Typical Day 1937-1970

"A typical day would possibly be a porridge breakfast and then I would call for my mates and we would go off to school playing marbles in the gutter. We would come along the Wolverton Road and there could easily be a convoy of military vehicles or an airforce trailer with parts of a plane which had perhaps been made in Wolverton works. This convey would prevent us from getting to school on time, on some occasions at least.
"The Headmaster 'Pop Dormer' would ring a bell and we would line up in single file and without talking, walk into assembly, which when I was there was in the corridors. Mr Dormer would play the piano for hymns like 'New every morning is love' and after assembly we would then file into our classes without any noise at all, sit down and do our times table every morning. After playtime we would probably have 'music and movement' which we used to tune into the radio for and and we would make nice gestures to the music from the radio. School dinners were awful.!
The desks had the lift up lids with inkwells and a shelf underneath. Iremember these desks particularly because two of my friends 'Wabby' Haycock and Dave Egglesfield and I were caught jumping about and playing around on top of these desks one playtime and were sent to Pop Dormer's office. He gave us the cane, one stroke on each hand. It wasn't the bamboo sort, it was just a metere long cane, about a quarter of an inch in diameter and stained brown like tobacco. The boys used to say in those days if you were to but a hair from your head accross the palm of your hand, if you had the cane, the cane would break on impact. I should have tried it.!
In the afternoon we might do some singing with 'Pop Dormer' playing the piano with his specs on his forehead. Then there would be playtime again and would often finish with a story and then the bell would go for us to go home. We would play marbles or cards or anything on the way home." The Second World War did impinge itself on my school days. At a young age we would recognise in the sky a 'Spitfire' from a 'Hurricane' or we could recognise a 'Messerschmidt ' from a 'Mustang'. I can remember seeing my first 'Flying Fortress' going over. The classrooms had blackout materials up at the windows. I remember the gas masks we were given, 'Mickey Mouse' ones which were reddish in colour with flappy appendage on the nose part. We knew they didn't look like Mickey Mouse but the whole thing was to try and make air war more enjoyable by giving us funny masks. It never worked."
(Peter Osborne - Pupil 1942)

1937 - 1970
Click to hear Peter Osborne's memories on the way to school
Click to hear Peter's memories about assembly

"We used to start with assembly then do some writing. I remember doing my first joined-up writing with Mrs Goolson, she was an absolutely fantastic woman, but incredibly strict. She knew I was football crazy.She used to put lines on the blackboard and certain letters had to meet a certain height, and it was all done very particularly.
Occasionally, you used to get the recreational sort of pursuits like maybe making a basket or doing your own book. I remember doing my own book on glass. I did a project on glass blowing which I was always really quite pleased with.
If you were caught doing anything adrift, you may well be sent under the clock. If you were seen by the Headmaster standing under the clock, he would come up and say "So what have you been up to?"
I remember standing under the clock, and I heard the Headmaster's footsteps because he used to wear segs in his shoesand you could hear them click clicking. I remember thinking "Oh My God!", so I dived into the boy's toilets until I heard him go and then I went back out again and avoided being punished!
I remember my Mother being called into school one day. Mrs Wilson, my teacher brought my Mother over to my desk and said, "This is the problem Mrs Daniells!" and she opened my desk to show that inside my desk were football books and football cards and under my desk, on the floor, were all my school books.! Mum had gone and after the lesson I walked out and said "Goodnight Mrs Wilson, who do you want to win the the cup final at the weekend.?"
(Derek Daniells - Pupil 1958)

click here to hear Derek talking about his Mother being called into school