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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
"1,2,3 a - lairy
My balls down the airy
Don't forget to give it to
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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