Paul Harrison, 1950s

St. Kenelm's C.E. Primary School, Romsley
Centenary Celebrations
1915 – 2015

Memories of Mr Paul Harrison - Pupil – 1957/8 to 1964

 

Most of my friends from the village were a year or two older than me, including my brother John. So when they started school I felt a bit left out and my mother told me I used to cry and ask to go to school.

Soon after I started school most of my older friends and my brother went down with measles (I think) and were off school. I then wanted to stay at home and not attend school. My mother was having none of this and dragged me to school. I can remember shouting "naughty mommy" at her as we made our way into the school.

I was dragged into Miss Gray's classroom and dumped on the floor. I had my eyes closed at the time and when I opened them I saw these really big black pair of men's shoes. I was not at the feet of Miss Gray, I looked up. I was at the feet of Rev. Copley. I can remember both Rev Copley and Miss Gray telling mom that she had done the right thing. She left and I was a really good boy for the rest of the day.

The toilets were not in the school building but across the playground. The boys' toilet did not have a roof over the urinals' area (if you can call it that) and a wall painted black I think with a gutter at the bottom. We (other boys, not me of course) used to see who could wee the highest up the wall. It was rumoured that one boy had actual got his wee over the wall.

Lunch time involved us leaving the school walking in pairs down to the Mission Room (Church Hall) where food was served/slopped up. We always had a choice "take it or leave it" but whatever food you accepted on your plate you had to eat. Some people got very good at hiding rock hard peas, etc under their knife and fork. It is rumoured that one boy disliked the stew he had allowed to be put on his plate so much that he scraped it into jacket pocket and that his so-called friends kept slapping him on his pocket for the rest of the day. I often wonder how he explained the mess in his pocket to his mother.

Leading up to Christmas was always an exciting time at school and we often put on some kind of nativity play. Getting dressed up as a king, an angel or even just an extra (tea towels were in high demand as head coverings) were all very exciting times and have left me with many warm memories. One year, probably my last Christmas at the school, I was given the task of playing a solo recorder part. I don't really remember how it went but I was so chuffed not just to be an extra.

By my last year at Saint Kenelm's School an extension was built and Miss Davies' class was on the top floor. The windows were big and not high up like in the old school so you could see out of them. I spent too much time looking out of the windows according to Miss Davies and that is why I lowered her success rate of getting pupils to pass the 11plus. When the results came through she was far more upset than me or my parents at me failing the 11plus.

I class myself as very fortunate to have attended the school and grown up in Romsley though many think I never managed the growing up bit!

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