Written Recollections

Notes from former pupil Brian Kirby

Granby School

Photograph reproduced with kind permission by Angela Whately. Click to view full size.

I was born in 1937. My memories from those early years is a little hazy. I started school in the nursery at 3½ in 1941. I particularly remember one of the tasks in the nursery using 2 cards with a series of holes along one edge and a long shoe lace. The object being to practice lacing shoes and tying bows.

Each year I progressed to the next class but can only remember the whole class chanting time tables so that by the time I reached the top infant class I knew the 12 times table. To practice the teacher would point to a child and ask 7, 7’s or 5, 9’s and usually got the right answer. Mental arithmetic was also very popular: your mother sends you to the grocers for 4 apples at 1 penny each, 7 pound of potatoes at 3 pence per pound, and 2 loaves at 4 pence each if she gives you half-a-crown how much change will you have or how much more will you need?

Most children went home for their dinner at mid-day, however, one day in 1944 the Aylestone Road became a convoy route for the army moving men and equipment south for the invasion on D-Day. Those children who lived in the area on the other side of the road to the school could not cross the road. When their mothers arrived to see what kept them the head wrote a message on a blackboard: we will give the children some sandwiches come back at 4pm.

Later the same year when I was upstairs in the juniors at the Friday morning assembly we were asked to collect as many Rose Hips that weekend and bring them to school on the Monday. A large tin bath was displayed as a challenge. On the Monday morning the caretaker had to find 2 clean dustbins as we had filled the bath. Rose Hip syrup is high in vitamin C.

The winter 1944/45 was very cold with lots of very hard frosts. One morning some boys had emptied a bucket of water on the playground so that by playtime it was a skating rink. At the assembly next morning the head asked all those who had been sliding or skating to put their hands up. One by one we all had the cane.

The only staff I can remember are Miss Yarnell, Miss Marlin, and Mrs Jackson (she wore an Opal ring) and the Head Mr. Clements

During my time in the infants I had my tonsils out. I went to Elbow Lane school for the overnight operation and shared a single bed with another boy from Granby Road School. We were at each end of the bed and during the night there was an air raid on Leicester.

Notes from former pupils Pat (nee Illston) and Neville Jackson

We were both born in the Aylestone Park area of Leicester; Pat in 1932 and Neville in 1931.We both started at Granby Road in 1936, Neville having spent some time at Lansdowne Road nursery school. We did not know each other during our time at Granby Road; however we were to marry in 1954. We now have two sons and four grandchildren.

As was the case with most children, we both lived within walking distance of the school.

We both share wartime memories of underground air raid shelters being dug in the main school playground. At times we had air raid practice when everyone had to go, in an organised manner, to their place in the shelters; to pass the time there were boxes of comics available.
Also during the war we had to carry a gas mask at all times. Regular practice sessions were held to wear the masks correctly.
Fortunately we never had to use the shelters during a raid and never had to use the gas masks.

We recall two meeting halls, one on the ground floor in the primary school and another above it in the junior school. The classrooms surrounded these two halls.

Teachers` names which have stuck in the memory are – Junior school – Mr. Foxon (Head Teacher) Mrs. Browning, Mr. Place, Mr. Fleetham, Miss Utting. Infants – Miss Marvin (Head Teacher), Miss Jenkins (Classroom Assistant) – helped when we had showers.

Neville moved from Granby Road school in 1942 to attend the City Boys School which was located in the city in Humberstone Gate – the premises are currently occupied by Age UK. Neville left the City Boys school to start work in 1947; his first job was with Wildt & Co. then located on the opposite side of Granby Road from the school.

Pat left Granby Road school to attend The Sir Jonathon North Girls School in Knighton Lane. She left in 1946 to take an office job at the Morgan Squires store in Leicester.

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