Back to School... after 63 years!

A return to Grange Park Junior School by two ex pupils.

By Ken Bristow (Grange Park School pupil 1941-1946)

Last year my friend Ernie Bray (another ex Grange Park pupil) and myself were invited to return in February 2009 to answer some of the present day pupils' questions on what it was like being a child at school during the 1939-45 War years. The day was organised by teacher Emma McBrearty. Ernie and myself duly arrived as arranged and we were welcomed in the staff room for a ham roll and a mug of tea.

Around 2 o'clock Emma took us to the classroom where the children had been assembled and were sitting arranged in rows sitting cross legged. Each had their Exercise Book with a question written down. As there were around fifty to sixty children there was no chance we could get round to answer everybody's question. The afternoon was a great success. The real stars were the children. Polite, well behaved and attentive, they were all a credit to the teachers and Grange Park School. They asked interesting and relevant questions.

It was something new for me to front such a large gathering but my nerves soon vanished. Ernie, on the other hand, had been a lecturer in his working years so the meeting held no fears for him! When you return to a place you last saw fifty years previously, everything appears to be smaller. Perhaps it's because at eleven years you are nearer to the ground. But everything seems much smaller such as the size of the playground, the length of the corridors of even the size of the classrooms.

I lived in Gledwood Drive, situated to the north of the School, from Spring 1941 to Easter Saturday 1958. Ernie lived in Kingshill Avenue. The accompanying photographs give some idea as of to how attentive the children were.

Grange Park history Hayes Grange Park history Hayes

Grange Park history Hayes Grange Park history Hayes

Click on the pictures to see them full size.

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