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tonydw

Those Magical Days of Childhood.

A couple of years ago I received a message via a sisters Facebook; it was from a girl I was at school with, Grant Road Modern Secondary School, Dovecot.

Schooling has come a long-way since Modern Secondary Schools.

It was 1946 when I was enrolled at Grant road and to say I considered it a grand school would be an understatement, to me it was Oxford and Cambridge all rolled into one, I was a scallywag who had just been released from a government Approved school; a place they sent naughty boys, and I had very low self esteem.

Grant Road was a modern building, it was in fact 2 schools divided by a large assembly Hall, each side of the Hall were the classrooms surrounding a quadrangle of lawn and flowers; one quadrangle was the girls' School and the other side of the hall was the boys' School.

Each morning the boys and girls would be assembled in the Hall, girls on one side and boys the other.

Forming up in the boy’s playground, to be marched into assembly, was a push and shove affair. The idea was to get a position in the line that would put you next to the girls, as 11 year olds it wasn’t that important but with the onset of puberty it was as though your life depended on it.
Being next to the girls, notes and whispered words of flirtation could be passed on, it was something to look forward to each school day.  

In those far off days the school leaving age was 14 unless you passed the 11 plus exam which gave the choice of going on to Grammar School, or Technical College, I never passed anything, my only ambition was to follow my dad and join the Merchant Navy.

In the final year of school our music teacher, in collaboration with the girl’s music teacher decided to put on a production of the Gilbert & Sullivan operetta, “HMS Pinafore” and I was in the chorus, which was quite large
and, made up of boys & girls.

A sextet of us, 3 girls and 3 boys, became quite friendly to the point we would meet up after rehearsals and go for long walks, really quite innocent but there was attraction.

We would walk together as far as Roby village playing flirtatious games along the way.

One exciting game we called, ‘chewing a piece of straw’ in which we would select a long piece of grass, the girl would put one end in her mouth and boy the other end in his mouth.
They would then chew on the grass until their lips met in a bashful kiss.

Boy! It was only a childhood bit of fun but the is still welded into my memories: Gladys H, Irene A, Ivy H, Alan M, Terry B and Tonydw.  

I can travel back in my mind, as we all can, to my school days. The innocence of first infatuation and a very happy time in my life.… Young love and infatuation is something to be treasured, it is the foundation on which to build the rest of one's life.

Grant Road School has gone, demolished a few years ago to make way for a modern junior school ... Whether any of the other 5 members of the sextet are still with us I know not. What I do know is: In my memories they still there - and magically they never age!  Very Happy
Barbie

Tony, my friend in work (one of my jobs) went to Grant road school, the new one that is, however, her mum may have attended the old one.  Very Happy
Barbie

Tony, i've asked my friend in work how old her mum is, she is 84 soon. So, a little older than you but you may still know the family. I know her mum is called Barbara  but I've forgotten what surname. I will ask on monday when i see her again. The whole family attended Grant Road so maybe her mum's younger siblings know you!
If so....small world!  Very Happy
Alice

I loved going by train to New Brighton and the fair, great memories.
tonydw

Alice wrote:
I loved going by train to New Brighton and the fair, great memories.

I loved New Brighton Fair, so much that it was always my destination when I made a couple of shillings selling firewood.
With all the bombed houses around during the war we scallywags would build wooden carts from whatever we could salvage.
We would use the carts to carry bungles of firewood door to door – This was at a time when all home heating was coal or wood fired; tuppence a bungle was the going price.

Once we had enough cash we would jump the New Brighton ferry.
On arrival, instead of walking up the off ramp we would climb under the barrier and walk off using the on-ramp – that way we avoided paying the fair.

The first thing I would head for was the rickety, ‘Helter-skelter.’
Built of wood it really was rickety but I loved it… I enjoyed all the rides but especially enjoyed the rowboats.
I would stand at the edge of the pond and ask passing rowers if I could return the boat for them…. After billing & cooing, when rowing around the pond, many blokes thought they’d got lucky with the girlfriends and couldn’t wait to find a secluded place.
I would keep rowing round the lake, even after the time was up, with the bloke rowing after me screaming. “Come in number 6, your times up!”
I usually jumped out of the boat and legged it.

Yeah! New Brighton was a great place to go when sagging school.

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