Posted on behalf of Christine Nicholls.Memories of Country dancing. "Come on you lot, some of you must remember Miss Pye's class and the country dancing with the may pole with ribbons attached. We all held a different coloured ribbon and had to weave in and out of each other. We skipped round in a circle going under or over the other kid's ribbons so that the ribbon would end up in a neatly coloured pattern round the pole at the end of the Dance - except that we had to stop at least half a dozen times because the music came from a tall square wooden record playing piece of furniture that took three kids and Miss Pye to carry it out into the playground. It worked by winding a handle up on the side, and it kept running down so that the music got slower and slower. Miss Pye would put on a spurt and run as best she could across the playground to wind it up again because if it stopped, then so did we! The other time we stopped dancing was when our ribbons got all tangled up when one kid went over instead of under and that put everyone else out of synch until we all ended up in a big heap with ribbons tied all round us whilst Miss Pye looked over the top of her glasses and said 'Right, lets try again shall we?'
I so remember that record player stopping, kids today would laugh at our humble beginnings at school, but they were the best days of our lives at that little School, can only compare it to the Little House on the Prairie!
Burnham on sea, what comes to mind?Wooden canvas camp beds, with one single sheet, doubled over to make two, with a blanket on top. In the middle of the night, when the sheet had wrinkled up and ended around your ankles, there was the excruciating pain of your sore and sunburnt back making contact with the canvas camp bed. The Calamine lotion that you had been smothered with the night before had no effect at all. The next morning came the seizing up. At breakfast we had a competition to see whose back had been burnt the most and whose was peeling the most. As for a suntan, what was that? We had never heard of that, ‘ha, ha.’ We were all as red as lobsters, peeling like crazy, but with the biggest smiles you have ever seen on our faces, we were on our way to the beach once again.
Who remembers the Burnham mud - remember us covering ourselves in mud, we so enjoyed doing it, was worth worth the telling off we got, we all had to make our way to the sea to clean up, it seemed forever walking to the sea as the tide had gone out, think that was our bath for the day as well! I recall being tucked in that camp bed so tight that I could turnover, they were happy times for us kids, a whole 2 weeks of sand, sun and donkey rides but not forgetting the usual trip to Sunday morning service at St.Andrew's church.
Home Made Sweet ShopOn Saturday morning, we were given our pocket money by Sister Lydia. You were given 1d more than your age, so a 6 year old got 7d. Then the sister's would lay out the sweet shop and you had to decide how much you wanted to spend and how much you wanted to save for your Burnham on Sea holiday. Whatever you were going to save, you gave back to the nun and she wrote it in the book. The rest, you could spend on whatever sweets you liked - refreshers, love hearts, ainseed balls, black jacks, fruit salads, sweet cigarettes. Liqourice wheels and snakes, gob stoppers, flying saucers, sugar mice and rice puffs. Of course, you ate all your sweets in one day, so if you got hungry during the week, you had to pick blackberries or wild strawberrys, hazel nuts, elder berries nasturtium leaves or crab apples on your way to school and eat them.
I remember this but the only num I can remember sister mary what years was you there
The trip to The Haven Restaurant (now The Harp Pub)Just reading the above comment from Christine about being hungry brought back memories. On a Saturday two girls would be asked to walk down to The Haven on the seafront to collect the unsold cakes,I was usually one of the girls given this task, we would arrive with our basket which was then laden with so many cream cakes, it was then covered with a tea cloth. On the way walking back we would have a peep at the cakes, we were brought up not to steal and be honest BUT the sight of these cakes was too much of a temptation for us kids, I recall us thinking we will only take one and share it as two might be missed. We would arrive back at St Edith's and leave the basket in the kitchen. I never knew waht happened to these cakes as we never saw them, one assumed that the Sisters had somekind of Aunt Sally teaparty and ate them all.In recent times when holidaying in Clevedon with Sister Lydia I decided to come clean about stealing the cake, something that had always bothered me, I started off mentioning to her back collecting the cakes and she replied "oh yes those cakes, we used to give them to the chickens" I said "the chickens" I wish I had have known that as I would have eaten 3 or 4. We did laugh when I said I thought all the Sisters ate them in secret not wanting to share them with us. I was always so hungry as I didn't like much of the food, hated greens,roe, macoroni,dripping and fatty meat, the fruit was home grown gooseberry's and raspberry's think they need some sugar on them as they tasted so sharp, love the School dinners though, I became a monitor so got two helpings of pudding.Linda
I have read the web page with very fond memories. I grew up with close contact with St Edith's. Mum (Jessie Hillman) was a child nurse there from about 1932( when she was 15/16) until the early 1950's. I have the letter dated 16 April (no year)from the Sister-in-Charge explaining that Mum will work with Sister Esther looking after 13 'little boys'. Mum met my father whilst there(he was the chauffeur in the big house next door)and they got married from St Edith's. I stayed at St Edith's whenever there was an outbreak of one of the childhood illnesses such as measles. Mum was looking after the young ones who had the illness and it made sense for me to be with them. The first holiday I remember (about the age of 5) was with the children from St Edith's at Burnham-on-Sea - woollen swimming trunks has stuck in my memory! Over the years Cookie and 'Auntie Rose', as I knew her, were constant visitors to our house; every Christmas, my birthdays, my wedding, etc. I grew up with an extended list of 'Aunt's' and 'Uncles' - the adults who had previously been children Mum looked after - Keith Molstad (now in California) bought me my first toy rifle, Eva (became Knox) who took me to London to see the sights; Lavendar (became Hughes)who I stayed with for a holiday. Dad taught many of the sisters how to drive, certainly Sister Lydia and Sister Beryl. We also put up the Christmas tree and tree lights on most Christmas'. I remember Edward and Francesca Prince who went off to Australia I believe. David Shenton, from St Ediths, who lived with us before joining the Army, and Helen (Billingham), who is the closest I have to a sister. Helen was with us as a baby until she was old enough to be with the rest of the children at St Ediths, and then again when she was in her late teens. Helen was a bridesmaid at my wedding, and recently joined with the rest of the family at my 70th celebration. I remember long conversations with Cookie about her early years at St Edith's when the Sisters frequently had to beg for food for the children; about how she could manufacture puddings from the boxes of Hales Cakes she received most weeks. I don't ever remember Cookie being anything other than joyful and positive, always ready to laugh. The last time I saw Sister Lydia was the day before Mum passed away. She came bounding into the Cottage Hospital and was positive, buoyant and a great comfort to Mum and my family. Of course I only saw the positive side of St Edith's and the work the Sister's and staff did. Very happy memories.