Sunday, 5 July 2015

The Farewell Tour #1 - Withernsea High School, 60th Anniversary

I've called this post The Farewell Tour #1 and it starts with my old high school. With all my fingers crossed, touching wood and all that sort of thing I will hope to have moved from this miserable hovel of a house within the next 12 months. I won't tempt fate with any other details at this stage but I always knew that when the countdown to a move came, I would start visiting places on a tick list for one last time and record them as my Farewell Tour.

So we start what will be the odd, occasional Farewell post with a definite never to be visited place again, my old school. Basically the place is being demolished in it's 60th year for a new academy so the doors were flung open for one last time for ex pupils to visit yesterday. I guess this post will pretty much be of no interest unless you also knew Withernsea High School so it's a purely indulgent collection of pictures for myself.

I wasn't sure about going as I only have a few happy memories but circumstances this weekend of visiting a sick relative meant my sister was over from Belgium so we decided we would go for a wander round the corridors.

I actually quite like the minimal, austere 1950s architectural style which a lot of schools had back then.

This is the canteen, no happy memories here as the food was awful and there was always a horrible overcooked, stewed vegetable smell. It's surprising this place didn't put me off vegetables for life!

Corridors, leading to headmasters office and other such scary places, bleak but with a certain interest and those floor tiles haven't changed in nearly 40 years.

Not many happy memories at school, I hated the bus rides to and from school which were times when I would be bullied by larger kids, often kids younger than me but who were taller. I hated anything to do with sport, again there was an element of teacher bullying and this was by a woman teacher who didn't like you if you were rubbish at sport or slow at running.
My only happy memories at school were art related things and that was right at the end in the 5th and 6th form when you had a degree of freedom. So I was delighted to walk to my old art room, still in the same spot, and it had hardly changed when I entered.

The large table still in the middle and the slight smell of paint and wax crayons still lingering in the air.

There was an adjoining art room (below) through a connecting door where one teacher would sneak across if he heard a racket going on in our room if the other teacher had left us unattended.

The picture below is the art store cupboard, my friend and I used to monitor the store cupboard supplies and guard it over lunch time whilst we had our pack-up in there to stop other kids coming in and nicking stuff. I was amazed the store cupboard was just as I remembered!

As we wandered around the school the most obvious difference to my day was computers everywhere, however the nice thing about the art room, no computers just lovely things to get stuck in with and make a mess with.

This was a stairwell I remembered well and I used to try and take arty photos of to turn into school art projects.

We move on to a few more rooms, the main assembly hall which was set out with some memorabilia, old school photos, the school newsletter etc, we didn't find anything with ourselves on in fact a big chunk of stuff from the mid 70's to early 80's was missing.

The same old flip up chairs on the hall balcony that had been there since year dot!

Below is the lecture theatre, seemed very small and old fashioned now but had been hi-tech in my day!

A science lab.

Not sure about this, maths room perhaps, geography....

And so as the day got busier, hotter and more uncomfortable and we couldn't reminisce any more we decided to leave. Fortunately I didn't see anyone I know, nor did my sister, I wanted to keep a low profile as I don't have strong connections with this, just an idle curiosity to visit one last time. We bought a souvenir beer and jumper for £1 can you believe, that jumper might be ok for gardening or future decorating in!

No trip to Withernsea would be complete without a stroll down the school drive and to the tuck shop which was next to the lighthouse were we spent all our spare pennies on sweets, and then on to see the beach.

A very long and boring post so Bye bye Withernsea.


greenrabbitdesigns said...

Haha, Sally your school reminds me so much of mine and actually your memories do too! I hated it, I hated sport and art and maths were the only subjects I really liked!
I'm quite sure you are more than happy to put a big tick beside that one on the list! :)
V x

helenjean@midgetgemquilts said...

just curious, did school smell the same as when you were there? I went back one day, and it smelt just the same.

Malcolm Fisher said...

Reading through this I can only assume we went to Withernsea High School at different times (I was there throughout the 90's and finished in 1999). I grew up in Hollym, but now live in Sheffield and I just wanted to say thanks for posting these pictures up. Seeing these images brought back some very strong memories.