Derek writes his Lancing memory about North Lancing School
Like so many of your contributors, I stumbled on your site and the memories just flowed. I hope some of this will be of interest. There could be more if I really thought.
I was born in 1948 having come down the big chimney at Southlands [maternity hospital] as Nurse Paddy Hatley used to say. She and her colleague "Bon" were the district nurses for the village; the latter was also the "nit nurse" at North Lancing School. Bon was quite short and by our last year she needed a stool to reach. Doctor Betty was the doctor. There were no appointments or intercom to call you in. Patients sat around a big room with a grandfather clock in the corner; waited their turn and then the door opened and without fail a tremendous cough errupted from behind it. Doctor Betty had a "foreign" car and acknowledged everyone he knew as he drove around. Since he seemed to know everyone his hands were seldom on the wheel.
School on Google Maps
Miss Humphreys, who had been at the school since WW1, left a term after I started at North Lancing Primary. If you left your autograph book with her she would draw beautiful pictures of rabbits in crayon in it. Then Mr Cox arrived with his cane. Mrs Barnes did the dinner money; Miss Goby with her big Wooden Record player and 78 of "The Stars and Stripes", ideal music for marching round the room to, was the Reception teacher. Then came Miss Lapham who taught us to read using Chicken Licken books in which the sky fell on the unfortunate bird. I managed to avoid Mrs Horne/Miss Orman who was severe of dress and much feared. Mrs Thomas used to arrive on her bike which had a plastic guard over the back wheel to protect her dress. Mrs Jones also had a bike and we learned our tables by writing them on little pieces of paper which were then thrown away. Mr "Pop" Steer was the cub master .He had a car, Uncle Clem. He also was in the choir at St James and organized musical evenings; I can still remember much of "The Pied Piper of Hamelin" and he ran a recorder group. We used to play people out from assembly. "March in Scipio" seemed to be a favourite. Raffia mats and basket work were his speciality; there always seemed to be rolls of cane soaking in water. Mr Nutter had his own cane and taught in the original school. Finally there was Miss Tate with her very sensible hair do and measured walk.
Miss Curzon taught us country dancing ;Mr Durrant was there, as well as Miss Higgins whom he married. They used to sit in the sun at the back of the huts and chat. Miss Waite arrived and , I think taught drama. Mr Wood, the caretaker, had a droopy moustache and wore thick corduroy trousers. He was always on hand with a bucket of sawdust if someone was sick.
As for my classmates there was: Philip Norton who was my friend until his death two years ago, Jamie Wrench, David Coker, Peter Clist, Maureen Clarke, Angela Bayley, Janice King, Lynne Sandford, Neil Furze, Lynn Tugnett, Christine Marshall, Steven Blackledge, Colin? Bishop, Freda Voak and Alvin Vordregger (who could forget that name?). Then there are the people I can see who are nameless.
Chuff Chuff Charlie Elphick was not in my class but we all used to watch him endlessly "playing trains" at playtime.
The Eleven Plus arrived; those of us who passed went on to Grammar school. The girls disappeared and so did the pupils who were not successful but we had all had a safe childhood; been well taught and had the good fortune to have the Downs and the beach as our playground.