Grace Pavey (1930s)
Imagine an eleven year old girl, wearing her Sunday clothes on a Saturday morning, cycling two and a half miles from her home in Musbury to the newly built Colyton Grammar School, sited in Colyford, Devon. That was me, Grace Blackie (née Pavey) 88 years ago.
After a few weeks, when I had forgotten all about the entrance exam, a letter arrived with the information that I had been selected to attend CGS for further education. So that cycle ride was repeated hundreds of times during the next five years. On arrival on the first day of term we were introduced to our classroom and our form Master. However I soon discovered that we had to move around the school to different rooms, and to different members of staff for our lessons. Some of these subjects were new to us, such as French and Physics. The length of these lessons was controlled by the sound of a loud bell, rung at regular intervals. I always wondered who was responsible for ringing that bell!
The Cottrill Hall was used for assemblies, when each form filed in and stood in orderly rows, sometimes being allowed to sit cross-legged on the floor. Dinners were served each day here. N.B. I always avoided having school dinners on Tuesdays, because then only French could be spoken!
Pupils from Axminster came by train which arrived at Colyford at about 9a.m. During the fifteen minutes that they took to arrive at the school, the rest of us had to practise handwriting. Rounded letters, high and low loops etc., had to be copied exactly.
I'd like to share some remarks from one of my teachers – Mr Kenny. He said "Your faces were blank as l saw you arrive at school this a.m. Why don't you use the free time travelling from your homes to THINK, PONDER and PLAN? You'll never have that wasted time over again." On another occasion he said "Don't think that you've completed your education when you leave school. School is to prepare you for your real education that is offered by the wide world that you are entering now." Wise words.