Back to School


No noticeable work done on this old girl since we left. Still looking moody and grumpy but she is certainly ageing gracefully. Unlike a couple of her former students who continue to behave badly. We decided to pop in and have a bit of a mooch around. The ghosts of former headmasters and staff must have been taking a break from holiday haunting duties. The familiar sounds of ’Ockenden’ or ‘Miss Trevor’ were pleasantly absent and we continued our tour unmolested.

After a quick recce in the car, we parked the car up outside my old abode, Gate House and went for a wander. Bit sad to see the demise of the grass lawn and old stone steps that would have assisted many previous generations of ladies onto their horses and into carriages. Replaced now with bland concrete, probably reflecting the current attitudes of parents who fork out £40k a year to outsource their offspring! Broken windows and general neglect have clearly benefited from. Temporary classrooms that looked more like portacabins in our day have been replaced by real buildings. Likewise, the two storey versions that housed Biology and Geography have been replaced by three storey replicas of the old buildings. Looks properly posh!

Jackie’s old abode was the somewhat strangely named ’Kings House’. Shiny new for Jackie’s generation, it still bears the scars of stones lobbed at windows by dickheads like me!

The lake was the traditional haunt of smokers, cider slurpers and young lovers. Happy to see that the paths are well trodden in 2022. The rear entry to the pub that was used almost exclusively by underage Clayesmore students for cider and cigarette purchases no longer exists although the local village shop looks to have a handy selection for spending thirsty quenching pocket money.

Run down canoe building shack and CCF buildings also now long gone, not sure about the old rifle range. A shiny new IT block now occupies a chunk of this space.

We were slightly surprised to find the doors to the main building unlocked. Rude not to have a poke about! It has been many years since either of us knocked on the door to the headmaster’s office waiting for a bollocking, beating or suspension! Happily there was no one in residence. The old tunnel into the dining room still there, kitchen security sadly much improved since our 1980’s food raids!

Probably outstayed our welcome so lobbed the drone in the air for a few pictures before making a hasty departure 😀

Happy memories

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