the report on Lubenham School in the April Newsletter, I found
myself looking back to my schooldays in the 1930s. How times
The school had a good name even in those days before the war,
when we had just two teachers - Miss Batty, who lived in the
village, and Miss Jesson, who lived at Gumley.
The house to the right of the school clock had at one time
been the headmaster's, but during my time there it was let
to Jack Smith.
Miss Jesson was a real character and a very tough lady. During
the summer months she would ride to school on her 'sit up
and beg' bicycle; but when the snow came in winter she would
trudge through it, well covered against the elements and armed
with her walking stick. We seemed to have lots of snow in
those days, yet I don't recall Miss Jesson ever being off
sick. I don't know what her age was at the time, but she seemed
She was so knowledgeable about nature, birds in particular.
I think that, although she had a very loud, shrill voice which
could be heard way up School Lane during lessons, we were
all fond of her.
Our days would always start with assembly: hymns and a prayer.
Miss Batty played the piano and Glad that I Live am I seems
to stick in my mind as a favourite. Sometimes the Rev. Graham
Dilley would come to take prayers and sometimes, on special
days such as Ascension Day, we would all go to Church. I recall
going to the funeral of a lady who I think was one of the
In school we sat two to a desk with a lift-up lid in which
we kept our books and things and in the top there was, of
course, the ink well for use with school pens.
We had school milk delivered daily one-third pint bottles
with cardboard tops and a little punch-out hole in the middle
for a straw to drink with. In winter we often had to stand
the bottles on 'the pipes' to thaw out, but it never tasted
very nice after this.
Everyone walked to school for a nine o'clock start and home
again for lunch at 12 midday until 1.30 p.m. There was no
dining room then and only the children of two families, I
believe, stayed because they lived far away. Afternoon school
finished, I think, at 3.45 p.m., when we would all walk home
at a very leisurely pace.
was no playing field, just the tarmac playground where we
would have ball games and so on. Sometimes, in hot weather,
we would have lessons outside. School Lane was very quiet
in those days, with very few cars around.
We had a school percussion band, which we enjoyed, sometimes
going to the Unionist Hall (now the Village Hall) to play,
maybe in a concert. (I'm not too sure about that point.)
At the beginning of the war evacuee children arrived from
London and were billeted in houses in Lubenham - and, of course,
came to school, where they became new friends. It was then
that the large room was divided into two, allowing two classes
in one room. We then had an extra teacher - Miss Luscombe,
I believe. Before the extra children arrived we would have
PE in the large room, where we had rush mats to exercise on.
Home from school, life seemed so leisurely. We would play
in the streets until dusk - even Main Street - at marbles,
hopscotch, whip and top or whatever craze was in season. Happy
by Margaret Bale