Thursday, 1 November 2007

Vegetable garden

I came across a photo recently that reminded me of the vegetable garden that ran down the hill from the gym/chapel to the Cottage. I think this was divided into allotments, some of which were maintained by boys as an optional activity. Some of you out there may remember more about it.

Vegetable garden

10 comments:

Alan Davis said...

These were still about when I started school. I recall that a drain overflowed out of an inspection cover and spoilt many gardens. They had to go anyway when the foundations for the new building were started in '76.
Part of the meadow between the cricket pitch and athletics track became the site for new gardens. Major Dobson would sell seeds to any boys wanting a garden.
Alan Davis

Jonathan said...

Athletics track? I don't think we had that in my day. Or maybe I just kept well away from it?

Alan Davis said...

Well in the summer it was! It was also used for football and rugby but was the only pitch suitable for athletics as it was long and flat. Assuming the main school building faced 'north', it would be in the 'north east' corner of the grounds. The meadow area I described was sandwiched between this and the cricket pitch.
The only time I ever saw it used for anything before it became gardens, was as a parents car park for the summer sports day.
Alan Davis

Jonathan said...

If I understand correctly, the field you mention (alongside the little tree-lined stream running into or out of the lake), was used in my time only for cricket in summer. Most of the routine cricket was played there; the main cricket pitch was used for more important games, such as inter-school matches.

John Morris said...

The athletics track was on the pitch down the hill beyond the Angus's bungalow so to speak. And slightly to the north. There were sandpits for long jump and high jump and a hut full of hurdles etc. I think the hurdles had been made by the boys as I remember occasionally having to mend them with Mr Flood during carpentry. Mr Flood also used to get boys to help him mark out the white lines for the running track, and we had to do the calculations to work out what the radius of the curves needed to be. It was all imperial even up till the time I left in 1973. So I think the track was 220 yards with two 75 yard straights.
It was definitely not level. Boys I met outside Stouts Hill who had played football or Rugby matches against Stouts Hill always made uncomplimentary remarks about the slope.
A new level pitch was therefore added in the early seventies between the new buildings and the big cedar tree, chopping one of the tennis courts in half in the process. I remember gangs of boys being roped in to spend their free time removing all the stones from it by hand before the grass seed was sown.
The main cricket field was indeed for proper matches, but I bowled on it during coaching and practice games. (And I was rubbish)

Jonathan said...

Thanks for the info, John.

In my time, the Anguses' bungalow had yet to be built, though I suppose construction must have started not long after I left.

Julian Williams 1962 - 1968 said...

Jonathan you must remeber sports day? It was during the summer term and the Athletics track was where we usually played cricket in summer and football and rugger in the winter. I remember Mr Flood being involved in the long jump and the sand pit.

We all had to wear our house colours, bit of ribbon pinned to our whites - yellow for the wasps, blue for the kingfishers, green otters and red panthers

Somewhere I have a cine film of the fathers race. It would be fun to make a digital copy and put it on this blog.

Jonathan said...

Sorry, Julian: Sports Day seems to be another blank in my memory -- perhaps because I hadn't much interest in sports. And my parents would never have attended: they were in Nigeria. But thanks for filling in my blank spot...

Chris Hale 1961-4 said...

I remember growing lettuce and radish, and very puny carrots, in a patch here, together with another boy called Reece, I think. The slugs had a field day.

I also remember one occasion when someone managed to get a the prong of a fork (garden variety) stuck in their hand.

John Morris said...

In my day one of the better gardening boys put a fork through his wellington boot and somehow the prongs managed to go between his toes leaving him completley unhurt. It did of course leave him with the holes to allow him to fake the accident at will a few times afterwards to trick a few people.
A more drastic accident in my time invovled a boy mucking about with a fish hook and then managing to swallow it by mistake.