First Day.....Last Day

Share your memories and stories from your days at school, and find out the truth behind the rumours....Remember the teachers and pupils, tell us who you remember and why...

Moderator: Moderators

White Flag
2nd Former
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Nov 20, 2007 3:00 pm
Real Name: TA

First Day.....Last Day

Post by White Flag » Thu Dec 13, 2007 1:47 pm

I remember it so well 1969. Had somehow passed the exams much to everyones astonishment. Been granted a place due to a " Distinguished Service Award ". Went up to London and got groped by a doctor. And then went home for the summer.
September, arrived at the school. Given my uniform and a pair of shoes that were too small. Got changed, gave my parents my own clothes. Said goodbye to them, everything was new and exciting. Went to bed. Wöke up and started crying..a terrible case of homesickness that lasted about three years.

Last day july 1974.

Was more or less told to leave the school. Best news of my life. Felt strange being the youngest in the chapel getting a bible. That year it rained and rained. The retreat was going to be held indoors. But at that age your parents are just embarrasing while everybody elses are ok. No way was I going to let mine loose around the school. And this was my last day! So I lied and said there was no retreat.
Got my clothes went up to the dormitory sat on my bed, changed, just left my uniform on the bed and literally walked out of the door into the car and three minutes later was " free".
And nowadays I regret that I never said goodbye to the school to the dining hall to the grounds and not one pupil or teacher.
And while I hated just about every minute I was there ( I was just not suited to being away from home ) and while I was if not hated by some pupils at least strongly disliked ( quite rightly) and still am so very proud to have been a pupil at such an amazing place.
And if you thought I stayed at home with my parents for the following years you are wrong. Possibly to punish them I moved abroad in the autumn of 74 and been overseas since then. Thats my excuse for bad spelling and punctuation.
Could do better !

michael scuffil
Button Grecian
Posts: 1377
Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2007 12:53 pm
Real Name: michael scuffil
Location: germany

Post by michael scuffil » Thu Dec 13, 2007 4:48 pm

First day
Arrive at a country station of quite extraordinary size. Man with red hair and ruddy complexion (ALJ), plus two grecians. Forest of rugby goalposts, approaching red cliff. Pleasant-looking housemaster, pleasant-looking nursemaid. In wardrobe queue, notice strange hierarchy: Matrons' Dining Room, House-maids' dining-room, Kitchen-maids' dining room. Back at house, walk into changing room, naked people (shock, horror), hairy (shock, horror)

Second day
Innocently try porridge at breakfast (shock, horror). At chapel, hymn starts, bellow of broken male voices (shock, horror). Parade of exiting masters -- weirdest collection of humanity ever (shock, horror). First lesson, geography (GWN). Presented with map of Horsham, about which knowledge was presupposed. Might as well have been Timbuktu. (At least that might have been interesting.)

Penultimate day
Leaving service, long wait (I was pretty senior)

Last day
No memories. What now, I thought.
Last edited by michael scuffil on Fri Apr 18, 2008 2:02 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
John Knight
Deputy Grecian
Posts: 314
Joined: Sat Feb 04, 2006 10:19 am
Location: Surrey

Post by John Knight » Thu Dec 13, 2007 6:18 pm

Now, there are a couple of wonderful posts.... Thanks
John.
Last edited by John Knight on Fri Dec 14, 2007 1:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Prep B 49 / Barnes B 39 - 1946-1952

sejintenej
Button Grecian
Posts: 3107
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2005 12:19 pm
Real Name: David Brown
Location: Essex

Post by sejintenej » Thu Dec 13, 2007 10:20 pm

First day (and first 3 years) very much like Whiteflag. Just dumped there with no understanding of what thye place was or even the geography of thye UK - I came from 250 miles away and had problems even understanding what people were saying.

Last day; I left a few days earlier because I was going on an expedition to Arctic Norway. Summoned to Seaman's study for the charge and bible. Not a word of greeting nor goodbye. In my days it was deemed proper to go and say goodbye to the masters you knew - most seemed to think I was being expelled so I didnt get the customary alcoholic drink! OTOH Mr Crosland (for Josh benefit he was GSL at the time) was far more friendly.
(I had already had my pint or 20 from Kit on the Broads several months before)
Last am dressed in flannels and got picked up after breakfast. Very jealous because a leaver in Col B had his (alleged) own car parked between the houses - an AC (the smaller version of the quintessential Cobra!)
“When you arise in the morning think of what a privilege it is to be alive, to think, to enjoy, to love ...”

