David Welford

David Welford (1954) was reminded of his first day at school on seeing Arnold Stroud’s recent picture of his first day at Loughton School

“It brings back memories of his first day in September 1954…I was nearly ten! I too wore short grey trousers and had a brown leather satchel and a cap that was compulsory dress code.

At that time, I lived at Gants Hill and I recall my Aunt came round to our house and escorting me to the bus stop where we caught the 167 Bus which took us all the way to Loughton.

The new boys were assembled in The Dining Room where Mrs Winkworth gave us a pep talk and was in charge of sending us of to our allocated classes.

I was in Form 2 in the room that was on the far left of the building on the second floor. I sat at the back of the class next to Peter Carter, I remember being very jealous that his journey from Ongar was on a steam train. I subsequently met up with Peter when I moved to Ongar in 1972 and at subsequent OL Dinners and events.

Our form teacher was Mr Brooks affectionately known as Basher Brooks. He did not stay very long at the School and went off to Africa as a Missionary. He subsequently visited the School to give us a talk about his work and life abroad and if I remember correctly the School had acquired a reel to reel tape recorder and his reminiscences were recorded.

My memories of life at School are increasingly hazy, but I do like most remember being thrown in the Holly Bush if not on the first day shortly after.

At the end of my first day my Aunt was there to greet me and we went to the bus stop. She bought me an ice cream in the adjacent sweet shop Dollonds and then we boarded a 167 Bus bound for home.

The next day I was on my own and had to find my own way to School by Bus. Would today’s parents send such a young chap unescorted all that way by bus?

I was in Form 3 in 1955 but have no memory of Arnold at that time; Chris Plant does when I spoke to him recently remembers both me and Arnold from those far of days.”

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