At St. Julian’s Primary, we love to keep in touch with past pupils and teachers to hear about their achievements since leaving us and their favourite memories from their time at the school. If you are a past pupil or teacher, we would love to hear from you! Please contact us and we will email you a link to our online form to share your achievements and memories. If you have any photographs of the school or class photographs, we would be so grateful if you would send them to us or bring them in for us to scan. Thank you!
Pics from the Past
Memories & Achievements
I remember in year 6 Mr Mansfield burst into our class with the sound of the WW2 alarm. I jumped and nearly fell out my seat. Then everyone ran out the classroom. Someone shut door and I ran into it.😂 He took us to the air raid shelter and told us about WW2.
In 2016 in September/October time I went to a gymnastics competition. I came 1st overall so basically the 1st person out of everyone there. I came 1st on floor, 2nd on beam and 3rd on bars. Nothing on vault.
I loved many of the activities that were in the primary school such as cricket and choir. I also enjoyed doing odd jobs for the teachers. I really enjoyed my end of term concert as I had a lot of fun practising for it and then performing it in front of parents. I would have to say that Mrs Robinson was my favourite teacher as she was like a friend as well as a teacher. I also enjoyed the trips we went on.
I’m still in full time education but about to choose my options. I sometimes help out at a church where I used to perform my choir concerts.
I remember Mr Mansfield’s singing assemblies, concerts, school council and pupil voice club.
I’m now in high school.
I enjoyed school trips, choir concerts, dance festivals, and my favourite teachers were Mr Mansfield and Mrs Orford.
I have worked since leaving school, and I’m currently working for a large hotel.
I remember Ripley & Scruff, a trip to Legoland, reading Goodnight Mr Tom, buddy bus stop, the new upstairs toilets, crazy wet plays, Mr Davies & his bluetack, Miss Williams teaching me in year 3 & again in year 4 as Mrs Orford, being in Mrs Hollings’ class & having to make a short film with clay figures, Mrs Lewis & her fun art lessons, our year 6 leavers concert; The Wizard of Oz.
St Julians Comp, A-Levels, Hairdressing at Nash College and currently a catering assistant at Tredegar House
In reception Miss Jones asked us to bring in pets and in year 6 with Miss Bowden we made Christmas tree decorations.
I attended sixth form and I’m now in my final year of university training to be a primary school teacher.
I am pleased to say that I have only fond memories of St Julian’s, many influenced by teachers and their love for singing and arts and crafts. My teachers were Mrs Evans (Year 3), Mrs Hollings (Year 4 and 6) and Mr Davies (Year 5). It was at St Julian’s that I found my love for singing. I was encouraged to join the local Gwent youth choir and perform with friends across Newport and even putting in a performance at The Royal Albert Hall as part of their Youth Proms. Singing is a hobby that I continue this day as a member of Allegra Ladies Choir with which I am able to perform for audiences at venues such as The Celtic Manor and later this year at Cardiff Arms Park. During my time at St Julian’s I recall my favourite lessons being art with Mrs Lewis. To this day, I still have a number of pieces I created, including a coal sketch of my boot, a painting of a Māori tribal mask; as well as a 2D Welsh lady which for many years held pride of place on our fridge.
After receiving AEN support myself during primary school and then later going back to St Julian’s Primary for work experience during 6th form for work experience; I found a love for teaching and supporting pupils who may need that extra support to reach their full potential. I went on to study for my ‘CACHE Supporting Teaching and Learning Level 3’ which I passed in July 2017. Without the support of St Julian’s Primary (that took me on again so that I could complete the work placement section of the course) I would not have qualified and gone on to register with a local teaching recruitment agency which in turn has enabled my to work in a number of schools in Newport. I love my job and at is all thanks to St Julian’s Primary.
I remember school shows, parties/discos in the assembly hall, Mr Davies and Mrs Hollings.
I’m currently studying an MA in Creative Writing, just finished my BA in English and History at the University of Southampton. (2017)
I remember that when I started the juniors in year 3, Mr. Rees was also starting his first year as Headteacher. I also remember being a part of the first eco-council and the rivalries we had with the members on the school council. I remember my Year 4 teacher Mr. Davies showing us the program Logo on the computers for the first time sowing the seeds of my interest in programming. Also the great many extra curricular opportunities I took part in including cycling, the football and baseball teams plus violin and guitar lessons!
I’m just coming to the end of my MMath Mathematics degree and now pursing PhD opportunities!
I have very fond memories of extra curriculum activities such as netball, swimming, Eisteddfods and my end of year 6 production of “Joseph and the technicolored dreamcoat”.
After graduating from university last summer, I began working as a Teaching Assistant in St Julian’s Primary School. In September I will be starting my Primary PGCE to become a qualified teacher! (I am very grateful for the school’s support as both a pupil and an employee).
Mr Davies was my year 4 teacher. He has to have been my favourite teacher ever! Year 6 leaving concert was fantastic too. We all rehearsed so hard for that and it was brilliant. My time at St Julian’s was amazing and I hope my children enjoy this primary school as much as I did.
I am currently in my second year of studying towards a social work degree the open university.
I remember a lot… the recorder lessons at break time and lots of different teachers… Mrs Evans and Miss Coombes.
I work in retail.
My favourite teachers were Mr Davis and Mr Carter, who taught me in my Year 4 and 6. One of my best memories was that I was involved in the designing of the mosaics that are still on the wall in reception! I was in the first student council in Year 6 and took part in 2003’s Gwyl Plant event – Welsh dancing in John Frost Square.
I left school with straight A’s at GSCE and A Level, then went to study an English and Creative Writing degree at Cardiff Metropolitan University. After finishing that, I also completed a Foundation course in Art and Design. My ambition is, and was even when in St Julian’s School, to be an author and illustrator. I have illustrated a couple of books already. I am currently working on creating my own children’s picture book, while working in admin at a solicitors’ office. In my free time I enjoy folk dancing. I have learnt dances from America, Europe and traditional Welsh – a passion that started when I was being taught by Mr Carter!
I remember being part of the Welsh dance group both in the infants and with Mr Carter in years 5 & 6. I remember flapjacks being sold at break time for 20p.
After A levels I did a gap year to look for work, then went on a Foundation Diploma course in Art, Media and Design. Went into a BA Hons course for photographic art with UWN, Caerleon. Only did one year and dropped out. Took another gap year and went into a Foundation Degree in Photography with Coleg Gwent. I’m currently considering topping up to a BA Hons in September.
I have also tried setting up my own photography business and am a regular Welsh Dancer with Gwerinwyr Gwent who also run the Gwyl Plant which I was a part in while in school.
There are lots of great memories from my time in St Julian’s Primary school! But if I had to choose a few; Mr Drewett coming on to the school yard on April 1st and telling us there was a man standing on the tower block and shouting April Fools as we all looked! Mr Carter teaching me maths in a way I understood it, as I found that subject really hard. Leaving St. Julian’s Primary and feeling utter sadness on my last day with my friends as I headed to St. Julian’s High school.
I studied at St. Julian’s High school, I gained an A level in I.C.T and Health and Social care. I went on to university in Colchester and got a Higher national diploma in Health and social care.
I now work as a Support Worker in Newport. The job is a challenge but I love it!
I will always remember French cricket with Mrs Coombs. This was the highlight of our week!
I am now a primary school teacher in Newport with two lovely boys, who now attend St. Julian’s Primary.
My son currently attends St. Julians Primary School and is in reception. His classroom is the same classroom I was taught in in year 2. I had Mrs Wilson in reception and year one and loved her and Miss Rutledge in year 2. I cried when I left as I had such a lovely time in primary school. I remember playing the recorder, singing all the songs in assembly, playing outside in the summer and have many happy memories from school. This is why I wanted my son to go here as I know a lot of the teachers who taught me are still there and in the juniors. Fantastic school and have nothing but happy memories!
