Ivan Keith Doncaster, usually known as Keith, began his education at Wellington Street Infants’ School in Long Eaton, built as recently as 1911 for 320 girls and 320 infants.
Keith left his local school and moved to the High School on May 2nd 1933. Just nine years of age, he was Boy No 5701 and he went straight into Hardy’s House and First Form C with Miss Richmond. There were 28 boys in the Form and Keith, very much a latecomer to the school year, finished an extremely creditable tenth. Here is a fairly poor picture of Miss Richmond:
The following year it was First Form B with Miss Baker. Of the 21 boys, Keith came 11th. Here is Miss Baker, in between Mr Kennard and Mr Bridge, a pedagogical rock and a hard place.
Here’s a picture of Miss Baker a few years later:
The next year Keith was in First Form A with Mr Day, who, tragically, was to die of pneumonia on March 25th 1935, just before the end of the Easter Term. Mr Page took over his form. During that same year of 1934-1935, Miss Richmond had already passed away from pneumonia on January 7th. Keith finished fifth of the sixteen in the Form and also won the Preparatory School Drawing Prize.
Outside the classroom, Keith was in the Preparatory XI team for the “Preparatory Schools Spelling League Competition No 23”, although I couldn’t find out how he fared.
In 1935-1936, Keith was with Mr Hardwick in Second Form A. Here is Mr Hardwick in 1959, a picture taken by the Reverend Stephens:
Keith was now in a Main School house, Maples’, rather than Hardy’s House. There were 28 in the Form and Keith came 21st, not a disastrous result in a form which contained seven Entrance Scholars and Foundation Scholars and the winner of the Second Forms French Prize, Peter Robert Scott. This year, Keith found true fame by having a short poem featured in the School Magazine. It was entitled “Poetry” and this is how it went:
“I’m not a Poet
And I know it.
The next line will take some time.
Now I’ve started,
All thoughts have parted
From my head,
So now I think I’ll go to bed.”
Next time, another poem published in the Nottinghamian. You will not be able to read it without putting on your salty sea dog accent. Or even, perhaps, pirate.