I come from a family of teachers (two uncles and an aunt), married a teacher and both my brother, daughter and myself have been trainers in our particularly fields. So teaching is in the blood there somewhere. My husband taught physics, and quickly found that to admit to this fact brought to an end any social conversation.
I did toy with the idea of becoming a teacher myself, but my Aunt Edith (right) put me off. She won a scholarship to Fleetwood Grammar School, riding the four miles on her bike in all weathers. She became a teacher at Burn Naze School in Thornton Clevelys (a poor area of town in the 1920's and 30's) and had a keen memory for past pupils (particularly black sheep) and humorous incidents such as excuse notes, written for absences. Unfortunately her memorabilia from her teaching days must have been thrown out at some stage as I never came across it following her death - such a pity.
Here is my first school photograph from the 1950's.
I counted a class of 46 - double today's standard for class size! We sat in serried rows of battered individual desks with inkwells, and I remember chanting our times tables, copying handwriting, the hated mental arithmetic sessions which I dreaded, and of course reading which I loved.
Playing the triangle in my infant school percussion group is one of my earliest school memo.ries. I was not too pleased at being given this instrument. Like everyone else, I wanted the favourite choice - the sleigh bells.
Eve Wednesday afternoon we gathered in the hall for community singing and I learnt such patriotic songs as The British Grenadiers, Hearts of Oak, The Bonnie Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond, Bluebells of Scotland and my favourite Men of Harlech, sung with much gusto. Sea shanties were also popular as we swung from side to side to sing What Shall We Do with the Drunken Sailor? Are these now all forgotten, as I doubt that children are familiar with them today?