Alfred Sutton School history

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Harris
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Alfred Sutton School history

Postby Harris » 18 Jan 2010 18:41

I wondered whether anyone could help with information on the history of Alfred Sutton School. For example:
* was the school a primary when it opened
* when did the secondary schools start and end

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Re: Alfred Sutton School history

Postby smiff » 19 Jan 2010 10:49

There's a tiny bit of history on their website http://www.alfredsutton.reading.sch.uk/ ... istory.htm

But this sounds like it could be a fun investigation, I'm sure once Les warms up the grey cells a whole load of interesting memories will come flooding this way. Oops, sorry, I shouldn't mention flooding at the moment :redcard:

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Re: Alfred Sutton School history

Postby Les » 19 Jan 2010 11:29

I saw Harris's post yesterday and I came to the conclusion that I couldn't help. :shrug1:
I even googled but didn't find anything of historic interest. I decided that there were others on here who would be more genned up.

I was a Goerge Palmer boy myself.
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Re: Alfred Sutton School history

Postby OLDMAN » 19 Jan 2010 15:10

Junior / Primary school - 1963-69

Boys school - 1969-74

The 2 main teachers I had / remember where Mrs Young and Mrs Way
Headmaster was Mr Coles

The senior boys where in the other building and I think the head was Mr Cornell? (I had to go to with him to his office from the primary once to collect some donated tennis balls)
He was still around when I went to the boy's school

I watched the old riding school / dairy being knocked down and the 'New' school being built, it had not long been finished when I moved up to senior boys school and ended up there in 69 (by choice as I could have gone to Reading Boys but we said no)
It was about that time they knocked a hole through the back wall and added steps so the schools could be accessed within the school property rather than going along the road

I can remember a few of the teachers and Smith (he pronounced it Smythe) who was the later head, this was discussed on another thread a while back

I will have a study of my books to see what I can find about the schools though!
Oldman........

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Re: Alfred Sutton School history

Postby prharris25 » 19 Jan 2010 18:29

I was at the Primary and Secondary schools (plus both Annexes) between 1951 and 1962 and could burble on for ages about the buildings and teachers but I suspect Harris (no relation as far as I know!) wants more factual information on the history of the buildings so for once will keep my big mouth shut !
Seriously though, happy to help if any general questions re teachers or buildings as apart from from one class in the Primary School (Mrs Way), I had a wonderful time there and held the teachers in great respect.
Paul.

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Re: Alfred Sutton School history

Postby OLDMAN » 20 Jan 2010 09:21

Amazing how nobody has anything nice to say abour Mrs Way - she was obviously truly that bad!!
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Re: Alfred Sutton School history

Postby prharris25 » 20 Jan 2010 09:58

Adrian, I think that Mrs Way may well have been a very good teacher but she scared the pants off me and I was very glad to escape her clutches when I left for the Senior School circa 1957. I still recall the Friday morning "correction" sessions with absolute dread. She once held me upside down because I could not grasp some essential function regarding fractions. Even her cars were sinister, a black Ford V8 Pilot followed by a black Standard Vanguard beetleback.
To balance the argument however, My cousin went to Bluecoat School where Mr Way taught, and where they lived in the grounds.
He recalls Mr Way being quite a mild man and Mrs Way well liked by the boys there. Funny old world.
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Re: Alfred Sutton School history

Postby Les » 20 Jan 2010 13:53

As I think that I have said on here before, and like Paul's Cousin, I went to Blue Coat and remember Mrs Way well. She could be quite fierce if the occasion demanded it (and sometimes when it didn't) but she could also be very sweet and kind. Mr Way, in his earlier days at the school also had a fiersome reputation and a deadly aim with a bit of chalk over his left shoulder. Mrs. Way worked very hard with the drama group and put on some good productions. she would even set to and make costumes. Mr. Way (nicknamed Chris because one of his favourite expressions was "Christopher Columbus Boy...") Could tell a darned good shaggy dog story which he could string out for up to an hour. I shall never forget the one about the boy who received a letter from France !!
While we were still at Bath Road The Ways lived in a flat in Florida Court, almost next door to the school. Mrs Way used to run a remedial Exercise Class for the lads (like me) who weren't quite up to all the physical jerks bit.
She was seriously injured when a hot roasted chestnut exploded in her mouth, and I don't think that she ever really recovered from that.
I have mixed, but mostly good, memories of her.
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Re: Alfred Sutton School history

