Reluctant pupil Ray goes back to school.

Ray Howard Chair of Governors Long Road Junior and Infants Schools.

Published 26th January 1981.

Lessons held no interest for the young Ray Howard, but now, 28 years on he cannot wait to get back into the classroom. For Mr Howard, a Castle Point councillor, has been made chairman of governors at Canvey’s Long Road Junior and Infants School where he was a pupil from 1946-1953. When he was a 5 year old schoolboy, with short trousers and a flat cap, he never imagined he would willingly return to the building. He said: “I was rather a fidget and admit I didn’t like school very much. I used to try my hardest at the lessons but was far from the brightest lad”.

Coun Howard has been a governor at the school for 14 years. He was made chairman after the former chairman, Mr Bert Grout, retired after 10 years in the seat. It was a nostalgic moment when the headmaster, Paul Haisman-Baker, pulled out the yellowing photo album from the archives of 1946. In it Coun Howard saw himself as a four-and-a-half-year-old surrounded by his chums-some of whom died in the 1953 Canvey flood. He said: “It was a very emotional time for me to see all those old pictures because all the old memories of teachers and friends came back. It seems not so long ago since I was a pupils at the school. when I was a little lad, I never envisaged that I would be made chairman of the governors in the future. To tell you the truth, at the time, I just wanted to leave. But now I am proud to be part of it again”.

Gazing out of the classroom windows and looking round the room, Coun Howard admitted things had changed. He said:” I used to see rural fields and farms during my daydreams, but now industry has replaced all that. Times at school were a lot harder than they are now because there were just not the same facilities. I feel quite sentimental thinking about it”.

Ray Howard, circled, and the class of 46
Seat of power to the governor who hated lessons
Echo Newspaper Archive

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