It's said that school days are the happiest days of your life and I have to say from my point of view
that is certainly true. I attended an all girl’s school in the mid sixties, where the emphasis was not so
much on academic achievement but on girls realising their full potential, whatever that might be. The
school itself was housed in a stately home in beautiful grounds and gardens and I clearly remember
my first day at the school. My parents took me at about 8.30 in the morning and we rounded the curve
of the drive to see the school itself in its stately splendour. We entered the entrance hall and it
seemed to be full of girls. I think actually there was only about twenty in the class but it seemed a lot
more to any nervous eleven year old. We all waited and we were given our hat badge, our tie and our
blazer badge then the headmistress instructed older girls to take us up to the classroom via the green
stairs, whatever the green stairs were.
By todays standards, school life was quite free and easy. There was no national curriculum, had no
targets to meet. In fact, if we had a hard winter, and there seemed to be many of them in those days,
and the snow was quite deep, maybe we might be having a maths lesson, that would be disbanded
and we'd put on our macs and our wellingtons and we'd get a potato sack and we'd go sledging down
Grassy Bank and sometimes we'd have a snowball fight or perhaps build snowmen.
Those winter days soon progressed into long hazy days of summer and in the summer we used to
have our annual garden party. We all enjoyed the day. Parents came, grandparents came, aunts and
uncles came and once the sports were over we'd have the garden party in the grounds and the
beautiful gardens and each form would have a stall and our stall always seemed to be the white
elephant and then of course there were cakes and tea and strawberries and cream, served on the
terraces by the fountain.
Then in 1970 the school was bulldozed, to make way for a more modern, more academic
establishment and these memories of school just became memories. The friends I made at school,
we're still in touch today quite often we reminisce about those days and sometimes wonder if our
memories are clouded and selective but we all agree that they're not. These were the days that we do
remember and we all also agree that there will always be old school ties.