Tess Taylor

Campden Grammar School 1957-1963

Tess Taylor

approx. 1960
approx. 1960
Tess talking to Miss David at the 550th anniversary party.
Tess talking to Miss David at the 550th anniversary party.

I played both hockey & tennis for the school teams, the school having  very successful sports teams during my years at the school. In July 1961 I swam three miles in the cold Broad Campden Swimming Baths earning points for my house, that contributed to Hicks winning the swimming cup for the first time for years! (Hicks that year had several stylish & fast swimmers in Pat Hart, Robert McNamara & William Wiechec.) I was made a prefect in my last year at school and was always useful doing football & cricket teas, & serving coffee at Parent’s Evenings and School Plays.

Throughout my time at school I was compared unfavourabley with my sister, Elizabeth. Once,  Mr Meteyard accused me of having Elizabeth write my homework essay  which she hadn’t, &  being an imaginitive child it was in fact the one thing that I could do better than her!  Miss David’s constant refrain in Latin lessons was ‘O Woe is me, you are not like Elizabeth.’ & when I received my certificate for swimming three miles, The Boss (A.L. Jones) told the assembled company that it was the only thing I could do better than Elizabeth! These comments certainly didn’t do alot for one’s confidence & self esteem and so it was that I disappeared into my own world, daydreaming my way through school, paying attention only in English Lang., English Lit. & History that I enjoyed. (It has since been recognised that Daydreamers are often very creative!)

My school reports included, ‘Her enigmatic calmness allows her to do far less than she is capable of,’ ‘Tess has yet to find out what hard work really is,’ & the final comment from A.L.Jones was,  ‘The strengths and weaknesses remain. Pleasant, quietly helpful, often most adult in judgement,’

In December 1964 I started my nurse training that led to a career lasting forty-five years ( I soon found out what hard work was & that my calm demeanour that A.L. Jones had complained about was a great advantage in emergency situations!).

During my school years I kept diaries though it appears from my entries that most days I did little else but practice hockey & tennis & made little mention of anything relating to academic work! The diary entries are of course interspersed with other facts such as ‘Cycled to Evesham to see Elvis in ‘Blue Hawaii” , ”Watched ‘Wagon Train’ on TV,’ or ‘Had porridge for breakfast’,  but for the purpose of the school archive I’ve included only entries that relate to school.

March 5th 1957

I sat the scholarship for the Grammar School. Rosie hurt her hand & I had three pancakes for tea

Jan. 13th 1958

Made our cookery apron patterns. Had 8/10 for my history homework.

Jan.23rd 1958

Roads too slippery to bike to school so walked again.

Feb.24th 1958.

Half term – yipee!

Jan 7th 1959

Back to school, worst luck! Have a new master, Mr. Darlington. Deep snow.

Jan 16th 1959

Mrs Horne (Music) slipped on the snow & broke her wrist.

Feb.17th 1959

Eighteen in my form away with flu’ .

April 20th 1959

Went to RI with Fr. McCarron in the lunch hour. ( The RC pupils were excluded from scripture lessons & to our dismay instead had to attend a class with our Parish Priest on Monday lunch times! We also had our own prayers in Room 5 before joining the main Assembly.)

May 4th 1959

Jane Fiddian brought in a dead rabbit that means the school one is saved from death & dissection by the ‘A’level Biology students! (I’d been instrumental in raising a petition to save the school rabbit.)

June 11th 1959

Hit in the eye with a rounders ball & now my eye has closed up.

July 6th 1959

Had three terrible exams.

 July 9th 1959

School outing to the Royal Show.

Dec 11th 1959

School Christmas dinner – Hardman served our table. (Custom for prefects & Staff to wait on juniors at Christmas dinners.)

Jan 11th 1960

The rain’s washed the snow away but we had Country Dancing instead of games.

Oct 15th 1960

Got up at 7.10 to catch the coach to Bristol Hockey Tournament. Hit a car coming back & the coach heater burst.

Nov.3rd 1960.

Back to school wearing the new grey uniform. (Our uniform had previously been navy-blue.)

Dec 1st 1960

Served coffee & ushered at the school play.

Dec 22nd 1960

Before we broke up we were shown the film, ‘A Kid for Two Farthings’.

Feb 11th 1961

Played in goal for 2nd XI against Stratford & we won 4-2.

March 15th 1961

Felt sick in Maths but wasn’t.

