Colleen remembers using slates at school

Choice of either shop or office as a career?

By Colleen

Photo:Colleen today

Colleen today

Photo from WRVS Heritage Plus Archive

Photo:Colleen's embroidery from schooldays

Colleen's embroidery from schooldays

Photo from WRVS Heritage Plus Archive

We did knitting and sewing and so much hemming. We were given bags and aprons to hem.


I was at school in South London until I was almost ten and then Burgess Hill. The South London school was great, we used slates, and the learning seemed effortless. The junior school was more structured, we had all female teachers as we were in the girls half. I walked to school from five years old, mum only came with me for the first few weeks.

No grammar

I took my 11+ and passed the written part but failed the interview so I went to Secondary Modern school.

How things change

Girls had a different syllabus to the boys, very little science, girls were not expected to do science. The careers adviser gave me the choice of 'shop or office'.  We had dreadful school dinners. I remember having spotted dick, the raisins were like bullets - I had to eat every one.

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

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