I have two sons, aged 4 and 2. I got all my GCSE ‘s in high school then I went on to work as a waitress and then on to work in domiciliary care. I then had my two boys and during that time, I completed an access to higher education diploma and currently waiting to see if I have gotten into university to study Midwifery at Cardiff.
I remember playing rounders on the school playground, times table quizzes, Summer Spectacular (Summer fete), playing various games on the school playground during break time, biscuits and squash at break-time, Sports Day and Chocolate Crunch with Pink Custard!
I graduated University with a Computer Science Degree, now working as a Software Developer.
I remember playing at break/ lunch time on the grass and in the trees, the smell of the classroom – which was a pleasant smell, the toilet paper was like tracing paper rather than tissue paper, folk band in the staff room was very fun, I used to play the penny whistle and the spoons. I loved the school dinners, turkey dinosaurs, cooked dinner, jam sponge. My favourite was the chocolate crunch and pink custard. I used to help out with reading at the infants. Once a fortnight a few of us were sent down to the infants to help the younger children with their reading. I remember the computer room and we were all very excited when we had a lesson in there. When we used to do PE, we used to do it in pants and vests and run around like lunatics. I enjoyed gymnastics the most.
I went on to attend St. Julian’s comprehensive, stayed on in sixth form and then went to university. I now have a degree in business marketing. I’m hoping to become a teacher’s assistant. I’m currently working in home insurance where I have completed various courses and an apprenticeship in customer services.
I remember lovely teachers, PC Hopkins’ talks, Mr Drewitt, the summer spectacular where my dad always used to run the ‘soak a teacher’ stall!
I went on to Caerleon Comprehensive, then studied animal management in Usk college, worked at Summerhill Vets. Now currently working as a senior travel money advisor/trainer for a bank.
I remember Mrs Tomala, playing bulldogs on the field and rounders. Sports day was my favourite!
I went to high school and college. Then got a job. Then had 3 children and now I’m currently working part time at Asda.
I just remember Mr Davies and his guitar.
I now have a 10 year old child and work as an admin manager.
I remember getting told off by the head teacher for playing football too long.
I completed an apprenticeship at Birmingham school of welding after leaving school and now am a coded pipe welder working on power stations all around the world.
Performing ‘The Owl who was afraid of the dark’. Learning to play the flute and playing in assemblies. Mrs Coombes’ inspiring assemblies. Setting up our own bric a brac shop during break and lunch times. Handstands on the field and cross country running. Playing marbles in the guttering. Returning as a trainee teacher with my mentor being the lovely Mrs Gabica.
I achieved a BA (hons) with QTS at Caerleon University. Currently working as a teacher advisor for the Education Achievement Service.
I remember Mrs Evans! She was such a nice lady! I remember the swimming pool out the back was always freezing, but we all used to love it! Chocolate crunch and pink custard for lunch I now make this for my son with fond memories!
I went on to university and then became a Chartered Accountant, I now have my own Accountancy practice with 5 staff and over 300 clients, which is going from strength to strength. I’m a single mum to a beautiful 9 yr old boy who now goes to St Julians Primary School, which he loves! I’m still very close friends with some of the children I went to the primary school with!
I only have good memories of attending St Julians Primary School. I loved all of my teachers and was so pleased when Mrs Evans taught my son as she was certainly one of my favourite teachers! I used to love Sports Day on the huge playing fields and always remember wishing the swimming pool was still in use. I was quite shy in school, so was pleased when I was chosen as the May Queen. I got to wear a princess dress, a crown and sit on a big chair whilst watching the pupils dance around the pole with ribbons! Miss Coombs was my year 6 teacher and I remember my favourite topic with her was learning about World War 2 and getting the chance to see a gas mask. I spent play time on the yard and remember the two large walls on each yard! They were used as football goals! I made lots of friends in school and I’m still friends with a lot now! Mr Draisy was the Head Teacher and Mr Drewitt was the Deputy Head Teacher. I was lucky enough never to get in trouble by either! I remember assembly time with Mr Draisy and singing so many songs as well as always finishing with the school prayer. When my son attended the school, more memories came flooding back especially during school concerts! I was always an angel and I still have the video recording which my son & niece and nephew love to watch!! I have such good school memories and I’m so glad my son & other children in my family have got to make their own memories at St Julians Primary.
