Sunday, 26 October 2014

After Kingston Russel - Charminster

Not quite sure when we left Kingston Russel, but I do remember being taken to Hardys Grammar School in Dorchester by my dad to meet the headmaster for an interview. It seems that although I had been accepted into Bridport Grammar it did not mean that I was automatically entitled to transfer to Hardys. However, I was allowed in and another chapter in my school life began.

As Hardys was a boys school and most of the teachers were former Army officers who had seen action in the second world war. The headmaster was a Major, the French teacher and most of the others were Captains as far a I can remember. The French teacher for my classes was nick named Calais (of course) and I did not learn much from him (but mostly my fault). As I have lived in French speaking Switzerland and France for many years now, I have paid a high price for my lack of interest as a student of the language. But I get by.

One of my happier school memories was of the CCF Combined cadet force. I was a radio operator and clearly recollect our camp on Bodmin moor one summer. We had a night exercise, with blank cartridges for our 303 guns and there were lots of Thunderflash  explosions all over the place. As the radio operator I was to relay Calais's orders to other groups. But it was such a still night and he shouted his instructions, I felt a bit redundant. But all good fun nevertheless. The most exciting activity was live firing the 303 gun on the 300yard range. The kick of it was quite something for a 13 year old lad.

The subject I enjoyed most was "agricultural science". I though I might like becoming a farm manager as a career. However, after one year of the course, the teacher running it left the school, so that was the end of that.

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