This club sparked my interest in photography and after the war ended, I found a supply of P.O.P. (Printing Out Paper) paper and chemicals and started making prints from old negatives at home. The beauty about P.O.P. paper is that you did not need a dark room. I could set up my chemicals (in soup plates) in the shadow under the kitchen sink. The negative and P.O.P paper were put into a printing fame to hold them together and the exposed to sunlight for a few minutes before processing. Roll film became more available and I processed that in open dishes in the bathroom which had been darkened with blackout curtains. The first roll film had a celluloid base with perforations along one edge. This was surplus from the RAF gun cameras, re-rolled with a paper backing for use with domestic cameras. To process, the paper backing was removed from the film in the darkroom . The film about 30 inches long by 2½ wide was developed by see sawing it through the solution for about 15 minutes making sure there were no dry spots before rinsing and fixing using the same action. Although I was never a great photographer, I have kept an interest over my lifetime. I got better cameras and processing equipment, built a proper darkroom, this processing cycle lasted for about sixty years when I switched over to digital photography with computers.
Gym classes were segregated, when the girls were having Gym, boys were on the field playing rugby. Conversely girls played field hockey while the boys were inside. From what I remember we only had gym twice a week. The male teacher was Jack Dormand, a local lad, a keen sportsman, who had once been a pupil at Wellfield. He left and went on to greater things as a Labour Member of Parliament and future Lord. He was replaced by a Mr. Metcalf, a former army drill sergeant, demobbed from the war, who was really a math teacher. He took the gym job because that was all that was available. The gym lessons became very regimented. He was an excellent math teacher as I found out later.
The only time boys and girls were together in the gym was at Christmas time when they attempted to teach us how to dance for the Christmas party.
I never had any problems understanding mathematics, in some areas in the early years I was ahead of the class. Being in a class in Trimdon which taught several grade levels, I had picked up math being taught at the higher level. I was not impressed by Mr. Goldsborough the math teacher of the early years, when Metcalf took over the class there was a vast improvement.
For five years we struggled through school, made worse by homework, which took 2 to 3 hours every night after school. This did not let us have much of a social life and it was not unusual to see pupils on the bus going to school scrambling to complete their assignments. It was at times a bit of a struggle since there was nobody at home that could help.
Meals were provided at school in a separate dining room. There were two sittings, the first for girls, followed by the boys. There was always a main course followed by desert. From memory the meals were good, each table had a senior boy (prefect) responsible for getting the food and serving it out from large dishes. The cook was a person named Sally who supervised the meals over many years and had befriended my brother Jim who spent a lot of time in her kitchen. Knowing I was Jim’s brother opened the door for getting second helpings for the table.