Evacuation 1942; 'an off day'
8.20 a.m.-Roused by violent knocking on my bedroom door, I woke up. I remembered that it was Friday morning and that consequently I was due at school at 9 o'clock-and really woke up. I flew out of the bedroom towards the bath-room; nearly upsetting the jug of hot water that signifies a good billet.
8.55 a.m. I set out for the Friends' Hall in a hurry, only to have to wait outside while someone fetched the key, not an unusual occurrence. I was very cold by the time the key arrived, and forced my way in to grab a place near the stove. I had not, however, reckoned on the whimsical behaviour of that particular stove, which was giving out smoke instead of heat. It was very difficult that morning for the master to see the boys, at the back of the room, and we got a good deal of enjoyment during that lesson.
9.40 a.m.-We went to Green Lane through torrents of rain for French, and everybody was very wet, especially those boys who, having come several miles, did not arrive in time for English They had secured the best seats round the fire. Everybody rushed to join them, discarding coats, and French that morning was "wet."
10.25 a.m.-The Latin and Spanish sets departed for the Friends' Hall, while we waited for the German master to arrive. After an uneventful period we left Green Lane for P.T., but although it had stopped raining we knew that "gym." was out of the question, though we had to turn up.
11.10 a.m.-On the way to the school I stopped at the Friends' Hall to drink my milk, which consisted mainly of half melted ice, the remainder being pure ice. I arrived puffing and blowing at the school, just in time to tail on to a route march. It was very cold, but some of the brighter sparks sang a varied selection of popular songs.
12.00.-Feeling "fed-up and far from home" I arrived at the Friends' Hall for another bout of French, and this time the situation had changed. In order to let the smoke out, the windows had been open all the morning, and the Hall was now like a refrigerator. I struggled gamely with a page of Interrogative Pronouns, and was glad when the period finished and I could go home for dinner. A hot dinner braced me up and I then felt strong enough to face another period at the Friends' Hall.
2.0 p.m.-History that afternoon seemed quite pleasant, for the room was now clear, and the temperature had, I should think, risen to almost 32 F. But all good things must end, and we all trudged through the rain, which had again begun to fall, to the school, to be met by the maths master.
2.50 p.m.-Having passed through a class of rather embarrassed girls doing gym we had maths. in a partitioned room, so that the class next door could share the benefit of the wisecracks.
3.30 p.m.-The "artists" having set out for the Friends' Hall, we "non-artists," under supervision, got down to prep., which unfortunately developed into a discussion on the relative merits of Lawton and Welsh.
4.45 p.m.-I went home for tea, and heard the first part of the news before setting out for the school to do some homework.
6.20 p.m.-Arriving at the school, I did twenty minutes' good work, when . . . . the Girls' Club got going! That admirable institution had among its number a pianist who was able to play such well-known classics as "Waltzing in the Clouds" and "Down Forget-me-not Lane." I now doubt very much the value of "music while you work."
8.0 p.m.-I left prep., having- had my permit signed, finding consolation in the fact that I had done twenty minutes' good work, and went to the Club to try to get a game of Table Tennis. Just before my turn, however, a stentorian voice boomed, "Last games on," and, having my permit signed once more, I went home, via the fish-and-chip shop.
10.0 p.m.-Having had supper and listened to the wireless, I went to bed a sadder, but I regret to say, not wiser man, rejoicing that the next day was Saturday, and I could call the afternoon my own.
D. J. Insole.