Booth Street and Disraeli Street
I grew up in Booth Street, although I was actually born in Disraeli Street. The house numbers in Booth Street started from no. 11, and there was a ‘common’ at the Laws Street end, where no’s 1 to 10 had been bombed during the war
The Bomb Damage
Laws St had been bombed on the night of the 15th April 1942. (11.45 pm.) A large part of Laws St and parts of the adjoining Streets of Booth St and Tomlinson Street and some houses at the top end of high Cooper St were destroyed. A bomb had also hit the open land between Cooper Street and the Bridge Approach.( Of the other two, the first had hit Carlow Street the other had hit the Mills St/Orwell Street block. )
At first I went to the infant department of St Paul’s School in Victoria St. I started there in 1959. I was one of those transferred to Newport School when St Paul’s closed in 1961. Some of the other children transferred to schools nearer their homes. (St Paul’s being a Church of England school, had pupils from a wide area not just around the Newport district ) The Head Teacher at St Paul’s was Mr Walker. Apart from Mr Walker, I remember our own teacher, Mrs Milburn (it might have been Miss), She always wore an overall in the classroom, and was the stereotypical “schoolmarm”. The toilets were in the yard. I recall the covered areas in both infant and junior yards to provide shelter from the elements. When St Pauls closed in 1961 Newport took over the school. In St Paul’s you had to stay in your own playground. You were punished if you went into the juniors’ side. However when Newport took over we were then allowed to use any of the playgrounds we liked. When I was in Newport Juniors the headmaster was Mr Wright, a really kind man. My first year teacher in Newport was Mrs Oliver.
A Family Tradition
In going to Newport School I was following in the family tradition. My parents ,my brother and sister attended the school. My niece attended the “new” Newport School on St Paul’s Rd.