Edward's Thoughts - Catacombs

Tuesday 9 June 2020

Still no sign of you cheerful noisy lot rushing around the school all hot and bothered after another hard break time of having fun.  How I miss the days of your incessant chatter and trying to pull the wool over the teachers eyes. That's what makes memories more so than all the lessons.  The corridors no longer echo to the sound of your laughter but only to the creaking of my old bones.

Recently the emptiness has made me think back to a previous time when the school went silent when it should have been shaking under your footfall.  It was way back in the mists of time, the early 1980s, for you a very long time ago but for me a mere second ago.

One morning some people came and told the school, we were not the only ones, it had to shut down and that the students and teachers had to leave.  So I was left pretty much as I am now alone and miserable.  During this time all the members of the community rallied around and made a plan to enable education to continue, very much as is happening now.

The school decided that lessons should continue during this time, the first to do so.  Some parents agreed to allow the lessons to happen at their homes and a group of boys would be assigned to that home.  The groups were small a maximum of 9 boys and a timetable of lessons was planned.  Teachers would then travel to these homes to give the lesson at the allotted time.  All of this had to be done in secret and people outside of school couldn't find out. 

The lessons were nicknamed the catacombs, as they had to be held undercover.  Can you imagine education having to be done in secret, very cloak and dagger?  The Old Edwardians helped out by lending the school a car so that staff could be supported by the school without their own cars being recognised.  People were scared of what might happen if they were found out.

I had some company at night which was lovely as I felt really lonely then, I was used to boys in school even at night.  The reason they stayed was that there was a fear that thieves may break into the school and damage me in the process.

Eventually after two months the boys were allowed to come back to school.  How happy I was to hear them run around the building laughing and planning their next capers.  I hope that soon you will be coming back to me and everything returns to normal.

Well I am off for my nap, please don't forget me and come back soon.

Sincerely,
Edward