1970: Certificates, entrance exams and stamps.

Monday 18th May 1970

certificate severnside schools

Badly faded but it says:-

During Season 1969 -70 Richard Stedman of

Severn Beach Primary School has represented the

Severnside Primary Schools in the following matches

Severnside V South Gloucestershire

Severnside V Stroud

Severnside V Cheltenham

Severnside V Gloucester City

B.W.Watkins Chairman T.F.E. Griffiths Team manager

Diary for the day:-

School Assembly

I was given the certificate by Mr Griffiths. Chris Thompson and Ricky Hamilton also got one but I played all the games.

Morning – Reading in the library under the stairs on dinosaurs.

Break time – Football on the field

After break – Maths and free drawing. Clive Simmons drew tractors again. I drew football pitches and Eastville Stadium.

Dinner – Cabbage and gravy with meat. Ice cream rolls.

Raining – chess in class room.

Afternoon – Art lesson with Mrs Griffiths Drawing plants – boring

Test – I had to do a test for practice. Not interested but have to do it for my Mum.

Cricket practice cancelled because of the rain.

Home for tea.

Told Mum test was easy – it was.

Allowed to go to field and play football. Had to wait a long time for the rest to turn up. Practiced my batting with Lewis Clifford by the roller. Rain stopped play.

Mum made me look at the Evening Post adverts for school places.

Queen Elizabeth Hospital – No way, they have to wear dresses

Bristol Cathedral School – Can’t sing, so what’s the point.

Bristol Grammar – Would need to get a scholarship. Good for sports especially Rugby. No friends going.

Boarding School – No! No! No!

Played chess with Dad.  Might have to let him win one. I used to think he let me win but now I know he doesn’t. He just humphs and says he will be beat me next time. He says he has a big bag of stamps from work that he will bring home later in the week.

We were now at Severn Beach School. I was in the last year of Primary School. It was a brand new building with brand new teachers (mostly) and different ways of teaching to that at Pilning. We had Mrs Parker for a while and then “Toffee” Griffiths. He was Welsh, sports mad and quite strict. He was the perfect teacher for me at the time. Mr Tapp was the head teacher and very keen on getting music as a big thing in the school. I enjoyed the more relaxed attitude to learning. We had lots of individual work and projects where I could do my own thing at my pace. One day we would be singing Hair in the school hall, another day we would be walking along the sea wall talking about the islands that we could see in the river.

We had a good football team that, as I remember, hardly ever lost. Mr Griffiths was an Everton fan as was obvious by our royal blue and yellow football kit. When we played Pilning I scored six goals in a 9-0 win. The next time we played them Mr Griffiths took me to one side and said I was rested because of the District games coming up. He spun me the line that it was a squad game and that as I was now a centre half in the District side I should spend the game watching the way their team attacks. Years later, I was chatting in the Cricket Club with Harry Lewis the teacher at Pilning, He told me that he made an agreement with Mr Griffiths that I should not play against them the next time. Ricky Hamilton did though and we still beat them easily.

On another occasion we played Coniston School away. Mr Griffiths said that they had the best centre forward in the County. I would be marking Spencer Lee for the Severnside School team and this would be good practice. I would be playing centre half because being a good centre forward myself I would know how to stop him. My solution to the game was to follow him all over the pitch. Spencer hardly got a kick. We drew 0-0 with Coniston. When we played South Gloucestershire we also drew 0-0. I imagined in my head that I was Stuart Taylor.

For the District school games Dad would drive us to the games. Our away games were at Cheltenham and Stroud. Rickie, Chris Thompson and me, had discovered Chewing gum that had to be chewed before the game in the car but not during the game. The Cheltenham game was after school and it was virtually dark by the time we kicked off. Dad dropped us off and didn’t stay to watch. He went for a drive with Mum. The referee at Stroud was the famous referee from Stonehouse, Mr D.W. (David) Smith. I like to think he was practicing for the 1971 -72 cup final between Arsenal and Leeds. When Dad picked us up in the dark, we told him we won and we drove home in virtual silence, all the chewing gum had gone.

About this time of year we were looking forward to the next school. Patchway School had gone comprehensive and all of us eventually went there. Mum wanted me to look at going to one of the Bristol Independent schools. Her brothers had boarded and wanted me to take the exams. We all did the general tests that were described as I.Q. tests, all shapes and problems and I had to some extra tests on my own which I later found out were the common entrance exams. In the end I made it quite clear to my teachers and my Mum that I didn’t want to go anywhere other than to Patchway with the rest of the class. I my mind that was a lie but I didn’t want to put my family through a means test and to apply for a grant. I saw the school fees at the bottom of every advertisement in the Evening Post and thought it was mad to pay for an education and I was having none of it. I had played their game, won it and that was the end of it.

Dad would collect the stamps from the mail that came to his work. His patients must have very wide contacts, so too his doctors because many were from commonwealth countries. Every so often we would sit down, steam off the stamps and fix them with stamp hinges in the stamp album. Stanley Gibbons had a role to play in making sure we left spaces for sets. Our page, with Dad’s labels, is shown below.


 Also on this day:-

1980       Gt Horwood H LD 12

1983       MK City H L 6 2-0-6-3

2014       Kent

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