Memories of Love Lane School II

By Viv Irvine


These are a few of the memories I received in 1995 as part of the centenary celebrations at Love Lane School.

I am still working my way through the school log books (which go back to 1867) & admission records (some of which go back to 1895).

On 17th July 2011, Love Lane will be celebrating 50 years of the Swimming pool and, along with the Rayleigh Through the Looking-Glass display, you may be able to see these old log books, etc.

I would love to hear from anyone with memories of any of the schools in Rayleigh.


Millie Faux (nee Boosey)

Infants school from 1914 to 1923. Remembers Headmistress Miss Hyatt & teachers Mrs Day (was Miss Curtis), Miss Ablin.

Memories of school - “We were all well disciplined , all marvellous teachers. We used to have our own garden and do gardening. Toilets were outside the school. The corridor frosted glass used to be painted by the artistic children. Coal fires. Had to bring your own sandwiches. Walked from Hadleigh side of Woodmans Arms.

To train for the Rochford Hundred we used to run up from school to the main road. Used to be a dairy at top of the lane.

Clothes - Navy gym tunic with box pleats, white blouses, black wool stockings with suspenders attached to the liberty bodice. No tie.

Played netball in the girls school, cricket with the fire shovels and bin lids.

Lessons sometimes held in an underground room when it was hot.

No assemblies. 9 to 12am 1- 4pm. Got home about 5pm.

On Empire Day, we used to make daisy chains and sing "Land of Hope and Glory".

On peace day, 1918 Miss George and Mr Vickers danced round and round they were so happy

Left the school at 14 years old. Reading, writing & arithmetic, sewing & art.

Used to go blackberrying down the cowfields at the bottom of Love Lane, children paid about 1d per lb picked for the war effort.

1s 11d paid for a pillowslip made by Millie's sister for her sister with a new baby. Frilled with their initial on it.

To save paper due to the war, children were told only to put a pen line between each written letter and three circles between each one.

To the Shire Hall in Chelmsford for music festivals on the train.      To Priory Park for history lessons

Walked across the road to the Scout Hall for drama – no hall at school at this time.

NB Not written by Millie – notes of her memories only. 

John Trayling

Infants school from 1913. Remembers teachers – Mrs Bryant & the Head teacher Mr Vickers

Memories of school - “The children were very poorly dressed- the better off wore shoes. Spring Gardens was a field. Just past the school was a farm. It wasn't unusual to have to stand aside when the cows were being driven down to another field”

Joyce Mayo (nee Baker)

I commenced my schooldays at Love Lane School in January 1919. Although I was 5 in October of 1918 and was duly taken after the Summer Holidays I was not allowed to attend until the New Year 1919. There were three schools then – Infants, Girls and Boys.

When I moved up to the Girls school one of my earliest memories is of Empire Day. This was held each year on May 24th.

As many children as possible dressed in National Costume of the then vast British Empire and a tall girl, preferably blonde, was chosen to be dressed as Brittania and headed the parade. Boys and girls paraded round the playground waving Union Jack Flags and feeling very patriotic, we had of course listened to rousing speeches all about the Empire. A half-day holiday followed all this excitement. We sang patriotic songs 'Rule Brittania ' and I think Rudyard Kiplings Ressional in which were the words “This Earth, This Realm, This England we dedicate ourselves to Thee”. Stirring stuff indeed!

The retirement of Miss George, headmistress of the Girls' school and Mr Vickers of the Boys brought about a great change. The boys and girls were amalgamated under Mr Weavers the new headmaster. This was I think in the year 1925.

Mrs Joy R Dawes (nee Flavell )

1 Miss Knott and the Cane; Miss Knott, our Headteacher in circa 1926, came into our class room & announced that she was going to cane Elsie White because she had stolen a shilling. Miss Knott said “This hurts me more than it will hurt you“ and a tear slipped slowly down her thin white cheek, Elsie held out her hand & began to sob. Then we all bowed our heads and wept a quick tear. It was a salutary experience and one which I expect we all remembered for many years. Personally I deplore the demise of the cane, I think discipline disappeared with it.

2 Rayleigh Senior School – Mr Weavers The standard of education at Rayleigh Senior School under Mr Weavers was exceptionally high. I learned French at the age of 9 and I have never forgotten it.

Mr Sample was our class teacher. I think he was a brilliant English teacher & with him we learned many poems by our greatest poets and American ones. I particularly remember “Vitae Lampada” from “Play the Game“ by Sir Henry Newbolt; “The Battle of Britain” (Old Kaspar) by Robert Southey & “Barbara Fretchie” (poets name escapes me).

There were about 40 children in that class and we learned well, I think because we were well disciplined and didn't waste any of our school time. Mr Sample had been wounded in the Great War and had a stiff leg. He wore a shiny black suit with a white shirt and black tie. Also his gown; as did Mr Drake who took us for Maths.

Mr Drake & Mr Sample were great “whizzers” with the chalk, if one was not paying attention. Mr Sample who always carried a stick, would give you a dig in the back with it if you were not behaving. Mrs Wise was a great teacher with a striking personality; always well dressed in the latest style, in lovely bright colours. Red must have been her favourite colour. Miss Sillitoe took us for Music and Art. She lived at Battlesbridge. I could never imagine anyone living at Battlesbridge at that time. I lived at Eastwood & can remember the first Bridge's bus running. We went to school by bus each day. It was a long day. We caught the bus at 8.30 and did not get home until well after 4, about 4.30 I think.

We took our sandwiches each day and when the weather was cold our mothers placed a teaspoon each of cocoa, sugar and condensed milk in a cup with a spoon and covered it with a paper bag secured by an elastic band. This we carefully placed in our satchels. At lunchtime, either of our two ladies would pour boiling water into the cup, enabling us to get a warm drink during the day.

[NB I have not corrected spelling or dates given]

This page was added by Viv Irvine on 15/04/2011.
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