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#21 [url]

Jan 11 10 12:51 PM

Hi Philip if Azu knows were the shovels are could he let me know the reason being i visited all our local DIY  stores over the weekend and not a shovel or spade in sight it's not the sand i need too shift its the snow so that i can get my zimmer frame up the path.
      Roy the problem with a lot of old memories is they come back too haunt you i think the best escape route was the old nicky line especially if you could hitch a ride on the goods train
    Bertie B.

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royl

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#22 [url]

Jan 11 10 4:29 PM

Bertie, I think the old tunnel from the sandpit used to come out on 'Treasure' but we might have a while to wait for a train these days!! Roy

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#23 [url]

Jan 11 10 8:26 PM

Hi there.
Well wish we could help with getting shovels to you, as we have lots of unused ones,   we have Spring like weather here on the West coat of Canada,we really feel for you!!!! we know what cold weather is like.,perhaps Skidoos might be the mode of transport ....good luck & hope that the cold snap is over soon.
best regards Colin drumcree   

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#24 [url]

Jan 15 10 1:56 PM

Hi Colin i feel that i should know you as you were in Clifton House with sister Lottie Farmer and that you know Bruno Runder we were very good mates i was in Clifton for a short time before my brother Fred and i were moved too OGB i will test your memory with a few names from the past Ronald Goldsimth Tony & Joy White Two brothers with the sirname of lewis cannot remember there first names but thay were all in Clifton im not sure what age group you were in i am now 69 and was in the home from 1946-1957 were you ever in the the gym team which was run by Roy Heard or the choir with sister Gwen, as there are some old pics on the old site from both activities not sure if you can get them now on this site but i am sure you could be on some of them did you go too Manland School.
             Anyway the main reason for this message is too thank you for the offer of a shovel i dred to think how we would cope if the UK had Winters like they have in Canada it would be more then a shovel that i would need..
           May i also take the opportunity too wish you all the very best for 2010, keep in touch best regards Bertie B.

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#25 [url]

Jan 16 10 4:43 AM

Hi there Bertie
it was nice to get your message,I was in Clifton with sister Lottie FarmerI do remember you & Bruno& it is all coming back to me, I was there from 1948-1954 ,I was not in the choir or the gym teamI did go to Manland School, but not a very bright student!!!!I have been in touch with Roy who was one of my mates that I used to hang around with also,We so far this year not need any snow shovels here in Vancouver, however the rest of Canada may be having more snow.
Our very best to you & your family for 2010,it is very nice to be in touch with the guys I knew in NCH the internet sure is a great thing.
regards Colin drumcree

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royl

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#26 [url]

Jan 27 10 1:19 PM

Philip
Thanks for the pointer to the NCH&O site you gave on the 'Stretching your 8d' topic.
Whoever put that together should feel really proud of themselves, it is a real eye opener.
I did however notice that Sister May Bridger  does not seem to be listed.
Sister May Bridger appeared in Clifton house, Harpenden about 1948/9. She took over a family so must have been some where else before but I dont know where. Sister May had been in the Womens Auxillary Air Force during WW2.  At some time after 1954 she married an ex NCH boy Ken Parker, who was working with Mr Howard in the gardens. As a couple they set up in what was the Sisters rest house (set in the field between the laundry and the boys woods). I believe that this house then became a 'Flat' and they took responsibility for a small number of children.
Roy.

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philip

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#27 [url]

Jan 27 10 3:13 PM

Roy,
Re Sister May Bridger, do you want her under Clifton Up or Clifton Down.

And as for the Parker bungalow, I think demolishing that small building allowed the building of the BUPA hospital in the field between the two woods - one might say a minor extention.

Philip

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royl

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#28 [url]

Jan 27 10 3:23 PM

Philip
It was not possible to categorise the families as up or down as the house had not been converted at that time. When you looked at the house from the front Sister May's family had the downstairs dining cum living room to the left and Sister Lottie Farmer's was to the right. This was repeated by the dormitories upstairs. The kitchen and the bathroom downstairs were shared.
As to the Parker bungalow, I just looked at it on Google, you definately have the English knack of understatement! Roy


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#29 [url]

Jan 27 10 8:32 PM

Hi Phillip

Sister Joan Vivash was known as Sister Joan.  How do I get on to the photo page?

Roy

My apologies.  I remember now that Reg did say the house I was in was Feren's.  Not sure if it was Ferens or Mrs Ferens though.  I have asked Phillip how I get on to the photo page.  As soon as I find the said photo, I will let you know if it was me.

Many thanks to both of you for all your help.


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royl

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#32 [url]

Jan 27 10 10:19 PM

Philip,
Thanks.  So the pavilion finally made it.  Around early 1950' the Guy Fawkes firework display used to be set off from the football pitch on Lords, in front of the pavilion. On one such occasion sparks got into the stock of fireworks right at the beginning of the show. There was an impressive display for about 90 seconds but hardly anyone saw it as they were all  running for their lives. After a while some of us returned to get the baked spuds that had been put into the fire, we ran into Mr Shutt who yelled at us to bring buckets of water as the roof of the pavilion was alight. We all ran off in different directions but as if prearranged, stopped just out of sight to watch the fire. Sadly Mr Shutt, Mr Niven and Mr Haylor got it out somehow so there was no show and they stayed by what was left of the bonfire so there were no baked spuds either.
After this episode fireworks were let off from the top of the Block and there were no more bonfires.
Roy

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philip

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#33 [url]

Jan 27 10 10:35 PM

It was great when the pavilion went up in flames, every child on the grounds headed for the fire, eventually it was put out, but there was nothing worth saving, it stayed a burnt out shell for a short time. I was given the slipper for playing with the charcoal that was in the remains.

