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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


Sharron Report 22 Nov 2017 10:11

We went to the social club on Sunday morning for a radio quiz, the only time we visit on a Sunday, and I was chatting to a woman who had moved back to Chichester. She was of a similar age to myself and we were discussing where we went to school.

She had been at the secondary and different primaries she said and then she asked me if I had been to the same secondary. Well,no, I went to the grammar.

There was the usual tiny gear change in the conversation at that.

Even after fifty odd years there is still this strange attitude to us like we had something they didn't and look down on them and are an odd breed apart. I have a cousin who has never forgiven me and likes to tell me, on the odd occasion we ever meet, how her sister had an interview but was rejected because their dad worked on a farm.People routinely tell me they could have gone there but their parents could not afford to send them.

Those who were in the secondary schools may well have treated us as aliens when we were at school, it was territorial if nothing else but that was much of a lifetime ago. I am a dustman's daughter who has not progressed much further myself when many of them have so why do people still think all grammar school pupils are stuck up when we were more like St Trinians than they were?


SheilaWestWilts Report 22 Nov 2017 10:18

I went to a girl's grammar - lovely but creaky old building, crappy heating and a set of teachers from the pre-war, maiden aunt days, ancient books and attitudes.


Sharron Report 22 Nov 2017 10:27

Exactly, but they thought we were having some marvellous experience that they weren't.

Incidentally, have you ever tried looking up any of those truly ancient women who taught you on Ancestry? I found that one of those old souls was 35 when she was teaching me.


maggiewinchester Report 22 Nov 2017 11:14

I passed my 11 plus in Mevagissey, Cornwall - the 6th Primary school I had attended - and in those days, each school had it's own (different) curriculum!
Mind you, It was never 'important' to me - just another test.

It was a toss-up between me and Eric, so we had to have an interview.
I had to read a passage from a book about a parliament of Seagulls, then I was asked questions about it.
One was 'What was a Parliament?' - my answer - 'A gathering of people, or in this case, seagulls'.
'What happens in a Parliament?' Well, thinking of the seagulls, my answer was 'A lot of noise' - I didn't understand why they laughed!
Eric must have been awful! :-D
When he found out I'd got the place - and not him - he tried to kick me, and spat at me.

Well, in the summer holidays, we moved to the New Forest.
My mother desperately tried to get me into one of the local Secondary Schools because 'The education in Cornwall isn't as good as it is here'. :-S

I ended up going to a Grammar School 20 miles away.
We only had one or two 'ancient' teachers, Miss Millington (English) and Mr Goodyear (Music) - oh and Mr Brocklebank - fairly old, but mainly mad.
He was sacked/taken away the first term we were there, as he created a poisonous gas, and refused to let us out of the classroom. :-S


RolloTheRed Report 22 Nov 2017 13:02

There was only one post war grammar school in the New Forest which was generally known as "the Brock". , Brockenhurst High / Grammar School was run by the formidable Dr Wood until 1970.

A lot of pupils used to get to the school by (steam) train. For that reason and the reuptation of the Forest for magic some people claim the Brock was one inspiration for Harry Potter. A few miles away in Ringwood there is an excellent pub "The Alice Lisle" named after an alleged aristocratic traitor beheaded in Winchester 1685.

Today ithe Brock is a very successful college.


Sharron Report 22 Nov 2017 13:27

That was a very interesting little piece on the history of Brockenhurst Grammar School. We have a lot to be thankful for in Google.


maggiewinchester Report 22 Nov 2017 13:43

Yes, I never knew that!! :-S :-S :-S :-S

I prefer the Royal Oak in Fritham.

This pub used to be run by a bloke called Winter - in between tending his cows and pigs. What are now the toilets, were his barns.

More useless information - my uncle and aunt used to run the Turfcutters Arms in East Boldre - not such a good ale selection as the Royal Oak, though.

..and I know all that :-D :-D :-D :-D


RolloTheRed Report 22 Nov 2017 17:17

Yes Sharron but I knew this stuff I didn't need to look it up in Google (which makes no mention of large numbers of pupils arriving by train every day). I didn't go to the Brock but some of my friends did. I have met Dr Wood which is how I knew he had a (very) imposing personality. Hants Education Committee were terrified of him and he was allowed to run the school just as he thought fit.

