Linda’s Tale


 Thought a few memories of St Hilda’s School might trigger similar memories…….
I started school when I was three years old , during the difficult days of the second world war and when it was nearly impossible for schools to get much in the way of paper and pencils or art stuff etc. That didn’t matter in the infant’s class run by, I think, Miss Maitland. I think I should mention that we called all the teachers Miss not knowing if they were married or not. In that first class we had various toys including a metal-framed see-saw with canvas seats and it used to shift across the wooden floorboards in all directions depending on how vigorously it was being used. We queued each day up for a spoonful of cod liver oil followed quickly with another of orange juice and then our bottle of milk…kept us healthy to some extent I guess when food was in short supply.
The next class was Miss Powell’s and she was quite strict and we were taught to read and write and basic numbers. Her room had a fireplace and in the winter there was a fire lit. In the alcove alongside the fire was a glass-fronted cupboard displaying books and toys including the most wonderful humming top. Every time she opened that cupboard I hoped the top would come out but it never did. Did anyone get to play with it?
Then to Mrs. Duckworth’s class where we learnt our multiplication tables. Which I still know!! Her hair always looked the same. Did anyone ever find out if it really was a wig? She was very strict and gave up to six strokes of her ruler for misbehaviour. I got two strokes once but can’t remember what I’d done to justify it. All through these early days we had to use our writing paper carefully. We started the writing at the left hand edge and used the whole width, from top to bottom. Muddly I think. Pencils got shorter as term progressed….
I don’t remember a great deal about Miss Fewster’s class. But we were ten or so by that time.. she was a kindly person. I must have been concentrating on something one day when she said,”Don’t scowl so Linda”. I still do that..the facial lines prove it.
Playground games were skipping ropes, ball games, taws and conkers and whip and top in the winter but we liked to decorate the top face of the top with coloured chalks and they weren’t easy to come by so they were used right until we couldn’t hold them when they got too tiny. Also in the winter we made slides in the snow. Winters were colder then. I remember wonderful ice patterns on my bedroom window (inside) quite frequently. The winter of 1947 was very cold for months and the snow was deep and was swept off pavements into the road, and it was piled up enough to make igloo type dens inside.
I had school dinners, and I enjoyed them, in particular the thick gravy(my mum never made thick gravy) and the school dinner ladies were really nice, Mrs Sheard and Mrs Cole..they didn’t mind me having extra gravy.
Mostly very happy days for me and I remember fellow pupils. They were mostly good to know. Wonder how many remember me.
Hope you’ll be able to pass on some of these snippets if you feel you can, they may trigger memories in others. Please give my best wishes to old fellow pupils and hope they are faring ok in these difficult times.

Linda is the fourth girl from the left on bottom row of girls.

‘Click’ on picture to enlarge

Tags: , , , ,

3 Responses to “Linda’s Tale”

  1. Douglas Farnill Says:

    Thank you Linda, I enjoyed reading your recollections, and it was a pleasure to enlarge the photograph and see you fourth left on the girls’ front row. It sounds as though your early schooling was basically very pleasant and productive apart from the two strokes across the knuckles for being a naughty girl on some occasion. I love these early accounts, so well written and reminiscent of my own days in elementary school. Thank you.

  2. peterwwood Says:

    Hi Doug,
    Thanks for your comments. I was in the same class as Linda at school , I’m on that photo too. I’m the big lad at the back with the white collar and the weird hair. Mam used to brush my hair up vertical! Funny I never grew much more than the size I was in that picture.

  3. John Holloway \(Stronsay\) Says:

    Thanks Peter – Lin got down to it at last! I have seen the photo before so assume it is Linda’s – and even remember some of the children’s faces (not many names) in it – all 5 years older than myself. What I do remember is that there were lots of twins around at that time – one pair in the front row of Lin’s picture! Let’s hope she gets some response from her schoolmates. One thing I do remember is that when we moved to Kent, Linda went to the local ‘High’ School (which of course had it’s own uniform) but as it was to be for only one year she was allowed to wear her Thorsby High School uniform. She stood out like a sore thumb in that lovely maroon-coloured apparel! Thanks again. John.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: