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At school in 1930’s Earith

Earith village signLessons with ‘Gandhi’ …

Before each day’s school the bell on the roof was rung by an older boy and we all lined up in the playground under our respective teachers and filed quietly in.

When I was in Standard two we had ink pens to write with and monitors were appointed to make sure the ink wells were filled.
We had writing lessons on special lined paper and were given marks on how well the letters lined up.
We also did a lot with plasticine and raffia work, taking the finished product home for mother to stand a flower pot on.

The teacher was Miss Chapman who came from away and lodged with Miss Hard who took in visitors, mainly fishermen, as did two or three other ladies in the village.
Miss Chapman eventually married the son of a big fruit grower and merchant in the village.

Portrait of GandhiFrom about the age of nine you moved up to the Big Room, Standard Three, under the headmaster known as ‘Gandhi’ because of his likeness to the Indian revolutionary of the time.
Here we continued with our writing, read out loud to the class, listened to readings of Samuel Pepy’s diaries and had lessons on mental arithmetic.
On Friday afternoons we had a drawing lesson. The object we had to draw was something like a daffodil or a pineapple and whoever’s drawing was the best took the object home.

Written by Jack Wales February 2008

See all of John Wales‘ blog posts.

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