Friday, 2 December 2016

Teaching training and petrol shortages

Alice is getting ready to start her teaching practice tomorrow and is apprehensive.  She says the atmosphere is a “trifle strained” between the second and first year students, as the second  years have just finished their teaching practice and the first years are just about to start.  Alice draws a lovely little picture in this letter, illustrating what she will look like waiting at the bus stop in the morning to go to teach with all the equipment she has to take with her!

Students at the Bedford College of Physical Education undertook teaching placements with secondary children, which Alice is about to start, and also short placements with primary children. The photograph included in this post was taken by a fellow student of Alice’s, Mary Spokes in 1955.

Alice is continuing to do very well at lacrosse; in this letter she recounts the matches against Dartford.  In other letters which Alice sends home in November she is delighted to share the news that she has been selected to play lacrosse for the South of England reserves team, where she will be the wing defence. Moreover, there are in total 10 students from Bedford College of Physical Education that have been selected to play for their territorial team.

Sadly, in the autumn of 1956 there was a petrol shortage, which Alice has been affected by as a planned trip to Slimbridge has to be cancelled. Petrol was in short supply across Europe due to the Suez Canal crisis.  When petrol was available in November, when Alice writes, it caused huge queues at petrol stations and led to the government taking the decision to ration petrol from December for four months.  Ration books were reintroduced during this period, similar to the ones used in the Second World War.

On a brighter note, Alice is thinking ahead to Christmas and requests a permanent whistle as a present. She also mentions that she needs to get her eyes tested in the Christmas holidays as well referring to the holiday job that she will have at a grocers near to her home.  However, she must get through her teaching practice first!



Teaching practice 1955


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