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Millie Blower (née Kirby), Class of 1938

Head Girl, Lily, interviews her great grandma Millie Blower (née Kirby), Class of 1938, finding out just what has changed at CHS over the last 80 years. Can you remember your first day at CHS?

I don’t really remember my first day but it was all very strange until you got to know people. As well as our usual lessons we can get involved in co-curricular activities. For example, I really love Go club. I attend every week and travel all over the country to play tournaments. What sort of activities did you do alongside lessons?

Hockey and netball; that was all we had in our day. The boys were allowed to travel to cricket matches. Other than that you were stuck in School. We went abroad once when we went to France. There was an exposition in Paris that we went to look at then we went down to stay at a girls’ school. I can’t remember where exactly but it was very near to where the government used to stay. There were about 30 of us who went with a couple of masters including Mr Hoy, a language master. Our lunches are not just your average school dinners but are really good quality with lots of variety. My favourite food to eat at lunch is the tofu katsu curry as I’ve just gone vegetarian, and the veggie burgers are really tasty too. What were school dinners like when you were here?

Our food used to be awful. I think if you saw a sausage you only saw them once a week. I remember great big dishes with lemon tart and rice pudding. We had some awful stuff, not like you have today!

Talking about being a vegetarian my father was a very strict vegetarian. He was chairman of the vegetarian society for over 25 years which started in Manchester. Since I’ve been at CHS I’ve seen quite a lot of change with the building of the Sports Pavilion and the renovation of Holden Hall. What is the most significant difference in how the School is now?

It’s very different. It wasn’t as up to date as it is now although I guess it was up to date for the time! They’ve probably got more tennis courts now, we had about one netball court. My favourite memory of being at CHS so far has been the weekend that I went away with the School Council. What are your memories of your time at school?

I enjoyed school and I was always happy there. Maths was the only subject I didn’t like as I couldn’t do it - not like you, you must have got that from your Dad! I liked English and was always top of the class with Mr Baker, or Gumps as we used to call him. I also liked Languages, Geography, History and Domestic Science where you learned to cook. I’m on the Equality Society at CHS where we try to raise awareness about certain issues and also try and promote things that the School could be doing for equality. For example, we had the uniform rules changed so that instead of a boys or girls uniform we have a trouser or skirt uniform - I prefer to wear trousers. How was the experience for girls and boys different when you were at School?

You couldn’t wear trousers in my day. You had to wear a gymslip until you were older, after that you could wear a blouse and skirt. The boys did certain things differently. They did a lot of joinery with a chappy called Mr Alty, where they were taught to make things. They didn’t have cookery lessons like the girls. They played lacrosse, rugby and cricket and went away to matches. The girls didn’t get to go away. Next year I’ll be an Old Waconian too. What have I got to look forward to about being an Old Wac?

You look forward to carrying on the tradition of the school and coming back to see everyone.

Head Girl, Lily, with great grandma, Millie

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