May 16th 1961.

Sport’s Day – Hicks won both Boys’ & Girls’ House Cups.

June 9th 1961

Jane F. & I beat Margaret Clifford & Pat Hodge 9-7 in the Tennis Tournament.

July 20th 1960

Athletics match against Westwoods & we won.

July 22nd 1961

Swam three miles. (Dad counted the 192 lengths)

Oct 11th 1961

Played in goal for 1st XI against Chipping Norton Grammar & we won 8-0.

Oct 28th 1961

Elizabeth (sister) has gone to county hockey trials.

Nov 14th 1961

Our form room (Hut 2) is freezing cold.

Dec 21st 1961

Broke up from school, I had quite a good report, thank goodness!

Jan 9th 1962

I had to draw an air sac on the board in Biology!

Jan 10th 1962

The hockey & football teams took our sports teachers to see ‘La Traviata’ at Stratford. Bate & Brotherton kept sighing because they were bored  & so the woman in front of us turned round & told them off! Then they dropped their opera glasses that further annoyed her.

Jan 11th 1962

The boys hung a rope from the hut’s rafters & Duduk placed the Latin text book in the noose!

Jan 13th 1962

I was reserve for IX hockey but played for Moreton Ladies as they were short of a player. Margie Johnson whacked a ball that hit me on the cheek, just below my eye! Liz was hit on the jaw! Moreton Ladies won 4-2.

Jan 23rd 1962

A maths master (not mentioning his name) was in a raging temper, snatching a book off Stephanie, he stamped on it & kicked it across the room!

Jan 16th 1962

Had horrid boiled mutton for lunch. (School lunch) POH spent the whole of our French lesson telling us off

Jan 20th 1962

I played in the first XI against Burford—we won 5-0.

Jan 25th 1962

Tilly was pleased with me in geography tho’ he grumbled that some people weren’t working hard enough. However, he thinks that I’ve seen the light in time!

Feb 8th 1962

I felt sick in Latin .Bill Howells told Sue & I off for talking in diiner. Had a test on the humour in Henry V. Chic was in a frightful temper – dishing lines out all over the place.

Feb 12th 1962

Nearly went to sleep in Latin.

Feb. 15th 1962

Chic got very cross in Maths because the boys were acting the fool. He sent Brotherton out & threatened to send Bullock to the Boss.

Feb. 19th 1962

Geography exam—the questions on Asia were stinkers.

March 9th 1962

I read Spartacus under my desk during our Latin lesson!

March 17th 1962

Played hockey for the first XI against Cheltenham Tec. Liz (my sister) scored two goals & I scored one & we won 4-1.

March 21st 1962

The first XI beat Chipping Norton 11-0. Liz scored six goals.

POH blew X up for being arrogant. In English Brain & Newbury had us in fits of laughter playing Pyramus & Thisbe in Midsummer Night’s Dream.

March 22nd 1962

Biology uneventful but still doing the wretched bee. Judy & I helped Mrs Dorrance do the coffee for parents evening.

March 24th 1962

Played hockey at Gloucester for 1st XI against Ribston Hall & we won 6-0.

March 26th 1962

Mr Welch fetched the Boss to 5T who threatened to suspend them from school for a couple of weeks.

March 26th 1962

Brotherton borrowed my hockey stick to play for the football team against first XI. Pat played jolly well in goal. Our class performed ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ in the lunch hour.

March 30th 1962

A TV has been installed in the library. POH took X to the Boss because she hadn’t done any homework for weeks.

April 2nd 1962

Our forms turn to sell hot dogs & milk shakes for Save the Children fund. Mr Perkins threatened X with suspension & Mr Downward blew her up. We all had to see the Boss while he wrote our reports.

April 5th 1962

Shown the film, Henry Vth tho’ the projector broke down & Tilly had to rush over to Moreton school to borrow theirs. Laurence Olivier looked like Yuri Gagarin.

 May 1st 1962

Chic is away at ATC camp so we had a nice maths lesson! Mr Welch went on & on about soil in Biology, it’s awful boring.

May 5th 1962

Judy & I did the cricket teas tho’ the tea we made looked a peculiar colour. Mr. Perkins helped us wash up.

May 8th 1962

In History Miss Spendlove went on & on about the collapse of the mark.

May 11th 1962

Played tennis outside on the tarmac & I whacked a ball that narrowly missed Mr Downward’s bald head.