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royl

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#34 [url]

Jan 28 10 1:29 AM

Philip, You really did have a penchant for finding trouble. However I find the Sister Pearl that is described on this site at odds with the one I thought I new. As I have said before, I was great friends with Douglas Poulton and in my last year spent many an evening with him in Wakefield and at Sister Pearl's bridge parties. There would be other staff including other Sisters attending about 8 in all. I remember thinking at the time how much I would have prefered to have been in her house rather than Sister Lottie's. Sister Lottie appeared an absolute tyrant in comparison. But it may well have been that Doug and I were 15/16 at that time (1953/4).  Roy


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philip

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#35 [url]

Jan 28 10 9:21 AM

Sister Pearl was very well meaning, it was just by the mid 1960s our lives were so different to those of our friends at Highfield.
I can see in later life, that hers was actually the best method in bringing up children, but to us in flat 1, in the mid 1960s it did not seem that way.
Our flat was run more in the austeer 1950s than the 1960s. Our friends on a Saturday did not spend the entire morning on cleaning chores in the mid 1960s, they were outside playing.
For out of hours school events, others in Highfield were allowed to attend, after supplying the correct paperwork from school, in our flat it was more or less a total ban.

Out at play in the grounds, Sister Pearl wanted us to use the area on the left hand side of the small gate as you endered the home, that went as far as the new house for Roycroft, other children including those from the flat below, were not encouraged to use this piece of grass.
Sister Pearl was protecting us, but all we could do was think up ways of cheating  her rules.

Meeting with our friends in the Home that were in other flats, not only did they boast about what they could do, they actually teased us over been in flat 1, saying that we must have been bad to have been put in that flat.
Sister Pearl had a ban of other children entering our flat, and even on them knocking on the door to see if we were comming out to play, this met on most occasions from us been banned from playing out that day.
Roycroft was trying to bring Highfield into a more moden state, it was that a few Sisters wanted to keep it how it had been. He seldom visited our flat, I don't think he wanted to cause problems.

Whilst our friends might be sent over to see him if they had done wrong, it was very rare for anyone from flat 1 to be sent across to see him. It might give the impression that we were always very good, we knew Sister Pearl had ways of making us understand how we should act.

Sister Pearl was overworked, she spent much of the time on her own looking after us, prefering to toil on alone rather than have a trainee or assistant to help, in her younger days she might have been fit enough to manage a flat on her own, but at 58, she was too physically worn out, but still mentally very active. Most of the tention was caused by the older children who wanted to have a mid 1960s life, and not be part of the 1940s or 1950s. Thus the whole house was kept under control.


Perhaps Highfield was not the best choice of Home for me to be put in, One of the NCH Approved schools might have been a better choice, where all the boys were treated equally.
Before my arrival at Highfield, my life had been mapped out by the local council, where I was to be put in a naughty boy's home for three years, but due to funding, they did not want to pay my costs after the first month of my stay when my mother moved out of the area, and that I was not really naughty enough to be in one of their Homes. By the time I entered Highfield, I was at odds with the world over my previous months of upsets.

When Sister Pearl retired, the New Houseparent brought our lives into the mid 1960s and gave us the freedom to play with the rest of the Home and to go to out of school events.

I can see now that Sister Pearl's way was the best, had everyone in the Home be treated the way of Sister Pearl, then we could have understood, it was just that our flat was so restricted compared with most of the others.

I kept intouch with Sister Pearl well after she left the Home, and visited her from time to time, she kept in good health, and seemed far more relaxed in her later years.


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philip

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#36 [url]

Jan 28 10 10:43 AM

5th November in the mid 1960s, by then the fireworks had returned to Lords as the Top area of the Block had been removed.
The bonfires were back, as well as the spuds.
The 1965 display I remember well for an older boy putting a lighted firework down my wellington. Sister Ann in the Hospital dealt with all the injuries that night, mostly burns fom sparklers, I tied for worst injury of the night with a boy that had been hit in the eye with a burning lump of wood.
On getting questioned by Sister Pearl of how my accident had happened, it was easier to admit that I had been messing about with a firework, rather than landing one of the older ones in trouble. The only punishment was that I was going to miss the event in 1966.
By the time Nov 1966 came around, the new Houseparent did not know of this future punishment, I avoided anyone with a firework in their hand that year.
With the bonfire there was always the threat to put a child in one of the old wardrobes that were going onto the fire and hide it in the middle of the pile of wood, did anyone go missing?

Philip


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#40 [url]

Aug 7 11 1:02 PM

Hi there Parky i have just sent you a privent message hope to hear from you soon best regards Bertie B

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