Anything that might sell was welcome. We collected old pictures, pots and pans, old furniture, the contents of garden sheds and attics. Muswell Hill had a spring-clean that year and our little track cart seemed to move the lot. The Woodwork Room had been turning out small, saleable items all term. Trays and small stools with woven raffia seats were popular; small book racks and a few occasional tables; all to be bought by well­wishers. The campaign to build a swimming bath had been running for some time. The sale of new school uniform had been taken over by the teachers who manned the school shop, fitting us with blazers and caps and put the profits into the Bath account. Donations were sought everywhere and the climax was to be the Three-day Fair.

There was an elaborate bazaar programme with a jazzy cover which we sold by the dozen. Someone in the school must have had some theatre connections for the three different days of the Fair were to be opened by Jack Hulbert and Cicely Courtenidge, the comedians; Angela Baddeley, then a young ingenue; and Lady Barratt who was a local notable, but not a theatrical. W.A.Darlington, the playright and theatre critic, wrote a Foreword saying that his friend Dr Draper had written saying he wanted a bath. After a few jokes about personal cleanliness, inviting Dr Draper to come round and bring his soap and other quips suitable for a school magazine, he appealed to everyone to 'fork out' to pay for the bath.

Other celebrities were assembled from the world of sport. 'Plum' Warner, the cricketer; E.H.Temme, who had swum the Channel; Dr Ronald Cove-Smith, who played rugby for the English XV; W.W.Wakefield who held a record number of rugby caps for England; and Bernard Darwin the great authority on golf, who reputedly emptied Muswell Hill Golf Course when he gave a lecture at the school. Each descended on the Bazaar in turn, attracting his particular fans.

The Fair was a great success, the money was raised and a few years later the open-air swimming bath was a reality. There was never the money to cover it, but the bath was a great attraction and the five-shilling season ticket was the best value in London.

 

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