Memories of Hardenwick

Keith Johnson looks back on his schooldays

I attended Hardenwick School between 1936 and 1945. I remember JB Evington, his son Jack, and the St. Bernard dog! Everyone remembers the dog. Could there have been more than one? Classmates, no first names I’m afraid, included Bowes, Brook, Cadge and Twigg(Trigg?).

We lived on the West Common, so I would bicycle to school each day, taking the St. Albans Road (then A6), down the hill, past the Baa Lamb Trees, reaching the town, with Chirney’s Garage on the left and the street up to railway station (LMS system) on the right. On through the shopping centre, passing the Fist World War Memorial, on the left, along the (now-called) Luton Road, passing, I think, the cinema (a modern-looking building as I remember it) and up Townsend Road to the school.

Scattered memories include an upstairs room in the main building which contained an enormous plaster cast landscape; a teacher from Wales who encouraged us in group singing, and the low brick walls on either side of the entrance to the main building, over one of which I tripped one day, running in from the playground, only to wake up a few hours later in the Nurse’s room, with my mother in attendance, to be told that I had knocked myself out!.

My mother’s memory is of being told, in my final year, “of course, Keith will go on to Public School” It was a surprise. It had been wartime. There had been other things to think about.

Thank you, Hardenwick.

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