That date rings a bell....

Anything that doesn't fit anywhere else, but that's still CH related.

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MaryB
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Re: That date rings a bell....

Post by MaryB » Sat Aug 27, 2011 10:42 am

Picking up belatedly on this, and sharing Angela's memory of 19 August 1964 (two days after my 11th birthday - I think it actually was Carolyn's....) I can answer the question about days out. We were allowed three visits between August and Christmas, of which one would be the September Long Sat. There wasn't a Long Sat in the pre Christmas term, but parents could come for the Sale of Work as an extra, though I don't think they could take us out for lunch. Between Christmas and July we could have 5 visits, and there was a Long Sat in both terms - winter visits were a bit of a con as we had to be back by 6 not 7pm. You could have your visit on Sunday - it began after chapel ("parents welcome to attend") and you had to be back for Evensong which I think was at 4 ("the day Thou gavest Lord is ended"...not quite!)

My parents used to drive for three hours plus to get to Hertford from Chichester - no M25 of course and the A3 which is now motorway standard wiggled its way around the countryside before they left it for the Watford by pass via Rickmansworth. (I've just moved to Surrey and I keep finding "lost" bits of A3 incorporated into B roads.) I had no idea what a horrible cross country journey they must have made every time.

My first Long Sat we went to Whipsnade and I cried all the time because I knew the day would be over soon and I'd be missing my parents all over again. It must have been a nightmare for them - they offered to take me home and I wouldn't go out of sheer pride and refusal to be seen as having made the wrong decision, because I would have had to rejoin my primary school cohort at Chichester High School. What might my life have been like if 'd gone with them.......? I don't suppose I'd be about to be installed as Rector of Haslemere. All very odd really.
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Re: That date rings a bell....

Post by icomefromalanddownunder » Sun Aug 28, 2011 12:47 am

MaryB wrote: What might my life have been like if 'd gone with them.......? I don't suppose I'd be about to be installed as Rector of Haslemere. All very odd really.
I've been playing this game a lot recently, and for me it always comes back to my son and daughter - who probably wouldn't be part of my life if I had chosen a different path, so I conclude that my learnings (mistakes?) and tortuous route were required for the wonderful outcome.

Changing tack: my daughter will (if her father books the flights) be in West Sussex in early October and I'm debating whether or not to ask my brother-in-law to take Jess to Horsham, even if only for a peek through the gates. Although nothing can give her a sense of our time at Hertford, I would be interested to hear the impressions of someone whose school uniform was an Akubra hat, green sweatshirt, moleskin trousers and boots (usually Doc Marten's, but sometimes joddhy boots).

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Re: That date rings a bell....

Post by Pixie » Sun Aug 28, 2011 8:32 am

The date etched in my mind is 23 August 1965 and every year on that date I reflect on how different my life might have been if I'd told my parents how I really felt. My most vivid memory is not associated with arriving at the school or what happened after that as I seem to have erased much of it from my memory. What sticks in my mind are the moments before I left my home, staring miserably at my blue suitcases sitting in the hall fighting back tears. It had never been my idea to apply for CH, I just went along with others wishes and now the dreaded day had come. I learned only a few years ago that my father had misgivings about it too so I wonder what would have happened if I'd voiced my feelings then.

Like Caroline, CH has had a long-reaching effect on my life. I met my husband at an OG's 21st birthday party!
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Re: That date rings a bell....

Post by fra828 » Sun Aug 28, 2011 12:06 pm

What I remember most on arrival at Hertford is gathering in the square to be allocated our houses. I thought DR had a kindly face, especially as my primary school hm had been a real dragon! It was when we all went to our respective houses that it really hit me, the homesickness kicked in with the utter strangeness of it all... I think DR was kind to new girls until their true character came out! Or maybe I haven't remembered very well?! :lol:

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Re: That date rings a bell....

Post by MaryB » Sun Aug 28, 2011 12:11 pm

icomefromalanddownunder wrote:for me it always comes back to my son and daughter - who probably wouldn't be part of my life if I had chosen a different path, so I conclude that my learnings (mistakes?) and tortuous route were required for the wonderful outcome.
Yes of course - likewise for my sons.
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Re: That date rings a bell....

Post by NEILL THE NOTORIOUS » Sun Aug 28, 2011 4:11 pm

AH ! if only -------
I think we can all look back on defining moments in our lives -- how different it would be if I had only ----
Somebody, I don't know who, said "If you come to a fork in the road -- take it ! "
My future was pretty well mapped out for me, even at the age of 3, being bounced on my Grandfather's (RHA, DCM) with the advice "Be a Soldier my boy !"
My Father had passed for Sandhurst, following his elder Brother, both from Crewkerne Grammer School, when the brother died on the Northwest Frontier, from Appendicitis, rather than an Aghan bullet.
His Mother, who had seen her Husband survive all the wars from the Boxer Rebellion, via the Relief of Khartoum and Boer War, to WW1, and now had only one Son left, pleaded with my Father, not to be a Soldier ---------- He joined the City of London Police.
Because of that, I went to CH, via the ST Sepulchre;s Scholarship -----

Which is why you are reading this --------------- Blame the Afghans for everything !!! :lol:

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Re: That date rings a bell....

Post by DavidRawlins » Sun Aug 28, 2011 4:41 pm

I don't think that my mother had considered CH until I went to a Christmas party (perhaps held by the church) and met Colin Bell there in uniform. I got chatting with him; he inspired me, and when I got home I told my mother that I wanted to go to CH. I was too late for a presentation so I took the Almoners' exam, somewhere in London.
Col A 1946-1953

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Re: That date rings a bell....

