My Thundersley Primary School Days from 1958 to 1963
As a small child, I attended Thundersley County Primary School in Dark Lane, Thundersley. I lived in Hill Road, Benfleet but this was the closest school at that time. We did not have a car, so the journey was made on foot every day and I remember I used to dawdle and get told to hurry up.
It’s about a mile from where I lived in Hill Road to the school gates and should have taken about twenty minutes to walk but my mum used to stop and chat to various people as we passed by their houses. More often than not people would be standing at their front gates passing the time of day.
My mum, like most others at that time, seemed to know everyone, so I was lucky enough to be able to call many of the villagers my friends in later years.
The Local People
There was one particular man who was known locally as a gentle giant. His name was Ronnie Monk. He was a very, very tall, deep and loud voiced man who could easily frighten you if you did not know him. His favourite trick was to ride on the number 1 bus, which at that time was one of those where the back was open and there was a pole just at the exit. He would hang on to the pole with his right arm, leaving his right leg on the platform and as the bus turned any corners he would push himself just off the platform so that his left arm and left leg would swing out of the bus. All the while he would be singing loudly.
The fish and chip shop on the corner of Hart Road and Park Road used to have a lady working there called Emma. I think it is only in the not too distant past that she died. She was certainly there for many years and everyone loved her.
Quite close to The White Hart Public House there used to be a sweet shop. Most days after school my mum took me in there to buy some sweets. The lady would only serve children who said please and thank you. I could buy ‘surprise bags’ for sixpence which would include sugar mice, flying saucers and black jacks. Sometimes as a treat I could have Penny Arrows or Frother Bars. On hot days all the children wanted Orange Jubbly Ices. These were orange flavoured ice pyramids, tightly wrapped in cardboard. The trick was to open them and eat them without the orange dripping onto your school uniform, a feat I don’t think I ever managed.
First Days at School
My first days at the school were in Miss Watson’s class. I remember the classroom was in a wooden building, close to the front of the school boundary. There was a Wendy house in the classroom for us to play in. I hid myself in there and would not come out, so they had to send for my mum to come and get me. I did not get sweets that day!
Mr Clough was the headmaster but I can only remember one or two of the teachers. Mr French, who I seem to recall always had us making papier mache masks. Mr Barker, Miss Cartwright who taught us P.E. and Miss Watson, my first teacher.
I have added the names of those friends who I can remember. If you are in this photo or if you know any names, please contact us via the comments section at the bottom of this page.
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