Peter Osterman: Greenham Common

My family and I moved from Lakenheath, where my dad was a middle school teacher, to Greenham Common in the fall of 1964 when he became the elementary school principal. The school was then located in the manor house at Greenham Close, a small housing area by the, at the time, inactive Greenham base. RAF Welford was nearby and active. I was in grades 2-4, my first American school experience after a Norwegian preschool and two years of British public school.

In the fall of 1967 Greenham Common came back to life with the departures from France. The increased population led to the school moving onto the base and utilizing five or six former barracks. I remember one had a metal escape slide from the second floor onto the blacktop playground (mostly because I remember running into it). The school had access to the nearby base gym and bowling alley for PE when I was in 7th grade.

We left in the fall of 1970 after 7th grade. As the principal my dad was given the former manor house stables for our home, two stories with a garage and assorted storerooms. Our living room was the actual horses’ stalls and floored with wooden bricks. My brothers and I often pried them up to find oat kernels underneath. It was an awesome childhood!

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