These are random memories giving an insight into life at Clipston School in 1930’s and 1940’s

"… There were lovely school dinners. Mostly for the children from the villages as the locals went home. Meat was restricted during the war, but what we had was collected in big baskets and brought down from the butchers shop."

"…All the vegetables were grown in the school garden. It was marvellous food – good home cooking …. and great value at 4d per day."

"…Worked on the gardens today. Me and another boy were chosen to pick carrots, parsnips and potatoes of course. We had to take them to the cook and help her prepare them. It was great. Some of the other children put the tables and chairs out in the hall and cleared up. John was picked to help take the vegetables parings over to the farm for pig swill. He was gone ages. I want that job next week because I really like watching the pigs."
"..The school’s bursting at the seams it’s so full of children, because of the war. The evacuees speak funny, but they seem OK kids. We’ve been asked to come to school only 3 days next week and 2 the week after, because there aren’t enough teachers here now to cope with the numbers."

"… Our Teacher’s been called up to fight in the war so we didn’t have a teacher today. Well, we did, but she just came in and set us work and then went to teach in another class, coming back later to see how we’re getting on. One of the things we’re going to have to get used to."
"…It was great last night. After school 4 of us walked up to the American Airforce base at Harrington and did odd jobs like washing and foot polishing. They speak in such a funny way, but they’re really kind. Some of them took us to their canteen. I saw food I’d never seen before. My mum couldn’t believe it when I said I’d eaten tinned peaches as she’s never ever seen a peach let alone tasted one. It was like Christmas. I can’t wait to go again."

"… Here I am again, with row upon row of children. The teacher keeps walking up and down the aisle. I’m going to keep my head down today, my hands are still stinging from yesterdays caning."

"…. Oh no! Pump duty again. I hate it when I’m chosen. Me and 3 other boys have to pump water (it takes 2 of us to do that) until cook’s satisfied she’s got enough for the day. I’ve got to look on the bright side, though. At least there’s not a drought like last year or we’d be using the pump up by the old forge."

"….May at last and I’ve got my ‘green card’. I can now help the farmers with harvesting, hay making, flax pulling, whatever they need help with. We’re only supposed to get 4 weeks off school for this, but I’ve heard that if you distract the farmer so he forgets to sign your card you might wangle more time off. I’m going to try."

"….Potato picking today and yes, it worked, he forgot to sign my green card. I feel really grown up working alongside Italian Prisoners of war. It’s much better than being at school."

"….My sister was crying in the playground today, but I couldn’t get to her because the boys aren’t allowed in the girls playground, unless they’re infants.."
"…I’m really in for it now. Mr Hailstrop caught me using bad language in the village this evening. It wasn’t my fault. I was only repeating what one of the older boys said and now I’m in big trouble. He wants to see me at school tomorrow and I know I’ll get a caning. Please don’t let him tell my Dad.."

"..Had a great day. Mr Hailstrop did a science experiment to demonstrate atmospheric pressure. I wish we did science every week."

"…At last it’s Friday, the day Miss Register reads the next chapter of Wind in the Willows."

"…My teacher had to be carried up and later down the stone stairs today because she’d injured her knee trying to dance with Mr Clifford in the lunch time old time dancing club. We were worried she wouldn’t make it."
"…oh no, monthly cleanliness inspection again. We were all lined up in the playground and the teachers came along inspecting us. I thought I might have got away with it this time as I tried really hard, but he said my hair needs cutting. I’m sure we won’t get the shield this year as I know of at least one who had a dirty neck and another whose shoes need cleaning."

"…Great excitement today, 2 boys from the orphanage in East Farndon locked themselves in the attic here at school. Something of a protest against conditions at the orphanage, so I’m told. It was all Tommy Orbell, the reverend could do to persuade them to climb down!."

A Poem about school life by Dora Tebbutt an ex-pupil, around 1930.