Jane Portman nee Barton

My Brief Memories of Ullenhall

I can remember my time at Ullenhall Junior & Infant School as being a happy time. My teacher Miss Barrett always walked around on tiptoes and one look from her as she peered down from the heavens (or so it seemed) made you sit up straight pay full attention and not dare to move a muscle.

I can remember hours and hours of practice dancing around the Maypole, firstly imagining the pole and ribbons and doing our best to create this wondrous “Spiders Webb” which of course we couldn’t see and then finally being given the real thing to practice with. I felt sorry for the poor person who spent the whole lesson clinging on to the pole and standing on the base in the middle, so that it did not fall over.

I can remember dressing-up as a Christmas Cracker for the fancy dress competition. My mother had me encased in this huge roll of cardboard that she had covered in bright yellow crepe paper and pinned a huge pink frill around my neck and feet. I was then expected to make my way up this grass bank outside the Vicarage to be judged in all my glory. Needless to say, it took me several attempts to mount this bank because of the tight roll of cardboard wrapped around my legs. After rolling back down the bank quite a few times I made it, leaving the way for my brother to follow in his bright red cardboard Petrol Pump outfit!

Another thing I can remember is Miss Sparrows Post Office shop. Some of the village children knew the layout of the shop and the fact that she kept items not commonly asked for in a little room at the back. On occasions the children would go in and say there mum had sent them to buy some shoe laces or pump whitener (which they knew was kept out the back) and when Miss Sparrow went to get them and was out of sight, little hands dipped into the box of Black Jacks and Fruit Salad sweets. All that could be seen on Miss Sparrows return was an empty shop and the door banging shut as the children ran off down the road.

One final thing I can remember is I lived about 2 miles out of Ullenhall and so I shared a taxi with some other children to School. If ever I missed the taxi, the local Postman (Mr Goldthorpe) would bundle me in the back of his Post van and deliver me right to the doorstep of School. Thank heavens for Royal Mail.

Jane Portman nee Barton