Claire Harper, 1980s

St. Kenelm's C.E. Primary School, Romsley
Centenary Celebrations
1915 – 2015

Memories of Dr Claire Harper - Pupil - 1980s


1) Dinner breaks felt endless, especially in the summer where many adventures were had.

  • Playing in top den and bottom den. Playing in top den involved making paths behind the trees through the nettles, causing many stings. Playing in bottom den meant climbing trees and building dams.
  • Hanging upside down like bats by the back of our knees at the top of the climbing frame. No soft floors to land on in those days!
  • Playing round the back (only allowed in Mr Ruddick's class). There was a pond with a slab in the middle. The challenge was to jump onto the slab. Many times one of us ended up with wet shoes/tights/trousers. This was especially fun when the pond was frozen and we skated on it.
  • The Secret Garden held a lot of intrigue as we were not allowed to play in it.

2) The start of the school day and end of playtimes were designated by the ringing of the school bell. It was an honour to be picked to stand on the steps and ring this bell. We lined up in our individual classes in two lines as girls and boys.

3) Practice fire alarms. These were quite scary as it felt like absolute carnage with children everywhere.

4) Downstairs were the hall, Mrs Bayfield's playgroup room, Mrs Hutchinson's classroom and the old kitchen. The old kitchen was out of bounds and only used for after school activities. I remember using a potter's wheel in there and learning about photography. Upstairs were Mrs Powell and Mr Ruddick's classrooms and the spare classroom. This was used for watching programs on the enormous TV and R.E. lessons with Martin Clarke, the vicar, or Grandpa Copley.

5) At dinner time we all sat on tables of four in the hall; everyone having packed lunches and free milk. The dinner ladies, Mrs Mound and Mrs Potter, walked round to check that you were eating your sandwiches before the more 'exciting' food. When you had finished you put your hand up and were allowed to leave the hall.

6) School plays were led by Mr Ruddick. The scripts were very long and Mr Ruddick acted out each part to show us how he wanted it done. My particular favourite was when he taught Hannah, Gina, Sophie, Elizabeth, Rachael and me to belly dance. He was actually very good! The lunch tables were strung together with the PE mats on the top to make a very unstable stage.

7) Remember reading the books 'Roger Red Hat, Billy Blue Hat and Johnny Yellow Hat' in Mrs Hutchinson's class. Then in Mrs Powell and Mr Ruddick's classes we did the 'A - day' Maths books.

8) In Mrs Powell's class I remember making at least three tape measures. She would give us a strip of thin card and we would have to mark every centimetre and write the numbers 1 to 100. This was just something to keep us all busy!

9) For Sports' Day we were split into two houses, Harvington and Hartlebury. Everyone competed individually but there was also a prize for the winning house – it always seemed to be Harvington.

10) Swimming lessons with Ros Freeman. Badges were red, yellow, green, blue, star, bronze, silver, gold. Recorder lessons with Mrs Chambers

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