Christmas Giving

It was Christmas 1956, just after the time of the Suez crisis,
the weather was very dull. Someone suggested
we give a Christmas tea for the elderly people of the parish.
I was Head Girl so it fell to me to organise.

I enjoyed doing that.

Not many people had cars, and those that did, well, petrol was rationed,
so we had to invite just the people nearby.
Carol singing and collecting out in the streets raised money for the tea.
We provided a Christmas treat for fifty, all in the school hall.

It was quite something special.

At the end of the afternoon, we played games –
guess the number of peas in a pot and other things like that.
One of the prizes was a hundredweight of coal
given by somebody’s father.

Imagine that, a hundredweight of coal!

Contributor: Madelaine Smith is the manager of the Winchester Poetry Festival, and this year also managed the Winchester Science Festival. This may seem odd, but to quote Doctor Who, “Physics, poetry… same thing”. However while Madelaine has had a range of poetry published in journals and online, she has never written a scientific paper in her life.

Source: Words rearranged from an Interview with Janet H discussing Janet’s memories of attending Danemark School in Winchester for the St. Bede Centenary Project in 2012. Janet attended the school 1952 – 1957. For her final year she was Head Girl.

Image: snty-tact (Talk)

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