Memories of Singapore

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Image search results - "neil cooke"
Tengah Primary school photo, of year 1 - 1964423 viewsI am in front of the gentleman who I think was the head teacher.
I think the photo was taken in the grounds between my class and the school hall, my class room is in the background, I expect the hall to be to the right out of camera.
You will see on my neck a white line. That is real, it is not a crease in the picture, I had had throat surgery a couple of months before flying out to Singapore to remove a growth in the larynx glottis as I had stopped talking.
Unrelated there is also white marks above and below my right eye, that is just two of fifty others from a dog attack about a year before, I still looked a mess and was still getting patched up, and spend a fair amount of time at the forces hospital having things fixed. There I didn't like the air conditioned ward it was too cold and insisted on being put in the native patents area. My Mon had an argument with them to alwo me to change to the natives area and also later helped me get the native food rather than the english stuff. The one hospital meal I remember was leaks, seriously over cooked but the leeks were good compared to everything else. At hospital I looked forward for my familys chinese Amah Cheng to visit, because Cheng usually brought some of her chinese cooking in a little basket.
Shortly before the school picture was taken I remember a fire drill where the head teacher brought a smoking litter bin into the class.
I remember the small milk bottles and the strawberry and chocolate milk.
Later I changed class which was in the main school just on the other side to my first class. The milk was delivered in the corridor between our two classes. I sort of got into trouble when I went to my old class milk box and took a strawbury milk, and the teacher in the photo explained very nicely that my class does not get flavored milk, but I did get to keep the milk that once.
I think we also got orange juice in triangular pyramid paper cartons, but I may be confusing with when my dad was at USAF sorry RAF Fylingdales.
I also remember a couple of lessons in one we talked about what England was like as it was winter there, cold, lots and lots of snow, very dark, stormy, and big waves, we then did a session painting. Another we talked about Astronauts and rockets.
The main school was three sides of a square, with a covered walkway (cloister), the center section had an entrance in the middle that went to a Huge hall that had two rows of fans in the ceiling which moved and a row big fans in the center. In the cloister to the right of the hall entrance was a huge red coke machine.
I also remember the playing fields and a sports day were I failed horribly at the egg and spoon it was the first time i saw a concrete egg, then also the sack hopping failing with a full face splash, and finally the skipping I just kept the rope behind me and ran and won. I won a dinky toy bus which was presented in the hall. It didn't feel good as I felt I had cheated with the skipping, but everyone seamed so nice and happy with the race.
We usually went to school and back in a bus and the older kids sang Beatles songs, particularly "she loves you, yeh yeh yeh". However there was one day when the Army picked us up at school to take us home in lorries with propellers on the back, I remember being lifted up by a solder and handed bodily to another. who put me in behind a canvas cover.
There only one name from school I remember, that is Marvin and I think he is the one with the glasses in the photo. He lived at the end of my street in another bungalow like mine. I went to his birthday party and particularly remember the choice of red or green jelly and ice cream.

Ironically when I returned to the yorkshire, it was in the depths of the worst winter in years, to go anywere I was wrapped up in about 10 layers of cothing I was freezing.
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