Anyone who has ever moved house knows you can’t have too many boxes. They will also know the difficulty trying to find things at the other end. For those boxes, little boxes, they all look just the same.
‘There’s a green one and a pink one
And a blue one and a yellow one,
And they’re all made out of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same’.
Thus sang Malvina Reynolds in 1962 to a catchy little tune. She was making ironic reference to modern housing, but the little boxes I’m focusing on here are of a very different kind. I mean packing crates, of course. It’s funny how much of a difference two years can make to one’s attitude. Although we moved an entire school in 2015, if you flick through all the photographs I took at that time (many featured in the video slideshows on the Heritage website) there is hardly a packing case in sight. This was intentional, of course, because looking at them made me feel sick to the core. This wasn’t how I wanted to remember Church High. They actually appear in only two photos, one of which opens this post. It was no mean feat to have avoided them, for they were everywhere and very hard to miss. Yes, those crates we moved to Eskdale in were very orange.
A Friday was not my usual camera day, as you know, but Friday July 1st was special. This was when the skips would arrive. Knowing how long it had taken to pack up Church High, we were scratching our heads by the lateness of this date. But then we’d had to clear our building by the end of the first week of the summer holiday. This time round, the buildings we were leaving would be technically accessible until January 2017. I’d brought my camera to work to capture a skip image for the blog, but my trip round the back of the building that day was very well-timed. Joy of joys! A Quicksilver storage van had already arrived. Now we really were in business!
Indeed, on entering the side door to escape the drizzling rain, the first thing I saw on the bottom corridor was a pile of packing crates. It was oddly pleasing to discover that they weren’t orange this time.
Do you remember all those stairs which did my knees in? Well, they weren’t appreciated by the guys from Quicksilver Storage either!
I arrived in three crates, so immediately appropriated three of the red ones for my own use. Red is so much more my style than grey.
The Head of Year Office on the second floor (though up three flights of stairs) was very Spartan when we first arrived, but gradually I introduced more colour to it. I can’t work any other way. That room ultimately served as a safe bolt hole during some very testing times. The following shots give you a feel of Eskdale from my point of view.
Giuseppe’s photos taken on that same day show that ‘up-the-road’, deep within the warm red-brick walls of the ‘Old Girl’, my new classroom (formerly the Senior Staffroom) was now being decorated.
This was just as well, because the one surviving plant from my old classroom, which had undergone the whole journey with me, was now looking very much worse for wear. A visual metaphor for me.