With reference to your recent article about Westloats Lane School in Bognor Regis, I joined the infants school, when I was four years old in 1939.
The infants and juniors school buildings were between the two senior ones. The juniors’ headmaster was Mr (Tommy) Clarkson and at the infants school it was Miss Nicholson.
I loved it in the first class. We had soapy water to blow bubbles with pipes. There was a playground at the back of the school with a sand pit. Every afternoon, we had to have a rest on little folding beds.
I gradually moved up through the classes and into the junior part of the school. I remember Miss Payne and Miss Chadwick and, in the top class, we had the best teacher I ever had – Miss Shilton.
Although she was very ill, Miss Shilton guided us through all our subjects for our 11-plus exams, resulting in a large proportion of the class passing the exam.
Most of my time at Westloats was during the Second World War. We had to wear our gas masks to school and they were regularly tested in the hall.
When there was an air raid, we went into the shelters – which were built in the playground behind the school – where the lessons carried on.
In 1946, I left the school to start at Chichester High School. I still have lots of fond memories of Westloats school…
Judy Barratt, nee Phillips,