Wednesday, 31 August 2016

My First Day At School

This is probably the most personal thing I have ever put on the internet.
51YEARS AGO……
The day came that I was woken, dressed and fed then taken from the safety of my home, across the road and down the hill to a dark forbidding building made out of large pieces of blacken stone with tall railings on top of a stone wall. I was led though a tall metal gate, up a set of well-worn steps into a baron tarmacked court yard, which was surrounded by the towering stonework. Two great wooden doors opened into a stone floored room with a row of small sinks down one side and rows of coat pegs down the other. We was met by an elderly lady with a kind smile, she took my coat and hung it on a peg which had a label with my name above it “That’s your peg now” she said with her gentle voice and then led me into a big room that smelled of fresh paint and was full of lots of other children, who all seemed to know each other. I hadn’t looked back, but my mother had gone. Now for the first time in my young live I was without a family member close by. The kind lady gave me a brown cardboard box, a tin and some plasticize. I was told to sit at a table and play, but all I could do was watch everyone else running around and talking. As I sat there the world seemed to go into fast-motion I had never encountered such commotion before. Eventually the kind lady rang a small bell and it all slowly stopped, we were all led out to the court yard which was already full of even more children but these were bigger, as soon as I was out of the doors I turned sharp left and stood with my back to the stone wall next to but slightly out of the way of the doors. There were two more ladies in the court yard who stood to the other side of the doors. I remained there for the whole of what was called ‘playtime’ and on the next three days breaks until I was told by one of the Dinner ladies to move and “Go play with the others” I very reluctantly left my place and moved around two parts of the building and found a nice secure corner. As time went by I was `moved` from there by either the Dinner ladies or bigger children to eventually I ended up by the front railings this is where I more or less stayed for the next six years.


How my 1st School looks now, It`s now apartments. Pic taken off Google street view.

And some people still wonder why I grew-up to be a Goth?

9 comments:

  1. Oh App'y. Thank you for being so brave and sharing such a part of yourself.

    It happens that today when I was teaching a group of freshmen at my university one shared a similar story. The students had so many questions about why his birth mom would leave him; he explained as best as he could. He talked about being in an orphanage and then being adopted nine years later. I cannot even imagine this.

    I'm so glad that you found a place on the wall and kept pushing on. Long distance hug!

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    1. Thanks for the hug. When I said “had gone” I meant it was the first time that she or one of my family were not in the same building as me, and this was my first ever solo encounter with so many strangers! I went home at lunch time and home time. It`s 50 odd years ago but in September when I see kids going to school for the first time I still feel the `Ghost` hanging over me even though I now have so many wonderful friends.

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    2. Ah, I completely misread this. Thanks for the clarification. Still scary stuff for a little guy.

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  2. Thank you for sharing this Appy. I am so sorry. *hugs*

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  3. It happens in life, it seemed common when we were young. I have been there a few times and still remember my "auntie" and "uncle".

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    1. Thanks, I am sorry to hear that Anonymous, I think some people have read this as that I was abandoned in an orphanage, fortunately not. See my comment above.

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  4. I have huge respect for you and your character, not many could share something this personal in such a touching way.

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  5. Thank you, I just sat down a wrote it one day, I know that I will never write my autobiography, but this would have been page one.

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