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
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
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.