Miss Kellett called the class to order, and the test of the 3 times table was passed with flying colours and generous stars.
We were an intimate small group today, and with luck had Katie, Bertie’s daughter with us.
We shared our school experiences:
Andrew. Went to school in Talna (Hungry) then school in London.
Remembers singing the song to Stalin – Friend of Little People’ and the national anthem. After the revolution (1956) he moved to London with his family. Girls were more friendly than boys, who Andrew sought to teach how to play football properly and pass on the ball (!). School was next do the Everyman Cinema, which showed risky and enjoyable Swedish films, like Naked as Nature intended. Moved to another school populated by Greek Cypriots, where he learned to swear in Greek (we had a demonstration) Learned more at the British Museum, which is where he went bunking off school. Regents Park for boating.
Ester: Went to Horsham Prep School as day girl. Miss Gertrude and Miss Barrel – spinster teachers. Choice between Ballet and Riding, she chose ballet. Learned Arts and Crafts. When boarding for a short while, shocked at the communal baths! Tuckbox under the bed. When deemed too hot to learn, they pulled up ragwort in the field near by. Small classes. After 11 plus, the trio of friends became a duo and Ester is still in contact with Barbara her friend from that time.
Katie – hated school. Although first infant school was good. At the Comprehensive school she was bullied. Teachers were useless. She was kicked out of school for fighting back, but in came Bertie. (drum roll), who demanded to see the head mistress, and spoke his truth. After that, supported by Deputy Head, Katie was allowed to stay in the class during play time, and life easier. She loved Drama and English and put on 2 plays, one Shakespear and one she wrote herself called ‘Between the lines’. She still loves reading and is currently reading Berti the Just So stories
Bertie – loved reading. Was a bit naughty and told off by teachers. He went to school with his brother David. Later, at University, Dr David Starkey, asked him out – – stand by your beds- bent as a 5 bob note.
I packed my satchel and in it I put:
A handstand of 124 steps
A radio tuned to country dancing
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, my favourite book
Stolen fruit like cherry, plum and apple, from a near by market garden. And a missing arm of my uncle who gardened with one arm.
A magical pencil box that swung like a swing bridge
Games with elastic bands like cats cradle
My Australian ‘Bubble’ bathing costume made of shearing elastic
A rugby ball
Dead fly bread and crisps which I was never allowed to have! And a recorder