Saturday, 2 February 2013
Drayton County Primary
One of the highlights of my year was the village fete which was held at The Grange, a grand red brick house in beautiful grounds. Villages used to have a squire and ours had lived in the Grange. The family was still looked up to and resented in equal measure and the older villagers were deferential to them. When I was about ten we had a vote in school for the Rose Queen. The favourite was the pony tailed and perfect Helen, the girl I sat next to at the top of the class. Surprisingly I won the vote, I supposed on popularity rather than prettiness. I think there was maypole dancing that year.
I was in the last year group to occupy the original village school - a church building comprising one classroom separated by a partition, windows in true 19th century tradition too high to look out of and different playgrounds for boys and girls. As they would have said back then: Woe betide you if you crossed into the wrong playground.
A new school that was still under construction and housed the younger children was where we had to go for our lunch - or dinner as it was called. In those days few children took packed lunch and those who did were left out and considered odd. Our daily walk to the new school and back was supervised by two dinner ladies, Mrs Church and Mrs Barrett.
After lunch we would have some playtime before walking back to the old school. The boys would set up a big game of British Bulldog and the girls would head for the climbing frame, where they could be told off for being too daring or showing their knickers.
Not that we cared of course.