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Class 5SS of 1979-80 academic year

Aston Comprehensive School

by Talib Abdulhussein

Hoima
I was born in Hoima, Uganda in October 1963 and youngest of eight children. I went to Hoima Public School.

My father passed away on 5 March 1972



I came to England on 29 October 1972, aged 9 years old as a refugee from the regime of Idi Amin with my mum and my 3 brothers and 3 sisters. One of my sisters went to India from Uganda. We were accommodated at the former Doniford Camp near Watchet, Somerset. I went to St Michael’s School in Minehead. Help was provided by the local WRVS.

We came to live in Swallownest on 4 March 1973. We lived at D’arcy Close, Swallownest. Our neighbours were very helpful to us and we become close to all of them. Our neighbours gave us clothes, furniture and the local church also helped us. We were probably the first Asian family to settle in Swallownest.

Swallownest Junior & Infant School

I went to Swallownest Junior & Infant School along with my sister, Tahera. Some of my other brothers and sisters went to Aston Comprehensive School (Munira, Mohsein and Samsu). The head teacher at Swallownest J & I was Mr Smith and I went to Mr Holt’s class. David Maw was asked to look after me. I also lived near David so this helped me in settling into this new country and also the Rotherham area. At school, I also become close friends with Mark Webster. My other teachers were Mrs Anderson and Mrs Prestige. After Mr Smith left, Mr Higgins become our head teacher.

School Class Photograph

I am on the front row second from left.

I have some fond memories of the school. I couldn’t swim and I was given armbands and ring by Debra Thompson. I learnt to swim at Sheffield Road baths. I remember that I didn’t go on all school trips so had to go to other classes on those days. I remember one school trip to Lincoln, to see a windmill, to see waterworks, walks to Smallage Wood, the sports day, sponsored walks, the Christmas do’s, the jumble sales, making kites, playing soft ball, hop scotch and making models. I also remember doing a project on The Concorde. We also all had pen pals in a school in London. The caretaker for the school was Mr Froggart.

Aston Comprehensive School

I went to Aston Comprehensive School in 1975. My group tutor was Miss Susan Moore. I was in Sherwood house group. My class was 1SS. The head-teacher was Geoff Lowe. The previous head-teacher was Mr Watson.

If my memory serves me correct, I had the following tutors:

1SS – Year Tutor David Green / Mr Lund

Mathematics

Miss S Moore

Science

David Smith

Art

G R Sykes

Craft & Design

Leslie Dring

PE

M G Pratt

Music

Mr B Kidd

English

Mrs E H Naylor

French

J Moore

History & Geography

C M Rowley

Craft

Mr Hart

RE

S Bufton

Home Economics

Mrs M Booth

Drama

Mrs J L Govier

2SS - Year Tutor Greg Long

French

Miss Holmes

Mathematics

Susan Moore

English

S Elaine Anson

Home Economics

Miss Gill

Woodwork

J Draycott

Music

Mr B Kidd

Drama

R Tomlinson

Geography

Miss M J McFarlane (Mrs Sanderson)

RE

E S Jolly

History

Mr Handyside

Science

David Smith

Games

A Holmes

Art

Mr D Williams

Metalwork

D Moss

3SS - Year Tutor Greg Long

Physics

D V Ing

Biology

Mr Saunders

French

Miss Holmes

Geography

John Lyon

Art

M Cooper

Home Economics

Mrs C E Brook

RE

Kevin Robinson

English

Susan E Frost

Chemistry

L A Robinson

Mathematics

D V Ing

History

P A Mills

Games

Mr Handyside

Metalwork

J Draycott

Drama

Mrs J L Govier

Music

Mr B Kidd

4SS - Year Tutor Greg Long

Mathematics

Mr Jackson

Physics

Mr M Coggins

Chemistry

Mr P Holmes

Design

Mr A R Hodgson

English

Mr J Armstrong

Geography

Mr A Holmes

French

Mrs Tomlinson

PE

Mr M Pratt

5SS – Year Tutor Nigel Poppleton

Mathematics

Mr Jackson

Physics

Mr M Coggins

Chemistry

Mr P Holmes

Design

Mr A R Hodgson

English

Mr J Armstrong

Geography

John Lyon

French

Mrs Tomlinson

PE

Mr M Pratt

Woodwork

Mr D Moss

Mr Wade was the Swimming instructor.

Careers Tutor was Greg Long

Soon after joining the school, I went on a school trip to Crowden Outdoor Centre. I still remember bits about this trip. I remember caving and abseiling on this trip. Also going on long walks in the marshes. Lloyd Allen gave me a piggyback as I was struggling to keep up with the rest of the gang. We also had the traditional 20-mile sponsored walk. I didn’t quite make the 20 miles and I think I surrendered half way.

It was traditional for former pupils of Swallownest Junior School to return back to the school at half terms as we broke up early. This was to say hello to the teachers there. However, after a few half terms had passed, we were all told not to attend the school. This was a shock to us as we enjoyed our pilgrimages back to the old school.

I seldom ended up in trouble at school being very quiet and shy but I do remember being caned along with all others – I wonder if this is done nowadays. I also remember quite a few of my peers getting into trouble for stealing the Queen’s Silver Jubilee mugs in 1977. I wonder what happen to these mugs and if they are worth anything now?

I remember school trips to Lincoln, Lathkildale in Derbyshire, Robin Hoods Bay and Scarborough, Chester Zoo & Rhyl, Chatsworth House, & Loughborough University. I didn’t go on any trips abroad.

My Trident work experience was spent at Tom Marsh Provisions on Rosegarth Avenue, Aston around May 1979. My supervisor was Mrs Gillingham.

1n 1980, like many others I didn’t got a clue what career to follow. I once thought about being a train driver, as I liked travelling. We had careers conventions at school and I was then inspired by a career in banking thinking that that is where the money was.

I felt I wanted to study more so went to sixth form at school but then after just one week left that and went to Rotherham College of Art & Technology. I thought I needed to broaden my horizons. I did business studies at college but my career in banking wasn’t looking promising at all as I was being rejected by all the building societies and banks so in 1982, I went to Teesside Polytechnic to do further business and finance studies. In 1982, after receiving qualifications I was one of Mrs Thatcher’s millions looking for work. After 14 months of unemployment, I got a job in the Civil Service and that is where I am now. Not as much money as the banks but it pays my bills.

So I have now approached 40 years old and organised the reunion of my class of 1980 at Aston Comprehensive. A friend of mine from RCAT came along as well. The teachers at Aston Comprehensive were asked but sent their apologies. However the former group tutors of 5SS Mrs Severs & Miss Troop came to the event along with Mr Severs. It would have been nice to have more teachers present and I think it will be the pupils’ turn to give them some detention. .

Some of the photos of the Aston Comprehensive School class of 1980 reunion.

 

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