Hamilton Lodge School for the Deaf, Brighton By John Walker

Memories from Robert

Transcripts at the end of the page, please scroll down.

Robert, travel to school

Robert, in the classroom

Robert's daily routine

Transcript for 'Robert, travel to school':

Ok, I was a day tripping and travelled to and from the school from Monday to Friday. Most of the time, I travelled in an ambulance but on occasion, I travelled with a friends in their parent's car. My transport later changed to a taxi and this continued for 13 years, until I started college.

Transcript for 'Robert, in the classroom':

PL - Can you remember what the school was like as well as the layout of the school?

RC - When I was small, the school looked like … I remember blackboards with rolling screens. There was the alphabet all around the top corners of the room, and each letter was represented by an animal of the zoo. Years later, the class remained except for the letters at the top of the room.

I remember piles of books or papers and I remember having an old fashion desk for each person; the desk top could lift up and I could put things inside the desk. There were writing implements and materials inside.

PL - Were the desks arranged in rows or in a semi-circle?

RB - They were in a semi-circles. There were headphones in the middle of the desks, which were all connected to a central microphone, which the teacher used to teach us. The layout was to help us to see each other, which we couldn't do, if we had sat in rows.

Transcript for 'Robert's daily routine':

RC - Every morning, I would arrive at about half past eight and by quarter to nine, we would start prayers. Everyone would convene in the gym for the assembly. It was the same routine every day and it would never change. The prayers would last 15 minutes and we would then move to the classrooms.

I ask the children today, at Hamilton Lodge School, whether they still have prayers but they stopped it some time ago. They just go straight to the classrooms. I have no idea why we had to go to prayers and why they no longer have them now. Interesting.

PL - So, you start the day with prayers and then go to the classroom. Do you have a break later in the morning?

RC - Yes, if I remember correctly, it always takes place at 10am. I can't remember if it is 15 or 30 minutes long. We only had milk in the morning, those small bottles of milk. The milk was supplied to over 100 children in the school.

After that, it is lunch time at half past twelve. The older children, between 12 and 16 years old, would have their lunch later on, at 1 o'clock. There isn't enough room in the refectory to have everyone eating at the same time. The first group would have to be asked to leave before the second group is allowed in. Then we would go and play outside for half an hour.

We would start lessons at half past one. There would be no more breaks until three o'clock, when we would play outside. Some of the children would spend that time doing homework. The routine was the same everyday, from Monday to Thursday, and at half past three, I would get into the taxi to go home. On Friday, we all leave earlier at half past three [sic] as many of us had to travel some distance to get home, some as far as the north of England or near as London.

The breaks on the Friday would take place 15 minutes earlier. So, a break at quarter to ten and lunch at quarter past twelve. After we have spent some time in the classroom, we would all go home.

This page was added on 21/09/2012.

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