"Screw Kick!"

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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MaryB
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Re: "Screw Kick!"

Post by MaryB » Mon Mar 23, 2009 9:22 am

I remember the smell, especially in the changing rooms ( 1s and 2s to the left of the door, 3s and 4s to the right, and 5s-8s beyond the curtain towards the swimming pool) but the rest is a merciful blur.
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Re: "Screw Kick!"

Post by Angela Woodford » Mon Mar 23, 2009 9:44 am

fra828 wrote:Am trying to remember if there were any other PE teachers as well as Nellie in the late 60's; I think Miss Gravett started in the early 70's didn't she?
When I was new - 1964 - the terrific and very young gym mistress was Miss Jill Westhorp, who soon left to continue with her dancing career - she was a super dancer in a modern style the name of which evades me. Then, I think, Nellie arrived and an assistant, little Miss Ling. After the rather rapid departure of Miss Ling, a new assistant, Veronica Desirée Gravett. This must have been '67 ish? I felt very sorry for her, I must say; she seemed to be there very much as a sidekick to do Nellie's bidding...
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Re: "Screw Kick!"

Post by kerrensimmonds » Mon Mar 23, 2009 12:16 pm

Jill Westthorpe left in 1966 but not to pursue a dancing career. She went into higher education in which she finished her career as Principal of Chelsea College (of PE, in East Sussex, then attached to Brighton Polytechnic). After that she became an OfSTED Inspector in which capacity she came to the place where I work, three or four times. When she was last here, she stayed over an extra night and I arranged a little gathering of Old Girls to meet with her in a restaurant in Chichester. It was a marvellous evening. Sadly, she died suddenly of a heart attack not much more than a year later (last year).

I'm sure that I have put elsewhere on this Forum that, unbeknown to me, she gave our Head of PE the hockey team photo of 1965-1966, with yours truly in the middle of the front row. He thought it was hilarious and hung on to it until my 60th birthday party at work, where he put copies of it on every table and one in a silver frame by the cakes. I was very embarrassed and my colleagues thought it was hysterical (once they worked out who it featured - most people didn't recognise me!)
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Re: "Screw Kick!"

Post by Jo » Mon Mar 23, 2009 11:40 pm

Angela Woodford wrote:
fra828 wrote:Am trying to remember if there were any other PE teachers as well as Nellie in the late 60's; I think Miss Gravett started in the early 70's didn't she?
When I was new - 1964 - the terrific and very young gym mistress was Miss Jill Westhorp, who soon left to continue with her dancing career - she was a super dancer in a modern style the name of which evades me. Then, I think, Nellie arrived and an assistant, little Miss Ling. After the rather rapid departure of Miss Ling, a new assistant, Veronica Desirée Gravett. This must have been '67 ish? I felt very sorry for her, I must say; she seemed to be there very much as a sidekick to do Nellie's bidding...
I don't remember Miss Ling, but when I arrived Nellie's junior was Miss Springall. I think she was there a year or two before Miss Gravett arrived.
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Re: "Screw Kick!"

Post by fra828 » Tue Mar 24, 2009 8:14 am

I don't remember Miss Ling, but when I arrived Nellie's junior was Miss Springall. I think she was there a year or two before Miss Gravett arrived.[/quote]
Oh yes-remember that name now! (Appropriate name for PE teacher!) Trying to picture her, and getting confused with Miss Gravett!

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Re: "Screw Kick!"

Post by englishangel » Tue Mar 24, 2009 11:54 am

According to Friends Reunited Miss Gravett went to Hertford in 1969.
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Re: "Screw Kick!"

Post by Jo » Tue Mar 24, 2009 4:00 pm

fra828 wrote:I don't remember Miss Ling, but when I arrived Nellie's junior was Miss Springall. I think she was there a year or two before Miss Gravett arrived.
Oh yes-remember that name now! (Appropriate name for PE teacher!) Trying to picture her, and getting confused with Miss Gravett!
Christine Springall was small and had short straight hair. She was nice - not as sarcastic as Miss Gravett. She also took us for handwriting in the first year - probably because she had a very neat italic hand herself. I remember a project making a school newspaper, which required us to write very neatly, and she produced the first bottle of liquid paper I had ever seen, in case we made any mistakes. I suspect we may have been the last first year to have writing lessons.
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Re: "Screw Kick!"

Post by Vonny » Tue Mar 24, 2009 8:58 pm

Jo wrote:
fra828 wrote:not as sarcastic as Miss Gravett.
She most certainly was sarcastic wasn't she! :lol:
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Re: "Screw Kick!"

