Axminster Secondary Modern School In The 1950s - a Memory of Axminster.
I was born in Axminster and having failed my eleven-plus exam (fortunately) I went to the secondary modern school where Mr Tolchard was headmaster (known affectionately as Herby). My favourite teacher was Mr Hayman, our maths teacher, who was brilliant at flicking chalk at anyone whispering during his classes - the chalk always found its mark. He was better known to me and my fellow musicians as the music teacher and conductor of our little school orchestra. His violin playing left a lot to be desired, but we would have played standing on our heads if he thought it would improve the sound of the orchestra. We all enjoyed every minute of our orchestral sessions with him, and not because we would be missing out on a boring history lesson either. My other favourites were Miss Champion, the art teacher, and Miss Barclay, our sewing teacher - both let us chatter while we worked, as long as we were not too loud. I liked Miss Biggs too, even though she had walloped me on the head once with her Bible for talking during assembly.
It was a great school and I am proud to have been one of its pupils. I still have very fond memories of many of the friends I made there, and am still in contact with three of them.
Sadly my family moved to Somerset in 1960, but a piece of me still remains at Axminster. The last time I visited the town, I noticed the changes taking place, especially around the North Street, where I lived and played. The playing fields and fire station where my father was a fire officer. The old Axe Vale laundry has long gone. I believe that the cricket field has also disappeared.
If anyone has any old photographs of these places or any of Axminster Sec. Mod. School. I would love to see them.
I have many, many very happy memories of my time in Axminster. One day I may visit again.
A memory shared byon Jan 25th, 2009.
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