Gravel Crunching

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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seajayuu
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Real Name: Chrissy Williams (Barnett 5.23 '58-9; 3.10 '59-66)

Gravel Crunching

Post by seajayuu » Thu Jul 26, 2012 3:25 pm

Anyone else reminded of this every time they walk across large expanses of gravel?

Angela Woodford
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Re: Gravel Crunching

Post by Angela Woodford » Thu Jul 26, 2012 5:10 pm

I was always baffled by the expression, as I knew the Square only as a rectangle of pinkish tarmac...

And I was even more baffled by having to do the gravel-crunching! I never knew why we should have to kill time just walking up and down. :?
"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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Re: Gravel Crunching

Post by Katharine » Thu Jul 26, 2012 7:29 pm

Angela, you just missed the gravel. I can't remember when it changed - presumably during the holidays. We weren't killing time, we were getting exercise!

Welcome seajayuu - or can I call you Chrissie? Lovely to see someone else of our vintage here! As to your question, frequently but not every time!
Katharine Dobson (Hills) 6.14, 1959 - 1965
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Angela Pratt 56-63
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Re: Gravel Crunching

Post by Angela Pratt 56-63 » Thu Jul 26, 2012 7:31 pm

Oh yes it was gravel during my time,and compulsory exercise on sunday mornings. But it was tarmaced later i remember.

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Re: Gravel Crunching

Post by Fjgrogan » Thu Jul 26, 2012 11:43 pm

It changed during my time at Herford (1956 - 1962), from yellow rather sandy gravel to red tarmac, and was definitely intended as a, rather unimaginative, form of exercise. I wonder what happened to anyone who was allergic to lime pollen?!
Frances Grogan (Haley) 6's 1956 - 62

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Angela Woodford
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Re: Gravel Crunching

Post by Angela Woodford » Fri Jul 27, 2012 5:42 am

And no running across it!

Puffing and panting up between the Houses, panicking, all of a doo-dah, braking on my heels like the Road Runner to w-a-l-k across the Square, back to a mad run the other side, accelerating across the Playground... even if there was wasn't any one else in sight!

Was this meant to convey to any observer the other side of the School Gates that we, on the inside, moved only at a meaured disciplined pace ?
"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.""

fra828
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Re: Gravel Crunching

Post by fra828 » Fri Jul 27, 2012 10:21 am

Was gravel crunching only done on Sundays, either late morning after chapel or afternoons ? In the winter we had a Sunday walk and in summer we could go the field if it was fine, wearing ashbourne hats, usually taking books and revising for exams. I have photos somewhere! It is really strange, but I can't remember any wet sundays in summer at Hertford, 68-73, there must have been loads! There was compulsory letter writing and late afternoon chapel. I remember all these activities but not the exact routine of the day and how gravel crunching fitted into it.

seajayuu
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Real Name: Chrissy Williams (Barnett 5.23 '58-9; 3.10 '59-66)

Re: Gravel Crunching

Post by seajayuu » Fri Jul 27, 2012 11:09 am

Chapel; gravel crunching; lunch; letter-writing; ????; chapel; tea; mending. I think! it's a long time ago now.

Alexandra Thrift
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Re: Gravel Crunching

Post by Alexandra Thrift » Thu Aug 02, 2012 6:22 pm

DR writes about the change from gravel to tarmac in her autobiography. She gave the large machines that did the work pet names that were apparently used by the school at the time. Possibly Sir Harry Vanderpant paid for that work too .( would need to check the book.)

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Re: Gravel Crunching

Post by Angela Woodford » Thu Aug 02, 2012 9:53 pm

I've got a Sunday memory... a pudding of a tinned-gooseberry pie, with a pastry that had scorched spots on the underside. Glopped-on custard from the tin jug.

It's just come back to me... the flavour of that pie!
"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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Re: Gravel Crunching

Post by kerrensimmonds » Sat Aug 04, 2012 4:32 pm

There's a whole thread on CH Ladies on Facebook about 'gravel crunching' and 'square bashing'. I believe that I argued that they were one and the same, but others thought differently.....................
Kerren Simmonds
5's and 2's Hertford, 1957-1966

MaryB
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Re: Gravel Crunching

Post by MaryB » Tue Aug 07, 2012 7:49 pm

I'm sure we didn't do mending on Sundays - it was Fridays for most of my time but Wednesdays right at the start when Wednesday was a sort of half holiday and we had lessons on Saturday mornings (double science with Miss Jukes in the 3rd form... my unacceptably messy diagram of a bunsen burner... the experiment with potassium permanganate to demonstrate convection currents.....). And I definitely once got into trouble when I was found revising on my bed on a wet Sunday afternoon. I think the principle was that no work of any kind was allowed, which made one long to do some. Sundays after evensong were Very Long and slightly grey, punctuated by tea with bread, cheese and cake, and ending in the relief of a slightly earlier bedtime. Even now Sunday evenings can make me feel melancholy.....
Hello Chrissie - I remember you as Chris and quite scary, but I think I was easily scared in those days. Once when I was sitting on the mons' table at teatime my newly acquired brace fell out of my mouth into my baked beans - you were very scathing but certainly justified!
Mary Bowden (Gaskell)
5.10, 3.6: 64-71

kerrensimmonds
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Re: Gravel Crunching

Post by kerrensimmonds » Tue Aug 07, 2012 8:11 pm

Betty Jukes surely never taught Science, Mary? The Bind Moggles.....
And I am sorry if you have a negative memory of Chrissy. When we reached the top of the school, we were all trying to fit in with expected prototypes - doesn't mean to say that what the actions we took then were genuinely 'ours' but they were most probably fulfilling expectations of us, despite our own instinctive behaviours. Gosh, doesn''t that sound pretentious?!
Be reassured that these days Chrissy would most definitely not be scary and would help you to retrieve your brace from the baked beans, rather than being scathing about your loss. What a sad tale!
Kerren Simmonds
5's and 2's Hertford, 1957-1966

Angela Woodford
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Re: Gravel Crunching

Post by Angela Woodford » Tue Aug 07, 2012 8:59 pm

Third Form, Saturday mornings before it was reorganised as a prep only morning. Science!

Double Science with Miss Jukes. I loved it! I managed to bag a front row desk. The Bunsen Burner with the "luminous and non-luminous" flame. The time Alison Stilliard's blonde French bunches caught fire whilst bending over the luminous flame! Miss Jukes beat out the flames whilst Alison wept.

"Metals expand on heating and contract on cooling". A wondrous heated metal ball expanded in a stand! Miss Jukes spoke of other things - and then the cooled ball crashed onto her desk on the platform. How we all screamed. Oh, it was exciting.

All experiments written up beautifully in yellow exercise books.

I still love Saturday mornings. :lol:
"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.""

kerrensimmonds
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Re: Gravel Crunching

Post by kerrensimmonds » Tue Aug 07, 2012 9:10 pm

Double Science with Betty Jukes. Are you SURE, Angela? I thought she was focussed on domestic science which - all things considered - was most definitely not 'scientific' in the itional sense .
Kerren Simmonds
5's and 2's Hertford, 1957-1966

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