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Camp beds and long corridors

Carden Avenue School
Photo by Tony Mould

Afternoon naps on the camp bed

I went to Carden School in 1952 and remember having sleeps on a little camp bed on the concrete, outside the classrooms and in direct sunlight, as they wanted to prevent us getting rickets! I can remember the long corridors, they seemed endless when I was trying to get out to see my mum at the end of the day. I spent seven years there, and as I got older I used to go over the road to the shops and buy broken biscuits. I remember there was a barber/hairdresser in the same parade of shops, and when I was older I did a paper round from the newsagents there. We used to go to the County Oak pub; they had a little hatch where we used to buy a bag of Smiths crisps with a little bag of salt in a blue wrapper. Things were so wonderfully simple then.

Sledging in the snow

I lived in Carden Hill, and remember Mr Lawrence coming every fortnight to collect the insurance money. I also remember the rag and bone man coming on a Saturday morning early and waking me up. Then there was the onion man – not sure how often but he came from France with strings of onions around his neck on a bike. When it snowed we used to go out on a sledge my dad made, on the slope from Carden Hill going down into Hartfield Avenue. We would narrowly miss the twitten) that took you into the road below.

Icicles on the inside

I remember that I used to have to walk up Carden Hill to the petrol station at the top, with a can to get it filled up with  paraffin. At the time our only form of heating was a paraffin heater. It was supposed to keep us warm. In actual fact it did not do much of a job because in the really cold weather there were icicles on the insides of the windows. I also remember the trolley buses. Unfortunately they were always breaking down because the arms would come off the rails. Hard but happy days.

Do you remember?

Did you go to this school? When did you attend? Do you remember the camp beds? If you can share your memories with us, please leave a comment below.

Comments about this page

  • I for one do clearly recall the little beds and lots of other things as well! To answer your comment about the trolley buses didn’t the arms always come off as they went round the corner into Carden Hill by the garage that you mentioned? The rag and bone man is clearly remembered and couldn’t you also take back bottles to the pub. and get a refund if you had bought the bottle there in the first place? Opposite the pub. in Crabtree Avenue and almost on the corner of C.O. Avenue there was an iron railing of some sort and I used to love swinging over and under that!! As you say happy days.

    By Rosie Roser (10/03/2014)
  • I remember the camp beds in the hall and having to have a nap after lunch and the white line down the middle of the junior playground keeping the girls and boys apart.  Also Mr Cheeseman and standing up to chant out tables and his saying “bless my cotton socks”  Oh so long ago now.

    By Margaret Pringle (McWhirter) (17/02/2015)
  • I remember the camp beds, also the spoon of cod liver oil every day, can’t remember what else we used to get on a daily basis.


    By Dennis Gayler (24/03/2015)
  • Dennis Gayler, did you live in the first close on the right hand side of Midhurst Rise with your Mum and Dad and a younger brother? Our family lived in number 10 from 1954 onwards.

    By Robert Gillespie (16/08/2017)
  • Hi I was at the school in 1948-1950 lived in Lyminster Ave ,I have heard there is a 70th reunion sometime soon would love to go there ,my mother worked in the canteen as well .I remember a Mrs Donaldson was head cook.

    By Joan Downs (21/12/2017)
  • After dinner, in 1950, we used to have a hard piece of toast, it was called a “Rusk”, that was supposed to clean your teeth.

    By GERALD MILLARD (23/09/2019)
  • I remember you well Gerald, we had the “feared forward line” in the school football team of Mills, Millard and Milliner. Met your parents several times, your mum had a lovely Swindon accent.
    I met Ian Shurety in Vancouver about 20 years ago(small world) when on a visit to see my brother David. Ian was a scaffolder at the time. My brother knew him through the building trade. Ian told me that you were in the Meat trade. I now live in Christchurch, Dorset been there for 55 years.

    By MICHAEL MILLS (28/10/2020)

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