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From an interview with Mrs Joyce Bailey by Rae Drage on 4.12.2007. Transcribed by Jacky Lawrence

Mrs Joyce Bailey - Memories
Photograph of Newton Road School
Newton Road School

My husband, Harry Bailey was Director of the CWS and I went to Newton Road Infants’ School. Mrs Scott used to take us you know and we used to sit in the hall and let the beginners sing hymns and even then I think I was a little bit of a rebel because I couldn’t understand why we sang about the stars you know ‘Twinkle, twinkle little star’ I can still remember little bits and things like that. Then, we moved up, we had a big white rocking horse in the infants’ school and a big dolls’ house but you know we never had to play with them they were kept really for show. Anyway, we moved up and I remember Miss Capon was the teacher before we went up into the junior school and then it was, what was his name. Mrs Hensman was the assistant, I can’t think of his name, he was on the Council, the headmaster and then they moved down to the Intermediate.

Yes, she moved down with him, you know, I can’t think of his name. Perkins!  Mr Perkins he was on the Council. Yes, big man, he was the head of the Newton Road School senior and junior because there were no intermediate at that time. So I went through the school and I did very well, I used to like school until I got to the top class and then I became a . . . but he was. Then, we’d changed, we had Mr Sadler come up because they opened the intermediate then and Mr. Perkins went down there and Mr. Sadler came up and I loved him. I could have learned anything with him, it was amazing how you get on with teachers isn’t it? I didn’t like Mr. Perkins because he used to put the boys over his knee and thrash them. Yes, yes so I didn’t take to him at all and Mrs Hensman ‘cos she grew so she went up the sanatorium and did a lot of good work didn’t she.

After school, well, there was nothing else to do only shoe work unless you went in the shop and my father he didn’t much want me to go in a factory to work. My mother didn’t want me to go away from home you see. I mean I was a thin skinny kid and I think she always, well, I needed a bit of looking after. Else I did think about nursing at one period but she felt I’d got to go away from home, she didn’t want me to and she said. ‘If you get a job in the shoe factory they’ll always be work for women.’ She said. 'If you’re ever widowed you’d have a job you see.' That’s how she looked at life. So, Marjorie worked with me and we worked in a little factory, there were four factories in Harborough Road. One of them called Jaques that went out of business but then there were three. There was Sir Horace Wrights, I think we were called the Impregnable and then there were Warners opposite.

We used to live in Harborough Road, all the famous people lived in Harborough Road. H. E. Bates did his courting in Harborough Road,  you know his wife lived in Harborough Road just near to us. So I went to see him married because our next door neighbour was one of his bridesmaids so of course we all turned up to see them married at the Wesleyan Chapel. I remember it now they were all, the bridesmaids in long pink dresses with little frills round. They got married at the Wesleyan Chapel in Park Road, that's now the Methodist in Park Road. They joined up with the Congregational and altered the name. So my mind goes back to all those things you know.

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Mrs. Bailey’s mother, Emily Betts, who was born 1880 married Mr Richardson and was one of ten, went to Southend School when Mr Vann was the headmaster there. She used to sing this at school and taught Joyce to sing this when she was a little girl.

Old Daddy Vann is a very good man,

He tries to teach us all he can.

Reading, writing and arithmetic,

But he never forgets to give us the stick.

When he does he makes us dance,

Out of England into France,

Out of France into Spain,

Over the hills and back again.

                           

  


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