Early days at Orchard School – by SJ

In the grounds of the Petersham Russell, but the Petersham Russell wasn’t there then because it had been bombed out of Richmond Park and it took a couple of years to build because bricks weren’t readily available and I went there as did quite a few other children, I’m not sure where all the other children were housed before the Orchard was inaugurated but it was a lovely school and obviously modern.

Did you get lunch…what was the food like? Utterly revolting and I wouldn’t eat it and my mother had to go to the school several times before she explained that if I didn’t want to eat it I wouldn’t eat it and more to the point she didn’t want her daughter forced to eat it and they seemed to acquiesce in that … and once the Orchard school was up and running then there was an improvement in the meals.  They were never wonderful but they were better than they had been initially.

Mr McCall who was the headmaster of the Orchard School was quite jolly and a great mixer and he used to come out into the playground and talk to the kids and it was, yes, it was a good atmosphere.