Paul Bainbridge

I was never the brightest kid at school, partly due to the fact I spent so long living in the shadow of my sister who was a real academic, came home with great results and who seemed to set the standard in terms of my parents expectations of me. I was quite disappointed from my own personal point of view when the letter dropped on our front door mat. My mum I remember opening it and giving me the biggest hug I have ever had in my life. You’re going to Sir Christopher Wren she proudly roared down the hallway of our home before going three houses down the terrace to my Grandmas home to tell her the news. What ever happened I thought to myself, surely there had to be a mix up with my exam results, Sir Christopher Wren, how could this be correct. After all I had done to secure my place at a lesser quality school the worst had happened and here I was about to be launched in to a world so far removed from what I had been expecting?

The time came and I remember getting my things ready for the first day at school. I must have been the only kid living so far from the school itself. I entered the gates, looked around me and remember feeling I had just entered a prison sentence with day release. Had it not been for Mary and her frozen milky way’s at lunch time or the odd bag of chips from Gainsborough, then I am sure parole time would not have helped me get through my sentence. I can say with my hand on heart, I disliked every day spent at this school, I found the whole experience depressing and intimidating and I am convinced it had a huge impact on my following years. I am not sure if it was the Dickensian style building, if it was the Draconian teaching methods, or if it was just the fact that really, this was not the school of my choice and the whole prospect of spending my final years here before hitting the work place filled me with dread.

When the compulsory demolition order became public knowledge there was nobody more delighted than me. It meant I could leave this dark depressing building which had become my nightmare and I could join a school with open fields, a swimming pool, classroom windows that had a view and teachers who dealt with discipline by other more effective methods than corporal punishment and physical abuse. I lost count of how many times Arthur the Chemistry blackboard ruler found its way, not to the blackboard, but across my backside or on the back of my knuckles. I was not a difficult kid, just seemed to cop it when the teachers were looking. It was once reported on my school report that whilst others made the bullets, it was me that got caught firing them.
Paul Bainbridge e-mail

I was only talking to my parents the other day actually about a time when without fail I always stayed for school lunch, but this particular day Mum was on a holiday from work and came to meet me at school to take me to Gainsborough chippy. Anyway I clean forgot and duly took my place in the lunch hall sitting down with my plate full of food. Guess what, they were a place short and asked if anybody was there that should not be there. I sat through the lot whilst they did a register count of all the classes and it just happened to be my class was last on the call out. Mmmmmmm yes, NO Bainbridge in the book!!!!!!! I got hauled out, sent to the headmaster and got the cane for wasting teachers time (I have never been the same at meal times since) Poor mum was still outside wondering what was going on and I NEVER got my treat at Gainsborough. I think I ended up with a frozen Milky Way from Mary’s round the corner in Osbourne Street
                                                       Paul Hirscher

I started at Christopher Wren in 1967 and was a pupil until the school was closed in 1969 (a very sad day which messed up the last years of my education!)...
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