In the first week of November, Year 4 were lucky enough to travel back to 1940.
We were evacuated to Horton Kirby on a rather new-fangled motor coach before being met by our teacher for the day, Mr Tanner. Our wartime experience started with a walk around the village, taking in the locations of anti-aircraft defences and ARP stations, whilst zapping away any anachronisms. During our stroll, Mr Tanner entertained us with gruesome tales, such as the story of the German bomber’s foot (what happened to the rest of the poor chap remained a mystery), and we were lucky enough to make it back to the village school without hearing any air-raid warning sirens.
After a lunch that was heartier than a ration book would usually allow, it was time to make our way to class. We had lessons in composition, arithmetic and nature, to name but a few. Most pupils showed a sound ability to add up shopping bills in pounds, shillings and pence, and only one poor soul felt the rap of Mr Tanner’s ruler across his knuckles. Sadly, the peace could not last and our education was interrupted by the chilling sound of the siren. We made our way into the shelter, hunkering down in the cramped space whilst Mr Tanner did his best to continue our lessons by torchlight. When the ‘all clear’ sounded, class was over and it was time to play. We enjoyed favourites such as skittles, skipping and hopscotch.
Before long, the home time bell sounded and we made our way back to Marlborough House with a real appreciation for what life must have been like for wartime children. We reflected that we might have enjoyed the soldiers allowing us to ride up in barrage balloons, but we probably would not have been so keen on running down to the Anderson shelter on a cold winter’s night. Perhaps 2022 isn’t so bad after all!
Mr Priddin, Year 4 Teacher