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I went to the High School in 1958, a year after the rest of my peers with whom I had been at Codsall Primary School.

The reason for this was that I spent a year at a boarding school in Yorkshire called Hunmanby Hall. After a term at Hunmanby I was put up a year and had to catch up on French, Algebra, Geometry and Latin. With no extra help I couldn't do it and by the end of the year I was a basket case. My mother decided to take me away from the school and looked around for a local school.

The High School was the first school we visited and Scrag decided to give me a chance. I remember that meeting very well, I was so lucky. Apparently I came with a reputation for being 'hard.' The story had gone round that I had tried to burn down Hunmanby. The truth was that someone had put a lighted candle under the bed of one of the most hated teachers but I had nothing to do with it. The whole school was on bread and water until someone confessed. Pupils were crying and making a big fuss about this. Personally I thought it was one of the most exciting things that had happened in the year I was there.

As the year went on and I was doing less and less well I began to skip lessons. I would walk around the grounds frightened to death in case I would be caught. Needless to say detention was always the result and/lines and I hardly went out of school in the time I was there. One other excellent thing that happened was that we did potato picking. I loved it! If I could have done that every week it would have suited me. Anyway so here was this 'basket case' starting at the High a year late when everyone else was all settled in.

My first friend was Deborah Jones (married name Rosser) and she was lovely. We got on so well and had similar interests outside school (horses, horses). Deborah was a very talented artist and she could write, too. She would often have her essays read out in class. After the first year we were setted and I was split up from Deborah and inevitably began to make new friends. Jemma Pressdee, Jocelyn Newton and I were usually in trouble accompanied by Rosie Lewis, Carole Barker and Pat Ryman. Nothing as serious as burning a teacher's bed, silly things such as talking in the corridor, generally being cheeky and a thundering nuisance!

We had a tendency to mess about rather than concentrate on learning anything. This went on until O Level time when I think light dawned that I needed to work. Scrag must have wondered why she had bothered with me but she was always very encouraging. I remember her saying to my Mother ' Jane can do anything she puts her mind to.'

It was only recently that I realised how true that is of everyone and she probably used that line many times. I did badly in O Levels which I found intensely boring but A Levels I loved. Here we had an opportunity to be ourselves and express our own opinions. I started the Debating Society because I felt that we needed some way of flexing our verbal muscles and I read as widely as I could. The teachers I had were inspiring.

Miss Reidy (?spelling) was brilliant and such a good listener. She made you look more clever than you actually were and then you felt you had to live up to that standard. Miss Round taught me history and she too was excellent and Miss Woolley taught us geography. The five mentioned above and myself were so interested in geography that we all went off to the Lake District at Easter 1963 for our own field trip around the Lakes. Now that is a good teacher!

Of the other teachers, Miss Hargeaves I had quite a lot of dealings with because I loved tennis and she was not like a teacher at all. She kept urging me to play cricket which was rather worrying. I think she was probably right as I was strong but inaccurate so I might have found it easier to hit a boundary than to keep the tennis ball in the court.

Of course it wasn't all roses, I hated all the petty rules and broke most of the more stupid ones. I wore out that bit of the floor outside Miss Scargill's office ( in front of the clock) and resented being treated as a child when I felt as though I was an adult. So when it came to leaving I was not one of those who cried in the school song and wished I wasn't going. I thought let's get on with the next bit of my life.

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