Coney Hill Girl

I was born at 37 Moor Street in 1940 and christened in St James Church but moved to Coney Hill when I was 3yrs old.  My brother took me to our new house, of course we walked and I thought it was a very long way.  Our furniture came via a horse and cart, there was a playing field in front of our house and a cow field in the back. I remember one day waking up to see what I perceived to be thousands of men in the cow field and my sister and I took a large green enameled jug filled with hot tea over and over all day long to give to the men, does anyone know what that was all about, it may have been in1945 since I was old enough to help my sister?  I would be very interested if someone could shed some light on this

I went to the school at the top of Coney Hill Pitch until I started at Finlay Road.  Mr Blackwell was the headmaster and everybody loved him, in the corridor there were a great number of large glass cases which held stuffed big game animals I believe Mr Blackwell was a big game hunter.

Does anyone remember a little girl named Geraldine who had a severe skin disease she was often absent from school?  One day Mr Blackwell came to tell us that she had died and we all went to the funeral in the church across the street, Mr Blackwell was crying as so many of us were and it was very sad and it upset me to see adults crying.

I believe Mr Blackwell retired and my last year at Finlay Road our new headmaster was Mr Langston who was also a music teacher and he started the choir, I was loathe to join but Mr Langston told me that every child had a good voice and he had never known a child that could not sing.  We entered the music competition held at Cheltenham Town Hall and to our surprise and joy we won the cup, we were so noisy on the way home on the bus and sang and cheered ourselves.  I even remember one of the songs we sang went something like this:

“Soft the moon o’er field and wood, steals by bush and tree.”  Another part went.  “Sets my spirit free.”  I was enchanted by the words and I wish I knew the song, searches on google provide no clue, does anyone know?

I also remember going to the Festival of Britain with the school and seeing the Pylon???  But we were not allowed in the Dome of Discovery.  We all went to a restaurant after and had fish and chips, I remember being disappointed since I didn’t much like fish and chips but I ate it all.  I went on to Ribston Hall then worked at the Gloucester Baths and lived in Coney Hill until I married and went to live in Oxfordshire.  Now I live near Orlando Florida I return to Gloucester as many times as I can and I am always interested in reading about my home town.  I still miss England even though it has been 50 years since I first came to America and I try to come home every year, I am hoping to visit again this summer.  I have enjoyed all the comments I have read, and hope to read more?

Jacqueline Rees-Adams

Comments about this page

  • I also sang ‘The Moon’, at Hitherfield School in Streatham, London, around 1957-8. I do remember another verse, which must have followed the two Ann remembered:

    Things which ear has never heard
    Eye has never known
    Throng the chambers of the heart
    Here at night alone

    By Tim Burr (27/09/2023)
  • I too sang this song ‘The Moon’ at school – Altrincham Girls’ Grammar School in Cheshire, England, in the early 1970’s. BUT – there are more words – if anyone knows them I would love to have them all.

    By Beth Gaylard (21/06/2023)
  • The Moon

    Soft the moon o’er field and wood
    Steals by brook and tree
    Cools my brow and calms my blood
    Sets my spirit free

    See her quiet beams descend
    Wrapping hill and dale
    Like the pity of a friend
    Listening to a tale.

    I’m sure someone will have sent this to you by now, if not here it is. I learnt this song at Dursley Secondary Modern School in the early 1960’s.

    By Ann Phelpstead (28/08/2021)

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