Dennis Pepper's Memories of Meldreth School
In the 1920s, the infants were under the charge of Miss Wedd who was a strict disciplinarian. A scheme was started at the school, whereby the hands and nails of pupils were checked upon arrival at school each morning. If their hands were clean, then a tick was placed against their name on a chart that was displayed in the classroom. When sufficient ticks had been given, a badge was awarded.
Here, Dennis Pepper (a pupil at the school from 1927 to 1936) recounts what happened to his badge:
Well, I’d only had the thing a day or two and we were standing around in the house waiting for one or two other members of the family, a couple of the girls, to get ready to go to Royston on the bus. We used to have two buses a week then. I thought my badge looked a little bit dull so I gave it a bit of spit and polish and popped it in my mouth and all of a sudden it was gone! You’ve never seen such a commotion. Everybody was jumping up and down. Anyway a neighbour who lived just up the road, John Patterson his name was, came and I was strapped to him on the back of his motor bike and taken to Addenbrookes Hospital to be X-rayed. They decided they wouldn’t do anything too drastic like cut me open and everything turned out alright after two or three days! I had two or three days off school and I went back when I was well and I said “Where’s the chart, what’s happened to it”. It had been taken down and nobody else got a badge I don’t think. That was the end of the “Clean Hands” badges!