My time at York College spanned 1968-1972, and I duly posted a couple of photos from 1971, when the Duke and Duchess of Kent visited the school. As a slight digression, one of the earlier challenges was to “receive a letter from a member of the Royal Family”, and back in 2014, the Duke of Kent sent a lovely reply to my letter enclosing the photographs from that trip to York.
Anyway, I was asked if I had any memories to share from those years at York College. I was 7 (nearly 8) when I left; I’m 52 now and I struggle remembering what I did last month, let alone forty-something years ago. The memories I do have seem both random and trivial, but maybe they’ll strike a chord... each of the following starts “I remember…”
- learning to count using little wooden blocks; the red square was “one”, the “two” was (unsurprisingly) double the length, and a different colour (maybe orange), and so on
- going up to Miss Mason’s desk to collect my latest Janet and John book
- there was a letterbox that was placed on or near the stairs at Christmas time, and there was always a sense of excitement when the cards were distributed
- in Transition, there was an advent calendar on the wall and whoever opened a door got to choose the next person—I chose Sarah Wombell… I always chose Sarah Wombell!
- Aulos recorders – and playing Frère Jacques as a duet
- singing “I’ve been to Harlem, I’ve been to Dover” in the main hall
- fantastic roast potatoes… awful rice pudding
- Miss (or Mrs?) Henderson telling me I’d spelt Czechoslovakia wrong in a spelling competition, when I knew I hadn’t—how long can I hold a grudge?!
- thinking it was clever not to get caught in a game of “kiss catch”. If only I could have my time again….
- the two large concrete cylinders near the playground wall
- the side building that contained what seemed like a huge blue climbing frame. I think it used to be called “the apparatus” and it was always a treat when it appeared
- Mrs Tait teaching us to playing cricket against the wall in the senior school playground
- receiving a red, amber or green sticker for finishing 1st, 2nd or 3rd on sports day
- some of the names of my classmates: Emma Aylmer, Clare Bird, Emma Blackburn, Clare Dobie, Nicholas Duffield, David Pemberton, Ian Saville, Joanna Simpson, Andrew Slater, Jane Theakston, Joanna Thompson, Sarah Watsham, Andrew Whipp. Sarah Wombell, Kathryn Wright
And finally, an entry from an old schoolbook dated 25th January 1971. I’ve not made any alterations to my spelling, which is a little bit iffy in places… I was six; give me a break! If I’d been seven, it would have been almost perfect (especially if I’d been to Prague on the weekend in question):
“On Saturday I played football and I got very dirty and I kept telling Mummy to get the rolled oats to make some biscuits. When I had played football I went in to have tea. I had a biscuit called crunch. On Sunday I watched soccer and it was York City versus Southampton and six goals were scored. In the second half when Ron Hillyard the goalkeeper had let a goal in number nine of Southampton whos name was Rob Davis scored the second. So it was 2-0 to Southampton then 2-1 3-1 3-2 and last of all a magnifisant header by Paul Aimson got the equliseng goal so it was 3 all and York again have to play Southampton. And I supose that even if Southampton win nobody will forget that day when York drew against Southampton.”