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Thursday, 29 November 2012

31. Maureen Clarke

I am the Maureen Clarke in Derek Gorham’s list of classmates.

I lived, and still do live, just over the border in Sompting, so the walk to North Lancing School was about a mile; 4 times a day, as I came home for lunch most of the time I was there. I used to call in at Fircroft sweet shop on my way to or from (was it a Mrs.Middleton who owned it?) If I bought a small gobstopper I could get it finished before I got to school, but a big one lasted too long! When I was old enough to walk on my own, I sometimes went on the footpath between Berriedale Drive and Boundstone Lane (which eventually became part of Boundstone School playing field) despite my mum telling me not to!

I remember most of the teachers Derek mentions, although not in quite the same detail. However, I still have my autograph album with Miss Humpreys’ drawing of rabbits in it! It was quite scary moving up to Miss Lapham’s class after only one term but she was very good to me and later on I visited her in her little cottage at the top of Hoe Court. It is my understanding that she died in the early ‘90s. I have photos of the recorder group Derek mentions, and later on there were also violinists in the group, of which I was one. Some of us played too with the Lancing Secondary Modern School orchestra run by Olive Poole. I also remember going off to sing as a school group at local schools music festivals. At the end of my final year at North Lancing some of us took part in a production of Benjamin Britten’s ‘Noyes Fludde’ at Lancing College, only a year after it was first performed, and we walked across the Downs to the college for rehearsals. We took the parts of the animals, and I seem to recall that I was a rat!

This photo is from 1957. It must have been a gym presentation in the playground for a parents Open Day? (check out the cars!)

In my autograph album I have a list of classmates so could add some to Derek’s list: David Hebden,
Ian Ralph, G(ordon?) Ryan, John Martin, Sally Ede, J(ulie?) Brazier, David Fulford, Gavin North,
E(lizabeth?) Maddan, Margaret Hogben, D.G.Goldsmith, J.S.Butt, Peter Youlds, J.Stacey, D(avid?) Nock, P(aul?) Clayburn, E.West, M.J.Gunn, M(argaret) Marshall, A.Walker, V.Beech, H.Blaylock.
Some of these may have been an academic year above us. Where are they all now, I wonder?

Some of the names are in this photo of Mrs.Thomas’s class of ’55………..

Back row: Philip Norton, John Martin, Colin ?, Barry Ruffel(?), Angela Bayley, ??, Gavin North, Derek
Gorham, Mrs.Thomas.

Row 3: ??, Ian Ralph, Christine Marshall, Margaret Hogben, Neil Furze(?), David Coker?

Row 2: ??, Maureen Clarke, ??, ??, Josephine ?, ??, ??, Jamie Wrench, ??

Front row: ??, Janice King, ??, ??, ??, ??, Sally Ede, ??

Further to Rose (Marg) Maloney’s memories, I too used to visit the Red House in Manor Road as I was a friend of Jamie Wrench. At that time it had a large garden, which was great for us kids to play in, and of course it also had a cellar, although I’m not sure we were supposed to go down there!

As Derek says, after 11+ we drifted apart a bit, although some of the mums used to bump into each other in the village and exchange progress news! Many of the boys who passed I believe went on to Steyning Grammar and I went to Worthing High School, for Girls, as it was then. Boundstone School was not yet built, although when I first went to North Lancing, my parents were told that by the time I was 11 we would all go to a new school in Lancing.