Postby OLDMAN » 20 Jan 2010 14:08

My main memory was she did administer very heavy punishments for the simplest of things - I got wrapped several times across the knuckles with a ruler for a minor misdemeanour - the trouble was she used the 'edge' of the ruler not the 'flat' and my hand was so swollen when I got home I had to go to hospital

My mother went to the school the next day and had such a go at Mrs Way I thought she was going to kill her - the big woman backed down into a corner very quickly, she also got a severe warning for that and a few other things when several other parents heard what happened and complained about similar punishments on their children

She seemed to ease off after that!
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Re: Alfred Sutton School history

Postby Les » 20 Jan 2010 15:27

Did you know that she was an "Evacuee" teacher? She came from London with a class of children and stayed to teach them.
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Re: Alfred Sutton School history

Postby OLDMAN » 20 Jan 2010 15:36

I have no doubt from what others and yourself have said that she could be a very good teacher / person - its a great pity she never did this when at Sutton, apart from 4 / 5 kids in my class who got 'preferential' treatment she was nasty to everyone - this was in a class of about 25!

It makes you wonder why?

Just to add I've been told she was the same with other class'es over the years
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Re: Alfred Sutton School history

Postby windrush » 20 Jan 2010 17:04

I had an awful time at Sutton, both Primary and Secondary, I was bullied and had a lot of property stolen over the years (1955-1966). The teacher's at the primary had no real interest in me because I was a slow learner and very unhappy, Miss Jermy (later Mrs Young) was particularly evil and actually told my mother at open day that I would never amount to much as I was too tall (6ft 3" at fourteen) and tall people never did well as they were looked on as "abnormal"!
Then I landed in Mrs Way's class, for two years actually due to my birthdate, and life changed. She knew what I had been through as she was over 6ft tall herself and large with it, she gave me extra tuition and when she heard me being bullied (by girls as it happened) they were soon in front of the class, skirt's up and a few good strokes across their backsides! Didn't have a lot of trouble after that! She gave me back my confidence and to be honest I think that my life would have been very short otherwise as I was really depressed. When I went to the "big school" I used to go back to her class at times to mark books etc in my own time, such was my regard for the lady.
Tears are welling now as I write this, a very much maligned lady who was scary to those who had good reason to be scared. If only her like were in schools today.

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Re: Alfred Sutton School history

Postby prharris25 » 20 Jan 2010 20:07

This is getting very interesting now, although way off the original subject from Harris. Sorry !
A wonderful trip down memory lane and Pete's mention of Mrs Young, formerly Miss Jermy (was that how it was spelt?) reminded me of her wonderful husband. He was without doubt the kindest and nicest teacher I ever had at the Primary School and his time with our class at the Park Institute will be with me forever.
Equally fascinating to me is the various opinions of Mrs Way. Probably, I'm in between Adrian and Pete with the strength of my views because it is true that I did see a kind side of her when dealing with some of the girls in our class. I hated my time in her class none the less, but I would be happy to acknowledge that I was not the best of pupils by any means. May she rest in peace.
My first teacher at Sutton was a young lady called Miss Rigg. At five years old I fell in love instantly !
Miss Wooldridge was the Head in those days......another stern lady but kindness itself......I remember her driving me to Hospital in her Morris Eight when I fell and impaled my head on a central heating radiator valve !
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Re: Alfred Sutton School history

Postby digitaltoast » 20 Jan 2010 20:52

Oh yes, I remember it all!

I remember way back when they used to speak English there.
I remember the delightful Mr Blackmore slamming a black boy against a wall, telling him to "speak the Queens bloody English you bastard" (he had a lot of anger, did our Mr B!).
I remember milk being left out in the sun to rot, I presume so it would specifically put us all off enjoying milk for a long, long time.

And I remember the first time I heard the word "lesbian" was in association with a certain female sports teacher...

And why did the bag of balls always smell of fish? (That whole sentence just sounds WRONG!)

