The Old School


Here is my old school on Kensington Road.
There wasn’t much to it at all, truth be told,
Just four classrooms off one central hall, about right
To pack kids in like sardines until they were tight.
The Victorian windows were all up so high,
That the most we saw through them were smudges of sky,
And the fat radiators wheezed all winter long,
Spitting water like goats, as the hall rang with songs
And the bawling and screeching of kids doing choir,
Being taught by the fittingly named Mrs Crier,
Whose voice on a clear summer’s day was perceived
In the Isle of Man, we were led to believe.
And the Can Can, Mr Knight’s music of choice
For assembly. He spoke in a bubble-spit voice.
Nowadays the school’s closed, and the kids have been wheeled
To some new prison-complex on Manor Drive fields,
But the building’s still there, a community hall,
Where the pensioners go for their yoga and all
Of those things, like the Can Can, that old people do
To be children again, as befits the old school.


16 responses to “The Old School

  • Cubby

    Wheezing, spitting, bawling, bubble-spit…I think I’ve done all of those in the last 24 hours.

  • Jo

    At least they haven’t knocked it down for a car park Brian which seems the norm for these councils.

    • Brian Hughes

      Actually, Jo, it’s now called the Frank Townend Community Centre – which is a bit of a joke, because he wanted it (as you say) to be pulled down and turned into a car park, and it was only the fact that he died that stopped his plans from going ahead. Or so I’ve been told. (I’ve added that last bit as a legal disclaimer, just in case.)

      • Jo

        So typical, I think they are burying bodies under these bloody car parks, there is no need for the sheer amount of them that they think they need…. I took a photo from the top of the tower during the holidays and they were all empty!!

      • Brian Hughes

        The Gala field behind the school where we used to have the Maypole and whatnot in Summer…that’s a car park now. It’s cheaper for the council to have car parks. Grass needs mowing and weeding and stuff. Buildings need upkeep. Car parks are just slabs of concrete. They save on council funding, which means bigger slap up meals for the local councillors and the mayor.

      • Jo

        Sad but true. Tossers.

  • cliff445

    I thoroughly enjoyed this poem!

    I think this has got to be my favorite passage though:

    “And the bawling and screeching of kids doing choir,
    Being taught by the fittingly named Mrs Crier,
    Whose voice on a clear summer’s day was perceived
    In the Isle of Man, we were led to believe.”

    I have a strange feeling that your Mrs Crier might, very well, be related to my old headmistress, Mrs Gower at Grove Road school in Hounslow, Middlesex.

    My goodness, the lungs on that woman knew no bounds! She could address an assembly whilst standing a county away, I believe. 🙂


  • Anonymous

    Love these poems about places I know, thank you so much 🙂

  • suzywordmuser

    And did some of those older people go to school there? That would be very strange, to end up gathering together in your old school classroom as a pensioner! 🙂 I’d find that quite alarming! 😯

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