Letter from “Gab” to “Orl on ya”
The Great Ellingham School Magazine of January 1956 included a letter from “Gab.” to “orl on ya” written in the Norfolk dialect (or Broad Norfolk as it is also known).
The correspondent began the letter “Oi ha bin whully niggly wi tha owld edita of that E.D.P. corse he hint had a litta frum that ‘Boy John’ fa a fair toime … if nut longer.”
“Boy John” was a pseudonym of Sidney Grapes a garage proprietor, comedian and performer from Potter Heigham who regularly wrote humorous fictional accounts of village life in the Norfolk dialect in the form of letters to the Eastern Daily Press between 1946 and 1958.
Delay in Publication
Although it was intended that this edition of the School Magazine would be produced in December 1955, it appears from the introductory letter written by the Headmaster, Mr Boast, that there had been delays in the production – the main delay being the lack of a typist!
Article by Old Pupil
An article describing Cyprus – including the climate, population and the buses (which had no windows) – was written by an old pupil of the school who was in Cyprus with the 1st Battalion Royal Norfolk Regiment
V. J. wrote of the visit to Yarmouth by 15 members of the Senior Class mentioning that their journey took them by way of Hingham entering Norwich through Earlham and crossing the River Yare at Earlham Park. The party then made their way to Acle passing through the “flat open marsh lands” before reaching Yarmouth.
They first visited the fishing quay which V. J. described as smelling of “cold fish”. V. J. also reported that “the children were allowed to pick up all the fish that fell from the baskets as the boats were being unloaded and one kind fisherman gave them a box full of fish which pleased them very much”
1956 was the 60th anniversary of the opening of the Great Ellingham Board Schools. An extract from “A History of the School complied by the Senior Class, Summer Term 1956” was prepared for the Magazine by E.C.
E.C. says that originally the village was served by two schools – one in Long Street and one held in the Parish Room. Log Book history of the schools dates back to 1874. She mentioned the first entry in the Log Book referred to the size of the classrooms at Long Street – one being 29 feet 6 inches x 20 feet x 10 feet 6 inches and the other 15 feet 4 inches x 9 feet 8 inches x 10 feet 4 inches.
E.C. goes on to say that the second entry (of April 6th, 1874) reads: “I (Josiah Berry) commenced school on Monday with 17 scholars. Found children sadly deficient, many of who from their age ought to have been able to pass the third standard were unfit for the first”.
E.C. also mentions that the entry in the School Log Book for November 23rd, 1896 was entered by Mr J A Field the first headmaster of the present school.
She sums up by adding that “Much progress has been made since that memorable day, from gravel play-ground to tar-mac, from vault lavatories to flush, from pump water to mains water services and from sandwich lunches in the playground to good hot school meals”
As in previous School Magazines, pupils provided articles (for example, stories and poems) on various subjects.
Great Ellingham School Magazine printed published and produced by the Headmaster, Staff and Scholars Great Ellingham School February 1956
http://www.broadlandmemories.co.uk/blog/2010/12/the-boy-john-letters-sidney-grapes/ – accessed 03.07.2019
https://www.edp24.co.uk/features/it-s-60-years-since-norfolk-comedy-great-passed-away-1-5485612 – accessed 03.07.2019