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Tears about to start

Before you had chance to get to the lavs, you were dragged out for the class photo, after ten or more minutes of getting positioned where the teacher wanted you, problems start.

Which was best for the school photo, the sign of a minor wet patch, or a flood of tears. If you were brave, a grin and wet trousers showed you had won the battle with your teacher.

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For those of us in the children's home, the Sisters seldom purchased our class photos as each photo might only have one of each or 'her' children in it and often a dozen different photos would have needed to be purchased to get the entire 'family'.

In the mid 1960s schools stated to get both class, and head & shoulders photos of each child, this allowed for more photographs to be sold, as relatives now could have a photo.

For us from the Home, it was often several of these small photos purchased, the 6"x 8" enlargements if they had been printed up were returned to the school along with the class photo.

The comments by Sister on viewing the class photos was that we were not smiling, sitting up straight etc lasted only a few moments.

Sister never knew what her Home children went through at school. Most of the teachers thought of us as the "Orphanage Kids" and that we should still be educated in the grounds of the Home, after 1950 we had joined ordinary local schools. 180 of us were shared between nine schools.

We had good reason not to be trusted by the school teachers, we were always up to something, fighting, stealing and generally behaving in a slightly different way to the other 95% of the school.

Wise teachers never let us out during lessons to visit the lavatory, coats of others would be searched for money and sweets. By the time losses were found, the evidence had vanished.

On starting at school, we soon would learn to visit the lavatory at the correct time or suffer wet trousers. Have accidents too often and you would be going to school with waterproof pants under your school clothes, even at the age of eight or nine. Which although we might be teased by others, would hide any further problems from the rest of the class if it happened again.

I was only accused of stealing money on one occasion, During one of our regular searches by our teacher, after a shilling had gone missing, it was found that I had a shilling in my pocket, it had been given to me by an aunt, the reason it was never declared to Sister was that it would have been put into my Holiday Fund, and would then become lost for several months.

The shilling was confiscated, although I did not get any further punishment at school, in the children's home, I was given extra chores as well as the loss of the shilling.

 

If you wear tall wellingtons in the classroom, any pens or coloured pencils can be hidden down the sides of your boots, although some of us from the Home were searched from time to time by the teacher to see what we had acquired, I was never told to take off my boots.

I could appear to be totally innocent when asked to go and fetch something from the teachers store room, where an assortment of goodies could be found.

1965

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Uploaded on March 8, 2015