The happiest days? Not for me

So, it’s finally gone. They have demolished my old school.

The former Sudbury Girls’ High School – more recently Uplands Middle – has been razed to the ground to make way for “redevelopment”.

Suffolk County Council’s decision unleashed a storm of anger at the waste of a perfectly good building.

And I’m sure tears were shed by people who felt their cherished memories were being crushed under the rubble.

It had been more or less completely flattened when I bumped into another ex-pupil who I had not seen for years.

“Isn’t it awful,” she said, obviously upset.

I sympathised, and mumbled something about it being a shame they couldn’t find another use for old the place. That much I meant.

But I didn’t have the heart to tell her how I really felt. The truth is, I hated school.

The day after the gates of SGHS clanged shut behind me for the last time, I gleefully burnt my hideous grey school beret.

And a small, irresponsible part of me would happily have danced up York Road in front of the bulldozers, scattering flowers in their path.

Even though I’ve swapped endless reminiscences over the years, I never once looked back with anything approaching nostalgia.

Not that I’d want to subscribe to the “happiest days of your life” cliche.

What a dreadful thought ... still in your teens and your best days are behind you.

But I do kind of envy people who look back on their school days with affection.

I’m not saying nothing good came out of my seven years at the high school in its dying days before the upper school took over.

I made some wonderful friends who I see to this day, and took away two A-levels that got me into journalism.

There were memorable moments too ... like the day the chemistry teacher got over-enthusiastic with an experiment and blew the windows out of the science lab.

And who could forget the headmistress’s elderly poodle who snored noisily under her desk, and trotted at her heels as she stalked the corridors.

Hang on a minute, that raised a smile. Maybe, just maybe, it wasn’t quite so bad after all.

Someone on the radio the other day was complaining that newspapers don’t publish enough letters from women ... 75 per cent of those printed are from men, apparently.

Was it, they wondered, because male editors discarded those with a female name at the bottom.

No, said the letters editor of a national paper called on to defend his position.

The proportion more or less reflected the male-female split of the correspondence received.

So I thought I’d do a quick check on last week’s Free Press letters pages and, guess what, there were far more from women than men.

Looking back at previous weeks confirmed the national statistics certainly don’t apply here.

It just goes to show you, we Suffolk women are a feisty and opinionated bunch. Mess with us at your peril.