Margaret remembers her schooldays

Schooling in London: greasy stew and playing truant

Photo:Margaret's memories

Margaret's memories

Photo from WRVS Heritage Plus Archive

I went to Woodlands Park Junior school in Haringey. We all walked - it was the done thing. In the first year we had a sleep in the afternoon on little beds. I came home for lunch, so I walked there and back four times a day. I had a friend called Valerie White. I stayed there until I was eleven.

Scholarship success!

I took my scholarship on 6 February 1952 when I was ten. I was the only one from my school to get into grammar school.  The convent school opposite took the exam with us, the nuns brought them over. I found out that the King had died, when I got home I told my Nan. She clipped me round the ear and told me not to be so wicked. She didn't know, there was no media then and the radio wasn't on during the day to preserve the accumulator charge.

Three times on a Sunday

I had to go to church three times on a Sunday and I was in the church choir. We learnt to knit and knitted dishcloths for the teachers. When we got better we knitted tea cosies and things for the school bazaar.

Build us up

After the war we were considered malnourished and were given cod liver oil and orange juice. When my sister was born I was told I had to stay to school dinners. The headmistress made me eat a greasy stew and I threw up all over her pale blue suit. I had a weak stomach and she stood over me and made me eat it.

We used to go out and run around the playground and play ball up the wall. We would come out of school and go straight over the park - no-one worried about us"

Hating high school

I went to Hornsey High School but came from the poor part of town and felt a total outcast. I begged my Mum to let me go to the same school as all my friends, but my mother liked to tell everyone her daughter was at the grammar school. I started having panic attacks and kept passing out. The doctor stopped me doing games, so the games mistress made me walk round and round the playground for the whole lesson. It was complete and utter misery. I started playing truant and used to forge notes from my mum. When I was fifteen the family moved to New Southgate and I was transferred to Woodhouse Grammar school.

Terrible teens

By this time I had had enough and left school without my parent's knowledge and went and got a job training in technical drawing. The company sent me on day release to Barnet College. I became a terrible teenager and had a bad relationship with my mother.

Junior school had seemed very safe compared with senior school.

This page was added by Jane Turner on 27/01/2008.

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