Ovingdean Hall School for the Partial Hearing, East Sussex By John Walker

Memories from Chris

Chris describing Ovingdean

Chris going home

Transcript for 'Chris describing Ovingdean':

CW - I remember massive fields with a big victorian house in the middle. The grounds were looked after by a farmer, the school actually employed a farmer to run the site, who was called 'Holland'. He had a typical farmer's look, a rough beard, with a hat and boots, and a gun resting on his arm. He also had a dog by his side.

It was great. It was horrible in the winter when it would get dark early and we were trapped in the boy's room, which was like a common room and a basic one at that. At home, I was surrounded with nice things but at school it was pretty basic.

The long summer's days were great and Ovingdean was a great place to be. It was all very nice. Great facilities, for playing tennis, swimming, football, the playground. It was good.

Transcript for 'Chris going home':

CW - Every Tuesday, we had to write a letter to our Mum and Dad. Mrs. Whittiker would come over, she was actually in the video [the Base of a Spiral] towards the end. She would approach us to ask if whether we were going home on Friday. Each of us would reply whether it was a 'yes' or 'no'. When she turned to me, I didn't know how to answer [because it was my first time]. I had yet to talk to Mum and Dad about what was happening at the weekend. I automatically said "yes, I am going home".

On the Friday, those of us who were going home all waited outside for our parents to come and pick us up, or the coach to go home, or the bus for the train station. I stood there waiting as the numbers started to dwindle, until I was the last one left.

A teacher came over to ask if I was sure my parents were coming to pick me, and I said I was sure. She went off to check and came back to say they were not coming to pick me up this week. She said something about when my parents would be picking me up but I missed when she said. I thought she said next Friday, which brought me to tears. I got over that pretty quickly. 

The next Tuesday, I was asked the same question of whether I would be going home on Friday, and I again said 'yes'. And on the Friday, the same thing happened again. So, it was not that week either and I was told for sure that they would come the following Friday.

Because of the previous two hiccups, I was unsure if they were truly coming to pick me up. I had my luggage all prepared and walked down to the front door, and Mum was there. I was in shock and in a complete flood of tears and very happy to go home.

This page was added on 21/09/2012.
Comments about this page

What a lovely story telling, christopher. That was true, I have bad experience too.

By Sue Cunningham
On 28/01/2013

In the sixties I went to the Education Office looking for a temporary job whilst waiting for an interview in Yorkshire. As soon as I mentioned I had taught some meths he told me I'd start on the Monday, and picked up the phone to call the Head to tell him he was bringing me to meet him. "Oh no!" I protested. I'm a NQT and I wouldn't know how to begin!". "Not at all," he replied, "you'll be just fine. And they really need someone straight away". Reluctantly, I could not refuse. Best thing I ever did in my career. Opened my eyes. the pupils were just great and we found ways. I heard teachers in the staff room with very negative views, as if deaf meant 'stupid', so I challenged them to take on my 13 yr-old class at 'five dimensional noughts and crosses" which they had taken to with relish. If I hadn't got that Yorkshire job I would have stayed. Fondest memories- and all the best to them there today. Mike Greenwood

By Mike Greenwood
On 19/02/2014

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