Memories of Love Lane School

By Viv Irvine

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Reminiscences of Love Lane school days Sept 1928 to July 1937

Our days at school were happy times and the children tried hard at their lessons. Some of the teachers were more firm with the pupils than others. In extreme cases of wrong-doing, the boys received the cane but never the girls.

The Head Teacher of the school was Miss Peck, whose office was at the top of the stairs in the Infants Department.

Annually we had our exams, the main subjects being Maths Algebra, History, Geography, English etc. Then the class was divided into A and B grades, the lessons differing slightly eg 'A' s had science and woodwork. 'B's had gardening in addition to the main subjects.

At about nine years of age we moved up to the Junior School and finally the Senior School. Mr Weavers was the Headmaster. Mr Cole was my last teacher who taught science.

The science class visited the Ford Motor company at Dagenham to see how cars and tractors were assembled. Also Beckton Gas Works to see how coal was burned to produce Gas, Coke and by-products such as dyes for clothing. We also visited Crompton Parkinsons at Chelmsford to see how Electric motors were made. Back in class we had to write a complete account of our visits.

Mr Cross taught Literature. I remember him reading to us in instalments “She” by H. Rider Haggard. Very exciting!

Mr Maslin took us for woodwork. I made a letter rack, a boot blacking box and a pair of household steps during my time in the class.

Mr Douglas took P.T. We practised regularly, for our annual sports day, which was a great occasion with cups and trophies for the winners.

If attendances had been good over the term we would be granted a half days holiday.

We always celebrated Empire Day with pageants in the playground. These were produced by Taffy Sample and Miss Scillito. The children dressed up to represent the various people of the Empire and the parents came to watch. We were very proud to be British, especially as a large part of a Map of the World was coloured Pink, denoting our Empire ruled by our King and Queen, George V and Queen Mary.

Some of the children dressed up and appeared in Rayleigh Carnival, a great event moving to Webster's Meadow to be judged, now known as King Georges Field.

A large wooden building used to stand in the school grounds. This was where the senior girls were taught Cookery and Domestic science by Miss Spencer.

Many families were very poor and to help the situation we had 'Pound Day'. The more affluent children brought in groceries weighing a pound. These were then distributed.

One boy in my class had no shoes. We used to take unwanted boots as well.

On the 11th November Remembrance Day we wore our poppies and marched to Rayleigh Church for a service. The rest of the day was a holiday.

Miss Dear used to take the girls for country dancing. She had a little wind up Gramophone and a good time was had by all!

Mrs Wise and Mrs Merson were very nice but strict teachers. Some of the class were a little afraid of them.

Other teachers I remember were Mr Lewis who took History and Miss Chamberlain who took handicrafts. Also Mrs French, Miss Leedale, Miss Palmer and Miss Brawn.

During play time after lunch (sandwiches only in those days) the Walls ice cream man arrived on his trycycle or the Elderado man. Snofruits were 1d and wafers 2d.

Finally, it was time to leave school July 1937. Rayleigh's population was increasing so a nice modern school was built in Hockley Road, now called Fitzwymarck, opening for the autumn term 1937. I hope some of my memories will be of interest to present pupils of Love Lane School. It would be a good project to write an essay on a happening connected with the school past and present.

(This was signed by "Uncle Stanley" but I do not know whose uncle he was - can you help ?)

This page was added by Viv Irvine on 12/04/2011.
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We were actually bussed to Benfleet Station. I think there were children from other schools down the line already on the train. When we got to Hampton Court and disembarked from the boat I remember our Headmaster Mr Boddington having a shouting match with someone, possibly a boat crewman who wanted us moved from where we were lined up on the quayside and he wanted us to stay put, presumably until we could all enter together.

I found the Maze very disappointing. It seemed quite threadbare and if you got on the wrong path you could easily climb through, rather than go back the way you had come to find the right path. I often wonder what it is like now?

I must admit I don't remember anything about the train delay on the way back.

By Sid Barker
On 01.08.2014

At some stage we went on a school trip to Hampton Court, and after being bussed to Leigh Station, we boarded a specially chartered train to Fenchurch Street, and there we boarded a specially chartered river bus, which took us all the way to Hampton Court.  We all took packed lunches, and other food to last the whole day.  There we had an interesting day exploring the palace and gardens, and going in the maze, where a number of our group had to be helped out for us to reboard the river bus in time for the journey back to Tower Pier. Here we walked to Fenchurch Street station and boarded our special train home.  The journey did not go smoothly, and we stopped for what seemed hours, only to discover that the driver had parked the train in a siding and gone home. He had forgotten about us his passengers, and we were abandoned until a member of staff got down from the train and discovered that the driver had gone. After a considerable time, probably as the staff member walked to the nearest station and reported what had happened, we were rescued by another driver being sent, and we returned to Leigh. It must have been a corridor train as I don't recall any little accidents, however many of us were forced through thirst to drink water from the train's water supply.  The story appeared as such in the Southend Standard shortly after.

By Bernard de Neumann
On 30.07.2014
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