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...

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midget
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Re: First Day.....Last Day

Post by midget » Mon Dec 24, 2007 8:26 pm

First day: sheer terror. Taken to Hertford by Green Line, Whisked away from my parents at front Gate, and up to the infirmary. Strip off and put on dressing gown, and eventually see doctor. There appeared to be dozens of new girls, most of them bigger than I. Get dressed,"which ward are you in?" Didn't know, so much searching on list. Taken to 1's and school uniform.
Second day: Various tests in the morning, to determine which form, afternoon a blank.
Third day: Things got worse, as I appeared to be the only one who hadn't been told which form to go to. On Wrdmistress' orders escorted to 2nd form (I was really very small): not wanted. On to 3rd form-not wanted. Try LIVB same thing, eventually find a home in LIVA.

Last day: Got dressed and quietly made up. Wore the dress I'd made in school needlework, grey coat and of course a HAT.
Maggie
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Wuppertal
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Re: First Day.....Last Day

Post by Wuppertal » Fri Feb 15, 2008 10:55 am

First day

Stayed overnight in London as I had come up from Devon; got the train down with lots of other new people and my mother and grandmother. I was feeling pretty mopey but did what was needed such as fitting on the uniform and checking in with housemaster and matrons. On the bunch of photos that my grandmother took before leaving, I am winking on all of them because I had to keep one eye firmly shut to stop myself from crying.

Last day

Had a great meal and evening at the ball on the last evening. Noticed that a close friend of mine looked rather too tipsy but guessed that happens to some people all the time at those occasions; he was just enjoying himself and all was fine. Returned to boarding house at maybe 1am to find said friend lying on the floor of his room, throwing up his guts with red wine colouring. He was in a pretty bad way so myself and two other friends took turns in sitting in his room, making sure an emergency didn't occur, cleaning up vomit (especially off his hired suit). For one of these friends, the new Saturday (and his last day at CH) was his 18th birthday. I got him a birthday cup of tea while he sat holding the vomitting friend. Eventually drunk friend fell asleep and we managed to get up to Sharpenhurst, is a really nice memory. Everyone was in a reflective and nostalgic mood, and I found myself having several long and enjoyable conversations with people on my year whom I hardly knew and had not really been friends with. The houseparents did us a barbecue outside the boarding house in the middle of the night as well, I think that was before we went up Sharpenhurst as I recall still having my ball clothes on.

The next day, drunk friend had seemingly recovered and the 4 of us set off for chapel. Suddenly the one who'd been drunk the night before ran into the loo with no warning and was sick. We were getting worryingly late for the leavers' service. We just grabbed a plastic bag and gave it to him to put in his pocket just incase something were to happen in chapel. We were some of the last people into chapel, but we made it. Some people looked at us as if we obviously didn't care, being borderline late for own leaving service, but we didn't care how they thought, we were just friends sticking together helping one of our own in need.

Leaving service went fine and beating retreat was great too. My dad had come down to join my mum and a family friend. My parents have been divorced since I was 1 and it was great to see them both there, it showed how much the occasion maent. After the retreat we walked around the Quad and the West and East blocks either side of Big School, looking for my teachers to try to see them all for one last time. We didn't find everyone we wanted but we found some, and it felt wonderful being able to say to my teacher, "Sir/Miss, these are my parents." It was the first time in my life I'd ever said that because usually I was just with one at any given time.

To cap it off, when we'd left we went a few miles down the road to meet my piano teacher of 7 years (she was part-time, semi-retired, only came in one day a week and didn't live at school). She had been a wonderful teacher and I wanted my mum to meet her. We had a pleasant few hours and in end my mum was brought to tears because my piano teacher had really been an influencial and inspirational person in my life.

A 24 hours I will never forget!

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John Knight
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Re: First Day.....Last Day

Post by John Knight » Fri Feb 15, 2008 10:14 pm

Nice one Thomas (Wuppertal) - Thanks...
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Wuppertal
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Re: First Day.....Last Day

Post by Wuppertal » Sat Feb 16, 2008 11:27 am

Thanks :-) One does ones best, and I like to think I had one of the more unual last evenings/mornings!

I enjoyed writing a little about it as it brings back memories (even if it was just a few years ago). Well done to White Flag for coming up with the idea for a thread, it's great to read everyone else's reminiscences.

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englishangel
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Re: First Day.....Last Day

Post by englishangel » Sat Feb 16, 2008 2:22 pm

Ball, meal, tipsy, 1am, not words understood at Hertford in the 70's, or probably at Horsham then either.
"If a man speaks, and there isn't a woman to hear him, is he still wrong?"

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Re: First Day.....Last Day

Post by Alexandra Thrift » Sat Feb 16, 2008 10:09 pm

A lovely story Thomas.Brought tears to my eyes.( Really )

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Wuppertal
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Re: First Day.....Last Day

Post by Wuppertal » Wed Feb 20, 2008 8:27 pm

Alexandra Thrift wrote:A lovely story Thomas.Brought tears to my eyes.( Really )
Thanks, it's a pleasure to hear it was enjoyed :) though apologies for the tears!