I'm surprised there's not a Wikipedia page for Alfred Sutton. There is, of course, a Facebook group:
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=81602465724
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Re: Alfred Sutton School history

Postby OLDMAN » 21 Jan 2010 09:46

My overriding memory of Sutton Primary was I didn't spend a lot of time there - most of my time at the school was either at the Grange Ave annexe, then the Park Institute annexe (Les still keeps finding the damage I did when there ... LOL)

I spent my last year in the main building, in Mrs Ways class and that was then I the old senior boys buidling as they had moved to the new school at that time!

I have got a few of my Reading books out and will go through them to see if I can find any 'proper' info about the schools for Harris - I know one of them has a listing / brief notes about all the Reading schools, just got to find which one!
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Re: Alfred Sutton School history

Postby prharris25 » 21 Jan 2010 09:52

Didn't know that there was a Facebook page, thanks for that.........always thought it a shame that no Old Boys / Girls group existed for Sutton.......or perhaps it does and I didn't know about it ??!!
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Re: Alfred Sutton School history

Postby OLDMAN » 21 Jan 2010 09:57

Freinds Re-united have listings for both schools
Oldman........

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Re: Alfred Sutton School history

Postby prharris25 » 22 Jan 2010 09:33

The Friends Re-united site is very good with some excellent photographs of some of the old teachers at the Primary School. Sadly, it seems to have stuck where it was a few years ago for want of further input. Myself as guilty as anybody for this lapse !

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Re: Alfred Sutton School history

Postby OLDMAN » 22 Jan 2010 09:51

First bit I can find -

Not a lot yet about the schools I'm afraid, and only one mention of Alfred Sutton himself -it would appear he joined forces with his brother Martin, who was already working for the firm (from about the age of 13) and helped run the company, this was around 1850ish!

Interestingly Herbert Sutton established the University Extension College in 1893 which took over from the government backed University Extension Movement (they sent tutors down from London to educate local pupils) and later became Reading University

As most of the area around Sutton school was developed in the late 1800's early 1900's and the web site says the school started in 1902 then I can only presume at this stage that it was built as a school around that time and Alfred being a 'lesser' known Sutton had a hand in it similar to his brother Herbert's involvement in the university.

I will keep looking to see what else I can find though as I have some more old books tucked away somewhere

May even take a wander down and look around the buildings to see if there are any dates etc on them.

Just thought I would edit this to add - if I get a chance I may have a look in Reading cemetery (the junction one) as I seem to remember there where a few Sutton and Palmer graves in there, might be able to find if Alfred is there!
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Re: Alfred Sutton School history

Postby digitaltoast » 22 Jan 2010 10:05

Good info there from Oldman.

prharris25 wrote:The Friends Re-united site is very good with some excellent photographs of some of the old teachers at the Primary School. Sadly, it seems to have stuck where it was a few years ago for want of further input. Myself as guilty as anybody for this lapse !


Yeah, it's a shame, but they really have only theirselves to blame, slapping a charge on the site right around the time Facebook launched just killed it almost-dead. More here:
http://www.andybudd.com/archives/2009/0 ... iends_reu/
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Re: Alfred Sutton School history

Postby mickH » 04 Apr 2011 05:59

Cannot help much about the history of the school but I was there from the age of 11-16 (1956-1961) and remember the names of quite a few of the teachers. Ted Cornell was the headmaster and Mr. Jackson "Jacko" his deputy. "Jacko" was feared by most of the boys, big ex-Reading rugby player and he done most of the caning. Mr. Forster taught Geometry, Frank Lacey taught English, Mr. Watson taught history, Mr. Hughes taught Art, Mr "Killer" Allen taught Science, Mr. Pappin then later Mr. Riley taught PE and Fred Hignell taught Woodwork. Sutton was strong on sports where apart from the usual ones, rowing was encouraged and boxing was compulsory unless I think you had a doctors note to excuse you on medical grounds. Pupils were split into four "houses" when you first started there and you remained in that house until you left, they were Greyfriars, St. Giles, St. Mary's and St. Lawrence. When I was there St. Mary's always seemed the strongest house and St. Lawrence the weakest when you competed against each other on the sports field in the various disciplines. Good days though, I remember when I was about 15 (and like other boys then we were trying out smoking in dark corners, thinking no-one knew we were doing it), Mr Hughes asked me if I had a spare pair of football boots he could borrow for the annual Staff v. Senior 11 football match, when he returned them I found he had slipped a packet of 10 fags inside as thanks!

