Thursday, 16 October 2008

My Old Primary School

On Tuesday, the BIG DAY came round at last - the centenary at my old school: Eastfield Primary. You may remember, I was invited to help with the celebrations by spending a day with the children (see Alice Goes To Wonderland).

I got a train down to London on Monday afternoon (above is a drawing I did on the train). I stayed with one of the teachers, Mrs Bonner, coincidentally a friend from my days at the Latymer Grammar School, 30 years ago (!). It was so strange when she met me at the station: I know this can't be, but she looked EXACTLY the same as I remembered her. How weird is that?

Even more weird: we were due to spend the evening with a couple of men (I want to call them 'boys') that were in our year at Latymer, who'd made contact with me recently through Facebook. Neither Deborah nor I could recall them at all, so we didn't know what to expect.

We met for a drink at the pub we used to go to at the time, the Green Dragon in Winchmore Hill. When Peter and Lee turned up, we still didn't remember them, but had a fun evening anyway. It was interesting, because both Deborah and I were 'good' girls at school, who had to work hard to do well, but stuck to it. Peter and Lee were completely different. They told us how they skipped school regularly, played cards for money in Chemistry under the desks, and went to the bookies instead of doing games! And guess what? Peter became a bookmaker and Lee a 'professional gambler'!!!

The following morning, I set up my books and flipchart in the very hall where I acted in the school play, back in 1968. Half the school has been modernised unfortunately, so my old classroom is no longer there, but the playground was just the same.

The children were bouncing off the walls with excitement, as Mrs Bonner had dedicated an entire assembly to me, and bought lots of my books in advance, to read to them. They all insisted on calling me 'Lynnechapman' (one word), presumably because they had heard it so often over recent days!

We had such a good day. I did monsters with Y2 (and it was refreshing to see all the teachers do the drawing too - thank you!). Y3 drew Mr Strongmouse towers (some excellent ideas kids - I hope you finish them off). I danced the cancan with Y1 and introduced them to Smudge, then just had time to do a talk for Y4 and show them various bits of work in progress.

I sold almost all the books I took (a great relief, as I nearly died lifting my case up the stairs at Gordon Hill station). My only sadness was that, because I had to be in Burton bright and early the next morning, I wasn't able to stay for the Eastfield Reunion party that evening. I had a look at the fascinating displays of photos through the years though, going back to before the war.

A massive THANK YOU to Mrs Bonner, for somehow remembering that I went to Eastfield and then going to so much trouble to organise the day, as well as putting me up, feeding me and running me back and forth! I've just heard that the evening celebrations were a great success too: let's hope they had even half as much fun as we did during the day. Here's to another 100 years!!


granny grimble said...

What a lovely tme you appear to have had! I'm never sure who enjoys themselves the most, you or the children! I do know you must be feeling quite exhausted when you get back home. I reckon you are about half way through this 'tour of duty' What a shame you didn't get to go to the party afterwards though.

Lynne Chapman said...

Yes, but I suppose nobody from that far back would have been there anyway. It was great to see the school though.

I'd like to see Latymer again now - perhaps I can do a day there too!