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Mr William Faichen (deceased) Headmaster Ropley School Petersfield Road Ropley

1 December ‘99

Dear Mr Faichen, We hope you will forgive our boldness in writing to you as, though we know all about you, we have never met you. May we introduce ourselves? We are pupils at Ropley Church of England controlled Primary School in Church Street, Ropley. You don’t remember it? This is the big school built by Rev. Samuel Maddock in 1869. It replaced the one you and he founded 173 years ago in the thatched cottage along the Petersfield Road. The bell and the plaque from your school hang in our entrance hall next to pictures of your original school so we can imagine what it was like back in 1826. We are writing to you on the first day of the last month of the last year of the twentieth century — 169 years after your sad death. We would like to tell you about our school. It has a big area of land about it. We have room to play netball on the playground as well as hockey, football, cricket and rounders on the field. We have even got a swimming pool built by parents in 1973. Don’t worr y we still play the sort of games your pupils knew like hopscotch, skipping, chasing and of course football. Sometimes we play marbles, conkers and singing games. Last year we even learnt some of the old traditional games! At the front of the school there is a lovely pond where we study wildlife like tadpoles, frogs, dragonflies, insects and plants. You will be pleased to know that the fence around our pond is exactly the same style as the one round your school. We have six classes now but only about 30 children in each class. We wear a school uniform. The colours are brown, blue and gold. Our badge shows a golden wheel because you were a wheelwright and a white cross because Rev. Maddock was the vicar and this is a church school. A lot more people work in the school. We have new offices at the front of the school where our Admin Officer works. She has two computers, a telephone and a fax machine. Our head teacher (a lady by the way!) has her own office. The staff room has 13 chairs. Our school is kept warm by oil fired central heating and we have bright carpets in all the rooms. We are each going to tell you our special view of Ropley. Stacey came from a big town called Guildford. It had high buildings, wide tarmac roads, street lights, traffic lights, brightly lit shops and industrial sites. She loves the winding lanes around Ropley with their thick hedges where small birds and animals hide. She enjoys the open fields where animals graze. Stacey’s family have lots of different pets — the chicks are her favourites. She really likes the kind friends she has at school. Lots of people made her feel welcome when she first arrived so this is her special memory of Ropley. Sam lives on a farm. There are loads of machines like tractors, combine harvesters, fork lifts and buckets. He laughs about the smelly cows and silly sheep. He has even got some pigs. His house is very big. Everyone rides quad bikes which are a bit different from the horses used in your day! Sam and his sister come to school by car. It takes about five

32 — Ropley at the Millennium

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