|Doris Eachus (Green) - 1939/42
Memories from the early days of Winton Senor
from an email received 17th July 2002
|I have been reading the wintonian site with interest. I must be one of
the oldest members at 75 next birthday. I am Mother to Susan Braine
whom I think you know. May I give you a few of my memories?
I went to the school, from Beech Street, in the second year of it's existence, some of my friends as playmates round my home did not go as they were older. Those who arrived in 1938, were all of the eleven year old groups, the Church of England school did not join, they later built their own place at Brookhouse.
After all the Victorian built schools this at Winton was always referred to by the locals as 'The New School'. We settled in to three intake classes viz. 1H. 1N. 1T. I never knew the reasons for the naming but privately told a friend of my parents HIGHEST, NEXT and T'OTHER
1H form mistress was Miss Westbrook, a sure hit with a board duster. She was mercilessly sarcastic.
1N was taken by Miss Marks, her family were the Monumental Masons by the gates of Peel Green Cemetery,
1T, if my memory is right, was under Miss Hawkins of lovely memory. There were only a handful of girls in this class. I do expect someone will correct me.
The war came as we arrived so many things which Miss Williams had hoped to get set up struggled for existence but eventually there was a violin class which hoped to improve sufficiently to produce an orchestra. I played the piano for the class, not very well. Practice was on a Wednesday lunchtime.
Friday after dinner we had Optional Classes, I chose gardening which interested me well and was taken by Miss Percy.
Part of this arrangement was that I had a schoolgirl crush on her besides having similarities of plumpness and wearing glasses. During these classes I brought a piece of lilac from home which I planted on my patch, by a small brick inspection chamber close to the ' girls ' gate.
This became a nice small tree which was there many, many years later.
When the school concert came around our class put on a sketch in which I took the part of Miss P. and brought the house down by walking on pushing a wheelbarrow.
Miss P. taught science, her room was third along the top corridor, the other three rooms up there were:-
Miss Castrey taught geography and also took gym, the first day in the communal shower, naked, in those days was horrific to 11 year old girls. How times have changed.
Miss Ellison was craft department, I'm sure a lot of girls remember how she insisted on us to be sure of 'nicking the edges' when backing books etc.,
Miss Healy was the art mistress. A class I enjoyed, mind you I enjoyed all my school days. Bit of a swat really.
Who could forget Miss Owen taking music in the hall. From the word go she suffered such 'mickey ' taking it was cruel really. I think I did my share.
The lower corridor took two domestic science rooms, Miss Whittaker, it was said she had been a professional ice skater, I was in the next door class with Miss Hannah. On one well remembered day we were doing laundry, there were drying lines along the side of the girls school near to the air raid shelters. We had hung out the washed garments when the sirens blew so we all repaired to the shelters. When the all clear had sounded we gathered our over dried washing and returned to the class room, damped the clothes and hung them out again, you guessed it, sirens again, into the shelters. All clear, over dry washing.
Miss Hannah gave up and we took home the over dry un-ironed clothes.
We lived with moving into the shelters when the sirens wailed out, we all sat on benches whilst listening to the chosen reader. This was how I first heard 'Emil and the Detectives.' When an exciting part of the story came so would the' all clear ' and a break in transmission until the next alert.
The third room along there was the sewing room with Miss Wood who lived opposite the school gates ( boys' school ) with her mother. She went home each lunchtime. This class was always quiet, it had to be as it was next to Miss William's Office.
I was in Trafford House ( red ) and very proud of it, Miss Westbrook was in Ellesmere and her sarcasm spread out in the classroom when rewarding house points or maybe she just had a personality thing with me.
A highlight of the summer was the ' Dancing Display '. Programs were printed and made by more senior classes in Miss Ellisons craft room, I can visualise the cover now, I wonder if there is one still in existence?
The radiogram, usually in pride of place on the stage was carried out under the shelter of the verandah of the quadrangle and the excitement of the afternoon beforehand for all the giggling girls was Mr Creagan the caretaker, meticulously ' field walking ' the large lawn in front of '1H' classroom removing worms, we performed our country dances in bare feet!!! no shoes allowed on the lawns.
The performance in the evening was sold out to admiring families and friends. For many of them to be able to go into the 'New School' was an experience. This was luxury education and living, the pupils of the day were very much from working class homes and many of them were very poor but proud.
Not everyone could afford the uniform which in the girls school consisted of a navy blue pinafore dress with a blue and gold girdle. The girdle cost something around half a crown in old money, now 25 pence and it was not essential to buy this but there was great pride in going to the school and many parents strived to find the money although to us to-day it would be insignificant.
All these memories come from the second and into the third year of the Girls School life as I took a scholarship to the newly set up Stretford Commercial School which was then in Stretford Tech. This was going out into the world indeed but we were still schooling between the bombs but that is another life after Winton. I don't know if any of this is of use to you Ernie but I am almost in my dotage and many people might not recognise the life we had with the one they knew.
Best of luck with everything.
Doris Green, as was, now Doris Eachus.
Before you ask, Yes I am related to any other Eachus in the school as it is a very widespread family. Family History being one of my many interests.
Doris, I hope you don't mind me posting your email. This is really beautifully written and the memories absolutely fantastic. Thanks- Ernie