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The Day Before Yesterday: 100 - A Tiny Sprat

...Rod was really annoyed. He had a small fishing line and spent hours trying to catch a fish, seated on top of the old wooden jetty. His patience was finally rewarded with a tiny Sprat no more than three inches long...

Gladys Schofield recalls happy holidays when her children were young.

We had two holidays at Mrs Hills' guest house, it was only a house really, as she could only take one family at a time. We nearly didn't get there at all the second time.

Alan now nearly fourteen, was playing tennis with friends on a large slab of concrete left over from the war years, on the waste ground at the back of the houses. The concrete was raised up from the ground. Alan took a step back while serving and fell backwards. He came home with his hand hanging limp from his arm. It was a bad break. His dad took him to hospital, he had to wear plaster for six weeks. That was one week before our holiday. He had to go the day before we went, to have it looked at, to see if it was set properly and it wasn't. They had to reset it again, the poor lad must have been in a lot of pain. He was allowed to have his holiday but if we had a problem, they had written instructions on the plaster, in case we had to go to hospital while we were away. He didn't need to take their advice as everything went well.

Rod was really annoyed. He had a small fishing line and spent hours trying to catch a fish, seated on top of the old wooden jetty. His patience was finally rewarded with a tiny Sprat no more than three inches long. He wouldn't throw it back, he wanted to take it back to the boarding house and ask Mrs Hill to cook it for him and sulked all day because we had to explain he wasn't allowed to do this and it wouldn't keep until we got home.

Susan was at a lovely age and her antics would keep us amused throughout the day. She liked to dress up and always wore a string of beads around her neck and took to carrying my handbag whenever she got the chance. We had a group photograph taken on this holiday, it tells it all.

Rod at this time had taken his 'Eleven Plus' examination and after our holiday we watched the Saturday paper for the results. The paper announced, owing to the high results of the exam, not enough places were available in the local High Schools and about forty children, whom had passed, would not be able to attend this year. As we had not heard if Rod had passed or not, I wrote to the Education Committee and asked if my son was one of those who had been held back. They replied "They were not allowed to say which children had been held in this way" but advised me to let him sit in the late developers exam in two years time. These children if good enough got a second chance at High School. I was annoyed and said "If my child can't go now, he certainly won't be going in two years time."

I knew now he must have been one of the children who they hadn't got a place for. He was just as bright as his brother. Rod didn't seem to care at all and was quite happy to stay where he was but I had seen enough children not getting a chance for one reason or another in my own childhood. I wanted mine to get every chance possible.

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