Hear memories from our oldest living Sidcotian as Felicity shares her school memories from the 1920s!
OLDEST CONTRIBUTOR TO SIDCOT BUILDING TRUST FUND
Felicity Crump was born on 21st January 1913 and came to Sidcot in 1926, leaving in 1930. Her entry in the Register of Old Scholars 1808-1998, records an exceptionally full and accomplished life. Academic qualifications range from a Diploma in Social Service in 1936 through Teacher Training Certificate in 1950 to an Open University degree in 1983 at the age of 70. In parallel with this CV, is a full list of memberships and involvement in various environmental movements. All this was in addition to her family life with her husband and two children. Two of her grandsons attended Sidcot and married Sidcot girls.
What will interest Sidcotians are two aspects of Felicity Crump’s life; her actual experiences of school in the 1920’s, almost a century ago, and the beliefs and attitudes of a Sidcot education that perhaps led to the long and fulfilling life that she has enjoyed.
Primed by a list of standard bullet-point style questions Felicity has responded such that full quotation is the best way to gain an insight into her schooldays.
"I did not exactly enjoy my time at Sidcot – the food was simply awful especially Thursday FISH. My mother agitated with the school, the whole time I was there, to improve the food and succeeded in at least two things: 1. We each had a piece of fruit (no choice) for breakfast and 2. When I started we had ‘supper’ of dry bread only- she got something added to this – I think it was hot chocolate. I remember scrambling to be first in line going over for supper for a chance to grab a piece of leftover toast from staff’s breakfast. Staff sat at the end of the tables and we had to fetch their food which was quite different from ours. So, yes the food was truly awful and we were always cold in winter. We had no common room – only the classroom for after school and the big playroom. That said, I would not have missed Sidcot for anything. Bevan Lean (the head then) and Gerald Littleboy (deputy head I think) had ideas about education influenced by Bedales and another school near Glastonbury. Sidcot was then an enlightened progressive and ahead-of-its-time Quaker (strongly Pacifist) school ‘’
Under Bevan Lean and Gerald Littleboy the educational philosophy was that,
"Children should not be taught FACTS at school – life teaches you them – but should learn a love of learning for its own sake and secondly, school should be organised to help pupils to learn how to find out what they want to know NOT QUALIFICATIONS", "What did food matter compared with all that?"
A telling response from Felicity , is to the question of whether girls were treated equally to boys to which her reply was she does not remember ‘ever feeling they were not.’
That Sidcot has always been important to Felicity is shown by her continuous long term contributions to Sidcot Building Trust Fund – she is our oldest subscriber.
As summarised by Felicity - ‘’Of course all my life Sidcot influenced what I thought and did: SIC VOS NON VOBIS.’’
Perhaps you might consider following Felicity’s example by subscribing to Sidcot Building Trust Fund?