I was a pupil at St Catherine's School between 1954 and 1962. The school was run by Ralph and Joyce Cooper.
Teachers I remember are Mr Thunder, art teacher, Mr Smith, and Miss Muriel Stottart, who taught class 3b, the juniors.
At the rear of the building there was a large conservatory and a path that ran down to a long hut which served as classrooms. There was also a homemade concrete swimmimig pool. Our playground was a a grass area and a wood and beyond that were two fields. At the top of one field was a very old horsechestnut tree, where we had slung a rope over a high branch to make a swing.
We were given an amazing amount of freedom.
Each Saturday we were given pocket money, which ranged from one and sixpence (7 +1/2p) to two and sixpence (12+1/2p). We were allowed to walk up to the "top" of Almondsbury hill, to the post office/sweet shop to buy sweets and pop. The Swan pub, which is still there, was next door.
The Coopers had a son, Melville, who was the same age as me and we were good friends during my eight years there. I kept in touch with him for some years after we both left, as I did with the Coopers who moved to Parkstone, near Bournmouth, where Ralph took in private foreign students teaching English.
Since leaving I've been back to the school three times, on the first occasion the building was still standing but deserted. I found the door open and went in. I wandered around familiar rooms but found it very spooky. The second time I was with a friend and we just did a little detour. The building had been demolished, except for the tower, which is an ancient monument. A large house in keeping with other houses in Knole Park has been built on the site. Needlless to say this house is called Tower House. On my third visit I spoke to the owner of the new house and he has a very interesting collection of photographs of the old school being demolished. He also has photos of some of the students.
I should very much like to hear from anyone who was at the school and share some memories with them.
A memory shared byon Jan 9th, 2009.
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