Memories of Stock - Kath Fairweather nee Sargant
I wonder if anyone remembers the Convent School, which was evacuated to Stock from London during the war? It was initially accommodated in one of the last houses in Well Lane, and it was here that I started school. I was 4 years old and lived at Mill Road garage when I first attended with my friend, Betty Chapman, who also lived in Well Lane, and I believe, Victor Plume, who lived in Mill Road. We had our lessons in the front room of the house with the girls from the convent and we were all taught by the nuns. As more girls were evacuated from London, larger school premises had to be found and we were moved to the Catholic Church, having some lessons in the church itself and others in a hall adjoining the church. After a while, that too became too small and we moved to Lilystone Close and later to Lilystone Hall.
I remember very little about my time spent at the house in Well Lane or the Catholic Church, apart from the occasion when we were given beads to help us with our Arithmetic and I put one up my nose and had to go to St Andrews Hospital to have the bead removed!! I have some memories of attending Lilystone Close and Lilystone Hall, one of which is having dusters tied to our feet so that we could polish the parquet flooring as we were sliding over it. We had our lessons in the cellar whenever there was an air raid and by the lake under a willow tree in the hot weather. At one time, the school put on a production of Dick Whittington, which Lord Petre came to watch. Betty and I were given the roles of Dick Whittington and his cat and Betty decided that she would play the part of the cat because, as she told me later, I would have to learn the words whereas she only had to say 'Meow' and it didn't really matter when she said that!
Most of the nuns were very strict, although not quite so much with the local pupils as they were with the convent girls, although one used to tuck the bottom of her habit into her belt and run around the yard with us. I remember being quite amazed that she had legs the first time I saw her do that!!
I left the convent when I was 8 years old and went to St John's School, Billericay and then to Brentwood High School when I was 11 years old.
Kath Fairweather nee Sargant
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