Hazelbury Road Open Air School reminiscences pg3

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Jeff (1948-1953): School assembly was held in the assembly/dining room first thing every morning. The headmaster, Mr. Rapley, held court during assembly at a table or desk on a raised platform centered against the corridor wall. We sang a hymn, said a prayer, and listened to a bible reading done by one of the pupils. Mr. Rapley then made any necessary announcements.

I remember my favourite hymn was “Morning Has Broken”.

Tony (1952-1954): "Morning Has Broken" is one of my favourite songs. Learning it enabled me to win an argument with a colleague a few years ago. He was very knowledgeable about the history of pop music but swore blind that Cat Stevens had written all his own songs. I said no because I had learnt "Morning Has Broken" as a hymn at school. He wouldn't have it initially, but went away and checked and then acknowledged I was right. Who says you never learn anything useful at school!

Pauline (1961-1965): I, too, remember morning assembly and learning hymns; the one I liked best was "Who Would True Valour See" because of the lions and giants, but I also liked "O Worship The King, All Glorious Above" because it had some really great words in it, including "panoply" - a word I'd still be pushed to define, but it sounded good to say. Do you remember that instead of having hymn-books or hymn sheets, the words were displayed on a huge kind of chart on the service hatch side of the dining hall?

Tony (1952-1954): I recall "panoply" too. I thought it must be another word for canopy. They must have taught the same stuff for years. But no worries, it was the best stuff!

Pauline (1961-1965): I remember being so proud when I was first asked to do the bible reading at assembly. It was the Psalm which begins "I shall lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help" - I've loved that reading ever since.

Margaret (1948-1951): It was in the days when Flannelgraph was being introduced into the teaching profession that I clearly remember seeing a Bible story portrayed in the dining room at Assembly and also in Miss Moscrop's classroom.

Morning Assembly

We were bused to the Open Air School each day which, in the 1940’s and 1950’s in England was pretty well unique.

Peter M. (1937-1939): I well remember, while waiting for the school bus at Tramway Avenue, hearing news of Sir Neville Chamberlain's return from Germany and the joy that war had been averted.

Jeff (1948-1953): That was a historical moment. It would have been 30th September 1938 when the Munich Pact concluded between Germany, Britain, France and Italy. It prompted Chamberlain to announce that he had secured "peace for our time".

Doreen (1940-1947): I lived in Hazelbury Road so walked to school (we were called "walkers") and was very disappointed that I couldn't go in the coach. Mrs. Merton was the coach lady and I think she used to help Mr. Rapley in his office sometimes. Another coach lady was Mrs. Clarke, a very pretty lady with curly hair who had two sons at the school. I don't think she was there all the time, though. I can't remember the names of her two sons, only that the youngest one had a strange sort of mark on his face, almost like a bullet wound.

Brian (1941-1948): There were two coaches and they used to do two journeys each, morning and evening. They were green and had a long seat that ran the length of the coach on each side. I was on Mr. Rudolph's coach with Mrs. Merton; we were second coach in the afternoon which we did not mind as it gave us the chance to play football while the coach did its first run.

Margaret (1948-1951): The coach drivers, Mr. Martin and Mr. Rudolph, were significant people, doing a very important job of transporting the children safely to school. Mr.Rudolph was my coach driver, picking me up and dropping me off at the corner of Galliard Road and Hertford Road.

Wendy (1949-1952): Jeff and I always caught the coach outside a pub called the Little Brown Jug in Bridport Road, just round the corner from where we lived. I think our coach driver was Mr. Rudolph.

Jeff (1948-1953): One day, in winter, the bus didn't come. We had traveled to school on the bus for ages and so we knew the way blindfold. Parents worked and there was no one at home so we decided that we would walk to school and this we did. For doing this we got a special commendation at school during assembly.

Tony (1952-1954): I do recall the buses very well. There was one driven by Mr. Rudolph, and one by Mr. Martin (mine) and which had a "jockey", a Miss Myrtle who, from her accent, came from the West Country. One freezing and smoggy day we were in an accident as the bus turned out of The Fairway into the service road alongside the Great Cambridge Road (we lived on the New Park Estate - Rylston Road); that was exciting.

I've just remembered the name of the older boy in class 4 I used to wait for the bus with in The Fairway at the junction with Rayleigh Road... Lenny Ovens. He lived in the flats off The Fairway on the other side.

Pauline (1961-1965): I remember the rituals of being bused in. Some buses, including mine, were mini-buses seating perhaps sixteen of us; some were bigger. All had names - Angel One served central Tottenham I think while Angel Two worked its way through Edmonton to the western half of Wood Green. I have no idea why they had those names nor can I remember what any of the others were called, I'm afraid.

I was on the bus called Angel Two with Mrs. Collins as our bus lady, who was very kind to us, and I think the driver was called Jim. By my time at the school, we used to be picked up individually at our houses. I was first to be picked up and last to be dropped off because I lived furthest away (on the Wood Green/Palmers Green border), and the journey was about forty-five minutes in total; it seemed very unfair to have an hour and a half taken off my day through traveling, especially as I tended to get travel sick.

At tea, at the end of the school day, you had to sit there until your bus was called out, then file neatly out to board your bus at the top of that long drive.

Tony (1952-1954): I can only remember two buses, but I could be mistaken.

Jeff (1948-1953): I remember two buses: blue with maybe 40 seats? [Edit: I’ll defer to Brian, above: that they were green and perhaps smaller than I remember!].


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