Were you at Berridge?


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2 hours ago, Jill Sparrow said:

This chap went right through Berridge with me. Martyn Jewers. Apart from the facial hair and gig lamps, he hasn't changed very much.  

 

Gig lamps ?

 

Never come across that expression before. I assume it's what the rest of us call glasses/spectacles ?

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Through this door...and it's the original, although painted black in my day...I walked with my mum one cold morning early in 1962. I was just 4 years old. The door led to Miss Smith's office and my mu

The junior entrance as it was in 1969.

Yes, it was emotional. I stood outside the Brushfield Street gate earlier in the morning and the memories came gushing back of my mum who passed on 9 years ago.   Oddly, I've discovered that

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I remember Martin very well. The family lived on Wordsworth Road quite close to me. He had a sister Jane who was younger. For some reason I remember his dad drove a big bakers lorry which was sometimes parked outside his house. Martin was a rather delicate nature and didn’t knock around with us ‘rough uns’. I have it in mind he worked or volunteered at St Mary’s in town.  Why was he in the news Jill.

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He was a customer in the new branch of Bird's the cake shop which opened in Lister Gate in October. They also do coffee.

 

I understand that Martyn still lives in the same house. Don't remember his dad but his mum was quite friendly with my mum.  Yes, I'm told by a friend who sings in the choir that Martyn is a churchwarden at St Mary's in The Lace Market.

 

As we were thinking of another visit to Berridge next year, I thought about inviting Martyn. After all, he's virtually on the doorstep.

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A return visit has been suggested, PP.  In answer to your question, yes I am in touch with Trevor but I don't think he is the same chap you knew. Trevor Davys was born in 1945 which would put him several years behind you at Berridge, although he did attend there.  I am going to ask him if he would be interested, along with a couple of other people.

 

Letsavagoo is on board, as is Jane who came with me last time.

 

As we were so well behaved and polite, weren't given any lines and no one was caned or slippered, an open invitation was extended to visit again.

 

After the Christmas break, I will contact Simon and sort out some potential dates in the spring. If anyone would like to join us, put your hands up!

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I would look forward to another visit Jill. The Trevor Davis I knew was, like me, of a 1938 pre war vintage (good year that ;) ).  I've just checked out my old school reports and it appears that there were three headmasters during my time at Berridge. Mr Smith, Mr S D Bowler and Mr S W P Henton. 

 

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According to my Berridge Centenary book, their dates were:  S W P HENTON 1952-57;  S D BOWLER 1948-1950;  with a Mr.R W SKILBECK 1950-52 in the Berridge Senior Boys.  The only Smith is Miss Evelyn Ada Smith 1950-1958 headmistress of the infants, who I referred to in an earlier post. Perhaps your Smith was a deputy head?

 

Yes, PP, I will organise another visit for Spring 2020. Looking forward to it.

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I remember Mr Smith because he was the 'supposed' head who my mother and I saw prior to me starting there. I was 'drafted' to Berridge from the Windley School but did not want to go there. I wanted to go to Cottesmore, where my best friend had been placed.  Mr Smith, a small dark haired man convinced mum and I that Berridge was a good school. So that was it. He must have been a deputy head or a teacher? I started there in Sept 1949.

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Odd? Just checked the date when I started at 'big school' Berridge. It was Sept 6th 1949 but I was still 10 years of age! I cannot remember taking the 11  plus and always assumed that it was when I was ill - I was a sickly child. Must have been a clerical error somewhere?

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Whilst searching through some old books and papers, I rediscovered my autograph book from 1964. It was a Christmas present that year from some friends.

 

Looking through it, I see that it was signed by every teacher by whom I was taught at Berridge and by some who escaped that dubious pleasure!

 

One lady whom I've long been interested in finding out about was Miss Smith who taught the final infant year. She taught me and my sister before me, along with countless others. A tough lady, Miss Smith.  I've already researched Miss Smith, the infants' head teacher but didn't know where to start with the other Miss Smith. Smith is a name that makes the heart sink, especially when you don't have any supporting information.

 

Fortunately, she signed her initials in my book and that has enabled me to find her.

 

She was Hilda N Smith, born in Arnold on 26 July 1916 to Isaac Smith, a draper's assistant and Louie Hickman. She was an only child.

 

The 1939 Register shows her as a 23 year old school teacher, living with her parents at 133 Breck Hill Road, Arnold.

 

She seemed ancient to me as a very wary 7 year old but was only, in fact, 48.  If she continued teaching until she was 60, she would have retired in 1976.

 

I cannot find an entry of death, so presume it might be fairly recent, unless she's still alive, at almost 104!

 

If you knew what was good for you, you didn't annoy Miss Smith!

 

Also found Gertrude May Stockill, born in 1937 in Scarborough. She married a Mr Tennyson in 1973 after I left Berridge. Although she never taught me, she had a Scottish country dancing group of which I was part. Lovely lady.  May still be with us.

