East Huntspill Parish Council
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Description of
School Days

Written by Olive (Sheppard) nee Wilkins of
Newbridge Farm(later named Westhill Farm),
Catherine Street, East Huntspill
I started school in January 1912, as my fifth birthday was in December. I had to walk quite a long way to East Huntspill School. I left the farm (my home)at 8 o'clock in the morning to get there before the big bell stopped ringing at 9 o'clock.
Our teachers were rather strict in those days, they didn't allow any talking in class. We had no pencils or pens until we reached Standard 3. Up to this time we used slates and slate pencils.
Our headmaster taught Standard 3 and 4 and if he caught us talking, he made us write CONVERSATION one hundred times. We usually had bread and jam sandwiches and water
to drink from the school tap at dinner time. Some children from poor families used to bring one thick slice of bread
and lard and were always hungry and begged us for some of ours (even the crust was welcome)
When I was 11, my parents decided to send me to St Margaret's School at Burnham, so I walked to Bason Bridge to catch the 10 past 8 train to Burnham. I then had to walk a long way to Poplar Road to the (Girls only) school. The boarders teased me a lot, I suppose I was a country bumpkin to them.
I didn't enjoy my time there until it was nearly time to leave school, which was a waste of money as my parents had to pay the school fees and my season ticket on the railway.