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Different lesson times to prevent boys seeing girls

By Black Country Bugle  |  Posted: July 06, 2014

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RE the article written by Mr Ian Henery, Mayor of Walsall's Poet Laureate and poet in residence at Saint Matthew's Church, Walsall, in The Bugle (June 5 edition).

I read this with much interest. I do know that the city's motto is "Out of darkness cometh light." I learned it at school, as well as what each symbol in the Coat of Arms of Wolverhampton represents.

I also know that Wolverhampton means "Town on the Hill" and that Lady Wulfruna (whom the city as it now is was named after) and that she established a monastery.

Lady Wulfruna also gave the land (on which the university of Wolverhampton now stands) for a school to be built.

It may have been where the monastery was originally located.

On the old burial ground, there were graves under and around the play and exercise yard at the front of the school building.

Originally, the building in St Peter's Square housed both a boys' and a girls' school.

The boys' day began before the girls, they occupied the first floor.

The girls came in later, their classrooms, assembly hall etc., were all on the ground floor.

They had their own play and exercise area at the back of the school.

It was enclosed and could not be seen from the road, as the boys' playground was.

It was arranged also that the bell for the changeover of lessons rang at different times.

This was in the hope that the boys and girls saw as little of each other as possible.

The girls' school day ended before that of the boys too, once again, so that there were fewer chances of the boys and girls meeting each other.

Although, of course, girls did wait for their brothers and so they naturally met friends of their brothers.

In turn the girls would introduce boys to their friends as well as their sisters.

I must say at this point that all of this was before my time!

I have older friends who attended the school many years before I did.

I first went to St Peter's Collegiate School for Girls in 1972, before we merged with the boys' school at Compton Park in 1974.

I have many happy memories of my years at St Peter's.

It was there and through them that my love of local history began.

I have lived in Cradley for more than 30 years.

But as a native of Wolverhampton my heart is in the city.

It will always be very special to me.

Thanking you as ever for your truly magnificent Black Country Bugle paper.

Mrs Alison Russon,

2 Teme Road,

Cradley,

Halesowen.

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