Moulsecoomb Junior School

Nativity Play Christmas 1964

By Paul Clarkson

Miss Tiley's class

I was seven years old in 1964 when I went up from the Infants to the Junior school at Moulsecoomb. I was put into Miss Tiley's class and one of the first things she said to me was "I bet you're not as good as your brother"! Who else has heard those words about an older sibling? My brother had been a pupil of hers 3 years earlier. A pretty awful start to our relationship and it got worse from there. 

A nativity play in the church hall

When it got to November it was announced that we would perform a 'Nativity Play' at the old church hall which was situated up Moulsecoomb Way on the right hand side just before the turning into Hodshrove Road. I think the Salvation Army used it during the Second World War; it is not there now, and in fact it was falling down in 1964.

What was my part?

I could not believe it when Miss Tiley actually gave me a part so I was thrilled. I told my Mum and my Nan who bought tickets and were only too happy to come along, as it was on in the afternoon. I was not told what part I was to play, but I do remember going down with Miss Tiley to the metalwork room at the senior school where I met Mr Welch who became my metalwork teacher four years later. Together we watched him prepare a length of copper pipe for the play. I kept asking Miss Tiley what my lines would be as all my classmates were given scripts, but I never caught on that I was being stitched up.

Do you remember your school nativity play. Perhaps you were in Miss Tiley's class? Please post a comment below

The truth revealed

We had a dress rehearsal the week before and to my horror I was given the length of copper pipe and told to stand out the back and hit it 12 times with a stick when a member of the cast said "It's nearly midnight" I was very upset as my Mum and Nan were expecting to see me on stage so I didn't tell them until the day of the play, they did their best to make me feel better by stating that at least I was playing a part but it did not really help.

I got my own back

The afternoon of the play came and I was told to go to the side of the stage down some steps by the back door, I tried to close the door but it would not shut and the cold wind was whipping across the Hodshrove fields. When my moment of fame came I could not resist it, and hit that pipe thirteen times instead of twelve. Nothing was said but as a seven year old I felt great satisfaction getting my own back on a teacher who obviously did not like me and let me down.  

This page was added on 21/12/2015.
Comments about this page

Yes Paul I remember it well.  I was lucky to have the part of the angel Gabrielle.  Sylvia Dedman, Mum of Walter, made me a lovely pair of wings and a halo. A lovely white nightie was found at home.  As my granddad was seriously ill I wasn't sure whether both my Mum and Nana would be able to get to see me.  Mum did make it.  The day was wet and windy and I believe we changed into costumes in the classroom and then put on our coats and wellies to go over to the hall.  My moment came and I went on and said my piece and went to stand behind Mary and Joseph. It was only then I realised I still had wellies on.  Can't say that I have seen angel Gabrielle in boots since then. I remember Miss Tilee as being very kind and believe she took her class for the two years in the infants.  Do you also remember the disabled teacher, Miss Banister?

By Julie Adams (02/07/2017)

Hi Julie, yes I do remember Miss Bannister, she was quite a fearsome lady but a very good teacher as I recall. Other teachers I remember were Mr Gallyer, Mr Quinn, Mrs Gould, Mr Holland and Miss King the headmistress who had to get permission from my parents to give me the strap for playing truant! Other class members I remember were Steven Mead, Alan Wilkinson, Tony Hammerton, Kevin Godfrey, Paul Carter, Janet Collins, Sylvia Levy, Julie West and Darlene Cattle to name a few. A good school as I remember, I was well prepared for Seniors after the years at the Infants and Juniors. Do you remember any of the class? Was your name Adams back then? We lived in Colbourne Avenue.

By Paul Clarkson (04/07/2017)

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