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This article is taken from PN Review 39, Volume 11 Number 1, July - August 1984.

from On the Lookout C.H. Sisson
This school, where I spent the years from eleven to seventeen, was a building of brick and stone on two floors, on each of which was a hall surrounded on three sides by class-rooms and the like. There was a large wing, mainly of a single storey, where the laboratories and art-room were housed, approached by a corridor down which the boys used to yell 'Oil!' whenever the art mistress rang her bell. In the same region were the gymnasium and the junior class-rooms, a wood-work room and a fives court, the latter two in the subterranean world of their own.

The buildings were a tall island surrounded by grey small stone houses on three sides, while the fourth gave on to a railway cutting crossed by a footbridge, with a prospect of more grey houses beyond. I suppose the stone, relatively clean, was pennant grit, edged with Bath stone. Semi-detached houses of this kind, villas you might say, with bay windows, deface many acres in Bristol. They betoken the quiet respectability of the lowest middle classes, for the most part; they are part of the English social plan which has long made transition to the proletariat imperceptible. The school was entered by the boys on one side and by the girls on the other, so that they came in at opposite ends of the hall, and at each side was a playground, separate for the sexes like the other conveniences. The boys' playground had an old gun, or ...


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