Freda's Fond Memories of Ripley
Ripley Court School pupils were lucky enough to receive a special visit from local Ripley resident Freda Spickett, as she shared her fond memories of her life in Ripley.
Freda, 88, who has lived in Ripley since birth spoke to the fascinated Year 6 pupils about her life in the village over the years and how it has changed. The pupils listened quietly as Freda spoke warmly about her school life, her family and home, how the village has changed and what it was like to live in Ripley during World War 2. The pupils were particularly interested to hear about wartime Ripley and asked many questions such as ‘Were you frightened when the air-raid sirens went off?”, “Where did you hide during an air-raid?”, “How did you wash your clothes?” and “How did you cook your dinner?” Freda welcomed the many questions and really painted a clear picture of bygone Ripley, and that even though times could sometimes be hard, you could still be very happy.
Freda also spoke about her time working at Ripley Court School as a cleaner and clearly remembers polishing the floor of the still existing school theatre and how cold it was in winter. The pupils thanked Freda for her time by presenting her with an orchid and giving her a very loud round of applause.
Freda was visibly delighted to talk to the pupils and said “I love visiting Ripley Court School to talk to the children about my life in Ripley. I have such fond memories of my time at Ripley Court School and I am looking forward to returning again next year.”
The visit was organised by Mrs Hatfield, Head of History, as part of a Year 6 history project where the pupils are learning about the different ways of gathering historical evidence. Mrs Hatfield met Freda several years ago and invited her to come and talk to the pupils and she has been returning ever since. Mrs Hatfield said “This is a great opportunity for the pupils to learn first-hand about Ripley in the past. The children will remember the things that Freda told them in a way that they never would from having read it or seen someone talking on a documentary. Freda seemed to love the visit as much as the children and we would like to thank her very much for her time and continued support.”