OldCiren - Cirencester, Gloucestershire, UK
Old School Teachers
It’s funny how we all have different memories of Teachers from our School days; some good and some not so good. Back then we all had our favourites and we also had those we weren’t too keen on. It might be 60 years ago but I can still remember all my Teachers; the Lewis Lane ones as well as those from the Deer Park. I remember them for different reasons; some for their kindness in the early days when at the age of five I had to leave my Mother at the iron gates of Lewis Lane Infants School to meet my surrogate “Mum” for the day: Mrs Thorne; who I later discovered owned the sweetshop round the corner in Dyer Street. Some I remember for giving me encouragement to set my sights higher: “Killer” Close at the Deer Park who pointed me in the right direction educationally and “Johnny” Gent who inspired a life-long love of English Literature. But why or how did these well meaning literal “Old School” Teachers get these nicknames? At Lewis Lane we had Vera “Fanny” Phillips and Miss Wobbly-Webbly (Wobbly because in the 1960’s I remember if a child had a wobbly tooth she would pull out for the in the staff room. I was reminded recently by an old Ciren friend, of “Boris” Hickman who taught French at the Deer Park. No one ever knew how he gained his nickname and to this day it remains a mystery how a chap who taught French at a school just a mile from where he lived up Chesterton Lane, had earned a Russian sobriquet. Many teachers were always referred to by their formal titles and it felt strange to me, meeting several of my old teachers as an Adult and granted by the, the use of their first names: Mrs Denning became “Ruth” and Mr Card became a firm friend to me as “Ron”.