Newton Church Room Renovation Project
Memories of my School Days by Helen Lucretia Wood Cole
Helen Lucretia Wood Cole, Maiden name Shaw
When did you go to Newton school?
I went to Newton from 1935 to 1942.
Where did you live and who with?
I lived at the Oaks with my mother father, brother, and sister.
Who was your teacher?
I believe my first teacher was a Miss Lane later it was Mrs Dunabin and Miss Willetts.
How did you go to school?
We were under strict instruction to go across the field which was called The
Pound, then mother could watch us, and we came home the same way.
What did you do through your school day?
I sat at a small chair and table we had counters. The teacher would read and talk to us a lot; we played with clay. I was afraid to do any thing wrong because my brother would tell my mother. I got told off once because I had got behind due to having been ill. So when I went back I was behind with my needle work. had to catch up so I started to sew really big stitches but I had to take it out. We did all kind of stitches, French, running and chain. We had tables. and spelling on the blackboard, my favourite subject was writing stories and sewing.
What did you have for Lunch?
I would have sandwiches with home made butter, they would be either be cheese or jam. I would have an apple in the autumn, it was all put in a brown bag that had been used before. In the winter Mrs Dunabin would boil the kettle on the fire and we would have a drink of cocoa. I used to take my cocoa and sugar in a small mustard tin, but we onlyhad cold wate rin the summer from the pump.We would drink out of a cast iron cup which was on a chain fasten to the pump.
What did you wear to school?
My Auntie Ivy from Bristol would send us a parcel full of lovely clothes. It would come to Vowchurch station, mother would send Hector Stewart to fetch it. He would stop talking for a long time and we were not allowed to open it before he left, my mother would send to J D Williams for lace up boots which I did not like because they were like boys boots and very heavy.
Did you have any jobs to do before or after school?
I did not do any jobs before school started, but I would get the morning wood in, also help to carry water from the Chapel Well. If that well went dry we would fetch water from the Burnt House well. We had to carry water for the cow to.
Can you remember any local event or any thing else about your school days?
We had social evenings which were packed; lots of refreshments. I remember that when they closed the reading room at Newton we were allowed to borrow books to read. Also we would pick wild strawberries and thread them on a piece of grass and take them home, then we would mash them up and have them with the top off the milk. On the way home Mr J N Price would tell us to go down for conkers and would give us Swedes for dinner. I took my 11 plus and passed, and left Newton at 11 years old.
This contribution from Helen Lucretia Wood Cole, Maiden name Shaw. January 2003