Do you remember the days of the old school yard.. as Cat Stevens once sang..?
I have very fond memories of my primary school days..
I started at the local C of E Primary School in 1963 in the village of Crowthorne, Berkshire. The school was a red brick affair, built in the late 1800's and had separate entrances for Boys & Girls.. A school hall, numerous Victorian classrooms, a canteen and the all- weather outside lavvies! I remember the dash across the playground to break the ice in order to use these conveniences in the colder months.. and in those days we had proper winters..Does anyone remember the winter of 1964.. it seemed like the second ice age had arrived.
Of all the years of my childhood.. my early school years are the most vivid and memorable.
I walked the mile to school with my older brother who had the dubious responsibility of looking after me each day. My first day at school is forever indelibly tattooed on my memory..Arriving at school tearful and bewildered I was ushered into a large cavernous classroom adorned with pictures on the wall, green tiled walls and tall windows. There was the Wendy House corner with assorted pots and pans, the reading corner with a jumble of books and the crates of small milk bottles on the floor with a box of drinking straws. Why was the milk always tepid.. yeuch!
I had a peg to hang my coat on with a picture of a boat above.
I wore a dark green pleated skirt and had a green v neck jumper embellished with the school badge symbolising three crows for the village of Crowthorne. The school motto escapes me but I think it was probably something like.. 'Keep a clean nose and sharp pencils at all times '..in Latin of course!
My crisp white shirt, was far from, by the end of the day.. I was a mucky child and always managed to decorate my clothes with various mediums.. be it crayons, paints or food.
My outdoor wear consisted of a dark green belted raincoat which I flatly refused to fasten and would promptly undo the belt once out of the sight of my disapproving mother.. and a green felt beret which I wore Benny Hill style rather than the Bonny style of Bonny & Clyde fame. I wore Start-rite brown leather shoes with a cut out pattern and grey socks that were forever falling down.
The obvious highlights of the day were 'Play times' which were heralded by the old school hand bell.. rung around the school playground by a prefect. My brother had this honour in his last year at the school and when the bell developed a crack, it was auctioned and my brother and I won it with the highest bid of 10 shillings.. that is 50 pence in today's money.. Gosh I am sounding old!
I still have that bell but alas I could not find it as it is probably in one of the many boxes still unpacked from our house move 2 years ago!!
The games we played in the playground were Hopscotch, French skipping with elastic, What's the time Mr Wolf, Tag, British Bulldog, lots of girly gossip and kiss chase! Sorry Alan Scott..(who asked for my hand in marriage) .... I did play so hard to get!
There were the inevitable crushes that developed amongst the class members and mine was Stephen Skinner.. a dusky, tall legged and brown-eyed heart throb who had many hearts fluttering at the tender age of 11 years old..
Then there was the charming and hilarious Timothy Spencer who had a habit of pushing pencil rubbers up his nose much to the amusement of all except for the teachers who had to retrieve them!
Funny how I only remember the boys names..
I have another treasured relic from those days other than precious memories .. a book that I won for English... English being my favourite subject and I relished the essay homework that we were regularly given.. Why is it then that I struggle so with writing my blog ??
Dear Mr Blore (nicknamed 'Bore') would despair if he could see how my grammar has deteriorated since those days..sorry!
The school dinners were also memorable, not for the haute cuisine .. but rather the lumpy mashed potato, stewed prunes and custard pushed reluctantly around the plate under the watchful eye of the formidable dinner ladies..pink blancmange that always had blue inky specks in it and the mixed fear and pride of being the water monitor for that day..serving up coloured metallic beakers of water with a shaky hand..
Games were Shinty.. a derivative of Hockey.. Playing netball.. badly... and dreading anyone throwing me the ball in case I dropped it and the final indignity of wearing thick, school regulation, green knickers in place of shorts which exposed my skinny legs and knock knees.. (what I would give for those knees now)
I was briefly employed as the school Librarian and wore a green enamel badge so that everyone would know my status. My job description was a little ambiguous and I spent most of my library duties .. re-arranging the books on the shelves and wishing that I had one of those inked stamps that made a delightfully satisfying clicky noise when stamping library tickets.
I was also elected as house captain for 'Buckingham House' one of four school houses, for a year and I still to this day believe I was chosen because no-one else wanted the job.. This however did enable me to wear another enamel badge .. a blue one this time.. in the shape of a shield saying 'House Captain'.. I lived in hope that it would be swapped for a 'Head Girl' badge... but I was not qualified for that heady status!
I really didn't intend to write about my school days at all on this post.. I was going to say that I had been tagged by dear Dana at Calico Cat Press and my mind just wandered off to the games of tag we played as children.. and the rest is history as they say.
I will return in a few days with my tag post and news of a grand adventure that takes place this weekend.... Ooooooh can't wait!