This is the second part of a series of childhood memories of Trumpington in the 1940s and 1950s. For an introduction to the series, see Childhood Memories of Trumpington .
As pre-pubescent boys and girls have a very strong reluctance to kissing each other, I can only assume that we were goaded on by our respective mothers, to leave me with vague memories of a clumsy childhood kiss whilst hiding behind our kitchen door. When we eventually moved away our respective parents kept in touch via Christmas cards, until years later, in my mid-twenties, we met again at her mother’s funeral. We picked up where we’d left off on that first innocent kiss, and had a brief love affair for a few weeks; but Elizabeth worked unsociable hours at what was then The University Arms Hotel in Cambridge. By that time I was living some distance away near Letchworth; and somehow we drifted apart again, this time for ever. Probably much to my mother’s disappointment. Although funnily enough, my eventual wife turned out to be the daughter of a Head-of-Department in Higher Education, so at least I did my best to stay on track for her.
I wasn’t at the old Church School long before it was closed in 1950, and those of us from the historic end of Trumpington had to cross what we thought was a busy road then, to get to the big new Fawcett School at the bottom of Alpha Terrace. Now to be honest, I didn’t like Fawcett School.
Continue with the next part of Brian Goodliffe’s childhood memories of Trumpington in the 1940s and 1950s.
I found myself being swiftly escorted to the Headmistress’s office. Whilst en route my mind was busily trying to work out what actual misdemeanour I was guilty of, and, more worryingly, what the appropriate punishment was likely to be. Corporal punishment was still de rigour, even in an infants’ school. But instead of being reprimanded, I was actually given the afternoon off school, and was told to go straight home “And hurry!” But I wasn’t given a specific reason for the concession, nor why urgency was of the essence. Strangely enough though, they had no ill affect on me whatsoever. But the incident became part of our family lore, and the story was retold whenever prunes raised their ugly wrinkled heads.
In the September of my seventh year, as we went back to school after the long summer holidays, I found myself transferred to the adjacent Junior School. I only have three real recollections of my time there, none of them particularly pleasant.
Miss Cross was possibly my first teacher in the Junior School. Cross by name – cross by nature! Hitting children was still positively encouraged in those days, and when you’re little, sitting at your desk, the back of your head is nearest the teacher’s hand level, so that is where most of the blows would land.
Another thing I remember about my time at Fawcett Junior School is the fact that that was where bullying started to blight my life; and it continued to do so for well over a decade, even following me into my electrical apprenticeship.
During my first year as a junior I also had my first ever experience of dentists, initially at school and then at the dental service in Cambridge.
The former Church School (later the Church Hall) from Grantchester Road. Photo: Andrew Roberts, August 2008.
Entrance to Fawcett Primary School. Photo: Andrew Roberts, August 2008
Left: Brian Goodliffe, aged about 3, whilst living at Swan’s Yard, Trumpington, in 1947. Right: Brian Goodliffe, wearing a toy policeman’s helmet, on a fairy cycle, July 1950. Photos: Goodliffe family.