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Re: Alfred Sutton School history

Postby FloreatR » 05 Apr 2011 12:35

I'm afraid I cannot help with the history of Alfred Sutton but memories ... I was at the primary school from 1945-1950 and I must say I enjoyed and valued the experience. The teachers - Mrs/Missess Kathleen Moss, Jermey, Way, Pope, Kathleen West, Wooldridge - must have made such an impression that, over 60 years later, they come easily to mind. They were of the old school concentrating on the three Rs. But it was a successful formula. It seemed more of us went on to Reading and Kendrick than from many other Reading schools.

I guess Mrs Way could be daunting - she was taller, bigger and stronger than most of us with a magnificent head of hair that added to her height. (Exploding Chestnut - tell us more). I only knew Miss Jermey as a spinster but I think I recall a teacher called Mr Young - or is that false memory syndrome? Maybe it was Mr Young that took us gardening in the allotments just up the Wokingham Road? I do remember a Mr Phipps-Jones and a Mr Kent.

About 1947/48, the new uniform - grey and yellow - was introduced and on-site cooking of school dinners started. That was fantastic at the time just after the shortages of the War. I seem to remember the school doing quite well at football and the Reading schools sports day in Palmer Park. There was Maypole dancing and school plays (Hiawatha). Was it Trafalgar Day or Commonwealth Day when we could wear Wolf Cub/Brownie uniform to assembly and we all marched around the hall saluting the Union Flag? (On the downside, the boys' toilets were three playgrounds away although they did have very high brick walls!)

All told great times, good teachers and a fine start on the long path to education.

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Re: Alfred Sutton School history

Postby digitaltoast » 05 Apr 2011 12:46

mickH wrote:I had a spare pair of football boots he could borrow for the annual Staff v. Senior 11 football match, when he returned them I found he had slipped a packet of 10 fags inside as thanks!


Now that's proper old-school schooling! Sound like the senior school has as many charmers as the junior school!
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Re: Alfred Sutton School history

Postby Les » 05 Apr 2011 14:58

FloreatR wrote:
I guess Mrs Way could be daunting - she was taller, bigger and stronger than most of us with a magnificent head of hair that added to her height. (Exploding Chestnut - tell us more).



Well, just to recap, Mrs Way was married to Mr Way (Honest!) who taught at Blue Coat School. They lived happily in one of the lodges by the entrance gates to Holme Park. Mrs Way was eating a roast Chestnut one evening when it exploded in her mouth. As you can imagine she was quite badly injured. and required ambulance conveyance to the hospital complete with sirens and flashing blue lights. She was quite poorly for some weeks as I recall. The incident happened after I had left the school. She was, as you say, quite daunting but provided that you toed the line she could also be very supportive. She used to run the Blue Coat Drama group, and the informal read throughs of the scripts were relaxing and fun, but lord help you if you didn't learn the words!

She came to Reading with evacuated school children and was posted to Alfred Sutton as their teacher. She stayed on after the war.
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Re: Alfred Sutton School history

Postby OLDMAN » 05 Apr 2011 15:35

As Les (and a couple of others) have pointed out Mrs Way was obviously a good teacher but the line she laid betwixt good or bad was so fine even the best spider could not weave it

Scholarly I never did badly at school nor was a trouble maker etc, but I did act as an individual and certainly did not creep nor sucker up to the teachers

I got on well with all the other teachers – even Mrs Young (who was getting older by then) she spent some time once teaching me ’30 Days Have September…..’ as I was interested in it - but for some reason Mrs Way did not like me so I fell into the ’bad’ camp

Thinking back it did seem to be the ‘creeps’ / ‘sucker-ups’ that she liked or those that seemed to excel in what they did (even though they never got anywhere in later life) whereas the slower pupils or individuals like myself where always ‘bad’ in her eyes – although there where a couple of exceptions that went the other way

As for the punishments they often went well over the top of what the misdemeanour was - I once got my knuckles wrapped for coughing too loudly!


