Alice Weedon

Interviewed 1/10/84

Alice Elizabeth Weeden         b. 27.6.05        24 Holwell Road

Born in London.  In lst World War when zeppelin raids started, stayed with Grandma (Ann Weeden) in Royal.O. Lane

Father Fredk Weeden died in London in 1916

Mother Elizabeth Weeden nee

Came to live in Pirton around 1917/18 when cottage became available in R.O.Lane

In lst World War children took eggs to school for the soldiers.  Used to write their names and addresses on the eggs in the hope of getting letters from soldiers – some children did.  (Certs given to those who took eggs).  Food was very short.  Harleys had a farm at Holwellbury.  Children were given time off to go and pick the fruit (strawberries) for jam making.  Also used to collect blackberries.  There were soldiers billeted in the village, sometimes in the school.  The Head’s cane was found in the belfry where soldiers had hidden it.

During the war, when men were short, boys could go in for a labourers’ exam when they were 12.  If they passed they could leave school and go to work.

When 14, (1921) AEW became a pupil teacher.  Taught 2 days per week at school and went to Hitchin to Pupil Teachers’ Centre for 3 days.  Training lasted 4 years.  The H.C. did not last more than a few years.  Exams at end of every term.  Took final exam at St Albans.  Then an asst. teacher worked as supply teacher for 1 year, then came to Pirton (had been promised this when a vacancy available) in charge of infants.

Second cousin Kate Dawson – PT under old system

1924  1st April.  Mr Housden – young, energetic, changes.  (Mr & Mrs D were alright but had a lot to contend with and they were getting old).

In 1924, the Unknown Soldier – Poem to “Unknown Teacher” in Child Edn.  She took this (you know how idealistic you are when you start) as her example.

After 9 years HMI report (copy) whole groups had passed through her hands.

Mr H started football (he was a single man) provided refreshments – bun, strawberry jam and tea.  Staff went Saturday p.m. to help with tea.  Won 2 shields – when they won the County one, it was flashed on screen at the cinema in Hitchin.  Last year, remaining boys had a reunion.

In London, lived in Finsbury Park – went to Tollington Park School (bombed in 2nd WW).  It was first higher elem school to be built in London.
Mother            Elizabeth Weeden

Father              Frederick Weeden died in London 1916

Taught 16 years at Pirton, then 13 years at Holwell.  30 years altogether.  Retired early to look after mother who died aged 90.

In Mr Bryant’s time, there was a tame jackdaw which belonged to Mr Thrussell at Post Office.  Had one claw, used to fly in through school window.

Mr B was O.K. but she preferred Mr Housden.

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