letsavagoo

Were you at Berridge?

Recommended Posts

Don't forget your bread board, PP.  Hope to have a couple of additional people this year.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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!

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jill - I will do a write up about my time there 1949/53 and give it to you to go with your archive material. Some copies of photographs and school reports too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@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....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Jill Sparrow  I'll try and dig the reports out tomorrow sometime..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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'

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting research into Mr Kemp. Well done Jill. I too managed to dodge his class to my great relief. He seemed very strict with a booming voice. I remember him often shouting ‘waken up boy’. Waken seemed an odd word to me in this context but I didn’t bother to mention it to him. I also witnessed him more than once marching a boy off somewhere led by the ear. He always seemed to have his share of ‘lively’ kids in his class.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

PP is the person to explain how it worked as he was there at the time. I'm still trying to work out how they accommodated all those boys into the available space, bearing in mind that the site also contained the infants and juniors. There were the two wooden buildings in the playground but classroom space must have been tight.

 

Between my leaving the infant building and entering the juniors, alterations had taken place where the senior boys once ruled. Indoor toilets and wash basins plus a library area had gobbled up some of their classroom space. PP was, I think, as intrigued by these changes as was I at the alterations in the infant building since my departure. My first two classrooms are now the kitchen! However, nothing stands still, does it?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Funny that, letsavagoo, I too remember him shouting, "Waken up, boy!' and his voice certainly was booming.

 

He would often appear with quite closely cropped hair which I thought rather strange as that style wasn't in fashion at the time and was generally seen only on boys who had head lice. I remember wondering why he had it cut so short.

 

Pidge Pie, who hasn't posted for several years, was in Mr Kemp's class and suffered his expertise as a multiple wooden ruler merchant. Pidge Pie, who was one of my peers, could be described as lively but he was bright enough. He subsequently attended Mundella...and hated it!

 

Kemp had a daughter and a son and was, quite probably, a pushover away from school but it certainly wasn't a good idea to attract his attention while he was there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, MargieH said:

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'

The boys did not move between groups. There was no 13 plus but I was offered a place at Tech College due to being good at science and Tech drawing. When I started Berridge in Sept 49 I had not reached 11 - so no 11+ for me?

I remember the 'spud bashing' days. Think we were paid half a crown. We also went stone picking. I reckon the farmers were a bit crafty. "No potatoes to pick but the stones need removing from the fields"...oh yes!

I was placed in the T (technical) stream. The lower P stream was in fact called the Practical and not the Project stream. There was obviously a 'class' system in use and we were all pigeon holed just the same as when called up for National Service.

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As I moved up from the infant to junior school, there were senior boys still ahead of me. As they left they weren’t replaced. We shared the playground and it was pretty full. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Finally managed to pin down the fearsome but elusive Mrs Platts...as everyone called her.

 

It helps if you have the correct surname!  It's PLATT and not PLATTS!

 

Olive PLATT was born on 25 March 1914 to Harry FLETCHER and Florence May, nee MARTIN. She had two siblings: Harry, junior born in 1912 and Fred born in 1916. Their parents married in 1909.

 

In 1939, the FLETCHER family lived at 271 Radford Boulevard. Harry was a tobacco worker and Olive was an elementary school teacher.

 

Olive married Aubrey PLATT in 1941 in Nottingham. They had one child, Nigel M, born in April 1942.

 

Given the proximity of her residence to Berridge in 1939, this makes me wonder whether Olive taught there prior to her marriage, perhaps returning after her son had left school.

 

Olive PLATT died on 29.06.1979, aged 65. Again, not much of a retirement if she worked until she was 60.  I'm not sure how long she remained at Berridge after I left the infants but someone like @mercurydancer might be able to shed more light on this as he was several years behind me.

 

So far, I haven't been able to connect Olive Platts with Rose Cottages on Prospect Street, which is where I thought she lived but I'll continue the search.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I believe 271 Radford Boulevard is right next to Rose Cottages. Is that where the connection is. The gardens would back onto each other if I’m correct.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looking at old maps, that's correct, but they seem to be officially known as Rose Hill Cottages.

 

On Streetview this shows the join - the rear of Rose Hill Cottages on the left, and 271 Radford Blvd is the end house on the right.  https://goo.gl/maps/todNrTVuYybtjjuF9

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It appears that Olive's father died in 1945 but her mother survived to the age of 93 in 1971. Perhaps, like many people in those days, Olive, her husband and son continued to live in the old family home so that she could care for her mother.  Those houses have 3 storeys which equates to a lot of cleaning, especially when you also teach full time!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had a friend, Robert Gilman who lived in one of these houses back in the 1960’s just a few doors down from 271. They are surprisingly big houses. It was used as a lodging house/B&B and took at least 4 guests plus Rob and his parents and his older brother at one time. Mainly used by Irish road workers. His mum was Irish. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I remember Robert. He was a year older than I but I spent a year in his class during 1965/6. I never knew where he lived.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On the trail of former head teachers at Berridge, I have identified David William GRIFFITHS (1895-1977) who was head of Berridge Juniors from 1956 to 1961 which was during my sister's time there.

 

Of interest to Peveril Peril, may be these two gentlemen:

 

Robert William SKILBECK born 01 September 1902 in Bridlington, Yorkshire. Died in March 1980 in North Yorkshire. Head of Berridge Senior Boys from 1950 to 1952.

 

Stanley William Pierrepont HENTON born 07 July 1906. Died on 02 September 1978 in Nottingham.

 

In 1940, he was on probation as a Pilot Officer in the RAF, having joined the Volunteer Reserve.

 

Head teacher of Berridge Senior Boys from 1952 to 1956

 

I have further research yet to carry out on all three.

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A bit more information re

 

BERRIDGE SENIOR BOYS

 

1.  BRIGGS William Dawson. Born 26.11.1906 Little Bytham, Lincolnshire. Son of Joseph Briggs, a railway labourer and his wife, Elizabeth.  He had an older brother, Benjamin A Briggs.

Married Annie Kirk in 1934. Two children.

By 1939, residing at 150 Western Boulevard, Nottingham with his wife and two children. Working as an assistant schoolmaster.

Died on 14.06.1984 in Nottingham.

Head of Berridge Senior Boys from 1957 to closure

 

2.  SKILBECK Robert William born 01.09.1902 in Hunmanby, near Bridlington, Yorkshire to Francis William SKILBECK, an assistant woodsman and his wife, Harriet.  Younger sibling, Ada SKILBECK.

Married Florence Whitehead in 1925 in Wetherby. One child.

Died in 1980 in North Yorkshire.

Head of Berridge Senior Boys from 1950 to 1952

 

3.  HENTON Stanley William Pierrepont born 07.07.1906 in Kelham, Nottinghamshire to William Henry Henton, an assistant schoolmaster and his wife, Annie. In 1911, the family lived at 2 Midland Terrace, Newark.

Married Madeleine G Hiscock in 1932 in Newark. One child, died as a baby.

In 1939, Stanley Henton resided at 8 Eton Grove, Wollaton, Nottingham with his wife. He was employed as an assistant schoolmaster and was also a special constable.

By August of 1940, Henton was a probationary Pilot Officer in the RAF.

He died on 02.09.1978 in Nottingham.

Head of Berridge Senior Boys from 1952 to 1957.
 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...