Do you remember having to take your own plate for Christmas parties and the left over 'goodies' being given out at
morning play next day? My children absolutely adored mince pies and were very disappointed that no one took them for the Christmas parties so each year I had to bake and send a dozen mince pies.
When Michelle was a baby I took her to the baby clinic. It was a real afternoon out - all the mums got dressed up
and the babies were in their best. After we had finished at the clinic you went with your 'special friends' for a pram
push around the village. If my memory is correct by the time Matt was born I had to go to Winterton to have him weighed and checked over.
Being probably the only child who NEVER stayed to a dinner throughout my entire primary school life, means I
cannot comment on the school dinners themselves, but by reputation, and my sister’s say so, they were extremely
good. But I remember other times in the canteen - when Miss Brown or Miss Malone took advantage of the blackout
blinds to show us a black and white filmstrip, almost always on a nature topic if I remember right. I think that once
a year, a travelling film projectionist brought some films for our amusement. Again nature wasn’t far off the agenda
with some Walt Disney nature specials, but I think that there were also children’s comedy films, again in black and white.
For the Christmas parties we took our own plates, with our names on as mentioned above. Before the big day, Miss
Brown would have organised us all to bring in various ingredients for the meal, and there always seemed plenty, and
to spare. Various mum’s would ‘wait’ on we children. I adored then, and still do, those meat paste sandwiches!
There were eight tables, with a form or bench each side, and I am told that the teachers would sit at the ends on a
chair on a rotating basis so that they ate with every child every couple of days or so.
There were regular mother and baby clinics, when we could divert our gaze from our work and idly watch the mums
with their high-wheeled prams to-ing and fro-ing to the canteen. When they came out, they always seemed to be
clutching at least one tin of National Dried Milk. The tins themselves were an institution - not so much for their
original purpose of holding the milk, but they were so large and well made that the school used many for the storage
of pencils, crayons, rulers and almost anything else that could be kept in them. They were white with all the text in dark blue.
A less happy memory of the canteen was of a game of football during a playtime one summer. Being in goal -
between the regulation jackets eight strides apart, it fell to me to save a rifled shot from Tony Button. I couldn’t get
near it as it flew into the non-existent net, and the next thing we all heard was the tinkling glass as the ball smashed
one of the windows. Before the dreaded owning up to Miss Brown, came the compulsory apportionment of blame. Was it Tony for the shot, or me for failing to stop it? I think the jury is still out!