At this time of year I see lots of children walking past my house on their way to school for the first day of the new school year. At the end of the road is a Community Academy, (smart new phrase for ‘big school’) where children go from age 11 up to 18. They look so smart in their new uniforms, it prompted me to take a look at photo’s of me on my first day at big school, back in 1969. Taken in our back garden, with the rabbit hutch in the background, I was just heading off to Westlain Grammar School. I had surprised everyone, including my parents, by passing the 11+ exam, along with my best friend Cathie, and we spent the next five years in each other’s company. She lived a few doors away, we walked to the bus stop together every day, to catch the school bus. The uniform could only be bought in one shop, Horne Brothers at the top of North Street in Brighton and I remember going there with my parents to buy everything I would need.
There is a great Facebook page for the school at https://www.facebook.com/groups/54980667673/ and there are some wonderful photographs including this one posted by Brian Cleverly.
I can so well remember my first day there, getting off the bus and walking to the school, full of hope and expectation! That didn’t last long. There is also a website for the school at http://westlain.com