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations 167AD

User avatar
Mid A 15
Button Grecian
Posts: 2928
Joined: Thu May 19, 2005 1:38 pm
Real Name: Claude Rains
Location: The Patio Of England (Kent)

Post by Mid A 15 » Thu Dec 13, 2007 10:53 pm

John Knight wrote:There are a couple of wonderful posts.... Thanks
John.
Agreed. Those few words bring it all back.
Ma A, Mid A 65 -72

Katharine
Button Grecian
Posts: 2937
Joined: Mon Dec 26, 2005 10:44 pm
Real Name: Katharine Dobson
Location: Gwynedd

Re: First Day.....Last Day

Post by Katharine » Mon Dec 17, 2007 6:26 pm

I think it is time we had Hertford memories on this thread!

First day - my main memory of the day itself was a senior girl, having asked me which Ward I was in, and I answered Six, she commented sneeringly to a friend 'Isn't it lovely how they say just the number (for the benefit of those not at Hertford, not saying Sixes) I think I was in the infirmary for a medical at the time. I started in September 1959 after a long hot Summer and I remember my parents discussing in the days before I went whether I should take a swimming costume with me - I think they even went around to a neighbour's house to be able to phone the school to ask. My mother got herself into a tizzy looking for something to take my clothes home - she did not have anything when my brother started at Horsham. I remember everything feeling very strange, and sitting to write a letter to my parents that night - sitting at a table I would soon learn was not for such lowly persons as the youngest member of the house.

Penultimate day - I remember our pleasure when we learnt that we would receive our Bibles in Chapel - there were just six of us leaving at Christmas - that really was emotional and personal having the Charge read to just US and then coming out in the cold dark night.

Next morning we all dressed to the nines in the Flat and thought we all looked wonderful swaggering around. Then we went down to 6s for breakfast and again swaggered in to dayroom to the amazed looks of everyone having breakfast! We had all got really jazzy stockings (no tights in those far off days!) After breakfast when everyone had gone off by train I had to wait for my father to come by car to collect me. Suddenly it was all empty - how was I going to cope? Would it all work out? Would my au pair placement work - could I speak enough French? Would I forget all my Maths before I went to University? Fortunately Father arrived before I became a shivering wreck!!
Katharine Dobson (Hills) 6.14, 1959 - 1965
Don't worry about the world coming to an end today. It's already tomorrow in Australia!

User avatar
Jo
Button Grecian
Posts: 2230
Joined: Wed Aug 08, 2007 5:36 pm
Real Name: Jo Sidebottom
Location: Milton Keynes
Contact:

Re: First Day.....Last Day

Post by Jo » Tue Dec 18, 2007 9:53 pm

I suppose like other people's.

First day
- I remember being really excited leading up to term starting, and all the way over in the car, and not minding saying goodbye to my parents.......and then it hit me a couple of hours later how long it would be before I saw them again, and I found myself in tears. It was all so new and strange, and of course all the older girls knew each other, and some of the jargon was incomprehensible. It was just the start of the chronic homesickness that plagued me for 4 or 5 years, except that after that first time it always started in the last week of the holidays, because I knew how unhappy I was going to be during the first week of term.

Last day - I stayed up all night finishing off my leaving outfit, a long summer dress. Lots of other people were up all night too, running between houses, dancing on the field. I remember feeling a mixture of elation and apprehension - elation that I was going to be released from what felt like 8 years of imprisonment in a cloistered and rather unhealthy lifestyle, yet apprehension about what was coming next. Was I ready to be a "student"? Would I have to take part in sit-ins and demos? I always find change difficult, so although I was never entirely happy at CH, it was still the devil I knew (which was why I tolerated it and didn't leave to go to a day school earlier). I needn't have worried - I had a blast at university in London - talk about feeling like I'd been launched on the big wide world :lol:
Jo
5.7, 1967-75

User avatar
icomefromalanddownunder
Button Grecian
Posts: 1228
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2006 6:13 am
Real Name: Caroline Payne (nee Barrett)
Location: Adelaide, South Australia

Re: First Day.....Last Day

Post by icomefromalanddownunder » Wed Dec 19, 2007 6:32 am

Katharine wrote:I think it is time we had Hertford memories on this thread!

Next morning we all dressed to the nines in the Flat and thought we all looked wonderful swaggering around. Then we went down to 6s for breakfast and again swaggered in to dayroom to the amazed looks of everyone having breakfast! We had all got really jazzy stockings (no tights in those far off days!)

I was one of the amazed lookers :lol: You all looked wonderful, sophisticated, and, ahem, human (sorry Katharine, but I had spent the previous two terms in total awe of you all). Actually, I was even more in awe of you when I saw you as humans, rather than members of 3rd Year Sixth (Senior Sixth?).

