Letters from the distant past

Share your memories and stories from the Hertford Christ's Hospital School, which closed in 1985, when the two schools integrated to the Horsham site....

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Jenny Pardington
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Post by Jenny Pardington » Sat Sep 22, 2007 9:33 am

Katharine wrote:Why were the sports held in the Spring Term, surely Summer would have been more appropriate?

By the way, Jenny, I have been wracking my brains and trying to imagine looking across to the 8s table and think I can just about remember a Jennifer Bore at the top end - I was the very bottom end of 6s table then!
I've no idea about the sports - perhaps we had to start practising in the Spring Term to weed out the definite failures? But S.A.W. was a great exaggerater and may just have put that in for effect.

You have a wonderful memory if you can remember me. If I was in the LVI or UVI at the time, I was the one in and out of the black apron and back into pinnies on a disgraceful number of occasions. Oh - I was a School Reader, so read the Grace, lesson in Chapel and so on from time to time. That might jog something?
Last edited by Jenny Pardington on Sat Sep 22, 2007 9:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
Jennifer Bore, 5's and 8's 1953-1960

Jenny Pardington
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Post by Jenny Pardington » Sat Sep 22, 2007 9:37 am

Ajarn Philip wrote:What I want to know is, did S.A.W. ever finish any of those (5!) novels she had on the go? She obviously relished writing, as you can tell by the letter.

And... erm... what are/were her horns?
Phil, I guess she started at least another 5 every term, as did I! I've never finished one though I'd like to think that S.A.W. did as she had a great gift with words.
Jennifer Bore, 5's and 8's 1953-1960

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Post by Jenny Pardington » Sat Sep 22, 2007 9:41 am

cj wrote:How old do you think you might have been while this correspondence was taking place? It makes fascinating reading, but then all the Hertford memories do. It's a different world.
We would have been 15/16/rising 17. I was in the year above S.A.W. (I think) and should have known better!
Jennifer Bore, 5's and 8's 1953-1960

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Post by icomefromalanddownunder » Sat Sep 22, 2007 10:21 am

Jenny Pardington wrote:You have a wonderful memory if you can remember me. If I was in the LVI or UVI at the time, I was the one in and out of the black apron and back into pinnies on a disgraceful number of occasions. to time.
:lol: :lol: :lol:
Hi Jenny

I only lost mine once, but it wasn't awarded until the end of my final term at CH, so I had no opportunity to gain it back :D

I remember having it for less than half a day, but the details may have become exagerrated while lurking at the back of my memories, awaiting resurrection by the forum.

I am enjoying reading your letters enormously - thank you so much for sharing them, and please keep them coming. I see another publication in the offing :)

Best wishes

Caroline
Caroline Payne (nee Barrett)
Hertford 6.20 1965-70

Adelaide, dear Adelaide; where the water is foul, but the wines more than make up for it.

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Chemistry lessons and mending

Post by Jenny Pardington » Sun Sep 23, 2007 6:55 am

Yet another note from S.A.W. She is not in a good mood!
J.M.B. Salve

The epistle comes somewhat late today as all is chaos. My tongue is parched and my hands are sticky but I have finished my books. Needless to say I have not had them passed but with any luck this will not matter as I have shoved them in the back of the cupboard.

This afternoon Hag Gerrard has required my presence (heaven only knows why) in the chemi lab to bale out her disgusting sinks, the sewer. I presume that we will not have Sarah-Jane's inspiring company today. That's one blessing at least.

We had weighing yesterday and surprise, surprise I have only gained 3/4lb in spite of all the untaken exercise and various other things this term.

We have just had a lecture from the old cow on doing end of term mending now and she came into the day room and asked me in catty tones if I had finished all of mine. I said rather rudely NO and walked out to the accompaniment of her curses and vile imprecations.

Today in chemi I spent 40 min in solitary confinement for pretending I was at Ascot with my tripod as the latest hat and an iron ring as a lorgnette. Unfortunately Gerrard was "not amused".

I must end now and do some mending.

