Blackburne House High School

(for the daughters of gentlemen)

Remember, I was only eleven,
And that building scared me to death.
The first time I went through the doorway
My body was short of a breath.

The hall had a great marble staircase,
Big banister shinny and brown,
Which, on a ‘dare’ in my future,
I once or twice got to slide down.

The bell was the size of a cauldron,
Placed at the top of the stair.
The temptation to ring it, enormous
When ‘sent out’ from lessons or prayer.

The geography room had a blackboard,
Which revolved with a vertical crank
Between the floor and the ceiling,
And begged to be part of a prank.

Miss Thomas, drew maps, we conspired,
While she tried to show us The Cape.
The ‘bothersome’ child there behind it
Had her maps going all out of shape.

I wish now I’d paid more attention
And thought what I wanted to be.
The others could afford to be foolish
‘Cos they were all cleverer than me.

So take this advice from an old girl
Whose hair is now tatty and grey.
What you become in the future
Will depend on what YOU do today

By Jean Neale