Recollections of My School Days (1926-1937)

By Maurice C. Andrews, 1979

I started in Miss Burrows’ class in April 1926, two months before my third birthday. My first recollections are of the ‘baby’ class being ‘put to bed’ on the classroom floor each afternoon, on sheets of newspaper.

The next class I was in was under Miss Painter, nicknamed by us as “Pum Mum” because of her heavy-handed piano playing. From infants to Mrs Johnson’s class and running her errands most days to May Keyte’s or Percy Hutchinsons’ tp buy her humbug sweets or mintoes. Then the strict Miss Simister and Miss Tilley.

The to Mr Bridgman’s Standard V and real hard work. There is nothing left to say, strict but fair and kind, an outstanding man. Then on to George Knott’s Standard VII, that great teacher and sportsman who died so young. We worked in the school garden, each with our own plot.

Our summer parties at Top Farm where Mrs Wells had had the stables newly white-washed and where we sat on straw to have our tea. This was followed by sports in the cottage grounds under Collier’s Knap.

In June 1934, I remember the destruction by fire of 10 cottages at Russell’s workshops. We all ran from school to see the flames. It was all thatched and half-timbered and took less than an hour to make all 41 inhabitants homeless, the Wade, Russell, Keen, Treherne, Beadle, Tanner, Milne, Gardiner, Dolby and Mann families.

I recall the day the body of our caretaker, Mr Harry Collins senior, being carried out of the boiler-house of the school where he had collapsed and died.

As well as much hard schoolwork, there was much fun and many lasting friendships were formed. It was a happy school and community and so much more!