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From an interview with Rae Drage February 2008. Transcribed by Jacky Lawrence
Connie Hobson - Newton Road School
Photograph of Newton Road School
Newton Road School

I was going to say I remember vaguely being, I can’t remember much about the classroom, the first one, but I can remember one or two incidents when I was very tiny and I’d just started school. And it was towards the, through the winter, I don’t know what time of the year, but my dad came to meet me out of school on his pushbike because it was snowing heavily and I’d already left school. They let us out a bit earlier and I’d got right round by the corner shop to come down Cromwell Road and as I was coming down I saw my dad go by on his bike. And he didn’t see me and I turned round and tried to find me way and I never did find him, so I had to turn back again and go all the way back home. And I can’t remember how exactly, whether I got home or not. The vivid moment there was seeing him go by and I thought, well he’s going to school and he won’t find me, and I do remember that very well.

But that is I think one of the earliest things you know but I remember being in another class, the second class it was. That was Miss Childs I think, couldn’t have been Miss Childs because she was sort of my age or not much older, but the next class I do know was a Miss Barber and because I was a good girl and didn’t cause any fuss I used to have to go and sit right at the back of the class. And my mum she sent, she spoke, wrote notes constantly to Miss Barber to say I had a lot of trouble with my ears and I used to get very deaf if I hadn’t been well. I couldn’t hear what was being said, I used to get into hot water ‘cos you know I wasn’t listening, all that type of thing. Eventually I think it got sorted but then there was a girl came from, well the family were OK but they were a bit rough. And she didn’t smell very nice and she wasn’t very clean and I used to go home and cry ‘cos I had to sit behind her and she got all sorts of things crawling about. I could see them oh, it was awful, I mean they weren’t a bad family at all. I don’t know, they, you see people, I’d got ever such long hair and I used to hate having my head done with a flipping nit comb. It got, I got flipping infested because she smelt horrible but I can’t remember much about that.

That was the worst class and this Miss Barber she was so sharp with me you know and I can’t remember much about the other classes. I can remember a lovely moment and they’ve still got that Maypole with the ribbons on. I suppose they probably had to have some different ribbons and things. We used to dance round the Maypole in the hall as well as outside in the school yard. And another thing the tree that stands, that reminds me about being outside looking into Newton Road, in that top corner. It’s not the same tree, it can’t be because it’s not old enough I don’t think, or big enough but there’s always been a tree in that corner and the school hasn’t changed a bit. Then I went, there was a kind of, an in between class getting from the infants into the big school as we called it. At ten or eleven and I don’t I don’t remember much about, well, I rather, I had an idea I think I skipped that one but I can’t remember the name of the teacher in the class. I can remember the one I didn’t go in.

That was a Miss Clark and I can’t remember much about her except she was tall and you know very angular. A real, well, what I didn’t realise at the time but I suppose she was unmarried and she was a spinster type material to look at her and with her tongue as well. But I didn’t actually go into her class and from the class with Miss Barber I think there must have been only that one class before I went into the junior school. But I can’t remember a thing, hardly, except that I know I passed the 11 plus and I did it with flying colours. I also, I didn’t get what they called a free pass to Wellingborough High School but there were certain books that we studied and I would have had to buy these books. But apart from that I did actually pass, you know to go to High School but I didn't go.

I don’t know, just a matter of choice whether you’d got a bit of money in your pocket or you hadn’t and like my folks the money, it was, what we had got to buy because I was a girl and I’d got two brothers. There were no, no, distinction between the love and the attention I got but the fact that with two boys they’d got to make sure they had they went into a apprenticeship and things like that and I would no doubt get married and it didn’t matter. But they didn’t base so much on a girl getting education so, you know, I, it wasn’t even pot luck it was just, well, I’m sorry but you know you’re a girl, you can’t, we can’t sort of fork out for you to go to High School.
                    


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