I went on to attend St Julians Comprehensive School and left in 1996 where I then went on to study at Cross-keys College. I then attended University of Wales Institute Cardiff (UWIC) and achieved a HND and Degree in Hospitality & Business Management. During my degree, I worked in America & Dubai on a work placement. My son was born in 2004 and I started working for a large bank. I have been employed at the Banking Group as a Team Manager for 12 years. This year, I have enrolled at Newport College and am in my first year studying Access to Healthcare and Nursing. Once I finish this course, I’m hoping to go to university to study Paediatric Nursing.
I remember Mr Davies (all the mums fancied him!), Mrs Tamplin, Mrs Evans (now lives near me). I remember playing on ‘top yard’ – red rover game. I remember arguing with my teacher that she had spelt my brother’s name wrong for ages… (turned out she was correct)!
I’ve spent the last 20 years working in the passport office, been promoted four times. Love my job, dealing with fraud and overseas applications. Happily married with three children, aged 17, 12 and 6.
I remember good friendships and summers hanging out in a little tree nook at the side of the playing field. I remember getting shouted at by Mrs Coombs for talking in class!
After finishing St. Julian’s Comprehensive, I moved to Oxford to do my BA in English and moved to London to do my MA in Human Rights. Have lived all over, working for NGOs and the UN since then, India, Fiji, Solomon Islands. In 2011 I moved to Australia to do my phd in post conflict human rights in the Solomons Islands. I am now finishing the PhD and teaching Human Rights at the Australian National University.
I will always remember our trip to London and on our return we made a skyline of London and we poked fairy lights through it – we thought it looked amazing. It was on display in the foyer. Loved Mr Drewitt, best teacher ever and Mrs Christopher who used to give us rum truffles!! Loved the sound of Miss Coombes’ heels when she walked into assembly she always wore heeled sling backs. Miss Ellway played the piano in assembly. I remember Mrs Evans… her face used to go so red when she shouted! I will never forget mrs Tamplin accusing me of saying a swear word I had never heard before. She had totally misheard what was said! I remember having to use the outdoor swimming pool was an experience never to be forgotten!!!! Singing hymns in the hall using the OHP. Everyone blasting out shine Jesus Shine and Autumn Days when the grass is jewelled. So many happy memories x
I am now head of Religious Education at a High School in Cardiff.
Being beaten up lots, but also making some amazing friends!
I went on to achieve a HND in Maritime studies at Falmouth and completed an interior design course at Nash college. Now, I have my own sign writing company.
I remember Mr Tobin the Headmaster, Mr Davies, Mrs Elway, Mrs Christopher. We had a swimming pool outside. I was a dancer in the Sleeping Beauty play.
I have a GNVQ in Hospitality and Catering and I am now working as catering assistant in a primary school in Newport.
I remember Mrs Tamplin, Mrs Christopher and Mrs Morgan. Fantastic teachers! The freezing cold outdoor pool and playing netball. I remember Mr Davies helping us make pottery.
I went on to gain a Law Degree, Postgraduate Diploma in Law and qualified as a Solicitor.
I remember Mrs Tamplin and our project on hot air balloons. Mrs Coombes’ assemblies. Mrs Elway on the piano. Long play times on the field. The swimming pool. Sandwich bar with chocolate spread sandwiches!
I’m now a Primary School Teacher in Pontypool. I sent my son to St. Julian’s because I loved it there so much 😀.
I remember Mr. Drewett, who was a brilliant teacher. He made us play baseball while the rest of the school played rounders! I remember doing a reading for the school play which was the first time I spoke in public and has come in very handy! School sports days which were great fun!
I went to St. Julian’s Comprehensive and then Keele university to study History and Politics. I’ve lived abroad, London and now I live back in Newport. Last year, I was elected to the Welsh Assembly and am the Assembly member for Newport West. Couldn’t have asked for a better start than the one I had at St Julian’s.
