Geoff Weller – Coley

I have just read Di Rayburn’s story about Coley School. I can vouch for the pain from Miss Whites pencil on the head. My sister never ever forgave her for that. I too used to be taken to school by my brother Tony but refused to go in as he used to remind me in later years. I was in fear of Miss White also. As you say Di what bliss when we went into Miss Clemurphy’s class. Mr Welfare was a favourite, and as well as organising football he also took us to Wembley, to watch the Schoolboy International games. How he did that I shall never know. I am sure our parents could not afford to pay for such trips. As for our house, we also had a black leaded range and as you say I can still smell the toast and the smell of Mum Ironing on the bleached table and the smell of the freshly baked rock cakes when we got home in the afternoon, and Mrs Dales Diaries on the radio, wonderful. You mentioned the back brick boiler for the washing. I can remember that later on ours was converted to gas and was difficult to light. One day Dad was trying to light it up for Mum and was having trouble. He was kneeling on the brick floor of the kitchen and had a long twisted piece of newspaper alight and the gas had been turned on for some time. Suddenly there was an enormous bang and flames erupted from the boiler front. When Dad turned around he had burnt his hair and his eyebrows had been singed. Luckily he had not been burnt too much and it gave us all a fright, but it gave us many laughs when we thought about it later on. Thank you Di for those happy memories of Coley School and of my warm memories of my family and home. You have captured it exactly. Well done!

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