The School Rules

Share your memories and stories from the Hertford Christ's Hospital School, which closed in 1985, when the two schools integrated to the Horsham site....

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Liz60
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Re: The School Rules

Post by Liz60 » Tue Jul 05, 2011 3:16 pm

Oh, those ghastly walks! And the poor staff who had to accompany us! I always thought that this must have been their punishment for crimes committed in the staff room etc - not washing up cups in the approved manner, leaving a pile of books misaligned with the edge of the desk, a hair grip askew - since it must have been just as hideous for them: trailing round Hertford and its environs with a crocodile of be-macced girls... This used to come back to me when I taught at a part boarding school in Eastbourne and sometimes had to take the kids out on a weekend afternoon: the children were allowed to run around the beach and have FUN!! Imagine that and shudder...

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Re: The School Rules

Post by MaryB » Tue Jul 05, 2011 11:43 pm

The Meads... of course. What WAS I thinking?
We were sometimes allowed to break ranks - known as scrambling.... mostly up the steep wooded bank at the far side of the Meads, on the way to Bengeo, which was criss-crossed with paths lethally threaded with shiny worn tree roots. And occasionally at Foxholes up the Ware Road - mostly built on now to judge by the Google Map satellite view. On which you can trace the route of the Railway Walk, and also discover that the open air swimming pool is now the Hartham Leisure Centre (presumably with indoor pool), and also see that the other side of the Meads looks much the same.
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icomefromalanddownunder
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Re: The School Rules

Post by icomefromalanddownunder » Wed Jul 06, 2011 1:15 am

Liz, Alex, Willow and I took a nostalgic walk across the Meads when we gathered to view 'Forgotten Blues'. I had completely forgotten the tow path, the canal that just stops, and the little cottages that must have flooded many times. There is now a café (Starbucks?) on the bank closest to town, and the Meads weren't nearly as extensive or exciting as they are in my memories. However, we walked up to the church on the hill where we had been taken for at least one art class (that I had forgotten), Liz, I think, spotted a gravestone with a skull and crossbones on it, and Alex was able to explain the significance. It was a very special afternoon.

I spent some of my happiest Hertford moments on the Meads: catching frogs with our chapel caps, holding hands in a line to see how many of us the zap from an electric fence would pass through (thanks Alex :lol: - I hadn't experienced any electric fences in Battersea), enjoying the sight of a Clydesdale mare and her foal running free, picking elderberries to cook up when we got back to House, picking wild garlic flowers to adorn my bedside locker (and stink out the dorm).

Happy days.

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Re: The School Rules

Post by Katharine » Wed Jul 06, 2011 9:37 am

Was one of the walks called "to the end of the world"? Where was that?
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Liz60
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Re: The School Rules

Post by Liz60 » Wed Jul 06, 2011 9:43 am

Katharine wrote:Was one of the walks called "to the end of the world"? Where was that?
I have an idea that was the one up to Foxholes...?

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Re: The School Rules

Post by Angela Pratt 56-63 » Wed Jul 06, 2011 5:38 pm

The church with the skull and crossbones gravestone, that was Bengeo wasn't it?
Yes I remember now Foxholes Avenue and the End of the world as well as the meads of course. I'd forgotten the freedom of "scrambling", it felt so great then.

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Re: The School Rules

Post by fra828 » Wed Jul 06, 2011 6:56 pm

Outdoor swimming pool on the Meads? :? Can't remember that at all! One memory of the Meads is the excitement of going there looking for insects for a Biology lesson with Mrs Oliver...easily the highlight of the week, we DID lead sheltered lives! Does anyone else remember lessons on the Meads? It was so unnatural to have been confined within those walls for sometimes days on end, no wonder many of us had such a traumatic time adjusting to life after Hertford.

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Re: The School Rules

Post by anniexf » Wed Jul 06, 2011 8:28 pm

Yes, those walls! Did anyone else read a book called "I Leap Over the Wall" or similar, written by a former nun about her experiences as a novice? I remember it still, having identified with some of it, especially the "mortification of the flesh" bit where she described another nun eating the discarded gristle from everyone else's plate. It sort of coincided with an incident at 8s breakfast when a girl had a very off boiled egg. It was passed to Mrs. Coveney for inspection & after a sniff or two from the official nose, was pronounced fit to eat. Horrible but not unusual. Ah, sweet mems, as we used to say.... :(

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Re: The School Rules

Post by Angela Woodford » Thu Jul 07, 2011 8:15 am

Monica Baldwin's "I Leap Over The Wall"!