Post by sejintenej » Sun Aug 28, 2011 6:06 pm

NEILL THE NOTORIOUS wrote: Somebody, I don't know who, said "If you come to a fork in the road -- take it ! "
My future was pretty well mapped out for me, even at the age of 3, being bounced on my Grandfather's (RHA, DCM) with the advice "Be a Soldier my boy !"

Because of that, I went to CH, via the ST Sepulchre;s Scholarship -----
:
Of course there was another way for you.
OBs were entitled to join the HAC which is, of course a TA outfit. In your and my day, membership of the HAC entitled you to a commission should you be called up as a Terrier or decide to go full time. Of course it would have meant drill with musket, fife, drum and pike as well as howitzers at the Tower etc. etc.

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Re: That date rings a bell....

Post by Katharine » Sun Aug 28, 2011 6:14 pm

DavidRawlins wrote: I was too late for a presentation so I took the Almoners' exam, somewhere in London.
Great Tower Street, presumably. When I did it, the boys and girls took the first round of exams in their own schools, same papers, same dates, but went to Great Tower Street at different times. How do I know that they were the same? I took the exam twice, the first time my brother also took it, went to London but didn't get in. Second time I got in. Both the people nearest me at the exam in London got in.

My mother's memory of the day is returning to collect me at the end one mother said, in a loud voice, "When I see all these intelligent looking parents here, what chance has our Lizzie?" Lizzie was Liz Richards, who did get in and went on to Oxford for PPE, having applied for Maths.
Katharine Dobson (Hills) 6.14, 1959 - 1965
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Re: That date rings a bell....

Post by DavidRawlins » Sun Aug 28, 2011 9:02 pm

I almost certainly did not go for the exam to Gt Tower Str; I think that it was one of the examination halls. Perhaps some else knows.
Col A 1946-1953

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Re: That date rings a bell....

Post by Angela Woodford » Mon Aug 29, 2011 11:13 am

Pixie wrote: My most vivid memory is not associated with arriving at the school or what happened after that as I seem to have erased much of it from my memory. What sticks in my mind are the moments before I left my home, staring miserably at my blue suitcases sitting in the hall fighting back tears.

Pixie! What a sad memory! I'm going back in time and feeling for you! I remember you as tremendously lively and feisty - whatever you were feeling during the Hertford years, that's the image you seemed to project. You were in 3's, yes?

I'd been infected by Malory Towers Syndrome, aged maybe nine years old.

I had begun packing easily before the beginning of that August. I'd got the Miss Gamble-typed letter balanced in the open lid of my (blue!) suitcase, and gleefully began ticking off and packing each item as it was acquired. I could possibly economise on space by packing the attaché case inside the suitcase? Hmmm. My father had gone out and purchased my initials in gold stick-on letters for the cases, which seemed to me to be the ultimate sophistication. Songs of Praise, the nit comb, slippers, jam (home-made permitted only); the list glowed with a special magic of Leaving Home, of Independence, of Grown-Upness. Had I not been the cleverest girl at Junior School? Was I not surrounded by a wonderful aura of having won that coveted LCC Christ's Hospital Scholarship? From now on, my life was on course for achievement after achievement.

That first sight of the School Gates was just too exciting. Junior House 1! Of course, next was the putting on of the uniform - my first real disappointment. Could this scruffy pile of cast-offs really be for me? Probably they were just temporary, until I would be issued with the Real Uniform destined to be as smart as I was hoping to look.

To be frank, I couldn't wait for my parents to go, so that I could embark on my new life as a Christ's Hospital Girl - destined for success in work and play! And there was a pair of red-headed twins who looked the greatest fun, and a blonde girl born the same day as I! It was all going to be great - I would work so hard.....

And the rest? Oh dear.
"Baldrick, you wouldn't recognise a cunning plan if it painted itself purple, and danced naked on top of a harpsichord singing "Cunning plans are here again.""

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Re: That date rings a bell....

Post by Pixie » Mon Aug 29, 2011 11:37 am

Hi Angela, yes I was in 3's. I soon learnt how to hide my real feelings and it's one of the characteristics that have stayed with me to this day. I appear to be unshockable and my workmates always tell me that I'm very calm even when I know I'm feeling highly stressed.

Actually, I quickly adapted to life at CH and decided to make the best of it, joined in as many activities as I could (especially sport) and made some very good friends. I think I have said before that my time at CH enabled me to cope with some very tough times in my life, such as the loss of my eldest son. Perhaps I would not have been so well equipped if I had had an easier passage into secondary school life.
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Re: That date rings a bell....

Post by Chris Blewett » Wed Aug 31, 2011 9:41 pm

I started at Horsham on 14th September 1968 (getting on for 43 years??) and I did my entrance exam at Great Tower Street - I remember it well because I slipped and fell outside Billingsgate Market and spent the rest of the day smelling of fish!
LHB, Th A 1968-Xmas 73

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Re: That date rings a bell....

Post by J.R. » Thu Sep 01, 2011 12:33 pm

I honestly can't remember where I took the exam, though I'm pretty sure it wasn't Great Tower Street.

All I remember is the fairly large hall, Mr Eagle and Mr Jones officiating, and the fact there was a Lyons Corner House about a minutes walk from the venue.
John Rutley. Prep B & Coleridge B. 1958-1963.

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Re: That date rings a bell....

Post by kerrensimmonds » Thu Sep 01, 2011 12:56 pm

I took the entrance exam in Great Tower Street, and remember the big room (I guess it was the original Court Room) and the horseshoe table - still in the Court Room at Horsham, I believe. It's not one table, but several - some straight and some curved - which can be used either separately or put together. I remember the red pencils, and Miss West giving us dictation from Alice in Wonderland or The Wind in the Willows. I remember sitting on the shiny polished stairs, chatting to people - many of whom later became my friends. It would have been March 1957 - I remember being very proud that it was just a few days after my ninth birthday. Gosh!
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