Stories about Schools

Whitehill School in the 1950s

Jean Overby (nee Godden)

As a child growing up in Chesham I went to Waterside,Townsend, then off to Whitehill.

We wore uniforms with Navy blue undies that also served as our gym shorts. How I hated them. I would slip the liberty bodice off in the outside toilets as soon as I arrived! We had houses and I was in Percival House; we even took the shield one year, 1953 or 54 I think.

Miss Dyer was a force to be reckoned with.    As I lived close (at 76 White Hill) I was never allowed to be late as I had to meet Miss Dyer where she parked her car and carry her basket to her office. Once I was caned with her ruler for eating chips in the High Street – not becoming for young Ladies of her school.

One day a week we walked unattended to Waterside School. The house next to the school was where we had cookery classes. We were given a passage of scripture every Monday morning to be able to recite on Friday. Also we went to the swimming baths. We used to stand and freeze in our swim suits. Teacher would say ‘all in the pool. Now swim’. She had 2 frogs she would set in the pool (to chase us as we thought). It worked – we swam!

I used to be milk and bun monitor. Two pennies bought a bun and milk, twopence halfpenny a doughnut. At dinner-time we all filed into the main hall and received our plates. Teacher sat at one end of the table to make sure we all ate every bit. Dreaded macaroni pudding or rice pudding was the worst. One time potatoes were unobtainable so we had extra bread in place of them.