Memories of High Oakham School by Ann Topham (nee) early 60's)

I am delighted to read about my old High School in Mansfield – High Oakham. I was there for four years in 1-3 BR and then 4 A. I also went on the summer first trip the school organised which was to Switzerland in 1963 – it was really exciting as my first time away from England. I must have got the “bug” as I have since lived in six countries in total, including China and Thailand. These have always been with my husband and sometimes with our two sons. We are currently in Australia roaming the country in a caravan and love it.

I was in the play” Imaginary Invalid” and have wonderful memories of the whole experience. After the play the wonderful English teacher put on a social for us all in the play and we had the Beatles etc playing where we did “The Twist” dance!

I recall Miss Weddle who I found actually to be very kind; her bark worse than her bite especially when she told me, in no uncertain terms to stop messing around in class and apply myself as she believed in me. She gave me the courage and confidence to do that.

Mr. Boyce was there for the final year. Mr. Hutchinson was my form teacher in 4A and I had a lot of respect for him. I think of my years at High Oakham with great fondness and appreciate (now!) the discipline and respect that we were expected to follow.

I also remember Mrs. Reid the little Scottish lady – she lived opposite me. She taught RE and made the Bible come alive with her lovely Scottish accent! I loved History, English, RE and Homecrafts. I was useless at needlework and maths terrified me, especially Mr. Barker and Mr. Carter who would hit the top of the head of anyone on the end of the row – hence everyone clambered to sit in the middle of the row!

I have some wonderful memories of it all including sharing my spelling with a tall, very quiet, boy named Stephen whilst he shared his maths with me………ha ha that didn’t help either of us in exam times with our respective weaknesses! I would love to hear from someone who remembers our class mates. At 70 years in a weeks time it is good to know many of us are still alive! All the best. Ann Topham (now Shirleyann Butler) Shirleyann was actually my correct name which I have reverted to.

Comments about this page

  • Hi Ann
    I remember you at school along with Sarah Richards, George Wragg, Alwyn Carter and Stephen Sharp to mention but a few. My name is David Wragg and now live in Edmonton, Canada, after working in Saudi Arabia and Iraq. Seems like a long time ago. I think I still have a Bible from Miss Reid.

    By William David Wragg (06/09/2019)

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