Sunday, August 16, 2015

LFR 16 Aug Number 609

North Berwick, East Lothian, Scotland

Welcome to the Laws Family Register. 
A Child of the Twenties

A suburban childhood of the Twenties 

seen from the Ninteen Nineties

by John Robert Laws 1921-2008

Part 11.


The school was less than a quarter of a mile away. Between parallel side roads of late nineteenth century houses an oblong block held the separate buildings of the infant school, the Elementary school and the Grammar school. It was a gentle sloping site with the New River flowing south along the upper western boundary bringing drinking water to London from Hertford. 

The infants’ school was between the other two and shared an asphalt playground with the girls of the Elementary school. The boys of the elementary school had their play ground facing the other road, firmly separated from the girls by a high brick wall on either side of which were built the children’s loos. 

The Grammar school was on the downhill side of the block, separated from the rest by a foot passage which ran parallel to the High Street through all the side roads. The iron railings round the school were set in strong brick piers and gated in the same style, a line of Plane trees were well established and were as un-climbable and as sturdy as the railings themselves.

The buildings were no-nonsense and built to last. Plenty of glazed brick and most lower walls of dark colour. Classrooms were built to hold about thirty and the desks and seats all-in-one in pairs.

The first day at school sticks in memory. It was the first real contact with kids in the mass and the first contact with any authority other than parental. At that time there were no nursery schools or crèches as mothers, nor indeed, didn’t married women in general, go out to work. I started school a month or two after I was five with the worst of the winter out of the way. 

Mother took me and the Head mistress saw us, having established her identity she passed me over to the class teacher to absorb into the mass. The teacher kept me with her during the morning assembly then brought me into the class, found me a desk, it cannot have been very traumatic as the rest has faded away.

Our lessons as infants were the three R’s punctuated with drawing and games. The alphabet and tables were chanted in unison. We wrote and made our drawings in chalk on pint-sized blackboards which slotted into the front of the desks. Some kids were bright and some kids were dim but everyone learned; there were no options on offer. Before long we graduated to pen and ink writing in exercise books with inky fingers, scratchy pens and ink blots. Ink was still king and ball point easy scribble still twenty years ahead.

School dinners were also twenty years in the future. All kids walked home for their dinners and back for the afternoon school. School milk started however in my first year or two at school. The little third of a pint bottles turned up in the morning break and there was much bubbling noise as the last drop was sucked up through the straws.

On the other side of the road from school was the Primitive Methodist church where I went, reluctantly and intermittently, to Sunday school. Mum and Dad did not go to church but Sunday school was the one thing in those days so I went for a while though they did not insist when I opted out. 

All that sticks in my mind is a Harvest Festival where I had been inveigled into read a poem about a windmill. It was the only time I saw my mother in church until I got married.

When we moved into junior section of the Elementary School, the horizons of our lessons broadened to include history geography & some science. There was now an objective in front of us, the entrance exam for the Grammar schools which were themselves the first step towards better paid jobs further ahead. Classes were now divided by ability into A, B and C and school reports began to arrive, largely designed I suspect simply to prod all and sundry to greater effort. I believe the teaching must have been good though it was a bit double edged for me. The first year in Grammar school had nearly all been done before and the need to work faded.

At the elementary school there was no sports field but we managed to have a Sports Day at a ground near Muswell Hill. How everyone got there remains a mystery but the sun shone, there were sack races, egg and spoon races and mums races and a good time was had by all. Running was never a favorite pastime for me it was only done when unavoidable. Swimming was another matter however and we were lucky in that there was a swimming pool in the basement of the grammar school next door. Here we were permitted a Saturday morning class for a dozen or so and I achieved the great heights of a certificate to say I could swim fifty yards.   

To be continued tomorrow

If you are a LAWS or a LAWES or have these surnames in your family or perhaps it sounds like this but in fact is spelt differently, we would love to hear from you, we need to extend and expand our knowledge of the families we have already discovered,

Come and join us, theres no better time than now.

The LAWS FAMILY REGISTER is here to serve you the members, Just send a email to me at

We reach out to all, regardless of race, colour, creed or national origin with support for researching family and documenting cultural inhertance

============================================================. =======

Family Events from our database for today August 16th

If you are interested in anyone listed here, email us with the name, date and reference number, and we will happily do a look up, you might get a whole tree! 