I remember the Headteachers were Mrs Ambrosen, Mr Williams, Mr Tobin. Infants Deputy Head was Mrs Reynolds (around 1979) – she used to wear very high heels / platform shoes I remember. In the Juniors, I was in a number of productions – I played Buttons in Cinderella (1984?), and the Lion in The Wizard of Oz (1985?). I remember the Safe Cycling markings in the Juniors’ “bottom” yard, and the small muddy bank that separated the “top yard” from the path below. The really freezing cold outdoor swimming pool in the Juniors. My 1st Year Juniors teacher was Mrs Nicholls – she drove a Morris Minor, which was an old car even in those days. I remember being in charge of the crisp cupboard. In the Juniors, there was an annual Eisteddfod and a Sports Day. Everyone was in “houses” – they were named after the patron saints of the British Isles i.e. Patrick, David, Andrew, George. The corridors were really skiddy. I remember the overhead projector with hand-written words to hymns etc. on it. When we learned the Welsh National Anthem, I remember Mr Pugh’s phonetic OHP slide of that – “Goolard, Goolard” etc. Sometimes you could go on the computer – I remember it was a BBC Micro. There was a shopping game on it – you had to remember the shopping list then buy the groceries on the list, but you could buy whatever you wanted, the computer didn’t know if you got what was on the list or not. Midday meal was often either mince and potatoes or curry, rice and chips. Pudding was often chocolate crunch. I remember the massive metal bin you had to scrape your food waste into. We had fancy dress competitions – one year (probably 1983) about 30% of people went as Boy George. If you didn’t get your costume sorted you had to go as a “school scruff”, which just meant messing your uniform up a bit. The uniform in Juniors was a grey v-neck jumper and a green, blue and black (I think) tie. So many memories, I really can’t list them all.
I have lived in Greater Manchester since 1993 (24 years). I am a University lecturer in music production – I have also worked as a music writer and producer.
I remember singing in the annual Eisteddfod, country dancing group with Mrs Nicholls, swimming in the freezing cold swimming pool that used to be at the back of the school.
I studied at UWCN gaining a BSc Health and Social Care. Also have a Post Graduate Diploma in Housing from Cardiff University. I am currently a Tenancy Support Officer working in Newport. Married with two children both who attended St Julians Primary.
I have loads of memories of my time at St. Julian’s Primary… Mr Williams was Head Master, Mr Pugh was deputy. Mrs Williams with white hair was one of my teachers. There was a swimming pool between the schools. I have hundreds of memories and stories and photos. I played the ugly sister Petunia in Cinderella, I was in gym squad with Mrs Goodread.
I’m now a mother to six, was a professional singer supporting Rod Stewart, was in an Abba tribute and Spice Girls tribute band…just completed a foundation degree. Have now relocated abroad.
I remember playing the recorder and competing in Bath. Lots of concerts with the choir – Moon Rock, Joseph, Captain Noah. The outdoor swimming pool in the summer – really cold!! Teachers: Mrs Christopher, Mrs Evans, Mr Corbett, Mr Pugh. I remember Mrs Evans sat her driving test. Mr Pugh’s house always won the Sports Days and Eisteddfods. Mr Corbett was such a laugh. I sold crisps during break time. Three of us had the job of counting the money every day in the crisp cupboard. Country dancing with Mrs Nichols in Gwent Square. So many amazing memories!
I went on to achieve a Music Degree and completed teacher training. After 7 years working in Swansea, I have been a teacher in a Primary School in Abergavenny for almost 15 years.
I remember playing sports – played cricket and chess at county level in the 4th year. I remember the chess team organised by Mr Corbett. Christmas concerts and sports days. I lived 50 yds from the school gate! I now live in Fredrikstad, Norway.
I spent 20 years at the University of Surrey, have a PhD and taught Chemical Engineering. I am now an environmental researcher in Norway.
I have very few memories to be honest!
I went on to achieve a BSc. Biomedical Sciences. MSc Biomedical Sciences. Chartered Scientist. I now work as a Senior Biomedical Scientist in Haematology at UHW Cardiff.
