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Staff Stories

Mrs Pinder - School Clerk


The abolition of caning

“I remember having to type the letter out when they decided to abolish caning (and school uniform). I had to type the letter with a voting slip attached to it and send them out to all the parents. I was most surprised when I counted as they came back, that out of the school at the time of 260 pupils that only five people wanted it to be abolished. It must have been cut and dried that it was to be abolished; we never needed to waste all that paper and time in counting votes. That really stood out in my mind”.




“ Oh my goodness me I thought I would never get used to decimalization after pounds, shillings and pence. (£.s.d).

Because I did the school fund ledger – all the forms to fill in. They sent us to Ashleigh School and we did a course. It was simple and so easy I thought how did I get so uptight about that? Its more simple than £.s.d. I brought a huge ivory coloured wheel to convert £.s.d to decimal money that you could refer to – just by turning it around, I kept the wheel for sentimental reasons”


The Tuck Shop

“Before Mr Scott came I did all the ordering for the tuck shop from a Mr Stork: I used to ring and he would come to school and I would give him an order of ‘Kit kats’, crisps and things. Mr Driskell came and he said “ I don’t think it is very good for the children’s teeth having all those sweets and biscuits. I suggest we start selling apples instead” But I am afraid it did not go down very well; they preferred crisps and stuff so that died out.”


“As soon as the bell went, at half past ten, I used to fetch the coffees for the staff, go down and bring the coffee up in jugs, pour them out and then get my own. Then I would run down to the old stock room for the Tuck Shop so I would be having coffee and serving at the same time. I used to do allsorts; the stock ordering, when huge packs of exercise books that the delivery man would leave outside and do the first aid. Also when they had free plimsolls (before 1975) Miss Hoyle said “I do not want them taking them home”. So each slipper I had to embroider in chain stitch the size so that they knew they belonged to Bluestone School. All that was in between the other jobs! I have embroidered hundreds of plimsolls in chain stitch – its unbelievable!”


How I nearly got beat up one day

“This particular family did not get proper food, they would grab what they wanted to eat, such as stuff from the tuck shop. The dentist came to me and he said _____’s teeth are absolutely rotten, you will have to arrange for her to come to the clinic.

The next thing the little girl’s sister, who was sixteen at the time, knocked on the door and her language was terrible and she held her fist to my face. “ She is not going to the Dentist and you are going to get this. Fortunately Mr Scott came in and showed her out of the school. I could have been assaulted. So the little girl never got to the dentist”.