Oxton Flyer

I guess that we all think that we can recall the happenings and feelings on the first day at big school and certainly I thought I could but in practice the details are sketchy and only a few stood out. Here are my personal recollections:-

A cool windy morning and I seemed to be a long time since my Dad woke me up but its still only eight o'clock: I have been on one bus and would catch 3 more that day and every day to come. I had been too excited to eat very much but did have some tiny Mars Bars in my pocket. Our Brian (my brother and he went to Brunts School in Mansfield)) pulled my leg unmercifully about these as there was an advert on the telly that went 'Mars made to make friends'.

The next bus was the Oxton Flier, reputedly the oldest bus kept especially for the school run. My choice of seat was bad and met with chants of 'off sprogg'. I quickly moved but then I lost my cap and was reduced to crawling on the floor to get it back. I would learn fast after this and I didn't talk to anyone until the bus got to Southwell. My bag and blazer seemed too big; all part of my mam's planning ahead. The gates were big and black and everything very noisy.

Remembered school register and a kindly master (think it was Mr Fox), loads of books, a desk that was worn and ink stained. I was starving by break and I was asked by a boy (I think he was a boarder because he seemed to know his way around) with dark curly hair 'iced, currant, bread roll or stickies'. Not having a clue, I said 'currant' and that was the first good choice of the day.

A lesson now (not sure what) and we were given a 'Rough Book". We were told that this was for 'Prep' (another new word) and taking notes (unsure about this). It was thick with lots of nice clean paper and no lines. I quite like this and thought of all sorts of things to do with it.
We were now in the hall for dinner with its long tables with big boys at the ends (these were prefects I was informed). There were ladies in white aprons behind huge containers and it smelt rather good. It appeared that some people were allowed to talk and other weren't so I kept quite just to be safe. After dinner we were in the playground and I was talking to a boy from Mansfield and this was much better. The afternoon passed in a blur and we now had some proper prep to do and I thought I would try it out in my new rough book.

Back home took two different buses this time going through Farnsfield and not Oxton. These bus kids seemed friendlier, or was it just me, and we even got half the prep done. I had not quite mastered the art of writing on the bus but I soon would do. Ate a Mars Bar and gave one away.

I got home at just gone half past five. Mam was very pleased to see me (as usual) and had a big plate of food ready (as usual). She wanted to know what had happened but I was too tired to explain so I said it was OK and added that I would be going back tomorrow because I had prep to hand in. What was the Minster Church like? Do you know I am not even sure if we went in on the first day.

A long day a long time ago now.

Written by David Padley about year entrance 1952 and through the eyes of an 11 year old.