Hazel's story

Schooling on the shift system


Our school consisted of 500 pupils so to accommodate this number, they made clever use of either morning or afternoon school. We also used different schools in the area on this 'round robin' rotation As transport to these schools was limited and distances could be several miles, we had two choices - walk or cycle. So my mother bought me a bike, which I always wanted. It was my pride and joy To make up for the half day off, the staff gave us lots of extra homework to do each day which made us work very hard on our own at home.



Ashford was not too far from London so when the bombings became heavy, we were once again moved - this time to a place called Llanelli in South Wales. During my stay in South Wales I moved five times for different reasons. I didn't like it there at all especially after spending one Christmas home in London, I suffered from home sickness badly. In one house I broke out in dermatitis owing to the cat sleeping on my bed. When I complained, the lady made it quite plain that it was the cats home, not mine. Another time I spent in a hostel which was fun except for the food; every night supper consisted of green runner beans soaked in water! Ugh!. One night we collected these awful beans in paper, stuffed in our jumpers and pockets and took them to our bedroom and threw them out of the window. The next day, one of our teachers saw them on the sidewalk, realised what the problem was and quickly sorted out a better quality supper. No more beans!



The remaining houses I stayed in varied from living in better areas but the hosts were very rigid. The bathroom and toilet facilities seemed to be bone of contention. This military type regime which was awful. In another house, I was told 'whatever you hear within these four walls, is not to be repeated outside!' However during these trials with these hosts and their odd behaviour, our school was kept together by continuity of learning. The staff made sure our education was not to be interrupted. .The teachers were understanding and sympathetic with our various problems and did their best to help us under the circumstances. however, the novelty of adventure I felt at the beginning was fast turning into homesickness



It was not long afterwards I returned home to London, bombs and all. It was wonderful to have an inside toilet and bathroom, it was wonderful to be home.





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