Good times at Grey Court – by GS

After getting up at that hour in the morning and doing the paper round in all weathers so it was really lovely when Grey Court opened because you could more or less fall out of bed into school and we were only used to old Victorian schools and when that opened it was a revelation to us, it was all lovely and new and modern and I had happiest schooldays of my life in those last few months there.

Yes, the teachers were of a good standard at teaching, yes I did alright there but I think I would have done a lot better at Grey Court.  I was a lot happier there, I did pretty well at woodwork and metal work, I was pretty handy with things like that, hence becoming a carpenter I suppose and my last school report which I seem to have lost during the last move I think I ended about third in the class there when I left Grey Court and you’re talking about a class of 30 people which wasn’t too bad really.

At Grey Court they had a lovely woodwork and metal work centre and the girls in those days used to do domestic science and needlework, that sort of thing, and then you did all the usual subjects like maths and history, religious knowledge and all that sort of thing and science, yes it was quite a good standard of education, I really loved it there, I sort of became a prefect there I had a good time there being a prefect I didn’t have to go to assembly in the last few months I used to do the late duty and you had a book and where that gate is in Ham Street and the other one in Sandy Lane, and there were two prefects who would do the duty and one would be at Sandy Lane and one would be at Ham Street and anybody who was late you had to put them in the book and then they’d get detention for it, they’d have to stay in after school but really it was a bit cruel, if one of your best mates was late you’d give him a miss and let him go which was unfair really.

They had the cane there just the same, the cane was still in force and all that.  And the slipper, there were two teachers there who were fond of using the slipper and I always remember once being said to me I think it was our PT teacher, Mr Murray, he was my form master, but he was a nice bloke really he was a good teacher but very strict and I can remember saying to me once Stevens get out and find the biggest slipper in the school and downstairs, because there are two floors at Grey Court and downstairs in the corridor there was a big rack where all the slippers were kept and I remember going there and looking at all the different sizes and pulling slippers out to see which was the biggest and about 10 minutes later he came down and said “have you found one?” and I said this is the biggest one I can find sir, and he said “well that will do, bend over” and that was it.  It seems a bit draconian, but that was school then, you just sort of accepted it.