The school during the Second World War
At Ditchling Road School I felt as if I spent most of my time going down the trenches, when the Air Raid sirens sounded, some of the teacher tried to carry on with our lessons. There was one occasion when bombs were dropped. I think it was because our school was near the railway station, or else the bombers were on their way back to Germany and wanted to unload their bombs. I remember pieces of bomb being found in the playground. Also the boys school next to ours was hit by an incendiary bomb one night which damaged the roof.
Fun in spite of the war
I enjoyed school, in spite of the war. I remember the P.E. teacher Miss Bland who wore her long hair in pigtails, I thought she was a good teacher. Miss Mansell, our music teacher, gave us our first introduction to classical music. She was always telling us to sing louder, so that the people sitting in the cafe in York Place could hear us. I was good at Maths and was getting on fairly well with learning French. I liked drama, especially Shakespeare, and took the part of Lady Macbeth in the school play.
Learning to make meals without meat
I was excellent at domestic science, although our attempts at cooking were limited due to the rationing. I even saved my egg so that I could use it in a cake, and then dropped it on the way to school so had to use powdered egg. We learned how to make meals without using meat and I frequently made vegetable hot pot for us at home. I know I always felt hungry, especially as I was still growing. I considered our diet to be very inadequate, in spite of what recent surveys have said. After the war they found I required extra vitamins. I had trouble with my teeth and gums due to lack of calcium.