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Re: First Day.....Last Day

Post by kerrensimmonds » Thu Feb 21, 2008 9:12 pm

First day.. as Midget, I was deposited inside the school, taken away from my mum - then stripped of my clothes which ended up in a brown paper parcel which she then had to take home (on the train, from Hertford to Sussex). Kitted out in the basics of my new uniform (aged 9) I bade a tearful farewell to my mum, and became a member of the Junior Ward, No. 5. At tea that first day I met another new girl (who had already been there for a week or so, because her elder sister was in Ward 6). She and I are still 'best friends' and I am proud to say that she will be here next weekend to help me (with 100 or more other guests, many of whom are Old Blues....) to celebrate my 60th birthday. So whatever else you say about CH, it did engender deep and enduring friendships.
Last day.. I cried. Aged 18, and with a friend on board (who came to stay for a while with us, in Sussex after school, as I worked at the local swimming pool, earning money in preparation for going to College after my A level results had been received). Yes, I remember starting to weep as the car pulled out of the gates at CH Hertford for the last time - and I think I cried most of the way home. Sad, isn't it?!
Kerren Simmonds
5's and 2's Hertford, 1957-1966

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Re: First Day.....Last Day

Post by michael scuffil » Fri Feb 22, 2008 10:23 am

I don't quite understand what you think is sad, Kerren. Leaving, or the fact that you cried?
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Re: First Day.....Last Day

Post by su523 » Fri Feb 22, 2008 12:42 pm

First Day

I haven't thought about this probably since the day itself, but I remember me, my Dad and my twin sister Ann arriving and going in through the front gates. And it was only then that I discovered that Ann and I wouldn't be in the same house, the school having previously given the impression that we would. It was quite a shock because even though we weren't/aren't the closest sisters, we had never lived apart and had only ever been apart before when I was in hospital for a few days having my tonsils out.

Last Day

I have a photo of a small group of us leavers in the square in front of the school hall. I was wearing a dress I had made from a Laura Ashley fabric (cream with turquoise patten) which has mercifully long since disappeared! 1973 was not a good year for fashion (for me anyway). Then I just got on the train and went home on my own, arriving to an empty flat. And that was that.

I think that's maybe sadder than crying?

Su Bonfanti
5s 1967-73

PS Hallo Jo!

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Jo
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Re: First Day.....Last Day

Post by Jo » Fri Feb 22, 2008 2:08 pm

I remember feeling very liberated but quite rootless at the thought of being between school and university, even if only for a few months. It was the same when I left university. The feeling of not really belonging anywhere, having left one institution behind but not yet become part of another one. I suppose I've always felt it since when I've moved jobs too, but this was the first time, and it felt a bit strange. I guess it shows I have a real need to belong to something!

Hi Su, good to see you on here. Kay is here too somewhere but other than that I don't think 5's is very well represented :( (except for people who were in Ward 5 as juniors)
Jo
5.7, 1967-75

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englishangel
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Re: First Day.....Last Day

Post by englishangel » Fri Feb 22, 2008 8:10 pm

Kay is in Baja where the weather is a little better than it is here.
"If a man speaks, and there isn't a woman to hear him, is he still wrong?"

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Jude
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Re: First Day.....Last Day

Post by Jude » Mon Apr 14, 2008 1:09 pm

Jo wrote:Hi Su, good to see you on here. Kay is here too somewhere but other than that I don't think 5's is very well represented :( (except for people who were in Ward 5 as juniors)
I take it that although I joined when you left I am not a representative of 5's????? :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry:

First Day - 19th August 1975- driven up by Father and I think Step-mother and step-brothers (they are 10 & 8 years younger than me) parked outside of 5's, Ushered in through the front door (never to be done again until the last few days of my life there!).. Luggage opened and stored away (after being checked by Mrs Cooke), Parents went, my measurements had been sent on before so uniform was in house, although some things didn't fit so I ended up going to wardrobe...(got lost getting there).. Don;t remember being "inspected" in infirmary.. Although I had terrible tonsils through my time at CH..

Last Day - no sleep, hung saucepans and lids and pots etc between the lime trees in the Avenue, I rang school bell at 6am (hee hee!!!!!!! :twisted: :evil: ) (I wasn't alone in this - it had been decided between us leavers!) dressed in jeans, caught train I think back to Sussex.... or maybe only to Oxford - can't actually remember -


there are now some large blank areas in my brain - I need a new neural network to access all areas - but as the only unused brains are those of politicians I doubt there are enough to go around....

I seem to remember going to breakfast in home clothes, but don't remember whether I went to Chapel on the day I left or the day before- I think it was the day before (we had Speech Day and so on early...
Jude Comber (nee Kelynack) 5's 5.38 1975-1980 Herts.
To Learn - read, to Know - write, to MASTER - Teach

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Ajarn Philip
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Re: First Day.....Last Day

Post by Ajarn Philip » Mon Apr 14, 2008 1:34 pm

This is a terrific thread. Thanks to White Flag for starting it and to Jude for keeping it going. It's also quite 'difficult', so I'm... working on it.
I know exactly what words I am wanting to say, but somehow or other they is always getting squiffsquiddled around

Phil Underwood Ma A Col A Mid B 68-75

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Jo
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Re: First Day.....Last Day

Post by Jo » Mon Apr 14, 2008 2:10 pm

Jude wrote:
Jo wrote:Hi Su, good to see you on here. Kay is here too somewhere but other than that I don't think 5's is very well represented :( (except for people who were in Ward 5 as juniors)
I take it that although I joined when you left I am not a representative of 5's????? :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry:
Oops sorry Jude - you weren't around much on the forum when I posted that, IIRC, and I suppose I also subconsciously meant people who knew each other - Kay, Su and I all overlapped in 5s and remember each other. Glad you are back again to swell the numbers :)
Jo
5.7, 1967-75

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