Ann, how amazing - I really loved and appreciated that book. As you say, there is so much in it with which a Hertford Girl can identify. Regrettably, I loaned that book to somebody and didn't get it back. Now that you've mentioned it, I should love to read it again.

It's coming back to me - MB writing how, in the convent, how if any man should enter those walls, she would instantly notice the different alien smell of tweedy jackets and pipe tobacco. Putting a sixties twist on that - I felt just the same when fathers and brothers visited on Long Sats or the occasional Occasion.

I've got to re-read that book! Thank you Ann.
"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.""

Liz60
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Re: The School Rules

Post by Liz60 » Thu Jul 07, 2011 8:27 am

I had a piano teacher in my last year - I think her name was Beryl Terry - and she had, indeed, "leapt over the wall". However, I remember her telling me on more than one occasion that sometimes working at CH felt as if she'd leapt right back in again!

Talking of music teachers - does anyone else remember Miss Baines: she of the ringlet wig (which got caught amongst her fingers as she played) and the glasses frames to match every outfit? She was truly Something Else!!

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Re: The School Rules

Post by Jo » Wed Jul 13, 2011 12:02 am

Liz60 wrote:I had a piano teacher in my last year - I think her name was Beryl Terry - and she had, indeed, "leapt over the wall". However, I remember her telling me on more than one occasion that sometimes working at CH felt as if she'd leapt right back in again!

Talking of music teachers - does anyone else remember Miss Baines: she of the ringlet wig (which got caught amongst her fingers as she played) and the glasses frames to match every outfit? She was truly Something Else!!
Oh yes, I remember Miss Baines. She taught music theory and she did indeed have those 60s/early 70s winged spectacle frames in a range of colours. She was quite a character.
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Re: The School Rules

Post by J.R. » Wed Jul 13, 2011 12:48 am

Jo wrote:
Liz60 wrote:I had a piano teacher in my last year - I think her name was Beryl Terry - and she had, indeed, "leapt over the wall". However, I remember her telling me on more than one occasion that sometimes working at CH felt as if she'd leapt right back in again!

Talking of music teachers - does anyone else remember Miss Baines: she of the ringlet wig (which got caught amongst her fingers as she played) and the glasses frames to match every outfit? She was truly Something Else!!
Oh yes, I remember Miss Baines. She taught music theory and she did indeed have those 60s/early 70s winged spectacle frames in a range of colours. She was quite a character.
Shades of Marge Proops ??
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Re: The School Rules

Post by jules46 » Sun Jul 17, 2011 12:37 pm

Hi Angela,
The one rule I do remember is not being allowed into the Dorms after lights out!! I found out to the cost of a splinter in my bum ,when I dived under a bed so as not to be caught by Mrs Watson -I think that was her name, she always smelt of cigerettes and Whisky. It took several attempts by 6th formers to try and remove it but, to no avail. I ended up having to go to to the Sick Bay and have it removed by a very unsympathetic Sister!! :(
Julie Smith nee Atkinson-Baldwyn 4.17 1976-1981

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Re: The School Rules

Post by J.R. » Sun Jul 17, 2011 1:23 pm

jules46 wrote:Hi Angela,
The one rule I do remember is not being allowed into the Dorms after lights out!! I found out to the cost of a splinter in my bum ,when I dived under a bed so as not to be caught by Mrs Watson -I think that was her name, she always smelt of cigerettes and Whisky. It took several attempts by 6th formers to try and remove it but, to no avail. I ended up having to go to to the Sick Bay and have it removed by a very unsympathetic Sister!! :(
Julie Smith nee Atkinson-Baldwyn 4.17 1976-1981

........ and that's got to be shades of 'St. Trinians'.

Dear late great Alistair Sim !
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Re: The School Rules

Post by Angela Woodford » Sun Jul 17, 2011 1:45 pm

Julie, what an experience.

I'm trying to imagine the dreadfulness of having the V1 Form attempt a splinterectomy in the region of the gluteus maximus. And then having to remove oneself to the queue up t'Imf, and having to announce one's affliction in front of those lined up down the corridor. I can smell the brutal smell of surgical spirit even now.

However -

How come you admitted your splinter dilemma to the V1 Formers? And what's more -

What was this Rule about "not being allowed into the dorm after lights out"? Do you mean that you were out of bed messing around after lights out? Or visiting a junior friend in Lower after lights out?

Those dorm floors did splinter horribly. I have written before of the agony of having splinters picked out from the soles of my feet by the there-had-to-be-something-wrong-with-her-in-the-psychiatric-dept sadistic Housemistress Millie. She used a darning needle. I'd been sock-sliding in the dorm with the Sylvester Twins. Oh, the pain.
"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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