Sepia Saturday gives bloggers the opportunity to share their family history through photographs.
This week's prompt shows a group of students looking very glum. Well, I can recall one group photograph taken at my wedding where I seem to be the only person smiling - It was not a portent to the future as we are about to celebrate our 44th wedding anniversary! However I decided to consider family sensitivities and not feature the photograph online. Instead I am looking back to my own happy student days.
This is the earliest photograph I have from my school days in the 1950's when I attended Devonshire Road School, Blackpool, Lancashire. I am on the second front row, second from the right, next to the boy in the striped pullover.
The fashion and hair styles here were so typical of the day - the girls with plaits (me). pudding basin haircuts, side slides or fancy top ribbons. Boys of course wore short trousers regardless of the weather, with the step into long trousers a right of passage around 12-14 years old. Look at any school photograph from across the country, taken in the 1950's and the styles are so similar
I counted a class of 46 - double today's standard for class size! We sat in seried rows of individual desks with the ink well hole on the top. I remember chanting our times tables, copying handwriting with scratchy pens, the dreaded mental arithmatic sessions and of course reading which I loved.
On a Friday afternoon we all gathered in the hall for community singing and I learned 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 very popular as we swung from side to side to sing What Shall We Do with the Drunken Sailor? and the chorus "The Landlubbers Lying Down Below, Below, Below". Are these now all forgotten, as I doubt that children are familiar with them today?
I moved on from Infants to Juniors, where the boys and girls were in separate classes. I am the prim little girl second from the right on the front row of seats. Hair styles are much the same, but see the popularity of peter pan collars, and our Clark sandals. And another feature missing from the group - no signs of any obesity crisis amongst us here, as we were growing up when rationing was still in force. It only came to an end in July 1954 - 9 years after the end of the war.