Peter Marshall's memories and pictures of my school days

Picture of Laurence Burrows sitting on his bed. Later on they moved the chest of draws to the other side of the room and my bed (Peter Marshall) was put into the bay wildow area.

Laurence Burrows making a flying leap onto his bed!. Laurence reminded me that he had a nick name called Harold as in Steptoe and son

Go on a small outing somewhere in the school bus.
Standing left to right
Allan Perryman, Mr Potts, Roy Griffiths. Sitting ??, ??, ??

My Mum, Dad, Paul Hodge my sisters Lynne and Lesley

David Flemming, Peter Marshall, Clive Shipp

Left to right
Laurence Burrows, ??, Brian Goodenough, ??,Frank Bratt, David Burton ??

Terry Wills then my best friend photographed in the Messam's day's
sadly died while we were there in the early days

"I will never forget you my friend"

Terry Wills. If you look in the background you will see the outside bird cage.

My school days started at the old Victoria Home in Poole, Bournemouth (you can see two pictures of this on Peter Hewitt's page) then I went to the brand new Victoria Home in Bournemouth where I remember very clearly getting out of the van on the start of the new term and being so new I was the second boy to enter, Paul Hodge being the first.

I had a very short spell at Hinwick Hall in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, which I hated, so was then moved to Whiteness Manor in 1960. After my mum and dad had dropped me off and said their goodbyes and were hardly out of the driveway, I had my head beaten by the other boys in the school!! What a way to start!! When I asked them why, they said, "we don’t have any mummy’s boys here" so that was my first experience but very quickly made good friends there with whom, I will never forget.

I don’t quite know when the goat was bought, or by whom, but there used to be a goat, attached by a very long chain, to the old chicken shed by the Scott Hut, within the grounds of Whiteness Manor.

One evening, quite late, Matron asked Paul Hodge, and myself, to go down to feed the goat, because she had forgotten to do so earlier that day.

Well, this particular evening was bitch dark and there was no lighting to see our way through so obviously that was the reasons behind Matron asking Paul and I to accompany her. Off we went, along the narrow path, with a hedgerow on the left hand side. All was completely quiet until there was a sudden rustling sound from the left, which was made by my throwing a small stone into the bushes!! This made Matron purified of going any further, but was soon calmed down by Paul and myself. Soon all three of us were by the goat and Matron proceeded to feed it but, as boys will be boys, I threw another stone onto the shed!! Well, of course, this upset not only Matron but the goat as well!!! The goat then went, on his long chain around and around, in circles, around the old chicken shed but with Matron in the middle!! After several laps the goat’s chain came to a sudden halt, the weak chicken shed fell down with Matron laying, pinned down in a heap, on top of the walls and roof of the chicken shed!!! Paul and I thought about leaving her there but thought better of it!!!

During my years there I my parents bought me a tricycle which had two wheels at the front and one at the back. I drove this around the grounds for some years before giving it to Clive Shipp, replacing it with a tricycle with one wheel at the front and two wheels at the back, as seen on the photograph on Ian Brown’s page. A seat from a broken wooden chair was then fitted behind my seat in which Paul Hodge and I speed around the grounds tearing up gravel and anything else in it’s path!!!! Would you believe, in all my years of riding my bike, I never fell off once!!! When I left the school, I gave it to a Children’s Home.

On Allen Hoffman’s page he mentions in his memory that he thought there was talk about a swimming pool being built. This happened in later years and was opened by Mr Pastry (Richard Hearne). The water was nearly always kept at a very high temperature and all the boys had a superb time using it whenever we could!!!

In the Messam days, I clearly remember having to go out and lie in the sun for a minimum of one hour, where you had to lie on your back, with no sunglasses or sun lotion on, and you were not allowed to turn over or change your position for the whole duration. Of course, these days, that would definitely not pass “Health & Safety” rules!!!

On Guy Fawkes Night, we boys got hold of some of the fireworks and put these into the flint wall, in the surrounding area, then lighting them and trying to blow up the wall, but, fortunately, not succeeding!!!

I clearly remember walking in the dark, to the cottage that was located in the grounds, and into the garage, which was broken into two segments. One was Mr Griffiths’ watch and clock repair shop and the other was a radio shop, where we leant all about valves for radios. I had loads of valves, of all different types, underneath the table this; of course, this was long before the transistor radio days. In later years Mr David Gregg turned it into radio ham room and he used to transmit and talk to people all over the world but because of the very strict rules, no children were allowed to talk whilst transmitting otherwise their licence would be taken away from them immediately!

In front of the garage there was a three-wheeled vehicle, called “A Mechanical Horse” which was ancient! It would have to be crank started and the exhaust was broken. There were three very large cutters at the back, which the machine “towed” to cut the grass in the grounds but with a lot of noise. I found on the web a picture identical to the one at school but this one is in mint condition. It’s full name is called “Scammell Scarab : Mechanical Horse”. (click here)

Another memory I have was on Sunday afternoons we used to have to sit in The Hall (click here) on wooden chairs, reading a boring book from the bookcase for two solid hour not being able to talk to anybody in this time. B-O-R-I-N-G!!!! Good old days, eh?

When the Drage’s came to take over Whiteness Manor, as Superintendent and Matron, they sent their suitcases on ahead of them, arriving the day before. Well, the boys got into their rooms and took out one of Matron’s bras and put this onto the statue, which was in the middle of a small circular pond, on the front lawn!! So, when Mr and Mrs Drage arrived, in their Hillman Imp, Matron was absolutely horrified to find one of her bras being displayed on the statue in full view of anyone arriving at Whiteness Manor that day!!! What a laugh!!!

My dormitory was right above the Main Office. We used to use to go “fishing” by using a wire coat hanger, a long piece of string and getting something to throw out of the window to retrieve with our “fishing hook and line”. This was great fun until Mr Drage, one night, was working late and as we were pulling the article up and the wind blew it so it then kept tapping on his office window!! Boy, were we in trouble!!!! To see the locations of the dormitory (number: 13) and the Main Office (number: 2) (click here).

Paul Hodge and I used to go down, on a regular basis, down to the Scout Hut, where there were two pianos. I would play the grand piano and Paul would play the other one. We would then make up tunes, which was brilliant fun and kept us both amused for hours.

The Shaftsbury Society made a film of Whiteness Manor and the pupils. Unfortunately, I never saw it, leaving the school in 1968. In 1989 I phoned them up and asked if I could have the film, they told me that it had been thrown away!!!! What bloody idiots, lost forever. So in 2003 I thought that I would create at website in which to remember not only Whiteness Manor but also the pupils who were there, over the years, and I hope it will never then get forgotten.