Infant and Junior High Memories

The first day at infant school, having moved house, I decided that I did not like it and went home again. This drew some strange looks from the lollipop lady. Another memory was staying after school because mother and father worked.

The school I went to was traditional and we did much in the way of early times tables and later doing joined up writing.

The Junior High School opened as a Junior School so I started at 7. I had few friendships, but one from the first year has continued regularly to this day. I was never near top of the class but a teacher, who once broke a large window he always banged on to insulting children, gave me first prize of chocolate animals for some work. With my mother's help I made a lightship and also a Humber Bridge before the real one (it had no toll booths).

The school was informal (with uniform) with a dominant and eccentric headteacher. I was once taken to him for the cane but he decided not to give it to me because he knew my mother (a teacher) and father. I remember thinking in assembly that all this religion stuff (he was a committed Methodist) was just to make us behave (my religious rebelliousness goes back a long way) and probably this Jesus character we kept singing about never existed.

I was in a choir and went to the City Hall and I remember the practice and push for excellence. In dance one male teacher insisted that all girls wore the same colour knickers. I danced into a piano and woke up going to hospital. I hated sport but it was Wednesday afternoon "off".

In a later year we had as a class teacher a Welsh eccentric who use to speak a lot about punishing boys but rarely did, and his classes were always disrupted, but my sandshoe was the one used to thwack others (never me) in woodwork. I was hopeless at woodwork and did all I could to avoid metalwork. The final year teacher was feared and everyone behaved. I wrote my first surreal essay in English which drew much praise, probably from a student teacher, where a character faced just about every situation by having a bath. I let my imagination let rip in another English essay about an action adventure and being praised for this.

I think every classroom had us facing the front with individual desks.

I was a very average student, and although I wanted to be better I could never quite make it to where the best kids were (like my - still - best friend).

We used to spend dinner money "twagging dinners" around the shops well beyond that school, and I only told my mother after I passed my Ph.D.


Adrian Worsfold