May 16th 1962

Miss Hill chose Pam & I as first couple for second tennis VI.

May 18th 1962

Attended the VIth form show in the lunch hour Colin Burrows impersonated Cliff & Christine Davies was ‘Burly Shassey’.

May 27th 1962

In Biology we were supposed to be revising the fish but Judy & I discussed who we’d invite to our end of ‘O’levels party.

May 23rd 1962

Bird & Newman ate all the prunes in dinner, competing I think to see who could get the most stones!

May 24th 1962

Chic threw the board rubber at Wendy Wright who ducked & it hit me just above my eye.

May 26th 1962

Judy & I helped Mrs Dorrance set up cricket teas.but she wouldn’t let us wash up & made Organ, Brain, Chisman & Smith do it but they managed to break a cup.

May 28th 1962

Sue, Judy & I were bored to tears in Biology, it was all about runner beans! Beefy ‘s (Mr Meteyard) gone home with yellow jaundice.

May 29th 1962

Teachers meeting in the afternoon so Brain took our Geography class & had us in fits of laughter. Bugsie Browne supervised our other lessons.The new TV in the library was knocked over at the weekend by one of the cleaners & smashed to smithereens!

May 31st 1962

Brotherton smuggled his radio into Maths when suddenly we heard the commentator announce that Cowdray had scored a century! Chic didn’t catch on straight away. I was kept behind after Biology to look at spirogyra under the microscope.

June 5th 1962

Sports Day— Hicks won, Liz (House Captain) was presented with the cup.

June 25th 1962

Judy & I watched the school cricket match against AWs & stopped behind talking for ages to Chisman, Smith, Mansell, Organ & Garaway.

June 27th 1962

Exam – Randall & Fortey handed their papers in after an hour. Liz sat Scholarship Latin. I look vile on the sports team photographs.

July 3rd 1962

French exam not too bad. While waiting for Pat afterwards I chatted to Chisman.

July 4th 1962

Stopped in bed to revise the eye, spirogyra, amoeba etc! Biology exam was hard tho’ Fisher thought it a ‘walk-over’.

July 6th 1962

Our second Biology exam— I should think it’s the worst paper set in years! Judy & I played tennis with Jacques & Chisman

July 18th 1962

Chic told Judy & that we were his nicest pupils!

July 23rd 1962

Shirley & I played tennis with Dougie Court, Graham Bate, Tim Harrison & Ricky Organ. After school I umpired the tennis match, school v. parents.

July 25th 1962

After dinner the tennis team played the cricket team at tennis. Lost to Sam Garaway & Mac 6-1, & to Cyril & Chis 6-3 but beat Colin & Cox 6-5. In the evening I played for the Old Scholars as they were one short & Miss Hill told me that I’d played well.

Sept 17th 1962

On the way to school Shirley told me that I’d been made a prefect, what a shock! (I was late back to school because I’d been on holiday in Belgium.)

Sept 19th 1962

Bate & Bullock helped me with my maths.

Sept 22nd 1962

Played left half for first XI against Gloucester & we won 8-0.

Sept 25th 1962

Lessons with Miss Bint were stifling!. Mr Newton praised my essay.

Oct 3rd 1962

Pat, Gilly, Shirley & I did football teas—Sherbourne’s side were a handsome lot especially their 1st XI goalie.

Oct 4th 1962

Nearly fell asleep in Maths. Smith & I were on corridor duty—we didn’t give anyone an essay!

Oct 8th 1962

Had a smashing time at Judy’s party at the Lygon. Graham Bate walked me home.

Oct 9th 1962

Played left half for 1st XI against Cheltenham Ladies College—the Boss was pleased with the way we played

Oct 20th 1962

Had to get up at an unearthly hour to catch the coach to Bristol for the hockey tournament—we were third in the first division.

Oct 23rd 1962

Gary Hanson threatened to let a firework off in free lesson but didn’t! Bate put the clock on in Maths so Holden rang the end of lesson bell ten minutes early.

Oct 26th 1962

Sam Gladwin & I were speakers in a debate, ‘Are Pop Singers the God’s of modern youth?’

Nov. 7th 1962

Played in goal & afterwards watched the boys play football v. Sherbourne. We won 9-1, Sam (Garaway ) scored four goals but was also kicked in the stomach. Shirley & I did teas for the teams – the cakes were decent for a change.

Nov 12th 1962

Fred Bullock let the air out of my bicycle tyres.

