Our teachers were TOP of the class
Let's Talk|October 2020
They are people who tend to make a big impression on our lives and we never forget them. Derek James pays tribute to our teachers.
Derek James

EXCUSE ME SIR!

PLEASE MISS!

Yes, came the reply and that was followed by a question and an answer.

Or there was the occasional warning: “Stop talking and pay attention, James”.

I often wonder why I can’t remember who I met and what happened last week while memories of teachers from the 1950s and 1960s appear to be more vivid than ever.

And that seems to be the case with others of a certain age I mention it to, whoever they are! My best friend from school – I was at Earsham Hall, near Bungay – recently turned up from Australia. We hadn’t seen each other for a long, long time but it was if we had only recently left school.

What about that time Captain Smith did …. And how about Major Galloway when he … Do you remember when Mr Osbourne … Those were the days of life in a rough and tough boarding school attended by boys from across the world. We grew up very quickly.

But what about your school and the teachers who made a difference to your life? From our primary school to secondary modern, grammar, high school and college.

And there were also far more private schools dotted across Norfolk and Suffolk in those days. For the girls there was Sutherland House in Cromer, Lonsdale School in Norwich, and Felixstowe College in Suffolk. All fine schools.

In Norwich, Bracondale was a popular boy’s school. John Edrich, one of the best cricketers in the land, and who went on to play many tests for England, went there. He was described as a “right little tinker”.

One of the best-known teachers in Norwich was Dr Walter Roy at the Hewett School. He is still talked about.

IT IS ALWAYS SAID THAT NO ONE FORGETS A GOOD TEACHER. HOW TRUE

I remember my school days as if they were yesterday ... even though they certainly were not!

My primary school had a grand total of about 35 pupils, aged from four to 11.

There was a headmaster, the wonderful Richard Porter; a second teacher who happened to be his wife, and a teacher for the ‘little ones’, Mrs Parrish. They were all lovely.

I became something of a treasure because I passed the 11-plus and was bound for grammar school, quite a rare occurrence for this little village school and certainly more to do with its teaching and kindness than my ability.

The village school, and it was in north Cambridgeshire, was so tiny that for one Christmas spectacular, we did Snow White, and the seven dwarves never all actually appeared together on stage, as I had to play the part of two of them! Speedy costume changes were called for!

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