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Transcripts of Interviews with Old Pupils -1930s & 40s

These are transcripts of a few sections of the much lengthier interviews with ex-pupils from the 1930s & 40s that can be heard on out main History page. These sections were used on the listening-post for our display at Brighton Museum.

School Song - Pat Sprinthall

      Scholars we of Middle Street
      Boys and girls in friendship bound
      May we always when we meet
      For the school are praises sound
      Long its stood its fame is old
      The traditions we are told.
      Give your best, give your best in
      Medias Res

      We are proud to give are best
      For the honour of our school
      Where we work and play with zest
      And where service is the rule
      With are minds and hearts
      All as one to do our parts
      Give your best, give your best in
      Medias Res


I was the milk monitor - Joyce Hill

If you were good you got to be milk monitor, I used to like that, being milk monitor.

What did you do?

Well you had to dish it out, they had little card board tops in, you had to push it through, put the straw in and hand it out. These little third of a pint bottles, not sure if we paid for it whether it was very little, it was only like a ha'penny or something like that.

But if a child wasn't um, perhaps his height wasn't too good or something appeared to be lacking, they would get double milk.

Do you think any of the children there cheated- pretending to be lacking in height?

No, it'd be the doctor who would decide that they would do it by weight and, you, no you couldn't just say it, you had to have medical reasons.


Where would you sit in class? - Peter Guy

Well ... it was different, totally different to today. Each classroom had desks, rows of desks. Each desk belonged to somebody, and all your books were in that desk, so you didn't have to go taking them around the school with you in big bags or anything like that.Thats where they were.


Problems with ink - Sheila Dyer

I do remember that we had ink pens though, and quite often we'd make big blotches on the paper because it was difficult. I was left handed and when you're left handed, your hand goes over the piece you have just written. Sometimes I found it very difficult not to smudge the work that I had done.


School dinners - Peter Guy

School dinners were interesting. They were cooked somewhere up in, North of the town, Loder Road or something. And a van used to come round with all the meals, it was all in whacking great, big containers. And then my mum and another lady used to dish it all out.
We use to sit in the hall to have our school dinners and there was no choice, no choice of what you had. Whatever the dinner was, that was it. You either had it or you didn't.


Here comes Nitty Nora - Joyce Hill

Did you have a school nurse?

Oh, we had Nicky Nora! Oh yeah, we had her. Yeah, used to go through your hair used to look at your hands, to see if you'd got scabies or whatever it was. I mean it was a deep shame, when I was young. Still is.
Oh yeah. Anyone who had nits was given a card, and they'd hide that card. They'd do anything so the other kids didn't know. That was deep shame.

What was on the card?

Well it showed you'd had them. So if you'd got the card, Nitty Nora came around you've got the card. That was deep shame.


I won a pen-knife for good punctuality - Sheila Dyer

At the end of every term the headmaster would give out certificates for pupils who had not been absent or been late for the whole term. And I remember getting these certificates every term. I was very proud of that, and I used to make sure I wasn't late or away from school because I really wanted these certificates.
When I left when I was eleven, the headmaster asked me if I would like to think of something I like to have as a prize. And I wanted a pen knife, and the headmaster actually presented me with a pen-knife before I left here, which is something you wouldn't dream of giving an eleven year old nowadays.
I have still got that pen-knife now.


Skipping games. Do you remember this one? - Pat Sprinthall

We played with a whip and top. Have you ever had a whip and top?


That was a little wooden top, you wound around the whip around it and went like that, and it went spinning off. Oh they properly wouldn't allow it these days.

No, they probably wouldn't, not whips!

And a hoop, we had a big hoop with a stick, and you pushed the hoop along with the stick. And alleys, which maybe you call marbles, but we use to call them alleys.

Did you have conkers?

Oh yes, and conkers.

Did you do skipping?

Oh um, skipping, oh yeah, I forgot we use to do skipping with a rope, you know. Oh yeah, we'd got a big old rope. Oh yeah, there was a rhyme we used to do for skipping. I can't remember what it was now. Yeah, we did have rhymes you know, when you're playing in the playground.

We do.


   "1,2,3 a - lairy

    My balls down the airy

    Don't forget to give it to Mary

    Not to Charlie Chaplin"

Fancy remembering that all of a sudden!


When I grow up, I want to be a.. - Pat Sprinthall

If you can remember, you probably can't 'cos its quite along time ago...What did you really want to be when you grew up?

What did I want to be? When I was a child I wanted to be a singer or an actress, because I was always in all the plays at Middle Street which I loved. I loved being on stage. But I mean, that was rather a pipe dream - not usual to become one. But, as I got older all I wanted to do was be a mother... which I am. And a grandmother and a great-grandmother!

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