Nov 16th 1962

Snowing hard. Debates—I had to propose that school uniform does harm.

Nov 20th 1962

Fred put the clock on again in Maths but Mr.Stanley caught on this time. Snowed hard.

Nov 21st 1962

There was a staff/parents meeting so the Prefects ran the school. Shirley & helped Lutter , Charlie & co. with their English.

Nov 23rd 1962

Miss Spendlove told me that I spoke well in debating. I volunteered to speak next week when Sam Gladwin said ‘I’ll support Tess if I can’ that made everybody laugh.

Dec.3rd 1962

On the way to school Shirley & I bought Pam  (Richardson) a card for her 17th Birthday, Mr Perkins told me that I looked ill.

Dec 7th 1962

In debates we had to pretend to be traveling in a hot air balloon & in the event of an emergency decide who to throw out first. I was the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Dec 17th 1962

Helped serve coffee & wash up at the Juniors’ Christmas Party. We requested a Twist & surprise, surprise thay had the record! The Subways played. (Richard Bennett & his group.

Dec 20th 1962

Mr Downward accompanied the RCs to the Carol Service in St. Catharine’s. Donated presents for Dr. Banardo’s & we left Fr McCarron a book token & fifty cigs.

Dec 21st 1962

Last day – had a French play then carols. Shirl & I helped Miss Secker tidy the cloakroom & distribute lost property that included smelly socks. The Boss told me that his wife told him that I look ill. Dad, Anne & Elizabeth went to the Grammar School Whist Drive & Eliz won two pheasants.

Jan 8th 1963

Back to school after Christmas hols. The snow was waist high by the huts. We had two minutes silence for Rayner Booth, a school governor who’d died.

Jan 9th 1963

Snow-ploughs & diggers were at school clearing the car park.

Jan 15th 1963

Had three lessons with Miss Bint & my eyelids drooped & couldn’t stop yawning.

Jan 17th 1963

In Maths the gale kept blowing the door open which Mr Stanley informed us was caused by a partial vacuum.

Jan 21st 1963

The Boss had thought of closing the school for a few days because of the treacherous weather—wish he had!

Jan 23rd 1963

It’s so cold that the Boss gave the first & second formers the rest of the week off school.Recorded  Pygmalion in English, I was Mrs Pearce..

Feb 6th 1962

Conduit, Weston & Willersey hills were blocked. The Boss sent everybody home at 3pm.

Feb 8th 1963

On the way to school a lot of ice fell off the Chemist’s roof & hit me on the head. Had a walk in Field Club but got stuck in snow drifts.

Feb 13th 1963

The Longborough bus had a crash. Newbury helped me do my maths & graph which Mr Stanley then thought was the best in class!

Feb 14th 1963

Had two valentine cards! In cookery I put salt in the custard in mistake for sugar & my brandy snaps & macaroons broke into pieces! Only had about a minute of Maths as Mr Stanley was late. Shirley & I had a laugh with Mac, Sam & John Everett.

Feb 19th 1963

It snowed again. Sam (Garaway) bought Shirley & I three buns each!

March 5th 1963

In Maths we diverted Mr Stanley’s attention by asking him about double glazing that  fortunately took up most of the lesson!

March 11th 1963

Mr Newton liked the play I’d written about life in a Cotswold village

March 16th 1963

I played right half for the 1st XI against Pates Grammar & we won 4-1.

March 26th 1963

June (Fowles) told the VIth form boys off for being childish.

March 27th 1963

Shirley, Gilly & I served tea to the cross-country runners.

March 29th 1963

In English I had to play a romantic scene with the Boss! (A.L.Jones)

April 2nd 1963

I took the second form for hockey because Miss Secker was ill. Shirley & I went to Judith Ellis’s talk on her time in Sierra Leone.

April 4th 1963

Snowed & sleeted. Fun French lesson with Ma’m’selle.

April 5th 1963

Played hockey against the Staff—I think they won

May 8th 1963

In the lunch hour Sniff (Mr Unsted) taught us the fox-trot.

May 8th 1963

Had the Boss for English & for homework he gave us an essay to write on Dr. Beeching

May 13th 1963

Sports teams took Miss Hill & Mr Moore to see ‘Pirates of Penzance’ at Cheltenham. Shirley & I had the giggles as it seemed that only we noticed the leading lady’s pantaloons fall down & watched her kick them to the side of the stage.