I think because of her I kept my head down in class and tried to annoy her as little as possible – it did mean I studied more and thus passed my 11+ with flying colours and gained a place at Reading school – which we then promptly turned down (3 times) as I wanted to go to Sutton Boys!!

Interestingly - with reading mickHs’ post – I ended up in St Mary’s house and yes it was the better of them all

As for the teachers I had over the years – the ones I can remember:-

Mr Cornell – Head
Mr Jackson – Assistant Hd / Maths – always got on well due to rugby
Mr Pusey – Art / sports
Mr Hibbert – Sports
Mr Lewis – Maths
‘Dr’ Watson – History, and the man responsible for my liking of local history!
Mr Hughes – Art
Mrs Barfield – Chemistry
Mr Barnes – Physics
Mr Llewelyn – Geography
Mr Rowbottom (later Roburton) – Engineering / Drawing
Mr Hignell – Woodwork
Ther are a few others but cannot recall the names now!
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Re: Alfred Sutton School history

Postby windrush » 05 Apr 2011 17:21

Quote from OLDMAN (but for some reason Mrs Way did not like me so I fell into the ’bad’ camp

Thinking back it did seem to be the ‘creeps’ / ‘sucker-ups’ that she liked or those that seemed to excel in what they did (even though they never got anywhere in later life) whereas the slower pupils or individuals like myself where always ‘bad’ in her eyes – although there where a couple of exceptions that went the other way) end quote.

Got to disagree Oldman, I certainly didn't "sucker up" to the Lady but I was a slow learner as I have explained before. I was also tall for my age (6ft + at 11 years of age) so was obviously bullied because of this, as she probably had been herself when young being a large woman, and she gave me extra tuition after class so that I stood a chance of keeping up with other kids and also dealt out suitable punishment to anyone who dared to ridicule me. I spent two years in Her class due to my birth date and they were the best years of any that I had in either of my schools. She DID dish out punishment though, mainly it seemed to the girls in the class, but I also recall Mr Young clouting a lad around the head and managing to split the chaps head open on those cast iron radiator's, a quick trip off to the RBH was needed!

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Re: Alfred Sutton School history

Postby lizwing » 05 Apr 2011 20:37

I've mentioned this in a previous post but I'll ask again, I was at Sutton from about 1947 to 1951 when my parents moved to the other end of Reading. I clearly remember being taught to write in a lined, landscape shaped book using a small brush and paint. Does anybody else remember this? Sadly the books have been lost along life's highway but my memory of them remains. I also remember being taken over to Palmer Park on fine days and sitting under the trees being read to by our teacher. On the corner where Subway is now there was a sweet shop and the window was full of dead flies! Isn't it funny, the things we remember?
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Re: Alfred Sutton School history

Postby OLDMAN » 06 Apr 2011 08:53

Hi Pete

As I said ‘there where a couple of exceptions’ similar to yourself

One I can think of was a particularly nasty piece of work who I cannot name for obvious reasons (although I remember him)

Although he seemed reasonably intelligent, he was also very sneaky / cunning and would do really nasty stuff (drawing pins on your chair / ink poured in your desk - and once a dress pin in the soap) and got caught on a few occasions but Mrs Way really liked him

Like you due to birth date he did 2 years with her (we had 3 in my last class who had done this) and he acted as if he owned it

He was that bad he got expelled from senior school a couple of years later

Thinking back I have to agree she did have more of a downer on the girls, oddly given as you say she was nice to you due to her/your size, one girl she was really nasty to was also on the large stocky size, even though she was vey clever and never did anything wrong

Looking back she either liked or disliked someone and I don’t think it mattered how good / bad / intelligent you where or what you looked like – it was just you as a person (not you personally Pete)

lizwing – sorry by the time I went there we had books with pencils but I seem to remember the paint brushes being around – slower or bad kids gat made to use them

The shop on the corner was Alders Bakery but they did sell a few sweets etc and yes the window was full of dead flies

Just around the corner was Eighteens the Fishmonger – just along from where I was born!
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Re: Alfred Sutton School history

Postby FloreatR » 06 Apr 2011 09:48

I remember the sweet shop, not as Alders, but as one down from the fish and chip shop that was run first, by Mr and Mrs Becconsall and then by Mr and Mrs Dance. It strikes a chord because it was here I bought my first sweets once rationing had finished - a bar of that Montmelimar nougat. It also sold fizzy drink at about 1p a bottle - ideal for going onto the playground at Palmer Park or to annoy the Parkie!

