|It was not long before the inevitable happened and once again we were on the move to RAF Hullavington (Air Electronics School) and we were sent to what was then called Chippenham Grammar School.|
|Girls, School, Scouts and adventure|
It was not long before I made a friend, who I am still in contact with. I managed to get into trouble for walking Mary home and therefore being caught in town long after school hours and still in school uniform. Walks down the lane by the Nestle Factory and the River Avon. Getting into trouble from Mary's father for an extended stay in the cinema (Odeon - Market Place) in the days when screenings were continuous. An incident one lunch time involving Mary's friend Jenny and to this day I have a slight scar on my left cheek from the scratch I received from Mary (!). Another memory at the Astoria. Life was for exploring but lack of confidence left me wanting as was shown at our house during my sisters and my first teen party.
No sooner had we moved in than I was involved joined the local scout troop, which I had started whilst at Shebbear. The troop was made up from Scouts from the RAF station as well as the local village. The Scout Master - Harry - became a life long friend. It also meant that I was getting a social life. Scouting meant summer camps (Youlbury, Oxford - Frylands Wood, Croydon), 20 mile hikes and canoeing on the River Avon. Unsurprisingly, I still have my hike report. Being woken up at 1am to be asked if I want to buy a battleship. Exlax on the first night at camp. Cyling into Oxford to see John Wayne and the Alamo.
|Gym - Lunch Time |
Lunch time was an enjoyable time jiving our time away. The memories have stayed with me all my life. Never a good dancer but enjoyed having 2 left feet and no sense of rhythm
I was in the gym team which I enjoyed but whilst practising a forward somersault(?) assisted by the trampet but I missed calculated my take off and hit the floor cracking my front teeth. I had been practising harnessed and felt confident I could do it without support - over confidence (!)
There was a tree in the lower field that was great to sit under and was a a great place for a clandestine meeting.
The pond near the Admin block where I saw my first grass snake swimming the pond.
Nothing really outstanding happened but all my memories were good - it is just a pity I cant remember faces and names. The only teachers name I remember was Mr Harrison and of course the Head Master Mr Stephens
Getting into trouble for not wearing a blazer. I left the house in the morning in warm sunshine to cycle into school but the weather changed during the day so much so that the order of the day for wearing blazers was not given - In trouble again.!!!!!!
On one fine Summers Saturday morning my Mother called to get my lazy body out of bed. I had no idea what to do but jokingly said I would go for a long cycle ride. Mum made some sandwiches and I got on my bike. I reached Chippenham as I did on a daily basis for school and then thought I would try Calne which seemed all to easy . Could I reach Marlboroug? So I set off only stopping of at Cherhill to climb the hill. Feeling refreshed I carried on. Reaching Marlborough could I reach Hungerford. I was still boyed up with my progress and even walking up Hungerford Forest hill was not daunting and so the miles ran on. Before long I was at Heathrow and the time was getting late so there was no going back and all I could do was go forward to friends at Selhurst which I did arriving about 8pm to everyones surprise and the phone call to my parents to let them know where I was was like starting world war 3.
Well I had to cycle back the next day here at 14 years old to cycle the 104 miles each way along the A4 until I cut across country to Selhurst. Well that was the last time I was allowed out to do long cycle rides until the following year.
Cornwall (summer 1961)
The following year my friends of my Parents were asked if I would like to accompany there son Chris to cycle to Cornwall. Of course I jumped at the chance. I reckoned it would be a 2+ dya journey with overnight stops the YHA at Exeter and Truro. I could write a book about but we arrived at the holiday cottage on time. The return journey was a different mater as all the YHA's were booked result in us getting a train, as we were so tired, from Bideford to Bath (as that was all we could afford) but we were so tired we overslept and had to get off at Wootton Bassett and cycle back to Chippenham.
|E & O E - please note that this is written many years after the event.|
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