I remember using the swimming pool and learning to swim in it. I remember school trips to Cardiff airport and Bristol zoo. I remember Mr Davies and Mrs Evans.
I have a Diploma in childhood and education, childhood studies degree. I now work at St. Julian’s Primary School.
My strongest memory of being in the junior school was the above ground swimming pool that we had. We loved it but it was always so cold. I have two swimming certificates that I was awarded by the school, for learning to swim at Maindee Pools. My first teacher I had in the junior school was an art teacher and he let us draw a lot (maybe that is where my love of art started) he might have been called Mr Webb but I am not 100% sure. I then went upstairs to Mr ? Class and I remember loving history. Then I went to Mr Davies’ class (who also taught my son) – I remember doing pottery with him – I might still have the pot. He also taught us Welsh songs such as Sosban Fach. Then my last teacher was Mr Pugh. I remember having stuffed animals from the museum, such as badgers in class for a few weeks. I also remember school trips to St Fagan’s, Longleat and Dodington Park (nr Bath although it is not there now), it had an amazing adventure playground. We used to do old time music shows, where we dressed up in old fashioned long dresses and bonnets. Also we had residential trips to places such as Forest Coal Pit and Hilston Park. There was also a bomb scare when I was at St Julian’s Junior school. We were all kept on the top yard until it was safe. Mrs Owen was a very strict teacher but she was great at keeping our spirits up.
I have since worked mostly in administrative roles until I had children, working for Newport County AFC and then in the motor trade. After my children were born, I became a civil servant working in the Passport Office and then the Office for National Statistics. All this time, I was still living in St Julian’s until Feb 2007, when I moved to Sydney, Australia with my family. Returning to St Julian’s at the end of 2009, I went to Coleg Gwent to study Art and Design, which led me to a degree course at Cardiff Metropolitan University. I graduated in July 2016 with a BA(hons) degree in Artist Designer: Maker, at the age of 50! I have been working on various creative projects since graduation to gain experience, working predominately on participatory art projects.
I have very fond memories of Mr. Corbett and Mrs. Smith in particular. I especially remember the final year school trip to Plymouth and the Cycling Proficiency Test. An early introduction to homework from Mrs Smith stood me in good stead!
Went on to St Julians Comp at Hatherley and Heather Road. Took A-Levels in French, German and History before studying French at Portsmouth, the best decision I’ve ever made. Returned to Newport as a Graduate Trainee with British Steel, and after 30 years with the company I’m still there! Our son has just left St Julians Primary in summer 2016 after a wonderful seven years and has just completed his first term at St Julians Comp.
I recall Mr Brain was the headmaster. Mr Shotton had a model of the QE2 cruise liner in the vestibule. He once tried to float it in the pool. It was left to its own devices for the afternoon and during Mr Shotton’s lesson, a pupil ran in and shouted, “Sir, Sir come quick, the QE2 is sinking”. Needless to say the entire class erupted in laughter. Mr Shotton aided by some of the lads managed to rescue the ship. Mrs Watts was my teacher when I first went to the school.
When I first left school, I worked in The Stardust Cabaret Club as the stage manager. When that closed, I took a temporary porters job in the Royal Gwent Hospital. I then went on to train in endoscopy. Twelve years later I moved to Velindre Cancer Centre and trained as a Clinical Technologist in Nuclear Medicine where I currently am. Going to university in my late forties was quite an experience but I need a science qualification (Biomedical Science) to be registered. I have just completed twenty five years in The Ermine Street Guard, a Roman re-enactment society. I have visited St. Julians in the past in kit to give a talk on the Romans. I am a film extra also having turned up in Dr. Who, Casualty and countless documentary reconstructions. I have a radio program on Celtica Radio. I have also recently directed and acted in a short film about equality funded by Big Lottery Wales. So all in all, I haven’t done much🤗
I remember junior School Teachers – Malcolm Price, Terry Brunnock, Mr. Williams, Mrs. Owen. Infant School Teachers – Mrs. Edworth? Mrs. Cownley, Miss. Edmunds, Mrs. Evans, Mrs. Watts (wonderful teacher). I remember taking part in School Plays, School Sports, Sports Day, Swimming Lessons at Maindee Baths in 4th Year of Juniors! Enjoyed Mental Arithmetic Lessons, Great Art Lessons with Mr. Williams!
