My School Memories (1) | Peter Munton
Here we see the picture of a shop on Well Street down at the Rose Hill end. The lady is Mrs Jemima Blisset, the photo was taken in 1930 a bit before my time. I used to call here with my mother to get sweets on the way to Infants school. The shop was demolished in 1975
This is the Infants school on High street, next to the heritage centre. This is where we all spent our first years at school. I remember my first day, about mid-morning we were allowed out into the playground, I made my escape and headed home only to be brought back pronto. The school had air-raid shelters in the playground, built above ground What use they were I do not know; the school was better built and would have been more protection.
Times were good at the infants’ school, we had a nap on camp beds every afternoon, there was a band (I never got to play the drums), we used to exercise to music from the radio, I remember growing plants in jam jars with blotting paper so that you could see the roots. The biggest treat was when Miss Cooke got out the daylight screen (an exceptionally large box with a screen at the front) that allowed slides from all over the world to be seen in daylight. How easily pleased we all were.
Recent events reminded me of the Eclipse that happened during my time at the infants’ school we were told to bring old negatives to school so that we could look at the eclipse, A different story this time.
I have been racking my brains, but I can only remember one of my pals from this time, Enid Biggs if you went to school with me during my years at this school please contact me.
At the age of seven we all moved on to the boys’ school down the bottom end, what a shock, discipline, and Jack Wells what a change from Miss Cooke and exercises to music on the radio. This is where we all grew up. Here, on the left, we see the school as it looks now, those of you that went there will remember the entrance gates to the left of the building where we now see a wall. This led into the playground long sloping area that was perfect for long slides in the winter when snow fell ( we seemed to have more snow then). The toilets were outside without a roof, great in the winter. Inside the building to the left at the entrance led to the classrooms for the younger ones this was in the older part of the building Quite dark and gloomy.
In this school is where we first encountered school dinners, the canteen was across a field on the opposite side of the school to the playground, we can see the school exit here on the left as it looks now. I must say I recall that dinners were exceptionally good cooked there on the spot in large kitchens we all ate at large tables sitting in benches, just like “Oliver”. Back inside the school, the classrooms for older children were bright and in the newer part of the building. Jack wells ruled here, my overriding memory of Jack Well’s classroom was a map of the UK made from RAC road maps, it looked 100s of feet high to us, but more realistically in must have been 20 ft. high.
This is where we were prepared for our 11 + exams to decide which direction our education would go, Secondary Modern, Technical school or Grammar school. I went on to the Secondary Modern school on Wellingborough Rd, Or the top end as we knew it, More of that later. As we grew up times were not too bad at the boys’ school the teachers were not too bad they tended to make our education enjoyable, my memories are a good one, having said that I cannot remember any other teachers names only Jack Wells, I remember a small lady (Who thanks to John Bailey’s book “Look at Finedon” now remember to be Mrs Pratt) and a very tall male teacher (Who I now to be Keith Swingler thanks to an old pal Ken Underwood). As for pals, I can remember My best friend at the time Brian Odell (Are you out there Brian) Philip Dartnell, still living in Finedon as is Stephen White, there were other friends, but their names escape me. If any of my old friends from this time are out there and you have photos of this time, please contact me and I will include them on this page.
Do any of you remember the cafe on High street where we all called on the way to school to buy sweets that were offered on two trays the Penny tray and the Tuppeny tray, those were the days, what could you buy for the equivalent of less than 1/2 of a new penny.
I don’t have any pictures of my time at the boy’s school but here is a picture from 1952 I find this of interest as the 4th boy from the left is Robert Cowley he used to live next door to me in Milner Road his dad was a potato merchant, the last I heard of Robert he was living in Hawaii, If you know of the other boys names please let me know.
As I said earlier, I went on to the Secondary modern School on Wellingborough Road. What a change from the bottom end big bright classrooms, heating, wood workrooms, science rooms arts and crafts. One lingering memory was those 1/3 of pint bottles of milk that used to arrive frozen in the winter which we put on the heating pipes to thaw out. There was always talk of a swimming pool but it never arrived (I believe the Junior school which now resides here has a pool). We made soap in matchboxes in the science room. We made odd things like boxes for a shoe shining kit, bookends and learnt how to look after tools in the woodwork room (I still use these skills now for DIY at home so they did turn out to be useful ). In those days the girls did cooking whilst we did woodwork, they wouldn’t get away with that nowadays. Does anyone remember making plaster of paris angels in the arts and crafts classes, funny the things you remember?
Here on the right, we can see a picture of the Mulso school as it looks today, not changed much from my days there. We played cricket in the rec (recreation ground to those who are not of the Finedon persuasion) We had a sports day once a year, thank god it was only once a year, you may gather I was not a sports fan, I am now, well I like to look at sport anyway or play a little golf. I can remember our visitors from the dreaded enemy, Irthlingborough school, they came to Finedon for woodwork classes, little did we know that after two short years the two schools would be combined onto one new large school based in Irthlingborough, which at the time of its opening was called the Finedon & Irthlingborough Secondry Modern School, now Huxlow Science College.