Amazing (or not) that I can't remember whether 3rd Year or Senior Sixth came after Upper Sixth, but I do remember one of you dressed from top to toe in a stunning white outfit with black swirls. I was going to type psychadelic, but am not sure that black on white counts as psychadelic (even when it's spelt correctly). Were they really stockings? Surely one of the earliest pairs of tights?

I have no idea what I wore on my last day. Something I had made in needlework, perhaps.

xx

Katharine
Button Grecian
Posts: 2937
Joined: Mon Dec 26, 2005 10:44 pm
Real Name: Katharine Dobson
Location: Gwynedd

Re: First Day.....Last Day

Post by Katharine » Wed Dec 19, 2007 11:25 am

icomefromalanddownunder wrote:
Katharine wrote: Next morning we all dressed to the nines in the Flat and thought we all looked wonderful swaggering around. Then we went down to 6s for breakfast and again swaggered in to dayroom to the amazed looks of everyone having breakfast! We had all got really jazzy stockings (no tights in those far off days!)
I was one of the amazed lookers :lol: You all looked wonderful, sophisticated, and, ahem, human (sorry Katharine, but I had spent the previous two terms in total awe of you all). Actually, I was even more in awe of you when I saw you as humans, rather than members of 3rd Year Sixth (Senior Sixth?).

Amazing (or not) that I can't remember whether 3rd Year or Senior Sixth came after Upper Sixth, but I do remember one of you dressed from top to toe in a stunning white outfit with black swirls. I was going to type psychadelic, but am not sure that black on white counts as psychadelic (even when it's spelt correctly). Were they really stockings? Surely one of the earliest pairs of tights?
I thought you had remembered our leaving, Caroline, when I wrote that. Of course we weren't human when we were in uniform - we were the goddesses at the very top of the school!!! :lol: :lol: :lol: (wretched system - how I wish I had kicked against some things then!)

I think it was Munch's bete noir, Wendy Lee, in the black & white. I don't think any of us had tights then but they were certainly around by the following winter. Mine were creamy coloured criss cross textured stockings - can't remember the shoes but I wore a beautiful greeny gold pinafore dress made for school needlework the previous year, but I had also made a jacket to go with it to leave school.
Katharine Dobson (Hills) 6.14, 1959 - 1965
Don't worry about the world coming to an end today. It's already tomorrow in Australia!

michael scuffil
Button Grecian
Posts: 1377
Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2007 12:53 pm
Real Name: michael scuffil
Location: germany

Re: First Day.....Last Day

Post by michael scuffil » Wed Dec 19, 2007 12:00 pm

Well girls, do you want to know what I wore to leave? (Though I must say there's nothing as fetching as a Grecian's uniform, not even the vintage silk kimonos that I currently wear around the house (my wife won't let me go out in them).)

But anyway, it was a sort of political statement: light-coloured jacket, dark-coloured shirt, and light-coloured tie (colour of trousers, can't remember). The point about this combination of dark and light was that it was worn by my favourite teachers (David Herbert, David Jesson-Dibley, Tim Law), and they had it (though I didn't realize at the time) from the "uniform" of the arty types of the 1930s.

By the time I first visited the school, I'd graduated to the Beat gear of donkey-jacket and black polo-neck, which induced Ma Massen to say I looked like a coal-man.
Th.B. 27 1955-63

User avatar
MKM
Grecian
Posts: 799
Joined: Thu Dec 28, 2006 7:29 pm
Real Name: Mary Lynch

Re: First Day.....Last Day

Post by MKM » Wed Dec 19, 2007 1:12 pm

First day (23rd August 1965).
I travelled from Liverpool Street to Hertford East with my mother. Neither of us had visited the school before. We sat quietly in the corner of the carriage, listening to the conversation of another new girl and her family. I think it was EnglishAngel (do you remember, Mary?). It was quite a loud conversation, so we weren't really eavesdropping. They obviously knew a lot about the school, which made me nervous as I knew so little.

Later I stood at the back of a crowd of new girls. DR stood at the front, sorting us into houses, or maybe forms. It all went smoothly, (DR called a name, the girl stepped forward), until she reached my name on the list. "Mary (long pause) McDonagh" ... she had pronounced it with a long "o", and I had no idea that she meant me. She had to repeat it a few times before I guessed. I told her how to say my name, but that just made her more annoyed. I was off to a Bad Start. I gave up and answered to the wrong name for the rest of my schooldays.

I somehow missed going on a tour of the school. I think Mum went while I was being given my uniform. It was a long time before I knew where everything was. Mum took my clothes home in a shopping bag, as well as a dressing gown I had brought with me but wasn't allowed to keep.

