Newton Church Room Renovation Project
Memories of my School Days by Margaret Ann Williams
When did you go to Newton School?
I went to Newton School from 1927 to 1936.
Where did you live and who with?
I lived at Woodlands Farm with my father, mother and sisters; Nell, Rose and Gladys.
Who was your teacher?
Miss Jordan was my Infant teacher and Mrs Dunabin the Headteacher. There was also a Mrs Williams.
How did you get to school?
I walked. There were no cars in those days.
What did you do through your school day?
We had lessons in reading, writing, arithmetic, handwriting, dictation, tables, spellings, painting, singing and sewing. I made a pinafore and blouse. Mrs Dunabin taught us how to play hockey. Mr A.S. Wood, a school manager, bought the hockey sticks.
What did you have for lunch?
I would have sandwiches and cake. We had home made bread and butter. Sometimes the butter was salted. My mother also made cheese. We took cocoa and sugar to school for hot drinks in winter and enamel mugs to have water from the pump.
What did you wear to school?
I wore ordinary clothes with a " pinny" to keep me clean. When I was younger I wore boots.
Did you have any jobs to do before or after school?
In the morning I had to feed the chickens and get the fire going. After school there was wood to collect as well as helping in the garden. We also had to help with farmwork, like in haymakiing and corn harvesting. We had to turn the hay with a handrake, to rake up and tie up the corn into sheaves after it had been cut.
Can you remember any local events or anything else about your schooldays?
I remember having Magic Lantern Shows. We had plays and gave concerts. One play was the ‘The Doll's Wedding’. Dolly Prosser was the bride and I was chief bridesmaid. When we did ‘Alice in Wonderland’, I was Alice. Only the boys were caned as punishment. We did Maypole dancing. There were poultry trussing and cheese and butter making classes held at the Scratching Pen but I never went.
My father went to school in the Church room. He left when he was twelve. It cost ld per week. He was a very good scholar and taught me how to read and write before I went to school. I've still got the slate he used in school. He wrote in beautiful copperplate writing.
This contribution from Miss Margaret Ann Williams, Interviewed by Joan Davies, January 2003