simpler. The post office in Sunninghill is called Ascot Main Post Office because it was and is the main sorting office for post in the Ascot postal area SL5, which includes Sunningdale, Sunninghill, South Ascot, Ascot and Cheapside. The Ascot postal area SL5 also includes North Ascot and Woodside which are in Winkfield Parish.