Laindon County Secondary School

Swimming Certificate 1965

By John Grant

Just found my 25 yard swimming certificate dated July 1965, signed by the PE Mistress P I Carter and the Headmaster Mr W Day, The thing is where did I go swimming to get this certificate? I cannot remember, was it at Laindon County Secondary School or at Hutton Poplars, where most pupils used to go for their swimming lessons before our school had a swimming pool built?

I can remember many of us going for a swim in the school`s newly built pool before lessons started, unsupervised with no teacher in attendance, first one in or thrown in, broke the ice on cold days, great fun all the same.   

Is there anybody else with memories of the school pool?

Lastly, the name of the school on the certificate “Laindon County Secondary School” I always remember our school as “Laindon High Road School” lost on that one?

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Laindon County Secondary School' page
This page was added by John Grant on 23/04/2014.
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I don't recall these swimming certificates, not that I would have ever have earned one as I still cannot swim. I do however remember the little ribbons that were awarded for doing the width (yellow) or the length (red), these would be sewn on to ones swimming trunks. I never achieved either of these as it was deemed a fail if completed underwater, which I could manage. I only ever got to use the school pool once after it opened even after contributing my 6p every week for ages. My swimming lessons were conducted at Hutton residential school, where we would be bussed to occasionally.

On the topic of school sports, I couldn't find Mr Mundy on the 1958 school photo, but did find Mr Gilchrist there. As a less than keen sports person, I had, unsurprisingly, several run-ins with both of these P.E. Teachers. I told Mr Mundy that I would not play hockey as it was a girls game, he convinced me otherwise by cracking me across the shins with a hockey stick. I still didn't play as I was finding it difficult to walk after that.

Mr Gilchrist had all us boys up the field for football practice. Stood round in a large circle with him in the centre, he took it in turn to throw a medicine ball to each of us for us to chest trap. Now I was quite a puny young thing and was convinced that the medicine ball, which was rather heavy, would either hurt or knock me over. Imagine how upset this made the teacher when I rather niftily sidestepped and let the ball go sailing pass me. Yet another visit to Mr Woodward's office with yet another defaulters slip. I only liked running and cross country as they didn't involve chasing after a ball. Even today I don't like any ball sports, partaking or spectating. Maybe if someone comes up with a way to fit an engine in the ball I might take an interest. 

By Donald Joy
On 07/12/2016

When my children went there during the eighties, it was known simply as 'Laindon School'.

By Nina Humphrey(née Burton)
On 23/04/2014

On the Honours Certificates the heading was Laindon High Road County Secondary School. On the blue report books it says High Road Secondary School Laindon Essex. Any more variants ?

By Richard Haines
On 23/04/2014

I remember the pool being built.  The fund raising began in 1958/59 when I was in the second year.  We needed to raise £1,000 to build the school’s swimming pool.  With the agreement of our parents, all pupils paid one shilling a week for a year.  We each had our own payment book.  The pool was completed and we were able to use it in 1960, although at that time is was ‘open air’.  A roof way added a few years later.

The full name of our school was Laindon High Road County Secondary Modern School.  However, we preferred to call it ‘Laindon High’.     

By Nina Humphrey(née Burton)
On 23/04/2014
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