Once upon a time there was a group of children who all went to one place together and shared their childhoods together. We as children all went to one school together and our school was called….Hillview.
The memories still dance in my mind. The stone faces on the wall in the foyet, the smell and the feel of the school mobiles, the excitement of being able to go and play on the school field on hot summers days and the magical feeling of going back to your friends house for tea after school.
I can remember the Alice in Wonderland painting along one of the walls in a coridoor.
I can remember the magic of being at School on dark nights because it was Christmas time and we was doing Christmas plays and everyone was wearing costumes. The school hall was in darkness just a spotlight on stage and all the parents sat watching. That hall had for me a strange feel on the floor and its own unique smell.
I remember the songs we used to sing. I remember the places and houses people from school used to live in. We lived in a generation at Hillview where everybody was raised well and had nice parents.
Life was simple and easy back then. There was nothing to worry about and you got to play with friends and enjoy life all day.
I started school in the late 80s. Seems such a long time ago now. Teenage mutant hero turtles and Ghostbusters was the popular childrens culture.
I can remember my first day and I was very upset. I didnt want to go school and didnt settle too great. I can remember one boy talking to me and on my second day in school I was ok and was met by this boy again. This boys name was Tom.
Unrealized by me over the years Tom was actually very talented and smart. He was a great drawer from an early age and I remember once when he was sat next to me and we had to draw a picture the teacher Mrs Price could not believe his cartoon art. I can remember it now and it was great. I dont think he was ever given enough recognition for his talents. From an early age he stayed behind after school for guitar lessons and did what he wanted to do without being swayed by others.
This was a great time where image didnt matter and people was allowed to be free as themselves.
My favourite classroom at School I think was the mobile classrooms. Especially in winter there was an atmosphere in them and it was different. It was more old fashioned in them and cold in the mornings until the old heaters came on. They had their own distinct smell.
Another friend I met at a young age was Chris. Chris was probably the cleverest person I knew at the time. He was smart and the most genuine person I have ever known. I walked to school and home again with Chris every day. Throughout early childhood me and Chris did everything together. I spent the most time with Chris as he lived close by and we was together doing something or other everyday.
I remember the excitement of a school night away when we was about 6. We went to stay in the woods for the night with school and I remember the excitement of this night.
I am not 100% but as we had all female teachers on the trip the girls stayed in the same room as the teachers but us boys was left to mess about unattended in another room. We all was messing about shining our torches around the room. The teacher came in and shouted mainly at Tom who was actually the innocent party in it all who was sat in bed reading a pop up kids book with his torch.
Andy was another friend I had from an early age. I went to his after school for tea more than anyone elses. I can still remember his old house and the lay out. It was exciting going back to his house. We played the same games and watched the same tv shows over the years. He was imaginative like me and between us we was a sort of pair of story tellers. We used to imagine events and scenarios. It was Andy I spent many dinners with indoors when he had hurt his toe and we sat in the school foyet next to faces sunk in stone which we seen as kind of creepy and exciting.
Another friend who I met over time was Greg. This added another dimension to my time at School and opened me up to more friends. Greg was a friend magnet and everyone wanted to be friends with him.
Once when we was slightly older a few of us had a fascination with ‘bloody Mary’. Me and Greg maybe was the creators of this new scenario where we went into the boys toilets and turned the lights off and said bloody Mary over and over again.
For some reason this became a regular thing and more and more of the boys from class came. At one point I think there was about 8 of us crammed in there doing it. How the teacher didnt notice all the boys missing from class I do not know. Even a couple of people from other classes sneaked over to join us at one point.
The stories which unfolded from this saga was immense. Someone claimed that the toilet mirror opened up and they walked in and someone else claimed they seen a Pharoah in the cubicle. These was magical times….
Political correctness didnt seem to exist in the 90s. For fun we often climbed on the steps of the mobile school rooms fire escape and hang off a 7 foot drop playing. It didnt seem dangerous and no one stopped us. We just knew not to do anything risky and you knew what was dangerous.
Once after the Christmas holidays I remember there was 4 of us sat on a table 2 people facing each other. Facing me was Andy and Matthew. From the ceiling in between them was a small drip which dripped slowly. The teacher put a bucket between them and it dripped slowly into it. But a day or two went by and the drip got faster and faster.
Suddenly it began to pour and we all shot to the back of the classroom. Then a part of the ceiling collapsed as lots of water poured into the class right about where Andy had been sitting. Had he remained he would of been soaked. The pipe had burst and water poured non stop from the ceiling and down the walls all over everyones work on the walls.
I wonder what happened to all them teachers who taught us as children lifes early lessons and the foundation of our education and futures.
Growing up in Hillview in the 90s was a great time. A time which ended too fast. I have known so many people since I was four years old and have many strong bonds and memories with them.
I often wonder of those children who are there now that do they ever know that we once shared their classrooms and playground and looked of the windows at the same views they now share and that we played for their football team. Do they know once there was children who used to walk the same paths and places home as they do now? Do they even know that we was ever there at all?
My time at Hillview and possibly my true childhood came and went in the blink of an eye, but the memories and the people I forged bonds and friendships with shall last forever. May the children of today enjoy their childhoods as did we….