We did have open air - and underground - lessons in the Park. It was here we sat out air raid warnings in a couple of shelters alongside Wokingham Road.

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Re: Alfred Sutton School history

Postby lizwing » 06 Apr 2011 10:16

I wasn't a slow or bad kid Oldman, how jolly dare you ! I was slow at reading though and didn't learn until I was about 7 but I've gone on to be a prolific reader so it wasn't a great problem. Maybe the paint brush writing influenced my choice of career as a graphic designer and artist, who knows?
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Re: Alfred Sutton School history

Postby OLDMAN » 06 Apr 2011 10:25

Slightly :offtopic1:

Sorry – should have explained it clearer

Alders had the ‘shop’ directly on the corner of Crescent / Wokingham Rd – now Subway
Behind that facing Wokingham Rd was their bakery building – now a small apartment / being developed
Then it was
Eighteens the fishmonger / fish n chip shop – now Chicken Base takeaway
The Tuck (sweet) Shop – I think that was the name – now a coffee / cake shop
Shoe repair shop – where I was born / my mother managed (became a gents hairdresser for many years) it was a depository, the shoes got sent off for the work – now a letting agent
Hobbs the cleaners– they took over the shoe repair side later on – was a coffee shop but now changing? Again!
Delicatessen - cannot remember the name! – was a Chinese take away but now changing? Again!
Greengrocers – cannot remember the name! – became part of The……..
The ladybird Shop – baby and kids clothes etc – expanded into the greengrocers – now Garden of Gulab

Access entrance to Stanway Cottages driveway
Off Licence – became the public bar when the pub expanded
College Arms Pub – still there but now very rough!!
Oldman........

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to hide the bodies of the people I had to kill because they annoyed me........................

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Re: Alfred Sutton School history

Postby OLDMAN » 06 Apr 2011 10:33

lizwing wrote:I wasn't a slow or bad kid Oldman, how jolly dare you ! I was slow at reading though and didn't learn until I was about 7 but I've gone on to be a prolific reader so it wasn't a great problem. Maybe the paint brush writing influenced my choice of career as a graphic designer and artist, who knows?


Sorry no insults intended, just saying that by my time (1962/3) the brushes only got used as a sort of punishment!

Interesting to read this sort of stuff though

We also used Palmer Park but only when we used the annexe at Park Institute – it was our playground and open air class in the summer

It did mean we where the envy of those still in the main school building as they did not come over, although by then the playing fields had been developed further

These would have been the riding school / dairy in your time as they only went in the late 60’s so can understand using the park more

Shows how times change
Oldman........

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to hide the bodies of the people I had to kill because they annoyed me........................

Bentley
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Re: Alfred Sutton School history

Postby Bentley » 06 Apr 2011 15:32

Re Palmer Park

Does anyone remember a park keeper nicknamed "The Pope",or was he in Sol Joels in Earley?

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Re: Alfred Sutton School history

Postby OLDMAN » 06 Apr 2011 15:58

The current and long standing parky’ there is called Gordon

Most people know him as ‘Wiggy’ mainly as his hair has never changed nor looked different (longer / shorter / colour – its white!) in all those years!

Didn’t know the one at Sol Joel
Oldman........

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to hide the bodies of the people I had to kill because they annoyed me........................

teds
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Re: Alfred Sutton School history

Postby teds » 06 Apr 2011 17:49

Was there in the mid late fifties...Jackson caned me for talking in assembly..ouch..Hughes smoked all through the lessons and married one of the girls from the girls school whom he met when she was cast in one of the school plays...scandal...Barber was a nice chap...organised a trip to the isle of white...my dad forgot to wake me...missed the coach...was so upset gave me a fiver...got the train to portsmouth and then the ferry...his face was a picture when i met up with them on the beach..i was 13...great day


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