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Mbeya School 1951-54

Started by Veronica, 30 March, 2011, 21:12

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I've been reading the memories of Mbeya School with interest, and looking at the photos, but most people seem to have been there after me.  I must have a really bad memory because I'm afraid I can't remember any names of pupils although some do ring a vague bell.
Some of the memories are triggering off things I had forgotten but I have no recollection of some things, such as the school uniform, all I can remember are white sports dresses with the house colour round the belt.  I was in Stanley.  Mr Wallington was headmaster and I do remember being read to once a week in his house (Swallows and Amazons), and of being caned (but only once during my time there!).  I remember the awful porridge which we were made to eat, and tree tomatoes for puddings, which I hated. 
I don't remember being supervised very much at all and something nobody has mentioned was the Wheel, a metal contraction which you clung onto inside and which trundled along.  I remember tree climbing, slender trees which waved around a bit and were situated next to a building.  I also remember the River, stealing peaches, kite flying, going up the Peak to a spring which we were told was lemonade and where a boy got bitten by a snake and Mrs Wallington sucked out the poison and spat it out!
I lived in Dar so have memories of the long journey by train and bus.  Previously I went to Oyster Bay School (1949-51) and after Mbeya I went to school in England. 
If anyone was in Mbeya at the same time as me, please let me know.  I have no photos, letters or anything and as my parents are dead, nobody to ask!
My surname was Reed and was father was Revenue Officer in Mbeya in the 60s after I had left the school.


I rarely discuss school days because after Mbeya I ended up at the then Prince of Wales School in Nairobi,which I hated.I lived at 561 Oyster Bay.Remember the agonising goodbyes to Mum and Dad at the station when leaving and ofcourse the delirious excitement the days before travelling back.'Today's the brush,tomorrow's the comb,next day I go home' we chanted. Ya,the Sunday nights when old Wallington sat in his lounge sipping pink gins and reading us a story as we all sat around the floor.Got the cuts 4 times!
Also when you were given your allocation of sweets you went to your current,in my case girlfriend,and exchanged sweets!-Sundays all going to a river with a big tree where we all played blissfully in the sun 
And as for that horrible tomatoe ghoulash dessert-you're right disgusting! -likd the treacle tart thing 
So many other things,


Hi Irvin

I'm glad somebody has responded to my post!  You've triggered off a few more memories.  I don't remember the pink gins at story time so that's really interesting.  I think I vaguely remember the rhyme.  I remember the warning hissing when any adults were about.  I also remember the buses to school breaking down and having to pile into other ones.  You've reminded me of the sweets handout once a week.  I'm doing a short memoir (2000 words) for a project so I've only just started remembering things again and I didn't like any of my school days much so it's a bit of an effort to think back.  I can't remember where I was in Oyster Bay with my parents, near the school I think at first and then up near the new shops towards Msasani.  Later I lived in Hill Road.
When you start thinking about it, it does come back.


Morning Veronica
Do you remember the plethora of chameleons? actually featured on the school badge....don't think the girls would have paraded around  like the boys with a pet chameleon ....always one on my shoulder...Msasani,Wow! my two brothers and I used to walk around the market there,remember piles of little dry fish on sale....suppose  you remember the vast  empty white beach.....


Hello Irvin
I haven't been on this site for a while but yes I do remember the chameleons at school and putting them into water to see if they could swim - poor things!
I remember Msasani beach (through sisal plantations, wasn't it) and also going over to Bagamoyo by ferry to the beaches there (I think it was Bagamoyo over the ferry).  I remember the markets but I was also in Dar as an adult so have memories of shopping in the markets and of buying fish from the quay as it came off the boats.  I didn't leave Dar until 1972 but it all seems such a long time ago and I've never thought about it much since - only the odd incident.  I wish my memory was better!


Hello Veronica!
Yes,Bagamoyo,such exotic names,I remember as a kid in Dar, guys on bikes with baskets selling fresh fish.So you left Dar in 1972...Wow...I went back for a year in 1966.....curries on a Sunday at the Gymkhana club----dancing at the Kilimanjaro hotel.Teachers at Mbeya,Miss Graycombe? Miss Commode(sounded like that!) Do you remember ritual of exchanging sweets on a certain day each week with a little friend of the opposite sex?----so quaint......
Take care   


I remember the dentist coming in a lorry and the foot operated drill. I remember the Easter hike we did. I remember the excitement when we got our suitcases out at the end of a 5 month term for the long bus trip back to Dar. I remember the excitement when you got a parcel from your parents on your birthday. I remember tryting to be first at the sports locker on Sundays to get the best of the equipment. I remember the cane!! I remember sick bay when I had mumps and the German nurse. I remember the inkwells and the compulsory letter we had to write to our parents every Saturday morning. I remember breakfast in the dining room where you had at least a few rotton boiled eggs in the pile of eggs for breakfast.

Peter Quennell

02 February, 2019, 20:57 #7 Last Edit: 02 February, 2019, 21:07 by Peter Quennell
I absolutely remember a "Veronica" in the days I was there. Definitely one of the cool girls. The name has stuck as that was the only "Veronica" I have ever encountered though the boys liked it as a name. Because of the Veronica & Archie comics it was more common in the US. 

As you mentioned you were grateful how someone above got back? Maybe join most here and (if you have email) put an email icon on your posts? The board has a way of hiding the address if you prefer, while still letting emails through.  :-)

Other girls names I most remember: Betty Lawrence and Jane Kingdon.