15 February 2003

Ullswater Barton School 2 Joey and Eddie

The first subject is Joey and Eddie. I’ve changed the names of both, as I do know at least one of them is still in residence locally.

Both Joey and Eddie were much older and bigger than us younger boys probably five or six years our senior. Joey spent most of his time with his friends and Eddie was usually elsewhere but when the pair came into contact with each other there was trouble. Joey would bully Eddie unmercifully. We younger boys would stop our activities and watch in fascination. Joey would start by name calling Eddie with no reaction from Eddie; this would progress to punching by Joey and usually with no further reaction from Eddie except by cowering. This seemed to drive Joey into a frenzy and he would punch and punch, harder and harder until Eddie was in tears.

Complaining to the teachers had not much effect, I recall the head teacher after one beating saying to Eddie “hit him back, you’re big enough”. Eddie never did. This went on until both left school at fourteen, the school leaving in the 1940s.

Schoolyard fights in those days were part of growing up and unless blood was drawn most teachers ignored fights. Bullying was looked on in a different light in those days, much different than in today’s schools.

One boy lived next to the school playground and I used to envy him a little for his closeness to school against my two and a half mile trek each day. He was always the last one into class in a morning, he always used to wait until the school bell was rung and then he would leave home running. Out of his back door, down his garden and over the back wall, across the lane and climb the iron rails into the schoolyard by the Oak tree. The last pupil into class!

Next time The Evacuee's

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