May 14th 1963

Mr Newton tried tape recording my play in English lesson but none of us could stop laughing including him.

May 16th 1963

Yawned all through Maths.

May 21st 1962

Cookery exam – my gravy looked like boot polish.

May 24th 1963

School trip to attend a service in Coventry Cathedral. Afterwards we criticised the behaviour & uniforms of other schools.

May 29th 1963

Miss Hill got on my nerves in Games – she’s got her knife into me!

June 11th 1963

Mised tennis practice as had to go to a film, ‘Freedom from Hunger.’ Mr Stanley told me off for writing a letter in Maths.

June 14th 1963

In the Boss’s lesson we had to discuss the Keeler/Profumo affair.June (Fowles) asked for quiet in free lesson nut didn’t get it. Holden left to take a job at the Research Centre.

June 25th 1963

Revised Asia. Shirley & I made tea for the North Cotswold Heads of School.

June 26th 1963

In games Shirley & I played tennis against Mr Moore & Mr Thompson and they beat us 6-3, 6-1.

June 28th 1963

Had awful stomach ache during the Geography exam.

July 3rd 1963

Tennis – Miss Hill had her knife into me again. She found me some different racquets to try but I didn’t.

July 16th 1963

Played tennis with Rod & Pam but my knees were weak from laughing so much.

July 23rd 1963

Cleaned the swimming sports shields. In the evening scored cricket, staff v boys.

July 24th 1963

We had a talk on survival in case of nuclear war. After school Shirley & I umpired the Old Scholars’ matches & afterwards went to the Eight Bells for a drink with Bruce Page & Graham Bate.

July 25th 1963

Speech day & my last day at school. Going to France tomorrow.

This page was added on 12/01/2015.

Comments about this page

  • Hi Jane,
    What a lovely surprise to read your comments; we’ve never come across one another since we left school! I remember you as a mildly rebellious pupil – good for you! If one wasn’t conventionally academic the staff seemed incapable of understanding what made us tick! Where are you living ?

    By Tess Taylor (20/06/2015)
  • Tess, thanks so much for managing to source a copy of your tome for me, which arrived yesterday and I promptly read it within the day!
    What to say…charming, captivating and a real insight into your formative country life.
    Life was indeed tough for many of us in the early ’50s and I too well remember the trudge to the outdoor dunny in cold winters!
    Your bicycle ‘Pip’ sure got some mileage around the Cotswolds…had I known of its eminence, I would not have deflated its tyres, an action that I can neither confirm nor deny…owing to the passage of time you understand!
    Thanks for the laughs!

    By Fred Bullock (12/06/2015)
  • Loved it Tess – Fancy having the wit, the industry and the foresight to keep a diary. They got rid of me at the end of the fifth form ( I was a disappointment to them) I do have some very good memories but also not so good and with hindsight, the school was a disappointment to me. Still wondering about the rabbit – I hope it wasn’t meant for dinner

    By Jane Fiddian (02/06/2015)
  • Fred, if you happen to read this again (now end of May), I’ve managed to obtain a copy of my book for you.

    By Tess Taylor (25/05/2015)
  • Hi Tess Taylor, I really enjoyed your book on growing up in Campden, even though I grew up over the hill in Blockley…keep up the good work.
    Phil Meredith

    By phil meredith (13/04/2015)
  • Fred, it was great to talk to you last night, all the way from Athens – my grandchildren roll their eyes when I tell them that we didn’t even have a land-line when I was growing up! (It was partly why I wrote my book, as a record for them.) These days, they are permanently attached to their mobiles. If you let me have your e mail address, I can let you know should one of my books turns up in a charity shop or wherever
    , otherwise I perhaps could e mail you the script tho’ that’s without photographs. I’m busy researching old Evesham Journals & posting articles on the wesite. All the best & I forgive you for letting my tyres down all those years ago! Tess

    By Tess Taylor (22/03/2015)
  • Tess,
    Looking in at this Alma Mater site, I was delighted to come across your diary from our time at CCGS together some 50 plus years ago, and to see that I was ‘mentioned in dispatches’ no less than four times (one, honourable!) It made my day!
    Remember it was Oscar Wilde who once stated…’the only thing worse than being talked about, is not being talked about’!
    Thanks for the memories, and kind regards from Athens.
    PS. As your photo testifies, you were always a Smasher!

    By Fred Bullock (13/03/2015)

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