Church, Richard Thomas - Over the Bridge - The move to Dulwich Hamlet School
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
OVER THE BRIDGE
'We ought to find a school down there,' said Father; and we turned down the village street, moving at walking pace, looking about us. Father was right. The school stood in the middle of the village.
'There we are, you see,' said Father, and with that we pulled up, and we went in together to the boys' department. I was not abashed, because the buildings were single-storey, and small, a welcome distinction from the sooty three-decker of Battersea.
The hall too was small, intimate. Sitting at a raised desk was a plump man with full jowls and iron-grey hair. Father put his arm round my shoulders and propelled me forward, saying to the Headmaster that he wanted to enrol his son.
The response was grave, the inquiries and answers passing in an atmosphere of serene quietness. I looked around, but there was no sign of a chest filled with canes. Then I felt two cool blue eyes scrutinising me; and the inquisition was amused, kindly. He asked me if I could read, and I replied yes, I could read and I could also draw.
'Well, we have an art school here,' he said, and I was accepted as a pupil in Dulwich Hamlet School, by its Head-master, Charles Thomson Hunt, where for the next three years I was to find an almost impossible happiness and to be set on the road to the only education that is of any value – self-education