Hello my name is Alan Dixey, I was born 7th June 1940 and started school when I was 5 years old in September 1945, like all infants. We started in the “Little Room”. When we 8 years old we went into the “Big Room” until we were 11, then went on to Sudbury Secondary Modern School.

The teacher in the “Little Room” was Miss Hunter who came from Long Melford. She had ginger hair and plenty of make-up and bright lipstick. As far as I know we did the normal lessons. When there was a thunderstorm we had to get under the desks as Miss Hunter was scared!

On entering the “Big Room” at 8 years old, our teacher was the Head Teacher – Miss Hawthorne. She lived in Bulmer Street in a rented cottage owned by Mr & Mrs George Rowe. She walked to school, were as Miss Hunter came by Rules Coach bringing children from Borley and the 11 to 15 year olds from Foxearth, Borley and Bulmer onto Sudbury Secondary Modern.

The previous Head Teacher was Miss Softly and the infant teacher was a Miss Luckcraft. I was told if the older boys misbehaved or Miss Softly couldn’t handle them she would send somebody to fetch the Reverend Pannell to come up and give them the cane.

In the “Big Room” as in the “Little Room” you started at one end and moved along each year. I can remember the teacher being not being to strict but firm. Once I was sitting nearly opposite Miss Hawthorns desk and the telephone rang for the first time, it made me jump.

The “Big Room” cloak room and sink was outside the back door, whilst the “Little Room” cloak room and wash stand were in the entrance porch, and the toilets were down a path opposite Mr Rash’s garden. He looked after them and emptied the buckets on his garden.

Mrs Rash was the school cleaner and also the “Dinner Lady” serving us hot dinners from hot boxes which came by car or van from Halstead, ready for us at 12noon. We had our dinners in a rented cottage at the back of the school, infants downstairs and seniors upstairs.

Both classrooms were heated by big coke stoves with guards round them, where wet clothes were hung to dry. The water for drinking and washing hands came from a well in Mr Andrew’s gardens between the school and the road. The older boys had to fetch the water with pails.

The grass in our big playground was cut by Mr Spencer Coe when it turned to hay. We older boys used to break big branches out of the hedge to make huts like igloos.

Mr & Mrs Smith lived in the cottage nearest the Church. Mr & Mrs Steward (Geoffrey and Shirley) lived there until they moved up to the new “Airey” houses in Church Road. Mrs Steward worked for Mr Cardy of Kitchen Hill Farm.

Mrs Earl lived in the house nearest to the village hall, Mr & Mrs Bernard Rowe, Alan and Maurice lived in the middle one. The Andrews children David, Michael, May & Josephine lived near the school.

We all had to walk to school, Peter Rowe coming from Upper Houses came via Green Lane across the fields, but if wet and muddy he had to come by Bulmer Street. No taxis, 4 x 4s or cars in those days. There were only 4 cars on Bulmer Tye.

When I was at the school there were 70 to 80 children. The “Little Room” was the original school built in 1840 by Mr Alexander of the “Auberies”, which allowed 47 children to attend (1846). The “Big Room” was added in the 1870’s by Mr Burke also of the “Auberies”.

The school eventually closed in July 1965 and the new school was opend in Church Lane (the present site) in September 1965. Currently it has around the same attendees as in 1846, around 47.

Alan Dixey 2015