Peggy's Story - In Her Own Words


Introduction to London Road Introduction
Time Line Time Line
Residents of Loughton Residents
London Road Landmarks Landmarks

My first teacher was Miss Daniels, she was a teacher at Shenley for years, she was nice, but one thing that stands out - she used to sit on the table and you could always see her pink knickers, this amused us greatly, she never knew. They were always pink! I never saw a girl get caned. You would be slapped across the wrist, But the boys were caned, usually on their bottoms. It was very cold in school, There was a coal fired stove, very smelly. The toilets were outside, a row of them with low seats. We didn't have uniform at Shenley, but I always wore a gymslip. The lessons were simple writing, reading, arithmetic, really. Nothing like it is today. We had nature rambles, we used to go for walks in the summer, learn about the flora and fauna, that was enjoyable. We went to Shenley Wood, and Oakhill Wood, though there are a lot of buildings there now.

The headmaster was Mr Nicholson, who was killed on Watling street, in his later years, and Miss Stevens. We started in Miss Daniels class, then Miss Stevens. I only got as far as Miss Stevens and then went to Bletchley. There was another teacher, Miss Fancott, I think.

We all had to go into the main classroom for assembly in the morning which started with a hymn - 'Let us with a gladsome mind' was a popular one, then a prayer, then we were distributed to our classes. There was a break for PE. We all had to go out into the main playground, it was Miss Fancott who used to take us for PE, lots of this sort of thing [int. aerobics?] lots of turning your neck round. I think that's why my neck creaks now, or maybe because I didn't continue it.

There was no hmework until I went to Bletchley, and the I got loads of it. The bright children, if they passed the exam they went on to Wolverton Grammar school, which was a very good school. Some quite illustrious names up on their board, and then they would go on to Oxford or Cambridge, they were about the only ones there were. I remember Arthur Harrington, the coalman's son, he went to Oxford - Shenley school, then the grammar school, then Exeter College, Oxford, and the wheelwrights son. He got through to Cambridge. The Shenley vicar, Rev Vincent, he was quite wealthy, he paid for part of his training, but his mother used to take in washing to help. It was hard in those days - the very early days - to get yourself educated. Bletchley school was fee paying.

Miss Daniels was related to Frank, but not to Edgar Daniels. He came from Wolverton area.

Loughton School was used by the Loughton vicar, Rev Crosby, very keen on drama, he got the church children and the baptist children together and we did this opera - I was a chrysanthemum - quite a fat one - and we wore kimonos and artificial chrysanthemums around our ears. We used to practise in the school. He used to get very cross with us if we hadn't learnt our parts. He used to send us home, furious.

There were lots of 'dos' there - wedding receptions and so on. My parents had caterers from Wolverton, all family and friends gathered together, and the land girls from the farm, it was great. We played games and had a nice meal. It was wartime, but farmers had a little bit more than most people. We would kill a pig for the house and cure the hams, so we always had nice ham. My father had a good vegetable garden and a greenhouse, for tomatoes. It was a very nice occasion. I don't remember it being used as a school. Alcohol was allowed there, but not at the Memorial Hall, because Mr Brett, farmer from where the equestrian centre is, his second wife, they were great baptists. She was my Sunday school teacher, she was a great temperance lady and they had 'Band of Hope' at the chapel. Every child was supposed to sign 'the pledge'. My mother wanted us to go to 'Band of Hope' but my parents wouldn't let us sign 'the pledge' because they didn't think we were old enough to know what we were doing. Mrs Brett came twice to my mother, but she said that we were not old enough to say that they will never drink. I don't think we have suffered through not signing it, we aren't too much over the top with drink.

The chapel outings were great. We always went to Bedford. We had a nice time by the river, went on the boats. We always looked forward to that. We had a fete on what was called the school field, at the back of the Memeorial hall, on Whit Sunday, we had ice-cream - how they managed it I don't know, and we had races, three-legged races, potato races, sack races and lots of little stalls with things to buy. We always dressed up for Whit Sunday, in the baptist church it was quite an occasion, we had a special speaker and we always had a new dress and straw hat for Whit Sunday. We looked forward to that.

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Loughton Middle School Web Site


This Web Site is a project by Loughton Middle School Clutch Club In conjunction with the Open University and the Living Archive

Loughton Middle School Clutch Club

Loughton Middle School Clutch Club is one of the first round of clubs funded by awards from the Millennium Commission. Each club consists of 5 parents of school-age children, in this case Charlotte Cashman, Bernadette Gill, Dave Johnston, Mumtaz Ladak and Gill Sloyan.

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