82. Tricia Starts School

Kinsale Avenue School

In July 1962, when Tricia was four, mum and dad started making plans for her to start school. They went to see the headmistress at “Kinsale School”, in Kinsale Avenue, close to where we lived. There is now a Kinsale Infant and Junior School. The Junior School is part of the Wensum Trust.

Offered to Start in January 1963

The headmistress said that, all being well, Tricia could start at the school after Christmas, that is in January 1963. However, it seems that mum and dad were not happy about this and wanted her to start school earlier. So, just over a week after seeing the headmistress, mum wrote to the Education Officer, Dr Lincoln Ralphs, about Tricia going to school.

Dr Lincoln Ralphs

I don’t know if mum or dad knew Lincoln Ralphs personally but he was a Methodist “lay” preacher. I have assumed he was a Methodist as he was born to a Methodist family but the term “lay” preacher would have annoyed mum as, although this term is used in the Anglican church, Methodists call them local preachers. He was pivotal in establishing Wymondham College.

Looking at Other Schools

Three days after mum wrote to Dr Ralphs, dad went to see Joan and Paul Wilson about Tricia going to St Christopher’s school[4] with their daughter Karen.

Paul Wilson

I believe dad worked with Paul Wilson at the Norwich Union but they may also have been involved in Mile Cross chapel.

St Christopher’s School

I don’t know too much about this school or why mum and dad sent Tricia there. Perhaps it was to allow her to start in September 1962 when she would not have been able to start at Kinsale Avenue until January 1963 at the earliest. St Christopher’s was a mixed, private, primary school on George Hill in Catton, some two miles from where we lived. Apparently, it closed in July 2008 and the building, now called George House, was converted to housing. Based on comments on the Norwich Remembers Facebook Group. it appears the school was run by a couple, Mr and Mrs Adams, and then taken on by their daughter, Wendy, and her husband David Reynolds. They subsequently changed their names to Francois and Elena.

George House in 2022
Parking sign for George House

Following Up with the Education Office

At the end of July, dad phoned the Education Office but mum noted that they would not say anything yet. On 1 August, dad phoned the Education Office again but there was no-one there so he wrote to them the next day.

Starting at St Christopher’s

I am not sure what the purpose or outcome of this phoning and letter writing was but, on Tuesday 25 September 1962, Tricia started school at St Christopher’s.

Tricia in her St Christopher’s uniform
Tricia in her St Christopher’s uniform with grandma and me

On the first day, Paul Wilson took Tricia, Karen and dad, and they came home by taxi. Then, on the 26th, mum noted that Tricia only went for half a day on Wednesdays. The next day, on the 27th, mum noted that Tricia went to school with Mr Pointer but I don’t know who this was. On 14 October 1962, mum noted that Tricia moved into transition class. I assume this refers to school and not Sunday School, not least because it was written on a Friday. I am not sure entirely what this was.  On 11 December 1962, mum noted going to the nativity play at St Christopher’s.

Two Terms

Tricia only spent two terms at St Christopher’s as, in April 1963, just two weeks before her fifth birthday, she started at Kinsale Avenue school. In June 1963, after having had surgery on her toes, Tricia went to school in a pushchair. The next month, in July 1963, mum noted going to an Open Day at the school and, in December 1963, mum attended a medical at school with Tricia. In June 1964, grandma, Eva and Amy all attended an Open Day at Tricia’s school.

Tricia’s school photograph October 1963

Nursery School/Playgroup

At the same time that Tricia started at Kinsale Avenue, I started attending nursery school/playgroup at Hellesdon Community Centre. I was almost three and I went two mornings (Tuesday and Thursday) per week from 9.15 to 12.15. For this, mum and dad paid six shillings per week. On 17 December 1964, I went to the playgroup party in the afternoon.

Me at the playgroup in Hellesdon Community Centre in June 1965