Anthony J Sargeant, School

Haberdasher’s Aske’s Hatcham School for Boys (1955-62) – the Music Room (page 6)

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Figure 4. The plan of the Music Room. The top of the picture is the South side of the building. The music room also served as the venue for annual medical inspections which were a feature of the London County Council Schools in that period. Height and weight was recorded wearing just underpants by the nurse in the first room and then each boy went through in turn to the second room to be examined by the school doctor for heart and lung function as well as sexual development – for some strange reason it was always an embarrassment having to lower our underpants for this, after all we did just that when we were getting changed or showering after PE or games. The record keeping of the London County Council was ‘Stasi’ like in its rigour as I discovered one day when unsupervised and along with some friends we discovered our medical records which were stored in one of the side rooms. My own records were astoundingly detailed and went back to the reports of the Midwife after I was born including observations on my being breast-fed, as well as all childhood vaccinations and contagious childhood ailments that I had suffered. In addition it had something that I had never seen before which was the analysis of the speech defects that I had had and received therapy for in Junior School (difficulty in making the sounds of some letter combinations – I do not now remember which they were).

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