Horne, Dorothy, E.: England: 1953 – 1954: Burtonwood Air Force Base

Burtonwood Air Force Base,

Warrington, Lancashire, England

1953 – 1954

While attending the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, in June, 1953,1 decided to check out the possibility of teaching in the Dependent’s Schools.

The very small high school on Burtonwood Air Force Base needed a teacher and I was available. Thus began a most interesting and enjoyable year of teaching.

Some highlights in my memory of that year.

1. My poodle, Cedrillon, that I had acquired in Paris, had to spend six months in a kennel because of England’s strict law concerning rabies. She survived but not happily.

2. There was no housing on base for teachers so I rented half a duplex in town. This turned out to be a blessing as I met and made two good friends, the postmistress and her cousin. The cousin frequently traveled with me and taught me much about England, Scotland, and Wales and about the English people.

3. Learning to drive on the left side of the road with an American car is an experience never to be forgotten.

4. I was the only woman on the high school faculty. The principal informed me that I must teach Girls’ Physical Education in addition to Home Economics, General Science, Biology, and Chemistry. Needless to say, I spent a lot of time preparing for those classes, especially Biology which was out of my field.

5. I learned about English fog. I’ll never forget how quiet it was when the fog settled in and how eerie to make my way from the base to my apartment when landmarks were not visible.

When it came time to decide on the next year’s assignments, I applied for a transfer to Germany, as a life there seemed so much brighter. It was a good move to W├╝rzburg but I sometimes think I should have spent another year in England.

Copyright 2004 American Overseas Schools Historical Society

“Germany: 1954”