Torquay Girls Grammar School
From 1960 – 1967 I attended Torquay Grammar School for Girls under the headship of Miss Robertson. Another lady not to be crossed. The school then consisted of two large triangles, with the classrooms on the outside, and the inside corridors open to the elements, the toilets were at the points of the triangles and frequently froze in winter. The canteen was in the middle of the triangles and in those days we had to eat what we were given – no choices then. Not being over-fond of sports and hating our navy gym knickers, any excuse was used, but I remember to my chagrin being found hiding under the coats in the cloakroom on one occasion with my friend ‘Gus’ – uncovered by Miss Robertson escorting an important visitor round the school. Oh – and reading Lady Chatterley on the school playing field!
re above; reading Lady Chatterley on the school playing field, may have been a friend of mine as it was me that brought the book in in the first place! Would love to know.
Glynis Castle Elliot
Also I remember Mr White at Palace Hotel who gave me a lifelong fear of water.
Glynis Castle Elliot
One thing which still causes me amusement was when I had to be kitted out for the grammar school. My cousin Jean from Lancashire was staying with us at the time. I was 12, going on 13 and Jean was two years my junior, she was nine, going on 10.
… it was the height of summer, the school holidays before I was to start at Torquay Girls’ Grammar School in September 1957. My mother had been to a meeting at the school and had been given a long list of all the uniform and kit I had to have, from navy blue knickers to jockey stick, science overall to Aertex shirt for PE. You had to go to the school outfitter in those days, no getting away with cheapies from George at Asda (supermarkets had not been invented, apart from perhaps a few Sainsbury’s in London, and then they were grocers not supermarkets with baskets or trolleys.) I think the name of the shop in Torquay was Pickards. It was a gents’ outfitter in Union Street and of course, had only male shop assistants, all rather like the chaps in Are you Being Served? with tape measure hung around their necks like doctors wear stethoscopes.
We were shown into a cubicle where I could try on a gym slip (yes, old fashioned gym slips in those days, but the new headmistress, Miss Robertson changed all that the moment she arrived, and told us skirts were the order of the day. (I only wore the gym slip for a term, what a waste of money that was.) Right, where was I? In the cubicle with my Mum and my cousin Jean.
Now, in those days they had polished linoleum on the floors of such places, and when I say polished. I mean POLISHED. You could see your face in it and it was slippery. Well you can guess what’s coming, can’t you? I was busy trying on the clothes, Mum was trying not to get to het up looking after two little girls in this gents’ outfitters (as we were wont fits of the giggles) and Jean was propping up the wall, bored witless. She was wearing Clarks T-bar sandals, those tan ones all children wore in those days, and then, in slow motion she began to slide down the wall, her feet stretched out in front of her making a royal progress across the polished linoleum, until she was spread like butter across the floor. Mum, Jean and I were wetting ourselves with laughter, I can see it now, and Jean and I (we’re both now in our 70s) often mention this to each other in emails when we feel like a good laugh, as in “Do you remember when we were getting my/your uniform?” I don’t think the chaps in the shop were terribly impressed. But it certainly made our day!