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School Days 4

Sometimes I would run to school and use the bus fare to buy sweets or broken biscuits at Kidd's shop.


I attended Richardson Dees School.  When it rained all the windows steamed up.  My teacher’s name was Miss Hopper.

In assembly all the teachers stood in front of many ranks of children, all the children singing hymns, one teacher on the piano.

At break-time, the clatter of milk crates could be heard.  One third pint bottle for each child.  Two children per class were delegated as milk monitors.  There was also a school shop which was run by the children.  The main things on sale were biscuits, one for ½d and three for 1d.

The schoolyards were separated into two areas, one for boys and one for girls.  The boys played football most of the time, the girls just squealed.  Sometimes when the weather was bad, we would play marbles or swap cards.  If you needed to go to the loo during playtime the lady watching us would supply us with paper, but only two sheets per visit.

I usually travelled to school by bus but sometimes I would run to school and use the fare to buy sweets or broken biscuits at Kidd’s shop adjacent to the Coach and Horses pub.  I also remember that Burton Wagon Wheels were huge compared with today’s version.  The buses were all open backs like traditional London buses.

I would travel home most days on the school bus.  Some days we would walk home via the burn closes.  On the field opposite Haggie’s Rope Works next to Church Bank, we often went looking and catching field mice to keep as pets.

In lessons, apart from the three ‘Rs’, I can also remember French knitting in the sewing class.

All classrooms were located around a central assembly hall and I think all had partitions to allow them to be opened up for larger classes.  All classrooms had windows as they were on an outside wall.

The Headmaster’s office was located at the top of the stairs.  The walls were made of ceramic faced bricks some of which had the maker’s name moulded into them; it reminded me of public toilets just outside the school on the High Street.

I remember a saying from school which used to be chanted “Richardson Dees have got the fleas!”

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