By Michael J. Gething, Lindsay T. Peacock

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We were never allowed out of lessons to go to the toilet; we could only go at break times or lunchtime. Occasionally, children who’d tried desperately hard to put off going until break time, lunchtime or home time, had an accident. If by any chance someone had diarrhoea, we all knew about it. After all this time, I still remember the name of the girl who was sitting next to me when she had a severe bout of diarrhoea. We all had to leave the room while the caretaker threw sawdust on the floor, before he cleaned up the area with disinfectant.

In the archways over the main doors, clearly carved into the stone, were the words ‘Infants’ and ‘Juniors’. Inside the school, the classrooms were linked by a series of heavy, dark brown sliding wooden screens. Glass panels were set into the screens just above our head height, so that the teachers could see between the classrooms but the children could not. The school caretaker took tremendous pride in ‘his’ school, and kept the wooden screens highly polished and shiny. The room always smelt of wood, polish and warm bodies.

The badge across the boot of this car spelled out ‘Princess’ in elegant chromium letters. Mr Platt was an alderman and the wealthy uncle of one of my mother’s friends. I wasn’t sure what alderman meant, but he must have been quite important, judging by the size of his car. The rear compartment was separated from the chauffeur and the front passenger space by a sliding glass partition. The car had tip-up seats which meant it could take four passengers in comfort. One dark, wet winter’s night, Mr Platt gave my mother and me a lift home from a concert in the Princess.

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RAF Air Power Today (Warbirds Illustrated 25) by Michael J. Gething, Lindsay T. Peacock

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