Sunday, 9 August 2009
Web Page No 760 15th August 2009
FIRST PICTURE: St Andrews Church 1900
SECOND PICTURE: Sunday School book from the 1950’s
Starting at infant school way back in the early 1950’s meant that our education was firmly rooted in all those pre-war values and virtues that our parents were brought up with. This not only included the three R’s but also a smattering of old fashioned religion. Having started infant school in the rear annex to the Drayton Methodist church in Station Road, where every morning began with a form of assembly taken by Mrs Paton our teacher. This assembly was essentially a short period of suitable simple hymn singing and a couple of easy prayers (hands together and eyes closed) followed by any school or class notices. With the passing years we all progressed on into Junior School, in my case this was Solent Road, where the assembly took a more structured form with the hymns being printed on large paper hymn sheets which were suspended from the ceiling at one end of the hall (which also doubled as two classrooms when a sliding partion was drawn across). The music provided by one of the members of staff who could play the piano and sometimes this was augmented by the school recorder group. That really was an assault on those tender juvenile eardrums especially on the occasions when I was playing in it.
Some of the children of our age also attended one or the other church based Sunday school in one of the many local churches; and I, for a very short period of time, attended St Andrew’s church Sunday School in Farlington on a Sunday afternoon. All I can remember of this particular Sunday school is sitting in a group in the back left hand corner of the church and receiving sticky coloured pictures of Jesus and other Bible stories these we then stuck into our own special collector’s book. As far as I can recall I only lasted a Sunday school for a couple of terms at the most. My father must have lasted longer than me because at home I have a book with a bookplate inside it stating that it was a Sunday School prize presented to him for good attendance by the Revd Basil Daniel, Rector of Farlington in 1924 .
Having left Solent Road Junior School and moved onto Court Lane Secondary School, later to become Manor Court Secondary Modern School, we discovered that these school assemblies were yet another different animal with the Headmaster, Wally Dunstan at Court Lane and then Reg Davis at Manor Court, propping up the lectern (or was it the other way round?) every morning as we sang hymns listened to prayers and school notices. But I have spoken of all this before so I will leave that there.
However, now with a grandchild and another on the way I realise that the songs and hymns that we brightly and innocently sang as little children are no longer in the modern child’s repertoire. What has happened to the simple hymns such as ‘Jesus wants me for a sunbeam’, Jesus’ hands are kind hands’ and ‘There’s a place for little children above the bright blue sky’, the modern child does not know them and has never heard them! Most of these cloyingly sweet hymns we remember were written by a lady called Mrs Cecil Alexander who at one time was the wife of the Archbishop of Ireland in the early 1900’s; ‘There is a green hill far away’ is one of hers as is ‘All things bright and beautiful’ and probably the only perennial favourite to come through to modern times, ‘Once in Royal David’s city’.
As children we happily accepted all this collecting together first thing in the morning, singing hymns, saying or listening to prayers as this was how the school day always started and had doneever since school began. Christian worship at school was not even questioned (although the members of the Roman Catholic church had their own assembly), thoughts of other non Christian religions did not enter our minds when we were small.
To most of us when we were very young the daily Assembly was the bit after Class Registration and before the lessons of the school day (the real work) really started. This, I understand does not apply any more because, firstly the modern schools are far too large to get all the children into one hall at the same time and secondly, even though we are living in a declared Christian country, it seems that we are not allowed to show it.
So much has changed since those innocent days of our youth and I am sure you all must have experienced some if not most of the things I have mentioned. But I am really not sure if the modern way is really progress.
Take Care and stay in touch.
Well, more than a few remembered Molly Butler. I am speechless to think that she became a head teacher. She must have left Cowplain girls after me. It became a junior school and a new school was built in that area. A bit like Court Lane and Springfield. Does anyone remember us girls having to dress up as east Europeans and sing at a school concert? It as in either Polish or Hungarian. I have often laughed at the memory but no more, as my daughter married a Swede and every year dresses up in similar gear, dances around a type of floral maypole singing to welcome the summer sun!
Does anyone know anything about the Drayton Engineering Company that was sited behind Nappers the Ironmongers? And was it run by a gentleman named Mr Bannock? If you have any details please email me.
NEWS AND VIEWS:
Tom Jones has now cancelled six shows in four cities after suffering from "vocal chord stress related to the effects of severe viral bronchitis." His doctors have ordered complete vocal rest.
ON THIS DAY 15TH AUGUST 1960-1965
On 15/08/1960 the number one single was Please Don't Tease - Cliff Richard & the Shadows and the number one album was South Pacific Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was Rawhide (ITV) and the box office smash was Psycho. A pound of today's money was worth £13.68 and Tottenham Hotspur were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions. The big news story of the day was First UK motorway service station opens.
On 15/08/1961 the number one single was You Don't Know - Helen Shapiro and the number one album was Black & White Minstrel Show - George Mitchell Minstrels. The top rated TV show was Harpers West One (ATV) and the box office smash was One Hundred and One Dalmations. A pound of today's money was worth £13.25 and Ipswich were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 15/08/1962 the number one single was I Remember You - Frank Ifield and the number one album was West Side Story Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was Lawrence of Arabia. A pound of today's money was worth £12.89 and Everton were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 15/08/1963 the number one single was Sweets For My Sweet - Searchers and the number one album was Please Please Me - The Beatles. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was The Great Escape. A pound of today's money was worth £12.64 and Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 15/08/1964 the number one single was Do Wah Diddy Diddy - Manfred Mann and the number one album was A Hard Day's Night - Beatles. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was Dr Strangelove. A pound of today's money was worth £12.24 and Manchester United were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 15/08/1965 the number one single was Help - The Beatles and the number one album was Help - The Beatles. The top rated TV show was Riviera Police (AR) and the box office smash was The Sound of Music. A pound of today's money was worth £11.69 and Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions. The big news story of the day was Beatles play Shea Stadium in New York.