More to the point where in the New Forest is more than 20 miles from its one time only grammar school? Bournemouth School for Girls was never in the New Forest, neither was Salisbury G.S. for Girls. Nor was the Edward VI in S'oton.



Sharron Report 22 Nov 2017 18:13

My goodness, I am impressed. What useful knowledge. Must have stood you in good stead.


maggiewinchester Report 22 Nov 2017 18:21

Fordingbridge is more than 20 miles away.
Also, those who lived in Ower, West Wellow, even Cadnam and Ashurst would have gone to Totton Grammar School, after it was established in 1955 - as it was nearer.

When did you meet Dr Wood, Rollo?


Dermot Report 22 Nov 2017 19:06

School reunions often produce unexpected rekindling of old classmates & memories.

Very therapeutic.


maggiewinchester Report 22 Nov 2017 19:24

Back to the 'stigma' bit - I have to admit, I never noticed it - apart from Eric - but I moved away :-D


Bob Report 22 Nov 2017 19:51

Sharron! ;-)


RolloTheRed Report 22 Nov 2017 20:00

I did not have the privilege of going to grammar school so I have never noticed any stigma though friends who did have never complained about it. They do complain, quite bitterly sometimes, about public school boys such as the Bullingdon set and of course Wykehamists who will be well known to MW. They certainly have attitude..

It is 18 miles from Fordingbridge to Brockenhurst. Fordingbridge was not within the traditional New Forest boundary and is not within the new(ish) National Park. In any case back in the day Fordingbridge GS pupils would have gone to Salisbury or what is now the Mountbatten School , Romsey. Never Brock.

Cadnam and Ower similarly were not part of the traditional New Forest and are not within the National Park. It is 8 miles from Cadnam to Brockenhurst.

Totton G.S. 1955-1969 was well outside of the New Forest though only 9 miles from the Brock and five miles from the King Edward VI in Southampton. It never fared very well in competition with the other two schools. Under the 11+ system parents could choose which selective school they sent their child to from a list of three. Currently Totton College is in dire straits.

Distances taken from my Garmin.

The number of the then green Hants and Dorset bus from Lymington to Southampton via Brockenhurst was 19 & 20. There you go Sharron that is not in Wiki. Neither does it mention the fun and games of cows and pigs wandering into the village and even sleeping on the road on a warm morning. Eventually the A35 was fenced. Forest B and unclassified roads remain unfenced.

As MW says Forest schools had a very rural character excepting the industrial strip along Southampton Water.

As far as my memory serves me the stopping train from Bournemouth served Pokesdown, Christchurch, Hinton, New Milton, Sway,, Beaulieu Road, Brockenhurst (change for Lymington), Ashurst,/Lyndhurst Road, Totton, Southampton.

(for Dermot) As I was never a Brock pupil I would not have met Dr Wood at a reunion. His successor, A J Baker, was keen on such events which would not have been the style of the taciturn Wood.

Inter silvas quaerere verum
( which M Gove might translate as "the experts can see the wood despite the trees" )



Sharron Report 22 Nov 2017 20:57

I must bear that in mind.


LaGooner Report 22 Nov 2017 21:16

Both myself and OH went to Grammar School and we certainly don't think we are better than those who attended Secondary schools


Sharron Report 22 Nov 2017 21:24

That's right, we don't. but there is still that sort of reaction, even after all these years.

They think we think we are superior but we don't.


LaGooner Report 22 Nov 2017 21:34

Sadly that is the case Sharron


Nyx Report 22 Nov 2017 21:36

I don't know the sort of people you obviously know Sharron lol. No one has ever asked (let alone reacted unfavourably), as to whether I went to grammar school or not.

I have noticed though that some people do seem to feel a bit intimidated by someone with what they perceive to be a 'better' education than themselves. I've never understood that, we all have areas in which we know less or more than someone else :-) Some people know a great deal about one thing, and some know a little bit about a lot. So the first do well at the specialist questions on Mastermind and the latter are better at the general knowledge lol.

I know very little about the New Forest ( trees, ponies, wild boar and some nice houses) so it's all of interest to me. "Curiosity killed the cat and satisfaction revived it" :-)

Maggie, I wonder which of us went to more schools lol.


LaGooner Report 22 Nov 2017 21:42

I have had people like that speak to me Nyx.