[an error occurred while processing this directive]
|RETURN TO MEMORIES|
|BOB CHISHOLM - WALKS|
|VE AND VJ DAY|
MEMORIES OF RAYNE
Rayne School was built as a Board School in 1878 as a result of the 1870 Education Act which established compulsory education for children. Although this Act was primarily designed for the education of poorer members of society, it was not enforced as it is today as many children left school at the age of 10 or 11 to work - in Rayne the children mainly worked on farms.
The 1902 Education Act put elementary education under the control of county councils so they were re-named council schools until the 1944 Education Act when comprehensive schools were established.
Sam was at Rayne School from 1931 - 1938. At the age of 11 some children went to a secondary school, those that didn't stayed on at Rayne School until the age of 14, although all senior school children had to go to Braintree after 1938. Sam went on to Braintree Senior School (later Margaret Tabor, then Tabor High School) when it opened in 1938.
When Sam was at Rayne School, there were nearly 200 children in fairly large classes - some of whom had to walk to school for up to 3 miles each way. There were 4 teachers: Mr. W.G. Curtis, the headmaster (who retired in 1938 as a result of being gassed during the 1st world war), another qualified teacher and 2 "pupil" teachers. The training for these "pupil" teachers consisted of one week in June at the "Dunmow Summer School" which the children called the "Pea Picking Holiday" as they were then able to go and work in the pea fields and earn one shilling for each bag of peas which they picked. There were no school meals, children had to bring their own and if they needed a drink they could get water from a pump next to the well at the back of the school.
The school day was from 9am to 12 noon and 1.30pm to 3.45pm for the juniors and 3.30pm for the infants. School milk was available from 1935 at ½d per bottle (free for the poorer children). The school had a cricket, football and netball team, but they did not play matches against other schools.
As there was a great deal of poverty and large families in the area, the school provided pens and paper, but textbooks in the top class only. No trips outside the school were organised for children.
The headmaster used to cane the boys frequently (he was not allowed to cane the girls). In spite of the strict discipline, the children respected their teachers Boys were called by their surnames and not their Christian names. The children were taught to respect nature, i.e. plants and animals, and the older children had to look after the school gardens for 2 periods a week where they were taught to prepare, dig, weed and grow mainly vegetables, plus a few flowers.
Sam joined up on 6th April, 1944, 1 year before peace was declared. On his first leave home, he had to walk home from Chelmsford Station and had only been home for half an hour when he heard his first doodle bug coming overhead.
In the early 1930s the building which is currently the Raj Restaurant, was a Post Office, grocers and drapers owned by W.E. Hawkes who also used to do bespoke tailoring. In 1932/33 the present Post Office and store was built by Mr Reason, a harness maker. By 1940 the Post Office moved across the road to The Laurels, although the shop remained. In 1954 the shop which had formerly been the Post Office was bought by Harry Hall, then the Post Office moved back again from The Laurels to where it is today and The Laurels remained a general store without the Post Office until it closed.
There was a group of shops near Barnard's Garage (built in 1906) which was also a baker's which used to deliver bread all over the village. In addition to the bakery Barnard's had 2 petrol pumps and a cycle shop. Next door was a butcher's (owned by W. Fuller) and sold in 1946 to Mr R.E. Carder, then continued as a butcher's until 1969 (the house was named "Marchants").
Beyond Barnard's was a little grocer's a little further on named "Weddecar Stores" which closed about 1997. Further up from Barnard's was Mrs Channel's drapery shop.
Millfields Stores was a shop in School Road, on the Felsted side of Rayne school. Named after the nearby corn mill which Sam's father remembers working. The Williams brothers, who owned the Stores, kept a free range poultry farm in addition to selling paraffin, stamps and all groceries in the store.
There was, opposite Rayne Station, a pickle/jam factory owned by a German company. Because of the outbreak of war in 1914 they had to close. After the war ended in 1918 this became a coal merchant's owned by Mr Harry Goodey who had a weekly delivery in and around the village. This ceased about 1939/40.
The village builder and undertaker, Mr Len Brock, and his brother William (Brock Brothers), established about mid nineteenth century were very respected.
|© Geoffrey Stone, Braintree 17-1-2008 Last Update 17-1-2008|