Growing up in the 50's and 60's
What it was like going to your first schools in the 1950s
1950's - Going to your first School
A walk accross the fields, beside the railway track !!
The 1950's saw me going to three schools. It should have been only two, but a move of house intervened (something I always blame failing the 11+ plus on!!).
Back then there was no Comprehensive system, just the 11+ and into either Secondary or Grammar education.
I started at Chevening Primary in 1953 nestled away on the Chipstead to Chevening Road and not far from Chevening Halt, the railway station on the Dunton Green to Westerham Line, later shut by the infamous Mr.Beeching and now the M25!
Probably the biggest difference between now and then was actually getting there and coming home. Not many parents would drive their young one's to School (mainly because not many people had cars). You were left more to your own devices and my sister Julia and myself would make the two mile walk over ground no Parent would ever allow now.
I don't remember much of Chevening Primary, with the exception of running away one day. I had asked Teacher once too often to be excused for personal needs and she was not amused.
The other great memory and again something which would be frowned upon now, was taking the Dinner left overs across the road to the Farm opposite, where we would dump it upon the resident Pigs. Oh great fun.
That was a mixed School, but we moved home and I went to Bayham Road Primary in Sevenoaks.
Come the 11+ and I didn't get through, so it was off to Wildernesse Secondary for Boys, somewhere I enjoyed very much for many reasons pertaining to that period in time.
Firstly it meant a fairly long Bicycle ride and the route could take you through 'The Woods' where there was a huge WW2 Bomb Crater which made for supberb jumps and crashes.
But, between these times, I did do a little work! The day would always start with Assembly, which would comprise of a Hymn, a Bible Reading, a Talk from the Headmaster, Prayers and another Hymn. Usually someone would faint at some point and often lead to a chain reaction. You'd hear thumps and bumps all round the Hall, quite amusing to most of us who didn't have that problem!
You took the basic subjects; Maths, English, PE, Geography, Music and History. To these there was some choice between Biology, Science, Physics etc.plus a 'skilled' class in either Woodwork or Metalwork.
I got branded the Class Creep as we progressed through the years. I'd always been a neat writer and loved maps. By chance, the Headmaster taught us Geography and would always use my Book work as the example of how it should be done.
They were good schooling days though. After Assembly, we'd sit down in our Class and have to spell twelve words. If one single person got one wrong, we'd have that word again the next day. Any sign of 'cheating' was severely dealt with by a Chinese Grip on your elbow - and boy, did that hurt!
You would never wear your shirt outside your trousers, always wear your tie. You'd know your Anthem off by heart, drink your free one third of a pint bottle of milk at morning break and ALWAYS keep our handwriting upright !
Oh how it's changed!
BTW - Mrs. Thatcher put an end to the free milk.
Would you let your 5 and 6 year old walk to school 2 miles on their own through fields and over streams?.....
Growing up in
50s and 60s
1960's Year by Year
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Prime Ministers of the 50's