I have wanted to write down the following for many years, because it has affected me in many different ways.

When we returned from Singapore in October 1966, after living in Changi, my dad was posted to Boscombe Down. My parents rented a house in the village of Charlton in Andover, and I was duly sent to school.

Playtime was great as the school had a real steamroller, fire engine, caravan and best of all an old Avro Anson. Being plane mad, my priority was to be the pilot as often as I could!

Unfortunately, the lessons were not quite so good.

On one occasion, not long after I had joined the school, we returned to the classroom after PE to change back into our uniform.

As I remember there was quite a lot to put back on being winter, which I was not used to.

The young teacher became very impatient and informed us sternly that anyone not dressed after her countdown would have to undress and dress 10 times and go to the front of the class in their underwear.

Guess who was last? I only had my sock and shoes to put on, which fresh from the tropics, I was not used to, but she made me go through the trauma of undressing and dressing in front of the whole class. I was very upset and embarrassed and the other children asked her to stop, but she wouldn’t.

I have never forgotten that episode of what she made me do and the trauma has stayed with me all of life.

I also remember that she was mean to a disabled girl on other occasions. It’s a shame I can’t remember the teacher’s name, but I hope she didn’t last long in her post.

Needless to say, I did not stay at the school for long as we moved to Salisbury, where I went to a quaint little school in Stratford-sub-Castle.

Can you just imagine if something like that happened today and the hoo-ha which would ensue?

Diane Mellor 

North Wales

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