The present Centre 70 community centre had a previous life as one of Wallingford’s longest-established schools, serving the town from 1861 to 1968.

It originally opened in 1861 as a National School for boys and girls, replacing the town's small former school in Castle Street (1828-1861).

The new school's religious management and teaching were strictly Church of England, though non-conformist children could attend.

Additional buildings in 1871 added a mixed infants’ school to the site and from 1910 older boys moved to the new St John’s School.

Cindy Zudys, who attended the Kinecroft School as Cynthia Fish, has contributed her recollections:

Herald Series:

"I attended ‘the Krinny School’ from January 1954 until summer 1960.

"My mother had been educated there in the 1920s and my grandfather in the late nineteenth century, as well as many other family members.

"We were mixed infants but at age seven the boys moved to St John’s School and we were just a girls’ school until leaving age, which was 14 or 15.

“Kinecroft was a traditional Victorian school with wooden desks, stoves and somewhat primitive sanitation.

"Exercise books were considered valuable luxuries at that time and, in the early days of learning to write, we each had a slate and a piece of chalk (my children think this is hilarious).

"We kept our belongings in wooden boxes and had to provide a duster from home to clean our slates.

"There were some Victorian toys in our classroom which would now be valuable antiques — a rocking horse, an enormous dolls’ house and a kaleidoscope; all very beautiful.

“I loved my primary school years.

"In the summer we had playtime in the Krinny and some of our lessons there as well.

"I remember sitting under the shade of the conker trees as our teacher read to us from The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and doing lots of nature study in the sadly missed Krinny Brook, which was then above ground, around two sides of the Kinecroft.

“It all sounds ridiculously old-fashioned but I think I had an excellent start to my education at that school and have many memories, good and bad, of my years there.”

Ian Wheeler attended the school from 1955 to 1957, and he recalled how much larger the school buildings appeared to a small boy.

Herald Series:

"I remember the cloakrooms with rows of pegs for our coats and the draw-string bags in which we kept plimsolls.

"Lessons were easy because I had learnt to read before I started school, but I most remember singing in large groups in one of the bigger classrooms.

"We also did music and movement and occasionally we made a racket playing percussion instruments along to recorded music.

"Our favourite game was cowboys and Indians, sometimes played by large groups of boys and girls, and this was inevitably chaotic.

"The greatest change has been the removal of the girls’ toilet block, which stood right in the middle of the playground.

"The boys’ facility was where WAGS now has its store and was very basic by today’s standards.

"The view from within the playground has hardly changed at all in sixty-odd years and I hope Centre 70 manages to withstand the ravages of developers and so-called progress."

With very many thanks to Cindy and Ian for their contributions.

If anyone else has childhood memories of Wallingford to share, why not write them down and email them to me at Wallingford Museum? I’d love to gather them, and any relevant photographs, to preserve for future generations: