The opportunity to visit the school for the last time was too good to be missed, the sale was for conversion to a home so it is possible much of the fabric of the building will change during restoration. Nonetheless I had mixed feelings as I walked through the door I had not walked through for 35 years.
Those words rang out in my head as I entered the school - we used to chant that every day during assembly...generally followed by a times-table. Modern learning it was not, but it suited us.
Of course, some things had changed. I distinctly remember there being a stage somewhere in Mrs Saunder's classroom (and a place where the school dinner was served). Since closing as a school the building has been used (and owned) by the church. There were fewer signs of the old school days that I would have hoped...and a lot of signs of use by the church.
Mrs Bishop's classroom has been turned into a kitchen...with enough space for table tennis. There was also other signs of the building still having been used for play as well as learning. Playtime was a huge and important part of my school life. Games were invented (Jailbreak) camps conquered (Top Camp...strictly boys only) and friendships made, broken and re-made.
Some of the fabric of the old school remained...
...and the ubiquitous orange chairs (MUCH smaller than I remember though).
Mrs Roberson's class seemed to have become the place to lounge...very different to school. I spent a lot of time doing lines in her class, I was perhaps not the best behaved child (a joy to teach though I am sure).
I also ventured, very briefly, into the attached house. When I was at school, this was the domain of Mrs Holmes, the caretaker, and strictly out of bounds. I didn't stay long...it felt very alien to me.
Finally venturing outside, I went around the back and to what was once part of the playing field (I remember there being swings). The outside toilet block seemed to have gone (apparently I played "Toilet games" on my first day) - probably not a bad thing. Clearly the building is in a state of disrepair...the new owners will have a project on their hands for sure.
I think I enjoyed going back to school...I'm not sure I would want to see the place after it has been restored as the character and memories will likely be erased. I should thank the current key holder for allowing me access - and of course my teachers and peers. This school will always be part of me, and I am always going to be grateful for the time I spent here...thank you.
All images are digital - I have some pinholes to follow - most super high ISO (and blurry).