Family Events
1618 - Christen: Christopher LAWS-34406, Padiham LAN UK
1691 - Baptism: Alice LAWS-6825, East Walton NFK
1719 - Baptism: Catherine LAWS-8017, Holborn MDX UK
1791 - Birth: Samuel LAWS-34546, VA USA
1793 - Burial: John Milligan LAWS (Infant) -3028, Swaffam NFK UK

                                                       Swaffam NFK UK

1816 - Death: William Hampton LAWS-29585, Orange NC USA
1846 - Miscellaneous: John Milligen  LAWS- (Navy Rear Admiral) 3030, 
1856 - Birth: William LAWES (RN 80325 Navy Sick Berth Attendant) -2653, Fordingbridge HAM 
1868 - Christen: Edward LAWES-7521, Dorking SRY UK

                                                             Dorking SRY UK

1872 - Death: Edmund LAWES (Gentleman) -2280, Reeth WRY UK
1873 - Marriage: Cuthbert LAWS (Boilersmith) -5570 and Sarah DOUGLAS-5573,
           Newcastle upon Tyne NBL UK

                                                      Newcastle upon Tyne NBL UK

1873 - Baptism: Frederick James LAWS (Ag Lab) -3673, Horstead NFK UK
1874 - Birth: Lottie A LAWS-7141, 
1880 - Death: Hannah Rogers LAWS-124330, 
1883 - Marriage: Richard Shepherd MOORE (Share Broker) -121304 and Constance LAWS-35642,            Poole DOR UK
1883 - Residence: Robert LOCK-38617, Bishops Stortford HRT married same year to Rosa LAWS              (Governess) -6732, Weymouth DOR
1893 - Marriage: Charles Frederick LAWS (Master Mariner 13605) -8012 and Eda Susan Anketell                JONES-45783, Hampstead MDX UK Eda resided at Belle Vue Psrk, Dalkey, Co.Dublin                    IRELAND

                                              Spaniards Inn, on Hapstead Heath MDX UK

1904 - Marriage: Joseph LAWS (ARMY Gunner 94911)-54486 and Elizabeth LAFF-54487,
           Blyth NBL UK
1905 - Birth: Bertie LAWS (RN J105094) -116798, Buckenham NFK UK
1908 - Birth: Irene LAWS-120745, TX USA
1910 - Birth: Caroline Elizabeth LAWES-32032, Wilton WIL UK
1914 - Birth: Tobin Henry LAWS-48444, 
1915 - Birth: Forest D LAWS-123403, 
1915 - Death: Harry LAWS (ARMY Private 15285) -7914, Gallipoli, Killed in Action
1920 - Miscellaneous: William LAWS (Joiner) -3283, 
1920 - Miscellaneous: John Learmont LAWS (Schoolmaster) -3282, 
1920 - Will Proved: Matthew LAWS (Blacksmith) -3280, 
1924 - Marriage: Wilfred Henry LAWS (Painter & Decorator) -45916 and Laura Louise PILCHER             (Spinster) -45923, Folkestone KEN UK

                                                             Folkestone KEN UK

1926 - Will Proved: Arthur William Mead LAWS (Grocers Assistant) -33896, 
1930 - Admon: William LAWS-8631, 
1930 - Death: Arthur LAWES-903, Balham Hill SRY UK
1937 - Birth: Ralph George LAWES-118701, 
1938 - Residence: William Frederick LAWS-117366, Beccles SFK UK

                                                            Beccles SFK UK

1938 - Birth: Evelyn LAWES (Company Director)-46341, 
1939 - Will Proved: William Richardson LAWS (Bill Distrubutor) -58142, 
1942 - Death: William  LAWES (Ag Lab)-2689, 
1944 - Miscellaneous: Charles LAWS (AUSTRALIAN ARMY)-32312, 
1946 - Miscellaneous: Arthur Robert LAWS (Science Teacher BSc London) -6681, 
1950 - Admon: Thomas George LAWS-123017, 
1952 - Marriage: Kenneth Frederick LAWES-30582 and Sylvia Doris PARSONS-33791,
           Caterham SRY UK
1952 - Birth: Martin Bernard  LAWS (ARMY Life Guards Tpr 24344842)-115087, Barnet HRT UK
1957 - Residence: Arthur LAWS-123207, March CAM UK
1957 - Death: Arthur LAWS-123207, Doddington CAM UK
1958 - Marriage: Bryan Edward LAWS (Diagnostic Engineer) -29418 and Beryl Ann TAYLOR-                  29428, Roxbourne, Harrow MDX (St Andrews)
1958 - Birth: Adam Walter K LAWS (Company Director) -46315, 
1960 - Residence: Harold Arthur William LAWS-116508, Chatteris CAM died Doddington CAM

