A Childhood Memory In The 1950s - a Memory of Wickham.

I can remember this tennis court very well during 1953-4. I had to walk around it until I was told to stop as a punishment for break a school rule - probably for talking after 'lights out'. The Headmistress at the time would watch us out of her study window and if we weren't walking fast enough she would shout at us. We were told that ten times round was a mile and I seemed to walk for miles. I was only 8 years old at the time. My name then was Wendy Oxley.

 Comments & Feedback

Fri Oct 16th 2020, at 4:28 pm
I was at that dreadful school from 1979 to 1982. The headmistress was Miss McVicar, lacking in any warmth and tremendously overtly religious, though this didn't feed through to any compassion. The head matron was Mrs Burrows - a sadistic figure who would pull down our pyjama bottoms and spank us if we talked after lights out. Our letters home were read by the headmistress before being sent, and i recall one time being told to change mine before it was allowed in the post. The food was dreadful and i remember a friend being sick into her porridge one morning and being made to eat it. two of my friends were Nigerian and they were publicly humiliated in front of the whole boarders one weekend, after being told off for a minor transgression and told to 'remember, you are guests in this country' - this said by Mrs Burrows, who i think was Scottish. The only happy memory i have of that horrible place is playing in the grounds and making dens with my friends. It is extraordinary that such cruelty was still commonplace in the 70s and 80s. And sad to think that, having just turned 9, i had long periods where there was no adult i could confide in or have a cuddle from - and there were girls of only 8 there too. can't stress enough what a horrible place it was. i wish i had never gone there - needless to say
Wed Mar 7th 2018, at 8:35 pm
lamonbusch commented:
Here's what my darling mother in law, now 90, said about her experience at Rookesbury Park School near Wickham in Hampshire and its headmistress Miss Glenday. She attended this school from 1935 until the war, from 8 until 12 years of age.

"The headmistress was Miss Glenday, a hearty, healthy, horsey woman who appealed to parents as a good, sensible sort. In fact, she was a bully and in that school she had total power. I believe she was as hard on her staff as she was on the children. The mistresses were a dispirited lot of older single ladies without a teaching qualification among them.

School was a "home" lacking warmth, humour and fun. Even friendships among the children were discouraged. Miss Glenday used criticism and ridicule to divide loyalties ... Punishments were frequent, both for misdemeanours such as making your bed without the proper "hospital corners", and running in corridors, and for poor school work. I earned those punishments for both types of crime. We didn't get the strap, but we were sent to sit alone in "the dark room", where school supplies were kept on rows of shelves, and the only light came indirectly from the hall outside. I found it necessary at those times to pretend I wasn't there and try not to think of the ghostly presences which I knew were waiting in the shelves. Later my mother wrote to Miss Glenday forbidding her ever to use that punishment on her children again - and to her credit, Miss Glenday stopped the wretched practice altogether ... The awfulness of those days and nights at school was relieved by holidays. It was like going from darkness into sunshine".
Thu Oct 26th 2017, at 6:20 am
jenny_reece commented:
I was there from September 1958. I walked miles around that pitch and have profoundly difficult memories of the school and Miss Glenday!
Thu Mar 23rd 2017, at 9:54 am
shume commented:
I think she really hated me.. she refused to pronounce my name correctly, falsely accused me of stealing,but we had no recourse..our parents were overseas and she read all our letters to them. A bully and a tyrant.
Mon Nov 21st 2016, at 11:55 am
avalon9 commented:
I was there from 1948 until 1951. Miss Glenday was a menace. I spent more time walking round or weeding the same path than I ever spent in class. One day they gave us mince for lunch which looked like worms and I couldn't eat it. I was made to sit for an hour until I had finished then had to stand in the corner of her study and was sick all over her floor...a glorious memory.
My best friend was Mary Peagram and my favourite teacher Miss Cheesewrite (she had a bent back and got married but I don't remember her married name). When I left aged nine to go to Boscombe Convent, Miss Glenday wrote on my final report that I was a liar...Mum drove up to the school and stood over The Menace until she wrote a proper Report...dreadful woman.

Avalon Eastman (was Hutchins)
Wed Jan 7th 2015, at 9:17 am
Wendy Castle commented:
Thanks Stephanie for replying! I am a year older than you and was there from September 1953 to July 1954. Did our paths cross? I could only cope with one year there and fortunately my parents allowed me to go back to my old school St. Swithun's in Winchester. It seems that Miss Glenday has left every lasting memories with a number of us!
Mon Dec 29th 2014, at 9:02 am
shume commented:
Yes I also had to walk around for talking after lights out.. Miss Glenday would yell at us from her window and sometimes we walked all day. I was 11 yrs old in 1957.
Stephanie Pasfield

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