Alumni remember their times at Peak School
Memories sent to us via the web site
The following quotes are taken verbatim from a film that was made by Sara Hawley, Peak School parent and journalist, to mark our recent 50th Anniversary celebrations.
MARJORIE BRAY 1930s
“I once was sent off in a sedan chair to school sports. This was because I had a fever and my mother didn't want me to go to school sports but agreed that I could go if my temperature was down. So I rushed to the icebox and filled my mouth with ice so it would be nice and cool for the thermometer. My mother knew quite well what I’d done so she thought that rather than walking over the hill, she’d send me off in a sedan chair."
DICKSON LEACH 1950s
“One morning, we came down to school and we were all told we had to walk carefully along the wall with our backs to the wall…. Of course, none of us knew why….When I got inside, I was asked to come over to the wall here and climb up and behind it there was an enormous python that was all coiled up on its eggs….a talking point for all of us for a long time.”
ROMAINE BAMFORD 1950s
“I remember every six months having to queue up for cholera injections and we’d go, form by form, in a line and the nurse would jab us one after the other with the same needle, which of course would never ever happen today.”
JENNI TINWORTH 1950s
“In those days, there were strawberries on Strawberry Hill, wild strawberries. They were never that big but they were exciting….and they were sweet and they reminded everyone of England so that was wonderful and there were barking deer on the hills.”
DENNIS QUONG 1950s and 60s
“What we used to do was, after school, we would explore all the empty houses and shells of the buildings that were around here… After the war, many of them hadn’t been rebuilt. The owners were dead or missing. …..Dotted all around here were air raid tunnels and the basements of old colonial houses that had been knocked down during the war. We used to go up into the bush area around all these houses. You used to pick up all sorts of kit left over from the war. We used to drag home bullets and bits of metal….We spent a lot of time after school just exploring. This was like a kids’ playground. We had our own castle which was the Hong Kong hotel [where the Peak Tram is now] As kids it was fabulous fun….not so much school. It was after school.
The school’s changed a lot. It was much more severe back then. It was reading, writing and arithmetic. It didn’t really have the facilities it has now….I remember the desks and chairs came from other schools or were government cast-offs.…. We got a lot of stuff from the military because of the hospital and their facilities up here so we got a lot of soccer balls, soccer nets, cricket bats, balls and things like that from them.
When I was up north in the Arctic….this fellow walks up to me, looks at my nametag and goes ‘Quong….Peak School’. It was a fellow I went to school with here, 20 odd years before. He was now with the British military and he was up in the Arctic on some training exercise.”arrow
JENNI HODSON 1960s
“One of my strongest recollections, certainly when my classroom was up on the top floor, was of a girl who I recall now was called Jan and the excitement of the day was when we would go from the classroom, across the corridor to the toilets and she would take her glass eye out for us and we could all have a good look at the eye and the socket that was left behind and that really was pretty much the highlight of the day for us. I remember that sort of thing much more than anything that I did in class!”
DOMINIC HOWARD 1970s
"The headmistress during my time was Mrs Young, and I gather she remained headmistress for many years after my departure! My fondest memories of Peak School are being made to sit outside of music class (by Mrs Shields the music teacher) with my best mate, Roger Dickson (who is still my best friend), as we could not really master the recorder and just ended up mucking about. I also remember the playing fields up above the school where we had sports days and Roger, myself, Mark McMahon, Jamie McFarlane and a whole host of others used to play football with a tennis ball!"
CAROL HOWARD (NEE WHEELER) 1960s and 70s
"I used to catch the no.15 double decker bus to school and back. Various fond memories crop up from my years at Peak School. I remember we used to have assembly regularly, where we actually had to sing hymns - 'All Things Bright and Beautiful 'comes to mind! There was a period when the school decided to introduce cooked lunches and we all sat in this tiny room to eat it...there didnt seem to be too many of us who did this for some reason?? In a garden above the top playground someone was growing carrots and at break time we used to sneak into the garden and steal the carrots - they were small and very sweet. A miserable old gardener caught us and we got into so much trouble - Ms Young may have been involved. Ms Young used to scare me - just her look did it for me. But when she smiled her face softened and she even seemed perhaps a bit human!!
There wasn't an official bus stop outside the supermarket but the bus driver knew us so well (the same one every day) that he used to stop for us to take us back home.
The sports days were the highlight of the school year for me. At one stage I was the 2nd fastest girl runner in the school - can't remember who the first was. My dad used to always run in the fathers race and it was often a big competition between him and Janet Purke's father.
Everyday we had these little bottles of milk delivered to the school and we would have one each at break time. Yummy."arrow
COLIN SIM 1974-1980
"I too have fond memories of my days at Peak school. I remember how excited we used to get when we were allowed to use the apparatus in PE, playing crab football in the hall and always getting in trouble for putting our PE white socks on top of our grey socks to save time changing. I even remember that there used to be mint growing at the bottom of the back stairs from the upper playground. One very strong memory is of someone I know getting their finger stuck in a hole in the gate at the main entrance, I am sure Miss Young won't have forgotten who that was! They even had to call the fire brigade out to try and free her.
It is great that the Internet has allowed us all to keep in contact through sites like this. In 2003 Joanne Wareham, Charlie Woolmington and I organised a reunion in the UK for people who lived in Mansfield Rd in the 60s 70s and 80s. It was a great success and we now have our own website with 100s of photos, message boards and e-mails lists.arrow
MARK SIMPSON 1960s and 70s
"Peak School still holds so many very special memories ...Halloween nights in the lower playground, bobbing for apples ... Christmas Carols on the school stage, tying the girls' pony tails together(!) ... and the "Gum Shaw" sweet man who would be outside school everyday with his two huge baskets of sour plums. Lemon peel, sugar cane, sugar sticks and a host of other goodies...and the dreaded red & white inoculation cards ... I remember poor Annie Dunkerley and a couple of other girls always fainted when it was jab time ... Do you still have houses? I was in Nicholson, then there was Kellett, Cameron and Victoria ... Great school!"
For the record, the school houses are indeed still called Nicholson (green), Kellett (blue), Cameron (yellow) and Victoria (red).arrow
DAVID MOSELEY 1960s
"I was at Peak School from 1966-1969, flying to Hong Kong on the day that England won the world cup - not a day a young lad easily forgets. The three Moseley brothers Paul, John and myself were all at Peak School and were known as the "Football Family Moseley" by the football coach, Arthur Gayne (Gain?) ... due to our immense passion for the game and the school team ... [My brother] John was famed for taking the entire football squad out of school as a strike protest due to the appointment of a different football coach. Great stuff, although not deemed so by the Headmistress at the time, Miss Young!"