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Schools in the 1960s and 70s

Our 'made-up' chant at sports events was "Western - the best 'un!

Photograph of Western Junior School 1968

Western Junior School 1968

In 1963 Mrs Garrett was the Headmistress of the Western Infant School.  The only time I received corporal punishment from a teacher in my life was at this school.  Mrs Addison smacked the top of my leg for climbing on the coke heap.  It was worth it – that coke heap was just too interesting to ignore!

Western Junior opened its doors on 2 June 1874, and it was obviously very old by the time I got there.  It was a cold and draughty building, with huge windows that could only be opened by using a hooked stick.  I liked all the teachers that I had there: Miss Ketton, Miss Pawsey, Mr Mastaglio and Mr Graham.  Mr Broderick was Headmaster when I went there in 1965, but he must have retired and was replaced by Mr Liddle.  Dinner money had to be paid each Friday and it was 5/- (25p) per week.  Our ‘made-up’ chant at sports events was “Western – the best ‘un”!

Photograph of Dancers at Margaret Brown

Dancers at Margaret Brown

I studied ballet, tap and stage dancing here for about two years and gave up just after I got my silver medals.  I was going to the High School and thought the kids there would take the mickey out of me.  I loved it when Margaret and her husband, Mr Connell would give demonstrations; they were such great dancers.

I started High School in 1969 – the first year that the secondary schools mixed the girls with the boys.  Of course, we pupils were used to mixed classes, but I think that some of the older teachers found it difficult to get used to.

Uniform was grey skirt (supposed to be no more than two inches above the knee!), white (starched) blouse, red cardigan, school tie, blazer with school badge and black (sensible) shoes.  Of course, we adhered to the rules in our first year, but by our third the skirts were much shorter (well it was the 70s), the shoes were platform soled, we ditched the blazers and wore fashionable cardigans.

Photograph of Ralph Gardner High School, 1971

Ralph Gardner High School, 1971

Whilst I was there, a lovely sports hall was built, and we had a great theatre.  I could never understand why it was demolished.  I enjoyed my time there.


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