Schools

Mid Essex Tech 1951-1955

Trip to Belgium 1953

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Girl at front with white collar is Christine Selby nee Blower, next to her is Ann Dunkley. Behind Christine is Ann Frost, who married the boy behind her, Robert Small. The girl next to the boy with glasses is Josie Main nee Lent-Moulin. The boy behind Josie is Peter Elwell.

Photo supplied by Christine Selby nee Blower 1949-53

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Outside Front Door

The girl at the back on the right is Veronica Kloosman, who came from South Africa. Right at the back on the right is Mr Innes.

Photo supplied by Christine Selby nee Blower 1949-53


Trip to Paris April 1955

Memories of my school trip to Paris in 1955 by Jean Cloughton nee Money 1950-55

An educational trip, going to school and sightseeing – staying with a French family with students a similar age to us. We had to take with us something typically British – I believe we took tea. This trip must have been funded/subsidised because no way would my parents have been able to afford to send me on this.

There were four of us – Ann Pallant (nee Jones) 1950-55; Brian Wilson 1950-55; and Anita Parkes, a 4th year, who took the place of Barbara Blyth (nee Good) 1950-55 who was unable to go. For this trip we had to have a full passport. I have a very rough scribbled version of the journey and arrival in France.

On finishing school on Friday 1st April 1955, my mother met me at Chelmsford bus station with my suitcase and I went home with Ann to stay with her over-night. We got up at 6.00am – had breakfast - sat on our cases to shut them and by 7.00am were out in the road waiting for a bus to get us to Billericay station and got a train to Liverpool Street station from where we went on the underground to Victoria station. Arriving there, we saw a huge mass of people surging towards platform 16 and we joined them. Here there were frenzied teachers waving large cards displaying huge black letters – we made our way to letter “C” where we were duly ticked off the list as having arrived. We eventually boarded a train to Newhaven. Here we marched through customs collecting a ticket from an officer and at 11.30am boarded our boat – the S.S. Worthing – for the 3-hour ferry crossing to Dieppe – standing all the way. At the first sight of the French coast, I thought “not much different from Newhaven”. Leaving the boat, we walked onto the station platform where our train was waiting. Arriving at our carriage we found that there were 3 huge steps to get up into the train – difficult with our suitcases – so some pushed from the bottom and others pulled them from the top and then we negotiated the narrow gangway to get to our seats. Settling down for the journey we then altered our watches for one hour ahead of British time.

The journey to Paris passed through some very flat country with little broken-down farms here and there; then hilly country; and then huge orchards with lots of mistletoe hanging on the trees. On the embankments little wild daffodils and primroses were blooming. Reaching St. Lazare, we tumbled out of the train and made our way into the street – reminding me of London with its hustle and bustle of traffic but with it travelling on the opposite of the road. We followed the section leader along the street to “Le Grand Lycee Cordorcet” where we were to meet our hostess with whom we were staying. It was a nerve-racking affair waiting for my name to be called and knowing that Ann and I wouldn’t see each other again for one whole day. Eventually, my name was called and that of Brian and we found we were staying at the same place with the Massot family, as there was a brother and sister. We were led out of the school with our hostess who tried to get a taxi but in vain, so we then made our way to the metro. By this time, questions were being fired at us but the only thing I could think of saying was “je ne comprend pas”. We eventually arrived at our destination and found that it was a flat above a butcher’s shop which the family owned. I remember always waking up in the mornings to the sound of meat being chopped! Soon we were eating our very first French meal with still lots of questions being asked. This was our initiation into wine with meals – watered-down I hope!

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During our two-week stay, we used to attend school each week-day morning, being taught by a French teacher with the English ones teaching the French students. I can’t remember what we learned during the lessons and don’t know if this helped gain an “O” level in French!

I have another scribbled log of a trip we made on Wed 6th April – it was very hot. We boarded the superb coaches and headed to our destination, transferring onto ancient buses to go to the Eiffel Tower, where we climbed up to the 2nd stage where there was a restaurant, a little shop and some telescopes. We then returned to the coach and had to wait a long time before departing as two people did not arrive back on time. In the meantime, some of the French students called a man over to the coach who was selling beautifully coloured scarves. They asked him how much they were and then told him they were too dear and continued to haggle about the price until it was fairly low and then they told him they were not very good for that price.

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Other places we visited during our stay were: Jardin des plantes; Versailles; Notre Dame; the Louvre; and Marie Antoinette’s house.

I brought back two souvenirs – a metal ornament of the Arc de Triomphe and an Eiffel Tower which had a thermometer on it – I do still have these today.

On our return to school we were invited by Miss Quick to her house for tea so that we could tell her about our experiences – Brian says I was there but I have no recollection of this whatsoever.


 Pictures sent in from Ernest Staines 1947-51

School Trip to North Wales April 1951. “The Sixth Form group outside the Guest House, “Penrallt”, was taken during a (wintery) school trip to North Wales in April 1951. This, all in the interest of furthering our knowledge in matters geographical of course. It was organised by Mr Innes, assisted by Mr waterfall, that’s him with the lamb and pipe!”

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“The Sixth Form again, this time during a theatre trip to London in June 1951 while the UK was celebrating The Festival of Britain.”

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More pictures can be found on    CVOSA Flickr

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