I remember...from Richard Mackie 1939-1945

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9 years 10 months ago #17 by admin
30 of us ‘evacuees’ from Pembroke House School in London, arrived mid September 1939 in Clatworthy’s coach. It was dark, the school forbidding. Prison for 3 months – no half terms, no exeats, no visits. Scott dormitory seemed enormous! Water pistol treatment at 7.30 a.m. from Beatson; bed wet through.

Mr Huyshe, the Acting Head, had a Riley Kestrel; Mr Phipps, the Pembroke House Head, had a Morris 10. Mrs and Mrs Drew, the Groundsman and Caretaker, had a Wolseley Hornet, registration no. CG4. They lived above the garages.

Electricity was provided by a generator in a shed just up the back drive. Water was pumped up from a reservoir near the hairpin bend. Hot water was brought in by Mr Huyshe and poured into basins in the dormitories.

The teachers I remember were: Mr and Mrs Symons, elderly but very good, who taught Maths and Scripture; Mr Cox, who only lasted a few weeks, far too fond of little boys; Mr Haynes, a Communist, who read Das Kapital to us, and repaired his motorcycle on the Staff Room table.

Of the Matrons, one was a dragon but the others were mostly very kind and helpful. “Matron, I think I’ve broken my leg!” , “That’s alright dear, have some cough mixture!” Best of all, Mrs Clarke.

On Sunday mornings (extra hour in bed) we could sneak into the wood via the Fire Escape. Smart II used to have a smoke (he remained rather small even at Kelly).

P.s. Does Macgill remember being driven ‘home’ with Darling after throwing stones at Mr Kingdom’s greenhouse? We got as far as Carscombe Farm – it was supposed to put the wind up them!

Richard Mackie 1939-1945

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7 years 7 months ago #232 by Holladay 111
Replied by Holladay 111 on topic I remember...from Richard Mackie 1939-1945
Hello there - I trust you're keeping well.
The 'younger generation' of Old Ravenswoodians seem to have, in the main, deserted to Facebook - something I cannot get to grips with! so consequently my postings are restricted to this site.
Now the School Photos plus names have been added - including some from the initial Paignton days when Mr Huyshe started it all back in the 1920s one cannot help but notice the distinct gap between 1938 and 1947 (1947 was the first year my brother Peter Holladay went to Ravenswood.)
An opportunity to discuss the war years at Ravenswood would perhaps help to explain and fill in a significant part of Ravenswood's history.
Were there any original Ravenswood Pupils at the school when you and your colleagues came from London ?? - were there other influxes from other schools ?? - can you recall any or indeed have you or any of your colleagues / friends to your knowledge have images from that era and would you be able to share them on the Forum ? Did the school run 'as normal' and can you recall any "School Photographs" being taken at any time during the War - or even Sports Photographs.
In fact I am sure readers (albeit the more mature variety perhaps) would find any elaboration of your Wartime Years School memories to be of great interest --- maybe others from that era could be encouraged to add to the very sparce information that exists for that significantly long eight year period where, by all accounts, very little is on record as having happened!!
Currently we know very little about the school and what it was like, particularly if there were intakes of boys from other schools that were located in vulnerable areas such as your school, Pembroke House.

Hopefully anyone reading this who has information of that era will contribute - if by chance anyone reading this is perhaps not too familiar with websites but is willing to put thoughts onto paper then if you send them to me, Richard Holladay, Higher Mill House, Clifford Street, CHUDLEIGH TQ13 0LH and I will post them for you.
6th March 2014
Holladay 111

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