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Graham Holloway, 2008
Harold Holloway
Harold Holloway was working as a caretaker at the Boot and Shoe College in Victoria Road, Rushden after retiring as a shoe factory worker. Bert Catlin, head of Tennyson Road School, was going to be one caretaker short at his school and the person leaving knew about Harold and that he lived next to the Tennyson Road Secondary School (for boys who had 'failed' the 11+) in Birchall Road. He contacted Harold who was so pleased to be given the opportunity to move to Bert's school because, not being a car owner (he never took his driving test although he'd had a licence when he was in the army,) all he would have to do was to walk about 100 yards to work each day, instead of walking or cycling a mile to work in all weathers come rain, snow, fog or shine.

Tennyson Road School had a purpose built main building with an assortment of wooden shacks for particular teaching areas. The heating for all of this was supplied by a coke boiler which needed to be charged with coke and the ash emptied on a daily basis. Uncle Harold was given the task to tend to the boilers amongst other duties.

Invoice for a new cycle 1953

Tennyson Road Secondary School - 1960's
Letter from Bert Catlin
20 October 1976

Dear Harold,

It does not seem long since Mr Bond left and Mr Howard came to me and said he knewjust the chap to fill the post. I told Mr Howard to "get this chap" and you started.

Mr Howard was quite right - you were just the chap and on behalf of all at Rushden Boys' School I want to thank you most sincerely for the many years of loyal and faithful service you have given the school.

Things were not easy in the days of H.O.R.S.A. Huts - awkward boilers - barrowing coke through all weathers - looking after the Chief Education Officer's car and a thousand and one other trials and tribulations. Illness affecting both you and your wife would have made many pack it all in - but you carried on faithfully.

Thank you Harold and every good wish for a long and happy retirement - you deserve it.

Yours sincerely,

Bert Catlin

Harold Holloway & Ada 1950's
Harold in his Army Uniform 1943

The reference to the Chief Education Officers car is that the CEO was friendly with Bert Catlin and they used to go on holidays together. On one occasion the CEO came to Rushden and left his car behind the H.O.R.S.A. huts while he and Bert went on a driving holiday together. Uncle Harold was on holiday at the time, but as he and Ada never went away, he would go 3 times a day, and check to make sure that the car was OK. He even cleaned the car just before it was picked up on the last day of their, the Officer and Bert's, holiday.

Note: Aunty Ada was going through one of her difficult illness stages and Harold himself not being in good health took the opportunity to take retirement hence the letter.

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