Memories of Aston Commercial School by Sylvia Sayers (nee Wallace)

After sitting an entrance exam I left Burlington Street School and my longstanding friends at the age of l3 to go to Aston Commercial School, Whitehead Road.

There were three classes at each intake, two forms of girls andone of boys, I guess it was called co-educational school, as although we had the same form mistress or master, for certain lessons we were streamed. We mainly stayed just two years but could do an optional third year, I left after two years in December 1952, the school year running the same as the calendar year.

The headmaster was Dr. Flack, deputy head Miss Chaffer who also tried to teach us french, it was so boring learning French grammar I am tone deaf and was unable to roll my rrrrs, and had to go in early for one to one lessons with Miss Chaffer but no matter how I tried I could never improve to her satisfaction.

My form mistress was Miss Redmond she was a really nice teacher and only a few years older than us girls. Other teachers I recall, Mr.Lewis who took us for maths he always wore his black gown and wrote in such small figures those at the back could make anything out. Miss Haylett took us for shorthand, and other teachers I remember were Mr. Grainger, Mr. Woodward, Mr. Towel or Trowel, Mrs. Roberts, Mrs. Shaw - English, Miss Crawshaw.

We had many interesting groups outside of the main curriculum, includng a drama group, school band, members included Kenny Watkins and Norman Phillips, a Debating Society and I recall a mock election in 195l to coincide with the general election of that year, with canvassing of votes, I can't recall whether the outcome was the same as the real one, but we all got into the mood of it.

We also went to a school camp at Broome for about 3 weeks, we slept in old Nissen huts, and each morning we were taken on the back of lorries to pick potatoes and soft fruit. Someone in our hut thought it a good idea to make some wine and filled an old style pop bottle with the metal clamp over the cork with blackcurrants, unfortunately she putit under the bed and one night we were awakened by loud bangs the bottle had exploded and dark red stains hit the walls, ceilings everywhere.

I also went on a school trip to Switzerland at Whitsun 195l and stayed in Pension Hari, this was the first time I had ever slept under a feather duvet. Has anyone else memories of this school?