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Tansley School wartime memories

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Chaingang
Tile Hill Village
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1 of 4  Thu 30th May 2013 10:47pm  
Member: Joined Oct 2011  Total posts:60

Having read about other forum members experiences at school, especially KH, I thought I might add mine. Tansley School - 1944-46 I was living on the eastern outskirts of Matlock and attended the school in the village of Tansley. The Church of England elementary was small and stone built with a walled play ground. It had one small classroom for the infants who seemed to spend a large part of the day playing their percussion band, and a hall divided by a screen. There were mixed classes with the up to eleven years old boys and girls on one side of the screen and the eleven to fourteen year olds on the other. It was at Tansley school that new pencils had to be cut in half so that there were enough to go round, also we had to write on both sides of the paper, then use an eraser to rub it off and then write on the two sides a second time. Yet it was at that school that I had what I consider to have been the best teacher of my life and one who has had a long standing influence on me. 'Old Man Harvey' was a first world war veteran, who had been a gunnery sergeant in the Royal Artillery, and due to the heavy losses and lack of officers was commissioned in the field. At the end of the war he had gone to university obtained his degree and taken up teaching. As a man he could be described as a natural gentleman, as a teacher he was very much of the old school firm but fair, with an urge to teach and impart knowledge, and occasionally some unusual methods of achieving his aims. It was not long after the 'D Day' landing and the news was full of the fighting in France, This particular day we were having a geography lesson and 'OMH' started talking about Franc and us boys keen to talk about something else asked him if had been there during the first war. He replied no he was at ??????, it was there he said that he had the best guns in the British army they were 3.7s and could through fire a projectile weighing ????lbs a distance of ????yards. He grabbed a piece of chalk and started writing figures on the blackboard, We were delighted we had got him off a uninteresting subject and talking about his wartime experiences - what we failed to realise he was teaching us mathematic equations and we were absolutely loving it! We were a country school and during the farming season we went potato picking on a local farm, I remember the hot sweet cocoa coming round in a big enamel jug. After the wheat harvest was taken in, we would go gleaning and OMH would buy our efforts at a penny a pound. He gave everyone a sack on off we went around the field, when it came time to go home he threw a rope over a bough tied on a brass scale to weigh every bag then again after emptying the contents. A certain lad handed over his sack for weighing and was told to 'take out that rock, I saw you put it in and I have let you drag it around all afternoon'. We all thought it was a great joke and it reinforced his reputation of not missing a trick. He wanted to teach us about democracy and the working of parliament, he divided the class into two equal groups, one was the government the other the opposition. Both sides to elect ministers for their respective group, OMH took the speaker's chair, were he could guide and control. This continued on a number of occasions, subjects were taken from the newspapers and debated under the house rules. I think not only were we learning about government and democracy but we were developing a logical and reasoning approach to solving problems. He used to teach by telling stories, he said that not long after getting married and living in his own house, he was trying to improve the state of the lawn. To get rid of the weeds he got a beaker of sulphuric acid and a glass rod and putting a drop on every weed, seeing that he was in danger of running out of acid de went to the kitchen to top up with water. It blew up in his face, on the floor was a tin bath full of soapy water that his wife had been using for washing the clothes and he dived straight in, he escaped without any scars or damage. He explained that he had forgotten one of the first principles, you can add acid to water but not water to acid and the soapy water being alkaline nullified the acid. I have never learned any chemistry but I have never forgotten that instance. Things I remember, chanting our tables (the class age was 11 to 14), class reading (I used to read my own book under the desk lid) and was admonished by a well directed piece of chalk, class singing, OMH had a very upmarket taste in music I learned tunes in class that it was years before I came across them again as an adult. On our way over the fields to Tansley from the Butts there were interesting things to see and note. It was here that I learned to recognise Beech trees and their distinctive nut cases, and to enjoy the taste of the little nuts inside. A plant we used to pick and chew the soft stalks tasted just like liquorice. It was on one of our trips to school that I got bitten by a horse, I was leaning over the wall and patting the horse and reassuring one of the boys in my group that horses were not dangerous, when it took a bite on my left shoulder, luckily I was wearing a thick overcoat with shoulder pads, the only damage was a red mark on the skin and a hurt pride! Finally it was always an interest to see what colour the mills were dyeing that day and seeing that colour in the streams as we passed by. I left Tansley School in 1946 and look back with fondness to a place where I was happy, and that helped form my character for the future years. A.E.S.
adopted coventry

Tansley School wartime memories
scrutiny
coventry
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2 of 4  Fri 31st May 2013 7:42am  
Member: Joined Feb 2010  Total posts:680

What a lovely insight and a happy memory to be able to retain, Thanks for sharing. Cheers
Tansley School wartime memories
Rob Orland
Historic Coventry
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3 of 4  Mon 3rd Jun 2013 7:26am  
Webmaster: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:1444

What fantastic memories Chaingang, it's great to be able to compare similarities and differences between our Coventry schools and those from other parts of the country. Thank you Cheers
Tansley School wartime memories
Chaingang
Tile Hill Village
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Thread starter
4 of 4  Thu 6th Jun 2013 1:05am  
Member: Joined Oct 2011  Total posts:60

Thank you Mattash & thank you Rob, I was trying to show how things were during the war. At one time my wife in a class of sixty, yet she still managed to get to commercial school.
adopted coventry

Tansley School wartime memories

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