Irene Hill was a music teacher at Wennington School 1951-9.  She married the English teacher Brian Hill who she met at the School, and who later became the Headteacher. 

GG           So, after you'd graduated...?


IH             I went to Wennington.


GG           [Laughs] And how did that come about?


IH            Well that came about, because I needed a job! [Laughs] Pure and simply. I'd been – I'd had one or two interviews, 'cos I'd went for the traditional girls' schools, because that's what I knew from my education, and I went for the boarding schools because that's where you can get most music, but nobody seemed to want me in a traditional girls' school, so this job appeared, advertised, for Wennington, and I went for the interview, and that was the beginning.


GG          And who was your interview with?


IH            Kenneth Barnes, and Frances Barnes.


GG          And can you remember anything about the interview?


IH            Not a lot. Oh, I think Brian [Hill] also interviewed me partly, because I didn't know him then you see.  I can remember walking round the games field with Frances bombarding me with questions. Would I like to live in the country, and I said I thought this was a very pleasant place and I can remember saying to her, but there aren't any mountains, because I liked mountains, but she didn't seem to think that that mattered. But anyway, then they gave me the job, so – and when I first went to Wennington I was an assistant music teacher, 'cos there were two of us, full-time. And that's where I, I taught from – that would be 1951, and I taught music full time there, that was instruments and class teaching and choirs, everything, 'til 1959 but in 1955, I got married to Brian which meant that I couldn't really escape from Wennington at all, 'cos he was absolutely wedded to it, as well as wedded to me, but no, it was nice.


GG          And did you know anything about Wennington before you went there?


IH            No, not really.


GG         So what kind of impression did you get?


IH            I think the first kind of week or fortnight, when I went to teach there, I think I was somewhat shattered. Because, you know, having come – my own education in a traditional girls' boarding school, this was somewhat different. But, I soon got kind of feeling involved, and I reckon really, that my education took place at Wennington. You know...


GG I       In what way?


IH            Well, my attitude to life, discovering about art and literature, 'cos the staff were, you know, I wouldn't like to say intellectual, but they were interested in all these things, you know, and current affairs, art, music, literature, everything. And it wasn't just academic, you know, it was a general interest – this was part of life.


GG         And how did that manifest itself?


IH           Do you mean with the staff?


GG         Yeah.


IH           Well, you see assemblies, morning assemblies, used to take the form of readings, there'd be a week of say, poetry, or a week of reading a novel or something like that, then the next week there'd be a week of listening to music, I mean assemblies used to be the place for notices, general notices, and then, about ten minutes or quarter of an hour or literature or music, or the art teacher talking about art. And Saturday morning used to be current affairs.


GG          And who led them – was it...


IH           A teacher. Various teachers – I mean, I did the music, er, not when I first went there, but when I became in charge of the music, I did the music for a week. And Kenneth would read, and Brian would read poetry. And the art teacher would do some art topic...


GG         And so these were, everyday?


IH           Yeah.


Additional information