A senior girl helped me put my things in my locker in the day room. She saw my copy of Bunty, and said comics weren't allowed but I could keep it till I had finished reading it. I didn't volunteer the fact that I had already read it all on the journey. Could that have been you, Katharine? Whoever it was, it was a kind thing to do. It was the first time I'd met the idea that there was anything disreputable about a comic. I wasn't a backward reader - I'd sat up late the night before reading David Copperfield (not recommended reading for a child about to go to boarding school for the first time).

Last day
Memories very vague here. I remember walking towards the back gate for the last time, wearing my home clothes. I wore a short patterned dress (purple and white), which I had bought at East Lane market, in London. I seem to remember a long coat, worn open, which swished round my legs, but it seems unlikely on a summer day. We passed Mrs Joiner, who said "Goodbye, Mary". That was the moment I realised I was really leaving.
Mary
CH 1965-1972

Katharine
Button Grecian
Posts: 2937
Joined: Mon Dec 26, 2005 10:44 pm
Real Name: Katharine Dobson
Location: Gwynedd

Re: First Day.....Last Day

Post by Katharine » Wed Dec 19, 2007 2:32 pm

MKM wrote:First day (23rd August 1965).
A senior girl helped me put my things in my locker in the day room. She saw my copy of Bunty, and said comics weren't allowed but I could keep it till I had finished reading it. I didn't volunteer the fact that I had already read it all on the journey. Could that have been you, Katharine?
Your first day, Mary, was my 18th birthday. I was a bit disgruntled having a birthday at school - we had started the 4 term year the previous year, so it was my second birthday at school. I don't think I did anything in 6s that day, I hope I would have let you keep Bunty. That day, I was too busy helping Miss Gamble and being HM's Mon (can't remember what I actually did except bustle about with lists - I was very new to being HM's Mon and Prefect then!)
Katharine Dobson (Hills) 6.14, 1959 - 1965
Don't worry about the world coming to an end today. It's already tomorrow in Australia!

User avatar
blondie95
Button Grecian
Posts: 2590
Joined: Tue Jun 06, 2006 4:41 pm
Real Name: Amy Leadbeater
Location: Kent
Contact:

Re: First Day.....Last Day

Post by blondie95 » Thu Dec 20, 2007 6:15 pm

my first day was really excitement and some trepidation. Having spental my life living around boarding schools i couldt wait to see what it was like. Was looking forward to putting the bad bullying of my secondry school behind me (although i soon realised you could still get bullied and made to feel worthless as 16-18) and showing the world who Amy is.

Last day was totallaly surreal-not believing that we were grown up at 18 and feeling any near as old as those in years above me had looked when they were 18 and leaving. Also being totally bemuse as to how i was going to keep in touch with everyone and if i was going to meet people who were any where near as amazing as my friends.
Amy Leadbeater
BaB 2000-01, Gre W01-02

Check out my blog http://leadpencils.blogspot.com/

User avatar
englishangel
Forum Moderator
Posts: 6955
Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 12:22 pm
Real Name: Mary Faulkner (Vincett)
Location: Amersham, Buckinghamshire

Re: First Day.....Last Day

Post by englishangel » Fri Dec 21, 2007 2:29 am

FIRST DAY

No Mary it wasn't me on the train, my Dad had a nursery so took me and my Mum in his delivery van (a little green Austin A40 I think).

I don't remember the 'sorting hat' bit, perhaps that was just for the people who had gone on the train. I remember looking at the list of new girls on the table in the airing room when I was being kitted out in my baggy underpants and seeing Alex Thrift's name on it (I had sat next to her at the exam) and getting told off by Fanny, sighing as she looked up at me, I was 5'4" with size 6 feet at 11 and she was only about 5'2" even in her size 3 heels.

LAST DAY

My cousin had got married just before A levels and I had gone down to Somerset for her wedding, having bought a blue gingham maxi dress and a blue hat for the occasion, so I wore those as my leaving outfit. When I saw the photos taken at the wedding after I got home I realised that I really should have bought a slip to go underneath it.
"If a man speaks, and there isn't a woman to hear him, is he still wrong?"

Vonny
Button Grecian
Posts: 1624
Joined: Sat Dec 11, 2004 7:33 pm
Real Name: Yvonne Payne

Re: First Day.....Last Day

Post by Vonny » Sun Dec 23, 2007 10:44 pm

Well on my first day at Hertford, during tea, I threw up all over the dayroom floor :lol: I was whisked up t'inf and that was where I spent my first night :roll:
My first day at Horsham I was also sick :oops: :lol: Albeit just before we arrived at the school.
My last day - erm, following a similar vein, I felt sick, although I have to say that was self inflicted the night before.
2's 1981-1985 2:12 BaB 1985-1988 BaB 41

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest