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Sophia studying verbal reasoning


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11+ Memories!

It was in May 1977 at St Herbert’s RC Primary School, Chadderton, when I took an 11+ test for the esteemed Cardinal Langley Grammar School in Middleton.

No preparation had taken place.

Nobody expected to pass the test. It was assumed that the children at our school would attend the local high  school in Royton. The test wasn’t even discussed. My parents had already bought my uniform for the local high school from the Tommyfield Market in Oldham ( a place that I dreaded going to).

A month later,when the results  came through there was hysteria in my house! How could this have possibly happened? Relatives old & young were phoned, I was the talk of the neighbourhood.

Cardinal Langley!

Children came from such foreign fields as Stalybridge & Greenfield, places were limited. A visit to church was in order to express our gratitude.

The uniform couldn’t be bought in a shop and so with trepidation an appointment was made.  We were met by the magisterial figure of Brother Thomas himself.

My family believed that this unparalleled achievement was in part due to the intense cribbage sessions with my Grandad, a veteran of the Chindits Special Force of World War 2, who simply hated to lose any game.

I certainly wasn’t a great reader. My favourite stories came from Roy of The Rovers. If I wasn’t at school I was playing football at Berries Field impersonating Steve Coppell & Gordon Hill.

No preparation had taken place.


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