BARBARA Davis, nee Drew, has sent us some of her memories of attending Cerne Abbas village school in the 1950s.

She recalls: "I have very strong memories of my time at Cerne Abbas Village School in the 1950's. My twin sister and I lived at Up Cerne, 1.5 miles from Cerne, and we caught the green D.C.C. school bus daily, driven by Mr Daniels, who kept his school passengers firmly under control. "On those rare occasions when snow made the school route inaccessible, we walked to school and were greeted with mugs of steaming cocoa, made from the daily milk allowance of one third of a pint for each pupil.

"Cerne School was the catchment school for various villages along the Cerne Valley from Middle Marsh to Godmastone.

"My sister Mary and I started in Miss Barthorp's class which was one of three classrooms, and had a very warm coal fuel stove, throwing out plenty of heat in winter. We soon became accustomed to the daily routine of the 3 'R's. There were no teaching assistants in the 50's so teachers were strict to cope with classes of 30 plus pupils. The only science taught was Natural History and we all enjoyed the nature walks by the River Cerne.

"The playground was tiny but we all made use of a large skipping rope at playtime. Music was based on listening to special programmes on the wireless and gathering around the piano for singing folk songs and hymns. At the end of the summer term the whole school walked to St Mary's Church for the end of term service, which was a scary experience if you were chosen to read.

School dinners were the favourite of everyone; my favourite lunch was roast and chocolate cracknell and pink custard.

"After two years in Miss Barthorp's class, we moved into Miss Congram's classroom, where we learnt to sew, making cross stitch mats and egg cosies. Sums became more difficult, and my naughty sister feigned illness on a couple of occasions to avoid her least favourite subject. Our last two years at Cerne were spent in Mr Reynold's class, the headmaster. He was an excellent teacher, giving plenty of encouragement and widening our horizons. My last year was spent preparing for the dreaded 11 plus exam which was held at 'The Green School' in Dorchester.

"It was with great regret that I left the cosiness of primary school, but as a 'Baby Boomer', I can truthfully say that my school days at Cerne Abbas were the happiest days of my life."

Thank you to Barbara for these school day memories. If you have any school memories and pictures you would like to share, do please get in touch with Looking Back the usual way.