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Sun Trap Open Air School Hayling Island - a Memory of Ledbury.

I attended Suntrap School in 1963, suffering from asthma. I was Maureen Bailey then and I was 13 years old.
I remember Sue and Sandra, and my main friend was Mary.
I remember the dormitory, the dining room (there was a lad named Tommy on my table)
The Matron was Miss Stout, Miss Phillips was one of the assistants. I remember being given a horrible medicine...aqua fruit a
I would love to hear from anyone who remembers the school or even me

A memory shared by maureene.garwood on Nov 25th, 2015. Send maureene.garwood a message

 Comments & Feedback

Thu Jun 25th 2020, at 11:56 am
gantfilm commented:
My name is Martin Gant and I was at Suntrap for 6 months as a five to six year old in 1956/7. Not a happy time. I had asthma and bronchitis, probably due to the smog in London at that time from so many coal fires. I have many memories, but broken up, fragments. I don't remember any names, but remember the small, brown, pressed-cardboard suitcase that I packed my few toys into. They were all stolen quite quickly. My mother took me there, and I have a very clear memory of standing on a station platform waiting for the little train that took us over the bridge. We were met at the door of Suntrap at lunchtime, and I was told to stand in line to go into the dining room. When I turned around my mother had gone, and I think it was that, the loss, the not being told, or not expecting to be left, that hurt most. The bridge figured large, as later I remember seeing a kid sobbing in the dining hall, and the word going round that he had tried to run away and been stopped on the bridge. The dining hall has more bad memories: I hated eggs, and having been told repeatedly to "clear my plate", I started to drop the pieces of egg on the floor under the table every time we were given egg, which seemed to work until one day I was hauled out of the classroom and taken back to the dining hall to see the egg I had dropped, and being told that if I did it again I would have to eat it off of the floor. I also remember, late one evening, sitting in the dining hall drinking a cup of cocoa, with "Silent Night" playing on the radio - that tune bought tears to my eyes for decades after. I have two pleasant memories though: there was a young nurse who was very kind to me, and who I adored. Some kind of "replacement mother" thing, I suppose. I also had my first "girl-friend" there. I have a dim memory of there being a painted line on the floor of the corridor which linked the two dormitory wings. The line was not to be crossed, as it separated the boys from the girls areas. We would, as 5 year olds, stand on either side of the painted line and talk to one another. Some of the staff were quite stern, and one day when I was confined to bed, ill, I was alternately told by two nurses to sit up straight in bed, and then by the next to lie down, which then got me in trouble from the first one, who said "I told you to sit up straight", and by the next to lie down again - trying my best to be a "good boy" didn't always work. It can't have been easy, looking after a hundred kids, and I'm sure they did their best - I was just too young, and didn't understand why I was there. I felt it was some kind of punishment for being ill too much. I learnt to swear there, and taught my older brother some choice phrases when I eventually got back home to Wembley. It still haunts me, that place. I'm approaching seventy now, and feel that those months changed me, possibly for both good and bad. It made me more independent, more self-sufficient in some way, but it damaged my relationship with my mother. I am still very fond of her (she is 93 now, in a care-home with dementia) but the trust was broken. Still, worse things happen to many - I wasn't abused there, thank God, and was fed and kept warm. perhaps the worse thing with the whole experience was when I had to go for a physical examination later, after having got home, and my mother's fury at being told that I was fine and needn't have gone there at all. Our old, authoritarian GP had sent me away to give my mother a break from worrying about me - which of course was nonsense, as she worried every day I was away! I drove back to Hayling Island when I was in my twenties, early in the 1970's, but couldn't find it, which was perhaps for the best. I see on Google images that the train bridge has gone now, with only the foundations remaining. Time passes and in the end washes all memories away.
Sun Feb 23rd 2020, at 10:58 pm
I was at suntrap in 1967 name Jacqueline Beckett I always worn brown long socks. Short brown hair had a mate called peggy. And 2 boys I remember Lesley ginger hair and Michael I loved him and donkeys chocky and Jerry

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