Getting the cane twice in my first maths class
MADAM , – I would like to thank Howard Gorton for sending in the photograph of Cannon Street School in The Way We Were on Saturday, August 11.
I was surprised to see I was on the picture, back row, far right. It's 60 years ago and yet I remember every face in the photo. Sadly, not the names.
Most of them were in my class. I had moved house from Fenton to Etruria when I was 13.
I'll never forget my first day at that school. I was taken to my classroom, which was class 3A.
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The teacher was a Mr Foskett. He was the maths teacher as well as the form teacher.
There was a lad in the class named John Roden.
He was really good at two things, mental arithmetic and cross-country running.
As I was shown to my desk, John put his hand up and kept saying, "Please sir, can we have mental arithmetic?" – which we did.
I'd never done mental arithmetic before.
Mr Foskett, every now and again, would say, "If any of you get this answer wrong, you will get the cane."
With being a new boy, he let me off once or twice, but I still had the cane twice in the first half an hour of being in the school.
So I'll never forget my first day at Cannon Street School.
I've enclosed my leaving certificate.
FREDERICK SIMMONDS Meir Park
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