OUR LADY OF THE ROSARY AND ST THÉRÈSE OF LISIEUX

 
Stained Glass Windows, Our Lady of the Rosary Church
 

 

FORMER PUPILS OF THE ROSARY SCHOOL SALTLEY BIRMINGHAM

SCHOOL LEAVING YEAR: 1957


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Rose King nee Reilly (former pupil)

  • Left School: 1957
  • School friends I remember: Theresa Roach, Ann Moore, Ann Phellps, Violet Burns, Philomena Ray and my best friend Mary Deery, Robert Kilroy
  • Teachers I remember: Sister Joseph, Mrs Morrell, Mrs Grant, Brother Nilus, Miss Powers, Sister Margaret

 

My name is Rose King nee Reilly, I started the Rosary school in 1947 and left at fifteen in 1957.

The head of the Infant and junior school was Sister Joseph, a very strict and slightly aloof nun whose bark was worse than her bite. She always seemed very manly to me but I think that was probably because of her name.

The only teacher I can remember clearly from my very early days was Mrs Morrell, she was very religious and always taught us that straying from the right path would bring down fire and damnation upon us. We learned more about hell from her than anyone else. I remember her telling us that it was a mortal sin to touch the private parts of our bodies and an even worse sin to let anyone else touch them!

I spent some time in hospital when I was in her class and she very kindly wrote to me.

At around six or seven we had our first communion and I have a group photograph of all of us sitting on a bench in the playground. I remember it was a very cold day and I couldn't stop shivering.

In the junior school the teacher who stands out in my mind was Mrs Grant, she was a strict, volatile lady who shouted a lot, was very free with the cane and regularly screamed that we were, "All little gutter snipes!" I spent the entire time in her class in fear and trepidation.

The head of the Senior school was Brother Nilus, a very approachable but serious man who always seemed to be rushing around.

In the senior school I remember a particular male teacher (but at the moment don't recall his name), who whacked me across the palm of my hand with two rulers held together with a rubber band, for talking in class. It was the only time in all of my school days that I was ever reprimanded.

I remember our PE teacher, Miss Powers. She had shoulder length blonde hair and was usually flirting with the male teachers. She always wore a camel coat, indoors and out, she even wore it walking around the poolside when teaching swimming. I only remember her wearing shorts once that was on a very hot day, we were doing PE in the school hall.

The boys did Science and Woodwork while the girls had Sewing, Cookery and Domestic Science. Sister Margaret taught us cookery and domestic science, the cookery we enjoyed but as the domestic science sometimes included washing her underwear we weren't so keen!
Sister Margaret was a sweet old nun who liked everything to be "up-lifting" and providing we were godly she was happy.
She used to get us making toffee to fill the bottom of small paper cake containers and then sell them for one penny each to the children in the playground.

Another teacher I remember was Mrs Kelly, she was refined, very quiet and never lost her temper. She was always immaculately dressed with never a hair out of place. She was one of my favourites.

My third year teacher was Brother Bede. He was I think a very good teacher, approachable with a good sense of humour, he often teased us and had a twinkle in his eye.

My last teacher was Mrs Trow, another lady who's bark was worse than her bite but as Senior Mistress she regularly dished out punishment, including the cane, to girls in the school for various wrong doings.

When I was in my last year at school I was considered to be reliable and trustworthy consequently I was given many tasks. Taking younger children by bus to the school clinic to see the nurse, doctor, dentist etc when their parents either couldn't or wouldn't take them. Doing errands for the teaching staff which included shopping. Looking after the office when the secretary was absent, answering the phone and taking the dinner money. Acting as escort for nuns, as they were not allowed out alone I had the job of collecting them from the convent in Highfield Road and taking them to the dentist, doctor, shops, school etc.
I also helped the dinner ladies serve up the food at lunchtime for which I was given a free meal each day and 2/6 a week.
Considering the amount of time I spent out of class it's a wonder I ever learned anything!

Being a Catholic school obviously everything revolved around religion. I remember that if we passed an adult we had to salute and say "God Bless you", also if anyone entered the room we had to stand and do the same. We prayed before and after lessons and went to church every day either lunchtime or before home time. We had assembly on Mondays and on Fridays attended mass when we had communion followed by breakfast in the classroom. (Cold toast and cocoa)

Unfortunately I am no longer a practising Catholic, I think so much religion in my childhood had an adverse effect and although I sometimes envy those who do believe, thinking that it must be a comfort to them, I no longer feel the same way.

The names of classmates I remember are Theresa Roach, Ann Moore, Ann Phellps, Violet Burns, Philomena Ray and my best friend Mary Deery. There are many others but I can't remember their surnames. The only boy's surname I can remember is Robert Kilroy who later became MP then TV celebrity Robert Kilroy Silk. He was only at the Rosary for a year and was in Brother Bede's class with me. I remember him because he was one of the few boys with a blazer!

On the whole my memories of school are very happy. I certainly had a good grounding in education although I left without any qualifications. After leaving school I went on to further education and qualified as Nursery Nurse. In my later life I went to night school and obtained several GCEs including 'A' level and after a career in education eventually retired at fifty-five.

If anyone remembers me please write

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latest update: 11/6/04