School life

The old St Marks School in Wyndham Road, photographed in 2014
John Palmer

Iris started at St Mark’s (now Wyndham Park) just before she was five.  Her dad took her in, but she asked to go to the loo at eleven o’clock and walked home to Park Street!  For secondary school Iris went to St Edmund’s which, in those days, was in School Lane opposite St Edmund’s Church.  Iris loved school and remembers the teachers with great affection.  She liked English and History and loved to write stories.  She cried when it was time to leave.

After the school day Iris and her friend would go swimming in the outdoor pool or if the weather was bad they would go to the library and read or borrow a book.

Because she lived near the school, in the summer holidays she would help to water the flowers in the school garden starting a lifelong love of gardening and flowers.

The children from St Edmund’s went to church every Wednesday in St Edmund’s Church (now Salisbury Arts Centre).  “Like so many religious denominations, people don’t go to church as much, and they weren’t having a large enough congregation to make the church viable. Hence we now have the arts centre.”  Iris’s Grandparents, parents and sister were all married in that Church and Iris was christened there.  “When I was christened my grandparents paid for a rose bush to be the border going down the side of the path.  But they have all gone now, of course.  Like me, I ’spect they’re too old!”

When Iris’s own children went to school, they went to St Martin’s and they walked along Rampart Road into St Martin’s Church Street where the school was, there being no dual carriageway at the beginning of the Sixties.  “Culver Street had the big dairies there Bemerton, or, Churchfields Dairies.  That’s where the depot was.”

Comments about this page

  • My mother, who is 90, went to St. Edmund’s School in the 1930’s. Her name is Nora and her maiden name was Ellis. She was born in 1927. My mother has lived in New Zealand since she was 24 but travelled back to Salisbury many times. If there is anyone still living who knew Nora and went to the same school, I would love to hear from him, her or them. The person typing this is Nora’s daughter Debbie.

    By Debbie Palleson (29/04/2017)

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