In the black and white days of the 1950’s schools made youngsters learn and learn well or else,
Uniforms were as important with short trousers and knee length grey socks with elastic garters,
Garters would get so tight they left impressions on legs that took ages to stop legs itching,
We sat on wooden desks with ink wells in the corner, wooden pens with removable inky wet nibs.
Every single day my hands would be covered in ink no matter how hard you scrubbed it stayed,
We began our ten year education reading Janet and John books, and others not allowed today,
Girls wore grey pinafore dresses and blue knickers, we knew as they always played hand stand,
Playgrounds, black tar with chalked hopscotch grids and in the grass puttyholes for marbles.
In the London schools there was sometimes thick smog a thick fog mixed with smelly pollution,
Each morning before we left to go to school we were given a huge spoonful of malt with cod oil,
Disgusting, a big spoon shoved in my mouth, gagging as it was wiggled about bashing my teeth,
Discipline was tight the cane was used often, lesser offences a beating from the big slipper.
Never knew why it was called the slipper because it wasn’t a slipper it was a shoe and it hurt,
In class and I was fiddling with something and not paying attention I got a rap on my knuckles,
When not expecting it, out of the blue a whack was a painful experience and the class giggled,
The edge of a wooden ruler covered in ink made the back of your hand go red with a white line.
Then it was the dreaded times tables a teacher would randomly spit out a question and stare,
What’s 7 x 9 boy? The pressure of the stare and the stick patting his palm made me forget,
Stand in the corner boy, I will deal with you later, so for the rest of the lesson I worried,
Hands up on my head, my arms heavy aching, waiting for a portion of punishment what would it be.