Joan Watson
School Menu Page
Mrs Joan Watson
"I had been employed as a 'Clerical Assistant' at Ridgmont Lower School for about two years when Mrs Jane Downes contacted me to offer me a similar position at Husborne Crawley Lower School.

Mrs Downes agreed that I work there on Mondays and Thursdays- still continuing at Ridgmont on Tuesdays and Fridays. The rate of pay was then around 7s 6d per hour !!!

My first task was to make out Medical Report cards for new admissions (pink for girls and yellow for boys) and enter the names of new entrants into the Admission Register. I hope that this is still in existence, if not in use, as local history of the movements of children since, I think, the 1930's are chronicled therein.

The office was in the corridor between the, then, two classrooms and consisted of a bare cement floor bearing and old enamel-topped kitchen table on which rested a typewriter with three or four key-pads missing- agony!!!

I and my equipment, later moved to the room currently used as the office- the only difference being that the cement floor became flooded when it rained as the front door leaked and the traffic could be viewed through the cracks in the door!

The Infant Class was housed in the Reading Room, so school life was one long trek for them in all weathers. Infant's dinner money was collected from the Reading Room and paid in, together with the rest of the cash, at Ridgmont Post Office on my way home.

Despite the seemingly 'Dickensian' working conditions in the beginning, I spent a very happy time at H.C and, over the years, good strong friendships were made that still carry on to this day.

My most amusing memory of my time at H.C is going to the Reading Room on some errand while the Infant Teacher was playing ' Oranges & Lemons' with the children. One little boy was crying bitterly and refused to join in. On being asked by Miss Liz Lloyd why he was crying he replied that he didn't want to be an orange or a lemon......he wanted to be a STRAWBEE. That little lad must be approaching 40 years of age now, but everytime I see a strawberry I think of him!

When Mrs Cath Lewis became Head of Husborne Crawley School the front door was still causing some concern. After a time during which various contractors had been assigned the job of rendering the front door 'waterproof'! The current contractor, stating that "the door is now waterproof", was asked to stand in the office with the door firmly closed, Cath then went outside with a bucket full of water which she proceeded to FLING at the front door--- water flowed through......CASE PROVEN"

Pam Prickett,
Eileen Griffin and Joan Watson