MORNING ASSEMBLY & PRAYERS



At the start of the school day, at least for Day Boys, we went in through the dingy boiler room at the back and there was a dark corridor in the basement; it was here that we hung our overcoats and caps but by going-home time these always seemed to have been jumbled up somewhat. An even darker flight of wooden stairs led up to the ground floor and the classrooms.

The Prefect on duty had to ring the heavy brass bell to call the boys to the area at the foot of the stairs by the Tewit Well Avenue door; the boys assembled in form order, pushing and shoving as boys will. Mr Cass then descended from his study wearing his black gown and clutching his violin with several Prefects trailing behind him like ADCs in the forces, and entered the assembly room facing on to Tewit Well Avenue. This was the room on the far right in the photograph; as mentioned by Ian Clark, below.

The Prefects arranged themselves behind Charlie and Mr Cass senior came along and plonked himself in front of the upright piano. When all the boys have trouped in, clutching their Hymn books, with Form 1 in front, the Prefect on duty read the Lesson of the Day and then the hymn number and the verses to be sung. This poor blighter had to step forward and glance at Charlie as the last verse started - the cue for Charlie to finish.

Mr Cass senior departed and Charlie then gave out any news, particularly any warnings to boys! Such as "so-and-so seen in town with both hands in his pockets!" On such occasions Charlie's normally smiling face turned into a fierce, red glare - something to definitely avoid!

If you had miss-timed your arrival there was no chance of sneaking into Assembly un-noticed: you stood out side in the hall and got a glare from Charlie as he swept by back up to his Study, his gown flowing in the wind.

By Ian Clark

The gym on the ground floor (Tewit Well Ave) ran the full width of the building and was also the Morning Assembly room. "Three in One and One in Three" is my most memorable hymn. I can still 'see' David Guest banging away on the piano and Charlie and Mik Kaminski (whose grandmother taught me the piano) scratching on the violin.


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