Doris Maslin lived in the parish for 70 years. She joined Waterford W. I. in the 1920ís and became the longest
Serving member.

My life revolved around Goldings and all that the Home and School meant for over forty years I remember the
day, 19th April 1922, when the two hundred and sixty boys came from Stepney to Hertford by train. They
marched out from the railway station to Goldings, led
by the band, my father being the Bandmaster. How
wonderful it was for the boys to see
Goldings for the first time with all the fields and trees after the East End of
London where
they had only a courtyard in which to play their games! My father, together with a large number
of other members of the staff, transferred from
Stepney to Goldings. Our family came to live at a house on the
estate that we named
Cairo Cottage. It lies to the west of the mansion and is now known as Wild hill. I became
engaged to the school bursar, James Maslin, and it seemed at first that it was
going to be difficult for us to find
anywhere in the vicinity to live. My fiance suggested
that he had better get a job back at head office. Then
Barnardo's decided to build houses in Goldings Lane and we were able to have one of them. We were married
in Waterford
Church in 1926 and had the reception in the hall at Goldings. My father arranged for a string
band to play in the gallery.
I can remember the visit of the Prince of Wales, later the Duke of Windsor, who came
for the official opening of the School in November 1922. Another early memory is the building and dedication
of the School Chapel. There were fetes in the grounds each
summer when visitors were entertained by the band
and the gymnastic team. We used to watch football on the top field in winter and cricket in the long hot days of
summer. On the island in the middle of the river there was a little summer house where the Governor and his
wife could remain on duty but have peace and privacy. Another part of the river
was concreted to make a
swimming pool. Later, staff and boys worked together to dig out
the new swimming pool. Then there were the
dark years of the war. How hard and uncomfortable it was spending the nights in the trenches! There was
the land mine that didn't go off, and the
tragic night of 4th Nov. 1940 when one of the masters, Mr W Battell,
was killed and the
corner of the Clock House was blown away. I remember when The Verney (Waterford House)
was bought and converted into a
home for the printer apprentices. I can remember, too, many fine plays and
given by the boys for the enjoyment of the staff. It was a great day also when the boys were
allowed to shed their uniforms and dress like any other boys.
When the new wing was built in 1960 Princess
Margaret came to open it. What a day
that was and how proud we were of the magnificent display of fine
craftsmanship! In November 1965 the new schoolroom block was opened by Sir John Hunt. That was
occasion when everyone admired the skills the boys had learned at Goldings. Who
would have dreamt then that
there was any thought of closure? The decision of the
Council of the Homes to close the School came as sad and
bewildering news to those of us
who had been associated with it for so long.

All images and text copyright © to Goldings Old Boys reunion members

Page Compiled 2005

Mrs Maslinís Memories