 

In 14 years' time, Berridge will be celebrating its 150th anniversary.  I've decided I'm going to research as many of the 1960s staff as I can and, together with some memories of pupils from that time, offer it to the school for inclusion in their archives. Our generation's reminiscences were completely unrepresented at the centenary celebrations in 1984. I think that omission should be addressed!

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That would be wonderful, PP!  If you can dig up a few names, pupils and teachers, it might be possible to find a bit of background on the teaching staff.

 

I just think that Berridge is lucky to have escaped demolition and, since it has recently had a new roof, it looks set to continue as an educational establishment.

 

By the time the 150th anniversary comes round, I'll be 76 and PP will be expecting his telegram from King William V, possibly!  So, best to get the material together before I'm too ga ga to remember who I am!

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@Jill Sparrow, I was taught by a Miss Smith at Arno Vale school.  I know it's a common name but as my  school was near Breckhill Road, I wonder if she is the same teacher you mentioned?  I started school in 1948 and I think she taught me in about 1950.  What year was it when she taught your older sister?  I have my old school reports but they aren't immediately accessible....

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My sister was born in 1950, Margie, so around 1957 she'd have been with Miss Smith.  Smith is a very common name, of course. It might be the same person but if she has signed her initials on your report it could help establish her identify.

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The latest in my occasional researches into Berridge teachers of the 50s and 60s focuses on Mr J H Kemp.

 

Mr Kemp taught what would now be termed Year 5. He never taught me (wasn't he lucky!) and therefore I cannot comment from personal experience on what it was like to be in his class but he (Kempy, as he was known among the urchins) did have a certain reputation as a very tough cookie, more than equal to dealing with errant little boys.

 

John Henry Kemp was born on 7 May 1906 to Charles Kemp, a lacemaker, and Annie Elizabeth Kemp.  A Long Eaton lad was Mr Kemp.

 

By 1939, he was living at 87 Oakleys Road in Long Eaton, married to Mary Lonsdale Sharpe (St Laurence's Church, Long Eaton 19.12.1931) with their two children. At that time, he was working as a certificated school teacher. I suspect he was conscripted shortly thereafter.

 

In 1911, his family resided at 82 Granville Avenue, Long Eaton, where  4 year old John H had an older brother, Charles Ernest, aged 10.

 

At the time of his marriage, Mr Kemp resided at 72 Neale Street, Long Eaton. All these properties still exist today.

 

I don't know how long Mr Kemp had taught at Berridge but he seemed ancient to us. A large, thick set chap with a military style hair cut, always dressed in a grey suit and tie. He occupied the classroom adjacent to Mr Williams. During my visit last March, I went into his room and, silly as it sounds, instinctively looked round somewhat warily, as we did if ever required to enter his domain!

 

He retired, I believe, in July 1968 and appears to have passed on in 1975. Not much of a retirement was granted to him after 43 years of grappling with recalcitrant boys. After his death, his wife appears to have remarried in 1981.

 

There are some posts in this thread made by my peers (no longer posting) who were taught by Mr Kemp but it would be interesting to know how long he had been at Berridge. Perhaps some older ex pupils might enlighten me at some stage?

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Yes, PP.  According to the information I have, a decision was taken in 1962 not to retain Berridge Senior Boys, after major additions were made to Peveril School in Aspley. Closure took place on 24 July 1964. I was in the infants at this time. Thereafter, major building alterations took place.

 

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The following is an extract from 'Berridge, the Schools' First 100 Years' which was published in 1984 for the schools' centenary:

 

In September 1949, Berridge Boys consisted of 470 pupils, organised into 16 classes. Those boys with an IQ of 112 and above of were grouped into one of four 'Modern' classes. In 1949, this amounted to 51 boys who received an education which was academic in comparison to the rest of the school. They were even expected to take French lessons.

 

160 boys were grouped into 4 'Technical' classes. Jobs in the general engineering trades were considered suitable for them and subjects such as metal work and woodwork, technical drawing, science and maths dominated their timetables.  

 

The remaining 156 pupils were considered less able. 'Practical' classes were established, where the emphasis would be on arts and crafts, gardening and a practical approach adopted in all their subjects.  77 boys were deemed to have problems with the basic skills of the three Rs and they were placed in one of three 'Project' classes, where one teacher taught them most subjects.

 

The 26 boys who were expected to leave at Christmas, as they had reached the age of 15 then, were grouped together in one class regardless of their ability level.

 

One very practical activity which had been started in the war and continued each year until 1951, was the October interruption of lessons while parties of boys were taken off to farms to help harvest the potato crop. In 1949, over 200 boys from Berridge were sent off to pick King Edwards and the like.

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Sounds a bit 'Brave New World'.... were any of the boys able to move to a different group if it were deemed appropriateas time progressed, I wonder...  there was the 13+ in the fifties for 'late developers'

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