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10 February, 2013

Susan’s School Photos 1961 - 1973

Susan’s School Photos

19** - 19**

I’ve never enjoyed having my photo taken and it seems it goes back a long way because I have very clear memories of making a big fuss when the photographer came to my Infants school. I cried and it took the teachers a long time to settle me enough for the picture to be taken and get me looking photogenic.


My education begun at Sir Thomas Willingale County Infants School, in Loughton, Essex, where I spent my first three years.

There were many hours of learning my letters and number in the mornings and playing in the sand pit and painting in the afternoons but by my last year at the school (aged almost six) I had already found my love of stitching.

I was asked to stitch some crosses onto the Red Gingham curtains for the new Wendy House in the courtyard and I can also remember making a Green felt needle case with a Christmas Tree stitched on the front. It was to be a Christmas gift for my mum that year (19**) and it’s still in service at my brother’s house all these years later. (2013)


Lots of little things come to mind about that particular school.

*     The little coloured tin boxes that slotted into our desks for keeping our pencils and books in.

*    The smell of the varnished floor in the dining room that also doubled up as a gym.
      The combination of the smell of food and varnish always made me feel sick.

*    My first science lesson where we made crystals from salt water.

*    The big Blue bowls of chopped up Beetroot they used to serve up with salads at lunchtime.


Just a few things but it’s strange the things that come to mind when you start to think back.



The next four years from 19** to 19** weren’t quite as happy.


I moved up to the Junior School but being bullied and the struggle I was having with reading made it a miserable time for me.


I tried to stay in the background as much as I could but I still enjoyed my music and art lessons.

My failure to get to grips with the three R’s (reading, writing & arithmetic) meant I failed my eleven plus, the exam that determined whether I went to high school or not and I was left with the choice of two schools, one a mixed secondary school that had a reputation for being a bit rough, or a secondary school on the other side of the estate that was exclusively for girls.


So, the end of the Summer of 19** saw me starting at Lucton County Secondary School for Girls and it couldn’t have come soon enough for me. My bullies had moved on to other schools and I was free to concentrate on my education.


I still struggled in many of my lessons but I worked as hard as I could, still preferring the ‘hands on’ subjects like art, pottery, needlework and domestic science.


I loved music too and joined the school choir as soon as I could. We were always out and about, doing concerts and entering competitions but the highlight for me was the end on term show we did in my last year there. We put on a production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Mikado. I didn’t have a main part and was only in the chorus but it was fun, especially as we made most of our costumes and painted the sets ourselves.

I left school in June 19**.

1 comment:

  1. How pretty were you ...not that you aren't stll.
    We did G&S ...Yeoman of the guards ...I was in the chorous but was asked to understudy a main part ...I chickened out and said I couldn't. Do kids ever do G&S nowadays ...we has such fun.xx

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