20世纪40年代

雪莉·弗朗西斯1948-1952

I had been an evacuee from Sheffield and attended so many schools which had closed down in my primary education because the teachers had been 'called up', I was practically illiterate. I was given the IQ Test by the Head Master and scraped in.

I well remember missing the bus from Seaton on the day we had our 'O'Level cookery exam. It was the first year of 'O' Levels. I had to walk all the way from Trevelyan Road, Seaton, to school carrying all the crockery, cutlery and table linen for a lunch in some hurry. I was really very worried that Miss Goat would be truly furious if I was late - it obviously didn't matter whether I was nervous about the examination itself! Somewhat ambitiously I had chosen to make lemon meringue pie for dessert and the meringue wouldn't fluff up with a knife! The lady examiner hoveredover me writing, as I frantically tried. It had worked perfectly in the lesson the week before! Taming shrew
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I did some crowd work for Joan Littlewood at Bromley Theatre, but soon realised I could not live on these earnings, and not having a father by this time I had to look for teaching work. This came along in the shape of Maidstone Technical School for Girls, run by a very strong-minded Headmistress who expected perfection from her 'Gels' in manners as well as work results.

My husband and I set up Kent Gliding Club and, after a while, entered the National Championships which we won.

I taught English in a brand new Secondary School in Maidstone.  I became interested in bright children with special needs and went on to form a Special Needs department. Whilst all this was happening I was elected to the Tonbridge and Malling council. I served for 31 years - a Court Chairman and an assessor of future Chairmen.

I hope that your new school intake, when they arrive, realise just how lucky they are to be there.

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