Fringe Box



Letter: Memories Are Made Of This

Published on: 18 Apr, 2020
Updated on: 19 Apr, 2020

From: David Redwood

In response to: Can You Help Solve Mysteries of Guildford Schools’ History?

At present, I am enjoying retirement in North Dorset, but with the enforced restrictions of Coronavirus I have been trawling the web for old and once-familiar places. So I’m delighted to have come across Richard Terrell’s report of January 20, 2016 because he and I must surely have met/played together at Holy Trinity School because I too was born in 1947. Richard’s descriptions of the school have transported me all the way back.

David Redwood with his parents in Mount Browne

My father was a police constable, first based in the Police House at Shackleford and I recall him taking me to the local primary school on the crossbar of his police-issue bicycle.  From there, he was posted to the police HQ at Mount Browne where he joined the dog section and I changed schools to Holy Trinity.

For a time, my mother took me to school but after a year or so I was allowed to walk there and it was quite a distance too but I enjoyed every minute, down Sandy Lane, past Coombe’s garage with all the swanky Jaguar cars lined up, then down to Flower Walk, Bury Fields, Porridge Pot Alley to Millmead where I crossed the river bridge, past the old sawmill over the road at Bellairs, up the flight of steps at Rosemary Alley then, passing the Castle Keep and indoor swimming baths to my right, l at last arrived at school.

I too was in Mr Gilmour’s class and recall also Mr Taylor, who took us in a ‘crocodile’ down to Shalford Meadows to play football.  Mr T also ran boxing lessons and once gave me sixpence after my nose was bloodied. Even now I cannot believe we had boxing bouts at primary school.

David as a Holy Trinity pupil in 1953

Other memories:

Playing marbles (I was awfully good) at the bottom of the lower playground.

The spooky air-raid shelters and Mr Gunner, the caretaker, who lurked therein.

My best mate Alan Boxall who lived in Millmead Terrace.

Reading aloud lessons in the largest schoolroom.

The Joke Shop at the entrance to the Castle Grounds.

Mr Brown’s shiny, black Jowett Javelin car parked daily opposite the main school entrance.
The delivery man in his Corona lorry who threw pin badges to us schoolboys to add to those already plastered over our lapels.

The small sweet shop down the cul-de-sac opposite the school where I’d buy my weekly Beano for 2d.

Swimming lessons at the indoor pool.

Weekly walk to the church.

Finally, I’ll mention that having married and with a family we moved to the pretty village of Pirbright where I discovered that my new neighbour Neil Eason also went to Holy Trinity. Even more unlikely but true, my wife’s niece Clare, is a teacher in the new Holy Trinity School.

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Responses to Letter: Memories Are Made Of This

  1. Richard Terrell Reply

    November 11, 2021 at 12:25 pm

    Hello David Redwood. I hope you are keeping well.

    Yours is such an interesting appraisal of our school days that you wrote. I am wondering, if together, we would be able to produce an another article for The Guildford Dragon NEWS?

    I enjoyed the details of your journey to school, your friend Neil living coincidentally so near to you.

    Though my stay at Holy Trinity was limited, it was so unique of my schooling, being situated as such wedged into a steep hill.

    I do go to Guildford time to time, with a nostalgic passing by.

    I too have found an original postcard of a class of girls posing with their teacher, dated 11th December 1908.

    Someone at the new school may like to add it their historic collection.

    I do recall boys playing marbles near the gate to the playground.

    The whistle blew and with immediate attention we all formed lines to assemble back into school.

    If I were ever to write a book (so many think of it, but never do), I would have to include Holy Trinity School. It had atmosphere – particularly on an ice-cold day!

    Look forward, if you are able to respond.

    Editorial team: Richard’s email address is:

  2. Sue Hawkins Reply

    February 26, 2022 at 4:34 pm

    I attended Holy Trinity School 1951 -1957, passing the 11 plus to go to the County Grammar School.

    I well remember the teachers and Headmaster Mr Brown. It was a jolly good school but I did not realise the school history went back so far.

    Mr Brown was a good headmaster, he encouraged reading, and joining Guildford Library. He also paid for the swimming sessions at the Castle Street Baths for the pupils, as the education authority did not.

  3. Richard Terrell Reply

    May 4, 2022 at 11:55 am

    I remember Mr Brown too.

    He would take us to what was my very first swimming lessons, swishing legs holding to the side, jumping in. It came to my turn to jump, Mr Brown at the ready. I didn’t know what was happening. I could not get my footing in the shallow end and instead I slid under, only to find my way up via someone else’s legs!

    It was such a shock, and even though I wanted to learn I never did for many, many years.

    There was just a line of cubicles around the pool for changing, I think boys to the left? What I was not aware of, Mr Brown paid for our lessons.

    Though I liked Mr Brown, I upset him when I forgot my football boots for games, more than once. So in assembly he told me that the next day I would get the cane. However, despite my fears of the first caning, little did I know, that the following day I would be on the move.

    In assembly I recall we would sing, Holy Trinty, Fire Down Below…”fetch a bucket of water”!

    Do others remember the large hoops in PE and the railings dividing the boys from the girls’ playground?

    I hope David Redwood may be able to still respond, as before (see his comment above). At the time I was in midst of having some serious difficulties, so my response has been delayed.

  4. Richard Terrell Reply

    November 26, 2023 at 10:00 pm

    Still, I would be most interested to hear from David Redwood, if he is well and enjoying his retirement, is able to respond. It is such an interesting article he wrote here, and prompts a few questions?

    If any pupil of that period would like to respond or can say how David is, that would be appreciated.

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