Thursday, 9 July 2009

Eastville Junior Mixed School/ Combe Road School 1954 (2)

Neither I, nor any of my family members are in this photo'. The great Head Mistress, Miss Fenlon (of whom more later) is on the right.

What is of interest to me is the BCS sign on a building in the background. This is the Greenbank (Groceries) Branch of the Bristol Cooperative Society.

Mum shopped there when I was a wee lad. These were days of rationing. A store clerk named Percy would cut a couple of bits of cheese of the big cheese wheel (using a cheese-cutting wire) for me sister and me - defying the rationing.

Then Mum stopped using the store. Many years later I asked her why. It was because Percy wanted to have an affair with her! Now I understood the free cheese!

There are no Poveys in this picture. But you will see Miss Fenlon (Head Mistress)(L) and Miss Smith, (Classroom teacher) (R).

Each had an enormous influence in my young life.

Miss Fenlon introduced us to the big wide world, and she had us listen to classical music at even aged five. She would always adress us as "you people" - yes we were people and not children or kids.

I can still hear her telling us of some child whom she'd observed kicking a tin (can) along the street one morning as she drove to school. "You", she said, "don't want to grow up to be the kind of people who kick tins (cans) along the road".

We thought that we were very funny and clever when we would say "Funny Fanny Fenlon with a Feather in her hat"!

Miss Smith was my classroom teacher for two years. Because of the population bulge (I am an early baby-boomer) I an my friends did not move-up to the Junior School at aged 7, but stayed on at Greenbank Infants for two more years. We were assigned to a classroom in "the Big Boys School" (our building was attached to Greenbank Boys School - for boys aged 11 -16). Miss Smith taigfht us so much. Not just the three Rs. But we learned about the Olympics, the United Nations, UNESCO, UNICEF, and the fate of displaced persons (that's what we used to call refugees).

Miss Smith became a dear friend in later years. I learned to call her "Jean". She was a good Anglican, and was so proud that I, and another pupil whose first name was Ernie became Anglican Priests.

I would visit Jean Smith when I was in Bristol, and send her a Christmas Card every year. I have not heard from her in four years, so my guess is that she has passed from this life.

This undated Greenbank Infants picture is also on the Combe Road School site. My brother Martyn and I believe that it was taken in 1959, for there he is, to the immediate left of the classroom teacher. He would have been aged 5

This is a picture of Mr. Richards' class at Combe Road School, taken in 1954. I am second from the left in the front row. I "know" so many faces in the photo', but recall but a few names.

This was one of the happiest years of my school life.

And here is a cropped version of yesterdays Choir photo'. I am in the middle of this close-up, (in the second row of the full picture which I published yesterday).

10 year old John Michael Povey. So anxious to please, even at that young age.

And that has been both the bane and blessing of my life. I am, and have been "so anxious to please".


  1. Why am I not in any of these photos, I recognise Linda Coles and others whose names I have forgotten. Have

    you cut me off this photo?. I remember Miss Fenlon and Miss Smith who lived off Devon Road I think. I also remember falling off my bike after waving to you going down the Devon Road bridge. My name was Judith Pearce. Nice to catch up.

    1. Hallo Judith Pearce. I scanned the photo's I had, and did not cut anyone out.