Character Number Twelve

And then there was Miss Ambrose or was it Miss Hales.

Whatever I may have accomplished in life, a lot of it was due to me getting my doctorate in Chemical Engineering. That was made possible by me getting scholarships but it was really due to the very first scholarship.  I was ten years old in 1937 and was, like all children from the twin villages of Ailsworth and Castor, attending the Castor School.  I was not a particularly good student and had spent considerable time “standing in the corner” for in-attention and talking in class.  I don’t remember taking many tests or examinations so it is hard for me to know how I rated with other students.  I guess you would call me average.  We had one teacher, Miss  Ambrose or Miss Hales who took more interest in some of her class than her monetary reward as a village school teacher would require or suggest and she had singled out me and a boy from near-by Sutton village, John Gathercole as being capable of better things.

When summer ended, John and I cycled to another school in Peterborouh and took the scholarship examination. I remember this being so scary, being out of our environment.  Two weeks later, we both got a letter telling us we had been awarded a scholarship to attend Deacons School.  As there was no school in the summer, our teacher had left to go to her home wherever it was, so we were unable to tell her the news.  We did find that she was notified of our success but neither John nor I ever saw her again. Over the years, I have made many attempts to locate her and let her know that her extra-curricular efforts were rewarded.  This in-ability has remained on my conscience ever since and maybe writing it all down will help me feel better.

Note. A relative of mine, Graham Oliver went to Castor School about the same time as me and he did a little research and found the two teachers names for me and I appreciate his effort.

2 thoughts on “Character Number Twelve

  1. The original school is still there along with two later additions,it’s good we both attended the same village school,and to become related through marriage later in life.


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