My earliest memory was at the age of 5. I vividly remember sqeezing through the school railings at the bottom of my garden to go to school. My teacher was a lady called Mrs Malkin, she was very nice and kind to us all in her class. Someone would bring in flowers every day to brighten up the classroom.
In those days you would work with a piece of slate and chalk and life could be very strict. Every time a teacher came into the room you would have to stand up and greet them accordingly and sit down when told. At around 11 o'clock the whole school would get a small bottle of milk to drink, it being delivered by the elder boys in school who would look at a little board on the blackboard to see how many was required.
No matter what the weather, at playtime you were sent out into the yard to play. Many a time you would come in soaking wet after playing in the large puddles that appeared because the drains was blocked. You were expected to sit all day like that. In the juniors you would play Bristish Bulldog in the shed, basically you split into 2 teams and one by one you would try to touch the opposite wall. The opposition would use any method to stop you ie tripping, punching etc.
My first encounter with discipline happened about the age of 9, I had been fighting and was sent to the headmaster's office. Mr Townsend called me into the office, which appeared small and dark, when he was told of why I was there he decided that I should be punished. Punishment came via a large rubber slipper. You were told to bend over the table and then suddenly 'whack' as the slipper made contact with your buttocks. Tears would flow and you were told to go back to class and not bother him again. It was no good complaining to Mum or Dad as you would get even more from them. If you fought someone and lost, again, don't go home to Dad, because all he would say is 'Go back and hit him back', which would end in more punishment.
My fondest memory was in the hall, where a large maypole was placed in the centre. You then danced away to the music and made some terrific patterns with a young female on the arm. Football was another favourite of mine. Every school had a team and the competition was fierce, should the school team be playing then every pupil had to turn out and support the team, no excuses. The wearing of football boots then was in its infancy really, unlike today. Not everyone could afford to have a pair of boots so they played in plimsolls instead.
In summer you would have a sports day and all the parents attended as you did the egg and spoon race, the sack race or the 3-legged race against the other classes. In the juniors it was more physical, high jump, long jump and 100 yards dash. At Christmas every pupil would recieve a present of some kind, a torch, a reading/colouring book etc as some kids would not get a present from their parents as wages were poor for the colliers.
Your day would always start with the register and a prayer before commencing lessons, at the end of the day you would have to put your chairs on the tables and say 'goodnight' to whoever the teacher was and then go home. You would stay at Bilsthorpe until you were 11, when you went to big school.
I never really enjoyed my time at school and found it quite boring.
A memory shared byon Jun 2nd, 2009.
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