We have received another email this week from a former pupil of St Michael’s. We all love to hear these memories. Thank you to Robin.
“In 1960 I was 9 and my mother had recently separated from my father and after moving to 9 Thomas Street, Stokes Croft she chose St. Michael’s at the bottom of St. Michael’s Hill as my new school. We went for an interview with Mr Searle, the headmaster, who I believe was also new to the school that year, and I started in a class in the main building for the few months remaining in that school year. I don’t recall my teacher’s name in this class.
In the next school year my class moved into the top floor of the new building across the lane from the old building. Our class teacher was Mr Thomas. Mr Thomas looked like the BBC current affairs presenter Cliff Michelmore. Miss Conway taught another class on the ground floor of the new building. Miss Conway was blonde, young and pretty. I think we may have been the first classes to use this new building. Apart from the two classrooms, the new building also contained the assembly hall which was also used for PE. Our playground was now the tarmac area between the new building and the church.
In those days school dinners were delivered to the school in large metal trays for heating/cooking, and after lunch the used dinner trays would be stacked outside for collection later in the day. Some of us would sometimes check to see if any food was left. We got into trouble for this, and I remember a few of us having to report to Mr Searle’s office to be reprimanded.
In those days the church was open, and all pupils would attend on special occasions like harvest festival celebrations – and I, too, remember singing “We plough the fields and scatter…”.
My best friends were Ian Pratt (I’m pretty sure his mother was the ‘lollipop’ road crossing lady), Peter Dovey, Michael Stenner, and “girlfriend” Barbara Eden, the tallest girl in the class, who lived in Bedminster so she had a long way to travel to school.
I have a memory of occasional swimming lessons at the baths in Kingsdown (Southwell Road I think). There was a fish and chip shop on the road to the baths and we used to get a bag of ‘scrumps’ on the way home. ‘Scrumps’ were bits of batter that came off the fish as they were cooked, and were scooped out before frying the next batch of fish. Sometimes we also got some small crunchy chips as well.
I‘ve also got a memory of a scout hall on the grounds near the new building where I attended cub scout meetings.
I took the 11-Plus exam at St. Michaels, and left St Michaels for Cotham Grammar School in the summer of 1962. On leaving Cotham in 1868 I became a computer programmer at WD & HO Wills in Bedminster, and then Hartcliffe, and in 1978 I emigrated to Sydney, Australia where I worked on various credit card and debit card computer systems until December 2015 when I retired to Wyoming on the Central Coast of NSW, Australia.
In all I attended 5 primary schools, one in Keynsham, one in Gloucester, and three in Bristol, and my fondest memories are of my time at St Michael’s.
I’m Robin Trulock, and in the class photo below I’m in the front row, first from the right.