Post by nastymum » Tue Mar 24, 2009 9:27 pm

I was standing on the boundary of the rounders pitch one day, gossiping with Charlotte Lycett when the rounders ball rolled by our feet from some distance away. Miss Gravett called to us to fling it back and as I was unable to throw anything more than two inches Charlotte picked up the ball and with tremendous strength and style lobbed the ball across the field to hit Miss Gravett roundly on the head. We watched with bated breath as she staggered, then rallied, then wobbled gracefully.
Miss Gravetts laconic sarcasm gave way to incandescent rage as she took offence to our laughing uncontrollably at her misfortune. We denied it of course but Charlotte was sent off in a combination of shame and the rest of the team's everlasting admiration. Go Charlie!
The only thing that really amazed me was that Miss Gravett actually felt the ball hit her through her iconic 1960's bouffant which was lacquered to perfection and never moved even in a gale force wind.

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Re: "Screw Kick!"

Post by fra828 » Wed Mar 25, 2009 12:52 pm

[quote="Jo)

Christine Springall was small and had short straight hair. She was nice - not as sarcastic as Miss Gravett. She also took us for handwriting in the first year - probably because she had a very neat italic hand herself. I remember a project making a school newspaper, which required us to write very neatly, and she produced the first bottle of liquid paper I had ever seen, in case we made any mistakes. I suspect we may have been the last first year to have writing lessons.[/quote

Thank you Jo- I remember Miss Springall now; yes she was nice, seem to recall that she was a very good cricket player. When Nastymum said about Miss G's 60's bouffant hair, I remembered her too.

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Re: "Screw Kick!"

Post by chaosriddenyears » Wed May 06, 2009 7:06 am

nastymum wrote:I was standing on the boundary of the rounders pitch one day, gossiping with Charlotte Lycett when the rounders ball rolled by our feet from some distance away. Miss Gravett called to us to fling it back and as I was unable to throw anything more than two inches Charlotte picked up the ball and with tremendous strength and style lobbed the ball across the field to hit Miss Gravett roundly on the head. We watched with bated breath as she staggered, then rallied, then wobbled gracefully.
Miss Gravetts laconic sarcasm gave way to incandescent rage as she took offence to our laughing uncontrollably at her misfortune. We denied it of course but Charlotte was sent off in a combination of shame and the rest of the team's everlasting admiration. Go Charlie!
The only thing that really amazed me was that Miss Gravett actually felt the ball hit her through her iconic 1960's bouffant which was lacquered to perfection and never moved even in a gale force wind.
I remember this happening - I remember poor Charlie rushing back to 5's nearly in tears because she was convinced the wrath of the gods would fall on her hapless head, much as the rounders ball had dropped onto Gravvy's bouffant helmet. I don't think anything happened though - it really was unintentional.
Gravvy could be very sarcastic indeed and had a peculiarly nasal whine that faded out at the end of each sentence from the sheer boredom of having to teach us. I was lucky enough to be fairly sporty so got on quite well with her.

We could never work out if it was her ambition that changed the face of Sports Day - when we arrived we had the usual kind of thing like 100m and relay race but suddenly and to our intense horror we had to hurl ourselves backwards over the high jump, lob this massive iron ball in the effort to shotput (it mostly landed close to our feet), leap over hurdles at high speed and enter into the "standards" thing with true olympic competitiveness. It was hideous enough for those who were fairly good at sports - for the others it must have been a nightmare.

The best thing about swimmng was putting our costumes through the mangle outside afterwards - there was something rather satisfying about seeing all that water pouring out and the costume almost dry afterwards, and it was particularly pleasant to be out in the fresh air again! The smell of that place was horrible.

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Re: "Screw Kick!"

Post by midget » Wed May 06, 2009 8:47 pm

A mangle? What luxury!
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Re: "Screw Kick!"

Post by chaosriddenyears » Wed May 06, 2009 10:54 pm

Oh it was - but then we had shot-putting and hurling ourselves backwards over the high-jump instead of doing the decorous and harmless "scissors" jump.

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Re: "Screw Kick!"

Post by Vonny » Mon May 11, 2009 9:05 pm

The mangle was still at Hertford until the bitter end!
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Re: "Screw Kick!"

Post by chaosriddenyears » Mon May 11, 2009 10:03 pm

What? Didn't you take it with you to Horsham?

Did you actually leave this luxury item BEHIND?

You must have been a frivolous lot!

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