My Formative Years In Ashbourne - a Memory of Ashbourne.


I was born at the maternity hospital in 1951, My parents and I lived at 24 Clifton Road while I was a baby but moved to 66 Park Avenue as my mother could not abide my father's mother. I attended St Oswalds C of E School - I had a lady teacher called Miss Millward whom I really liked. I still remember my first day at school !!! I was bewildered at the children crying while my friend Richard and I sat in silence. And I recall a few early incidents, innocuous yet they stuck in my memory: playing with a wooden train set, the teacher putting a large red tick across the page I had completed successfully and polio vaccinations. Sports Day was on The Paddock and included egg-and-spoon and three-legged races and the sack race in which the discerning won by inserting the tips of their toes in the corners of the sack.
I was then taught by Miss Robinson and maybe a third teacher before moving to Ashbourne Parkside Junior School which had been built only a couple of years or so. My great-aunt pointed it out to me as it was being built and said I would go there one day.

Teachers were Miss Fearn, Miss Tomlinson (lovely lady) and Miss / Mrs York (who was very strict).
It finished with Mr Smith in the final year but left after taking my 11+. My family moved to Ilfracombe in Devon, 1962. That was a very different experience.
I still have some junior school reports - it is shocking to see how large class sizes were - 45-50. Post War austerity was the order of the day.
Names included Robert Skellern ad Christopher Ball (both died young in car crashes), Melvyn Godfrey, Raymond Harper (his Dad was my Dad's cousin and I did not know), Stephen Inch (whose father taught history at the grammar school, I believe), Edward Goldstraw, Hedley Coleman, Patrick Else, Andrew Hudson, Michael Greatorix, Ian Ayres. Girls included Jean Etherington, Karen Beard, Janice Ings, Kathleen Laughton (her father was headmaster) and my neighbour Jill Hibbert.

Memories include playing in the school grounds, being caned for walking on the grass, the bird table outside our classroom, nature walks, nativity play and prefects bullying me. Melvyn old me the meaning of a rude word (in the playground). Raymond was a fast sprinter. Michael was a comedian and enjoyed acting in pantomimes. Stephen was very bright as was Kathleen.

I joined the wolf cubs which was fun.

It was a sad day and quite a wrench when I left Ashbourne for Ilfracombe. The family delayed moving until I took my 11+ as it had already been sat in Devon.

I would be glad to hear from anyone from this era - I am in contact with no-one. I did have a brief correspondence with Hedley Coleman and Andrew Hudson about fifteen years ago when friends Reunited was in vogue and Jean Etherington from Genealogy (we are distantly related).
About twenty yeas ago I upset a "girl" whom I could not remember. She remembered me but I did not recall her. Sorry.

Gordon Braddock

A memory shared by gordon.braddock on Dec 13th, 2014. Send gordon.braddock a message.

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