                                                          Chatteris CAM UK
1963 - Miscellaneous: Charles Henry LAWS (Greengrocer & Fruiterer)-104995, 
1966 - Death: William Henry LAWES (Railroad Surveyor & Miner)-48842, Brisbane QLD                          AUSTRALIA
1967 - Marriage: Daniel J LAWS34532 and Sandra STRAIT-34533, Woodstock IL United States
1970 - Marriage: Terence STRINGER-56842 and Lynda Barbara LAWS-55929, Whitefield LAN                    (Stand Parish Church)
1975 - Birth: Earl Lawayne LAWS-40593, TX USA
1980 - Marriage: Scott Marshall LAWS-37415 and Lorie Ann CHOUINARD-37416, Spittalfields                MDX UK
1983 - Birth: Rebecca LAWS-52081, Boston LIN UK
1996 - Marriage: Simon LAWS-29425 and Margaret PYE-29429, Bodicate Registry Office, Banbury            OXF UK
2002 - Burial: Dean Barry LAWS-52121, Shepparton VIC (Pine Lodge Cemetery (Acacia Grove Site            no: 209)
2003 - Burial: Fern LAWS-54831, Blanding, San Juan Co UT USA
2005 - Death: Sheila Marie LAWS-53922, Sunderland DUR UK

                                                          Sunderland DUR UK

1860 - Birth: Mary Bell PATTERSON-32246, Polk Co IOWA USA
1890 - Birth: Rose JUDD-35374, Scarsdale VIC AUSTRALIA
1924 - Burial: Sarah ERRINGTON-38791, Stanley WRY UK
1929 - Birth: Jean Mary KNIGHT-100791, Leicester LEI UK
1930 - Miscellaneous: Lily Mary GLENTWORTH-8613, 
1939 - Burial: Rebecca JENNINGS-46589, Stanley WRY UK
1949 - Burial: Harriet ELLIS-116680, Wareham DOR UK
1954 - Death: Sarah CLEGG (Woollen Spinner) -34593, Leeds WRY UK
2003 - Burial: Nancy Cecelia VAN DUREN-31029, Service at St Judes Catholic Church, 747                        Hackett Street, Beloit WI United States
2004 - Death: Willie OULLA-38193, North Augusta SC United States

To see
 our full database, which now contains 
42,428 People   
12,985 Families
105,562 Events 
in 19,775 Places

You should join us today

To Apply for an account
 Just send an email to 

32,614 pageviews since we started in June 2014

The Top 10 Viewers include

USA 10,846
Germany 8615 - UK 3048 - Russia 2297

Ukraine 1605 - France 1568 - Australia 575 - Turkey 339

Ireland 288 - Canada 272 - Netherlands 175 - Poland 171 - Romania 42

& Yesterday

55 Germany 
29 USA; 19 Australia; 05 UK; 03 France; Russia 02; Ukraine 01

To move up into the top 10, please forward this blog!


The content provided on this site is not guaranteed to be error free - It is always advised that you consult original records.

Member of The Guild of One-Name Studies

"This organization recognizes the United Nations' International Decade for People of African Descent 2015-2024. We reach out to all regardless of race, color, creed or national origin with support for researching family and documenting cultural inheritance.”

With grateful thanks to Simon Knott for permission to reproduce his photographs on this site see :-

We Support HM Royal Marines in their 350th year.

In 2014 the Corps of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines celebrate their 350th anniversary.  To commemorate this date, Royal Marines Commandos ski,'d, sailed, cycled, canoed and ran 6656km (circa 4136 miles). The aim was to encapsulate the Commando spirit and Corps values in a significant physical and mental challenge.


We also support INVICTUS and Help for Heroes

For more Informationfollow these links