MEMORIES OF HILLSBOROUGH - continued
In 1948 there were no toilets in the school — all toilets were outside. The Hall was occupied by up to three classes so dancing for the older girls had to take place in the Infants' Hall.
In the position which is now occupied by the Middle School toilets, there were cloakrooms, the Head's room (Miss Cottam) and a scullery which was used for washing up the dinner pots.
She recalls how the senior children left in 1959, and the school was remodelled. A linked sloping corridor was constructed to join part of the Infant School to the Girls’ School which became the Junior School. A corridor with steps was constructed to join the other part of the Infants’ School with the Boys' Department to form the new Infants' School.
Mrs. Annette Hitchens (nee Hogg)
Mrs. Hitchens was a pupil at Hillsborough School from 1953 to 1958. She, too, recalls that the buildings were separated into three separate schools. Mr. Fitzpatrick was Head of the Boys and Miss Cottam the Head of the Girls.
The present Dining Room was the Woodwork Department and the Kitchen was the Domestic Science department for the girls. The present Middle School hall was two class- rooms with a partition down the centre which could be pulled back for concerts.
School meals were delivered to the school in containers hence a classroom doubled up as a dining room and was also used for assembly. Most evenings the tables in that classroom were collapsed by the pupils and stacked ready for assembly the following morning.
The H.O.R.S A, hut in the bottom yard was used as a classroom for senior 3 and 4 girls.
Hillsborough Girls' School 1953 - 1957
by Elaine Claxton (nee Foxton)
The year 1953 was a very busy year for me, such a lot happened and there were big changes which were both frightening and exciting all at the same time. My age? Just 11.
First was the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, which we all watched on a 12 inch black and white television at one of my Gran's "rich relations". I think half the street was there. When I went to school ail the girls had a pair of scissors given to them and the boys had a pocket knife. At this particular time 1 was attending Keats Road Junior School at Foxhill where I lived.
We then had to take our 11+ exams to see if we were to go to Grammar School. Though 1 didn't pass, and was disappointed not to wear a uniform, my Mum and Dad bought me a watch for trying to do my best. Failing the 11* narrowed our choice of schools down to either Meynell Road Mixed or Hillsborough Girls' School.
It was decided I was to go to Hillsborough;
(a) because it was on our bus route and I might have to get home fast because I suffered from migraine headaches and,
(b) Meynell Road School was considered to be a bit rough and ready.
While I was at Keats Road School I had the cane twice. On both occasions it was in order to get the right person, as we wouldn't "snitch" on each other. I cannot really remember my first day at Hillsborough, I think it was blacked out by fear of going to a new school and not knowing anyone and having to catch a bus all on my own. We went into assembly and the Headmistress introduced herself as Miss Cottam, She was deaf and was wearing a hearing aid. She walked very straight and her hair was always rolled into curls and held with pins.
When assembly was over we were taught to "march" out in time to the piano, keeping straight lines and definitely no talking. We were never allowed to act “silly” except when we were out playing in the playground. We were not allowed to chatter in the corridors or to misbehave at all in school or it meant the dreaded cane. 1 am glad to say I never had the cane at Hillsborough. My favourite subjects were Art, Sewing, English and Geography.
I can remember feeling it was better than being at Junior School because, besides having milk, we could buy biscuits from the Biscuit Monitor. We used monitors for all sorts of jobs such as: handing out pencils, milk, filling inkwells and one for ringing the bell. These jobs were given to the pupils who had behaved well.
I cannot remember the name of my first teacher at Hillsborough but my second teacher was a Mrs. Ramsbottom. She encouraged us to speak up at debates and not to be shy. We used to listen to classical music on the Radio Programme.
I was picked to dance in the Country Dancing at May Day. My Mum and myself I made a skirt and bonnet. Not many people bought things, they used to make them themselves.
Mrs. Ramsbottom also used to teach us Biology and by today's standards didn't tell you very much.
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