Vale S.A.W.
I rather enjoyed "sticking and licking", though clearly S.A.W. didn't! But I avoided mending as much as I could. I never did get the hang of darning and the holes in my socks were often cobbled together in desperation. Presumably the baling out of the chemi lab sinks was an extra punishment for the "Ascot episode".
Jennifer Bore, 5's and 8's 1953-1960

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Re: Chemistry lessons and mending

Post by icomefromalanddownunder » Sun Sep 23, 2007 7:13 am

Jenny Pardington wrote:I rather enjoyed "sticking and licking", though clearly S.A.W. didn't! But I avoided mending as much as I could. I never did get the hang of darning and the holes in my socks were often cobbled together in desperation. Presumably the baling out of the chemi lab sinks was an extra punishment for the "Ascot episode".

Hi Jenny

I have memories of cleaning out the sink traps in the Chem Lab. Can't remember how they were constructed, but the aim was to stop anything that shouldn't get into the sewers - Mercury for example. They were cleaned out once a term, or once a year?

I don't remember the job being given out as a punishment, but guess that if nobody volunteered, it would have to have been.

Yet another activity that subsequent generations will have been spared, due to OH&S regulations :wink:

xx

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Post by MKM » Sun Sep 23, 2007 10:40 am

Thank you Jenny for typing in these old letters, I am enjoying them very much. I am puzzled, though, that you and your friends seem to have written letters to each other in term time, while you were both still at school. Was it because you were in different houses, and not allowed to chat much?
Mary
CH 1965-1972

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Post by Jo » Sun Sep 23, 2007 12:35 pm

Angela Woodford wrote:Jenny, you must have been in House, and your friend up t'Imf! You say "come down soon". One went up t'Imf and then back down. Or was the letter to you and not by you? Hmm, strong coffee time.
I remember "up t'inf" - I'm assuming the expression must first have been coined by a Yorkshirewoman in the dim and distant past. It was one of those bits of school "slang" that was just taken for granted. I remember squirming with embarrassment because my mother, in the wanting-to-join-in-but-not-quite-getting-it-right way that mothers have, would insist of referring to it as "in the inf". That just didn't sound right at all :oops:

Jenny, I echo those who have enjoyed reading your letters and look forward to more. I'm sure I have some myself somewhere, but getting at them would involve clearing piles of junk and reaching up to the top shelf of a bookcase to bring down a rather precariously balanced basket. Must organise myself to do it soon.
Jo
5.7, 1967-75

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Post by Jenny Pardington » Sun Sep 23, 2007 3:40 pm

MKM wrote:Thank you Jenny for typing in these old letters, I am enjoying them very much. I am puzzled, though, that you and your friends seem to have written letters to each other in term time, while you were both still at school. Was it because you were in different houses, and not allowed to chat much?
S.A.W. was definitely in a different house - Ward 3, I think - under the eagle eye of Bobby Robertson and a year below me. But I also had to spend time at home or start the holidays early fairly frequently to take care of my sick stepmother. This was physically and emotionally draining, so DR made me "rest" in the infirmary for a couple of days now and then with instructions to do nothing but sleep, read and go for walks (on my own, unheard of for anyone then!). Luckily I had friends who kept me in touch with school by their letters, and some who continued to write even when I was around to talk to: I think we sometimes found it easier to put our feelings into writing than say things face to face.

Do teenagers today send such informative text messages?
Jennifer Bore, 5's and 8's 1953-1960

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Post by Jenny Pardington » Sun Sep 23, 2007 3:46 pm

Jo wrote:I'm sure I have some myself somewhere, but getting at them would involve clearing piles of junk and reaching up to the top shelf of a bookcase to bring down a rather precariously balanced basket. Must organise myself to do it soon.
Oh do, please Jo. I knew I couldn't be the only one to have these buried treasures and I'd love to read yours.
Jennifer Bore, 5's and 8's 1953-1960

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Post by Ajarn Philip » Sun Sep 23, 2007 7:09 pm

Jenny Pardington wrote:Do teenagers today send such informative text messages?
:mutley: Nice one!
I know exactly what words I am wanting to say, but somehow or other they is always getting squiffsquiddled around

