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Thanks to Vi Wright's archive for this item which I think most of us will enjoy. I don't know the history behind it, perhaps for a reunion? Maybe Angela will enlighten us if she sees the website.

Memories ImbuedAngela Holman (Pickard)

There are schools of world fame, like Harrow and Eton,

But we know of a school that has them all beaten,

'Twas way down in Bude, in the centre of town,

And for us it remains THE place of renown.

 

It was forty years back, it sometimes seems more,

When 31 youngster first passed through its door,

Our form mistress was kindly, we liked her a lot,

She taught my dear father! The timeless Miss Trott.

 

The school house was ancient, snug and quite small,

With old-fashioned classrooms and a sizeable hall,

But because of the war and financial cuts,

Many classes were held in temporary huts.

 

Indeed, from the outset we soon quickly learnt

That our school was more temp than it was permanent,

And that some of our schooling for part of the day

Was at various places a long way away.

 

Looking back on those days, we must have been fit,

We walked miles and miles, never thought about it;

We walked down to lunch, six old pence I recall,

And produced all our plays at the old Parish Hall,

We walked to the sports fields, tennis courts and the beach,

And up to the Picture House to hear the big speech;

If that were today we'd be entitled, I guess,

To be taken by buses or counselled for stress.

 

Now when it was winter, with cold winds and sleet,

Those old-fashioned stoves gave out a good heat,

So when it was break-time then everyone strove

To get a good place near a smoky old stove;

We'd huddle around them, like a scene for High Noon,

Swigging cold milk and playing pontoon.

 

Now as for the Staff, it was about twenty plus,

And what a job they had to educate us,

We realise now, if we hadn't before,

Just how much we have to thank them for.

 

Headmaster Bill Walton tended to flog

The works of dear Chaucer, his Tales and Prologue,

We thought them a bore, and much overrated

Till we found that HIS version was unexpurgated.

 

Mrs Chegwin took German, she was friendly but stern,

She clearly had vays of making us learn.

 

Remember the Davis's, Ewan and Jill?

Their coming gave all of us girls a big thrill,

They had only just wed, that was easy to see,

He taught us Latin and she Divinity

My Latin improved, there's no doubt about that,

And they added some spice to Amo and Amat.

 

The wonders of physics, all was revealed,

By Mr Thomas, Mr Loader and Mr Scourfield.

 

And dear Miss Eve Baker, she taught Le Francais,

Those irregular verbs still haunt me today,

And try though I might I could never remember

Which word went with which damn gender.

 

Did I say damn, that was most daring,

Miss Husband  forbade such dreadful swearing;

Our English work was well-intentioned,

Sex, of course, was never mentioned,

And you'd clearly lose your right to live

Just by splitting an infinitive;

She took us to Plymouth once a year

To see a work by Will Shakespeare,

And later on, I am aware,

'Twas Mr Holdcroft took us there;

We also did drama, what a lark!

Remember Twelfth Night and Noah's Ark?

 

Mr Harris took Chemistry, some couldn't stick it,

He did a good job, but he much preferred cricket.

 

Our Art Teacher, Gwyn Rees, wasn't traditional so

You could do anything even Art Nouveau.

 

Reg Morgan taught Maths and he sure knew his stuff,

He kept us at work with a look or a cuff,

The boys kept in line, his voice still deters,

Behave, he would shout, or I'll come box yer yers.

 

Our biology teachers were hardworking and keen,

There was tall Michael Boorer and short Peter Green,

We cut up frogs' legs we studied the fly,

And once we dissected a squelchy bull's eye;

He left us for London did dear Mr Boorer,

His leaving, I know, left the school that much poorer.

 

And then there was David, the teacher trainee,

We flirted with him quite unmercifully.

 

The school secretary, as you well recall,

Was the charming Vi Tilzey, a friend to us all,

And if your poor memories serve you aright,

She did in fact find her own Mr Wright,

She married, indeed, our Deputy Head,

Whose every word was so softly said,

But no one attempted to lead him a dance,

He'd cut you to size with one withering glance.

 

Miss Hannah took hockey and refereed from afar

While sitting at ease in her old Morris car,

She'd drive up and down at frightening speed,

Ablowing her whistle whenever the need;

For us it was fun, all part of the game,

Without her school hockey was never the same.

 

And what of Miss Kelly, neat and smart looking,

She taught all us girls the art of good cooking,

She never got cross if you burnt your mince pies,

Your jelly collapsed or your sponge failed to rise,

But she flew in a rage, gave you a look quite mean

If her kitchen was not left both tidy and clean.

 

Now, of those dear old days there is no sight or sound,

Our old red-bricked school has been razed to the ground,

And now in place of the school we admired

Are home for the aged, the sick and retired,

And looking at us, some forty year gone,

We needn't have left, we should have stayed on.

 

But those elderly folk who reside on the site

Tell me that often, at dead of night,

They faintly can catch, when moon is near full,

The snatch of a hymm or a soft madrigal,

And sometimes they hear on the wind of first light

A passage from Chaucer or a line from Twelfth Night,

And now and again, just as midnight passes,

They hear the bell for changing classes,

Or, shameful to tell, but tell it I must,

Strange words like stick and twist and bust.

 

Today some are not with us and our school house is gone,

But our memories remain and the spirit lives on,

So I give you a toast, forty years later,

To Bude Grammar School, our dear Alma Mater. 

Angela Pickard