Achieved a BA Hons in Teaching. Taught for 18 years in Comprehensive Schools. Lectured in F.E. and H.E. in Sport & Exercise Science for 15 years. Internal Verifier for CYQ Courses in Fitness and Personal Trainer. Thoroughly enjoyed my years Teaching and Lecturing. I Retired in July 2009!
I remember my first infant teacher; Miss Tiley. Junior headmaster was Mr Braine. I remember Mr Marsh, Mr Price and Miss Owen. I sang the first verse of “Away in a manger” solo at the school Christmas concert when I was about 8 years old.
I went on to become a qualified motor mechanic up until 1976, then I joined Gwent Police where I served for 30years. I am currently the caretaker at a primary school not so far away. I would love to come and have a look around the school. I loved my time there.
Having temporarily left Newport in the 1970s and only ever travelling home for family events I had not really kept up to date with the happenings at St Julian’s until December of last year when I attended a Christmas Concert at the school. Walking back through those doors was an unexpectedly emotional experience for me after almost 60 years. So much that was familiar and yet some changes that seemed oddly disconcerting. Entering the hall to find the stage is now on the right hand wall and not the wall in front of you as you walk in was the first of those odd experiences. I was stood there thinking “What HAVE they done to my school!”
Memories are such wonderful things. As I approach my eighth decade I remain certain that my recollections are perfect. Sadly some of my contemporaries are less convinced! But anyway…
One of the first tasks on entering the Juniors was to begin to write in ink. This had to be achieved using school issue wooden pens with a steel nib which you had to dip into the inkwell on the corner of your desk. It is not hard to imagine the mess that all this created. For some reason we were not allowed to have our own fountain pens until after the first year and ball point pens seem to have been regarded as corrupting influences designed to lure young minds along a path of laziness and corruption!
Once we could write we were given the opportunity to enter an essay completion sponsored by Cadbury’s chocolate. We all sat in the hall and watched a film about how chocolate was harvested in far off places and then made in Birmingham. The task was then to write an essay about some aspect of chocolate production with the prize being a seemingly enormous slab of chocolate for the best essay written by a boy and the best written by a girl. You can , of course, guess why I can remember this. I won the bar of chocolate and made myself thoroughly sick eating it.
We had four ‘houses’ named after the patron Saints of the four countries that made up the United Kingdom. I do not recall the house rivalries being used at any other time then on the annual sports day. In my final year I was , for some odd reason, elected as house captain of St David’s. Since my athletic prowess was notoriously bad the outcome that year on sports day was disastrous for my poor house members.
At one point the overcrowding in the Juniors was so bad that our classroom for an entire year was the dining room. For the last lesson every morning we would carry our chairs out into the corridor and be taught the last morning lesson there.
I recall a school trip to London Airport (now Heathrow) to the rooftop of the Queens Building which had recently opened. We were all a bit puzzled as to why we were going to stand on a rooftop for the day. It was much more exciting than that of course – there were rooftop gardens, souvenir shops and cafes as well as great views of the huge aircraft. On the journey back on the train one of the accompanying teachers got us to play a game which involved winning if you pretended to be asleep for longer than anyone else. I can recall a conversation between 2 of the teachers as I pretended sleep saying that whoever invented this game was a genius!
There was, every year, the annual nativity play. Costumes for this production were pretty basic for us boys. Tea towels tied on as head gear and dressing gowns as robes. I recall one year being cast as Joseph and having to wear a thick clump of cotton wool painted black and attached to a piece of elastic as a beard. It itched like mad and was so delicate I was not allowed to wear it during rehearsals leaving my actual moment of glory in the final performance a bit muffled as I tried to talk through two inches of cotton wool.