Phil Underwood Ma A Col A Mid B 68-75

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Hiking and Music exams

Post by Jenny Pardington » Mon Sep 24, 2007 8:46 am

Some groups used to go hiking or youth hostelling in the spring and summer holidays. I found it difficult to go because of circumstances at home, but managed two trips - once camping and once youth hostelling - while doing the Duke of Edinburgh Award. My friend Margaret, the writer of this letter, had three Housey brothers (I think. Maybe it was two.)
April 16th

Dear Jennifer,

I do seem to have neglected you sadly these hols. I did mean to send you a p.c. while we were on our hike, but just didn't seem to get round to it. It really was a great success, with very few arguments. Helen really is a scream. I'd no idea just how killing she was. I won't try and tell you all about it now as you're bound to hear all about it when you get back, if not from the LVIth, from me! We managed to feed on £1.0s.9d a week each, which wasn't bad going. We did an average of 12 miles a day and covered 90 miles altogether. It rained quite a lot of the time, but we did seem to be very lucky as we had at least 3 of our 7 lifts in lorries while it was raining and it stopped when we got out. Do you know, 7 out of 9 lorries we thumbed gave us lifts!

The morning I set off we had a letter from Gordon (M's eldest brother. Ed) announcing that he and Beryl had got engaged. We still don't know her surname! It is quite unofficial as yet so please don't pass the news on (I never did and hope I'm not breaking the confidence now! Ed.) - but it's rather thrilling isn't it? He hopes to come to London for a year and get an overseas teaching diploma and then teach in a Methodist school in Ghana at £11,000 a year - not bad - presumably taking "Mrs Wells" with him - that we don't yet know.

We are going out this p.m. to finish buying my leaving outfit + a roll-on . I must also get my material and pattern for school needlework. Then Francis (another brother, still at Housey at the time. Ed.) and I will go on to a music lesson in chamber music given by an international cellist, Maurice Eisenburg. Talking of music - my head swells as I announce that I've got distinction for my Grade VII music exam - the one Miss B. and I sweated for last term - and, don't laugh, 18 out of 20 for scales!! Elizabeth got 134 so she needn't worry any more. Tessa Jones got 133 and everyone else got Merit so you can imagine Miss B. feels like a cat with the cream - she sounded it in her letter!

Felicity hasn't come to stay as I was too unsure about when I was going into hospital. (As far as I remember this was for a tonsillectomy. Ed.) I still haven't been called for so I hope I won't be late for school. It will probably be next hols.

I have just dutifully written my promised letter to Veronica - she is getting jealous of my new ardent admirer, so I have to soothe her down!

All being well (?!) I shall see you in 11 days time.

Lots of love, Margaret
Anyone remember roll-ons? We thought they were essential to squeeze our 24" waists into 23" skirts but they were almost impossible to keep in place and we spent much time trying to discreetly tug them down.
Jennifer Bore, 5's and 8's 1953-1960

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Re: Hiking and Music exams

Post by icomefromalanddownunder » Mon Sep 24, 2007 9:15 am

Jenny Pardington wrote:Anyone remember roll-ons? We thought they were essential to squeeze our 24" waists into 23" skirts but they were almost impossible to keep in place and we spent much time trying to discreetly tug them down.
Hi Jenny

They had lost their popularity by the time I attended CH (from 65), but we would still snigger (with hindsight, somewhat pathetically) when Miss Norman called for a pink roll on during a hockey game :lol:

xx

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Roll-on, wriggle off -

Post by Angela Woodford » Mon Sep 24, 2007 9:50 am

Aha! Lingerie divert!

Always a lace/lycra rag to a heifer in my case!

Of course - the earliest roll-on I remember is the Little-X. Snazzy black-and-white ads of an agile female in silhouette leaping about!

However, by 1969, I was trying to cram my misery-eating bulges into an orange and pink flowered control pantie-thing with attached suspenders. It was a best-seller at M&S. This was in the holidays.

I wouldn't have dared take it to CH, for reasons of mockery if it had been discovered! Oh, the shame.

Munch
"Baldrick, you wouldn't recognise a cunning plan if it painted itself purple, and danced naked on top of a harpsichord singing "Cunning plans are here again.""

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Post by J.R. » Mon Sep 24, 2007 1:44 pm

OH DEAR !!!! :oops:
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