Seventy years ago, when I was aged nine, my teacher at Hunstanton Primary School was Margaret Sexton.
Twenty-one years later, when I returned to the school as a teacher, my classroom was next to hers, with only a glazed partition between us.
The experience was rather like travelling back in time, because there were occasions when I found myself sitting up straight at my desk in response to her command. My teaching post was for one year only, followed by five years at Hunstanton Secondary Modern, but when I next encountered Miss Sexton it was as a parent of Caroline, the eldest of our three children.
I seem to remember that her reports were better than mine had been at her age.
In fact I had to wait until May 7, 1996, before my efforts came in for some unexpected praise from Margaret Sexton.
Readers might remember that 1996 was the year in which Hunstanton celebrated its 150th Birthday.
There was no Heritage Centre then, so the Oasis put up a temporary display of memorabilia, resulting in an outpouring of nostalgia for our town in its heyday.
In my case, it prompted a letter to the Lynn News that appeared under the heading: “Rock ‘n’ roll theme park?”
After running through the list of lost assets, I suggested that the best way to bring them back was to “tap into the Millennium Fund, to turn the whole town into a theme park”.
Having considered the advantages of taking the town back in time to the war years, I opted for the 1950s.
This would see a return of the Americans but this time they would be the sons and daughters of the US personnel, visiting the town as it was when their parents were based at Sculthorpe.
Clearly, the best way to travel back in time to the 1950s would be on a train from Lynn, hauled by a steam locomotive.
Since the period would be prior to the 1960 gambling act, no slot machine would be allowed to accept coins above the value of one old penny…
I cannot remember if the Lynn News printed any letters responding to the theme park idea, but I received the following response from Margaret Sexton.
“Dear John, Hurrah and thank you for your letter in today’s Lynn News. I have always collected ‘bits and pieces’ for my various scrap books of Hunstanton, and I have put your letter in the rather special 150 years book, which I am making this year, as I think all aspects of the local scene and thought should be recorded.
“You have rightly drawn attention to the good things lost to our community, pleasurable amenities dearly loved by many true Hunstanton people, who set great store by the pictures that alone remain of all those one-time valued assets to our town.”