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After All These Years

By Joanne Nixon
February 2003, Rhayader
A digital story from Capture Wales

Continuity in a Changing World

Five generations of Jo's family has been to the same village school. Even though some things have changed, there are still some things that stay the same.

"If that old bell could, I'm sure it would ring out many tales. What fun we had. There were concerts, Eisteddfods with those treasured little bags, sports with sweets as prizes. The break time bell. Mr Hill the headmaster, Mrs Williams who had the patience of everyone rolled into one, accompanied by, oh I can smell it now, the most wonderful perfume. And Miss Cooper, my teacher in Class 2, my favourite class room complete with a shop in the corner. Those coat pegs, they were no ordinary coat pegs, we used to think they looked like microphones and often sang into them. When we were naughty, or had said something we shouldn't have, off to the toilets to rinse our mouths out with that red soap and water - yuk! The smell was enough.

My son James is in Class 3 and my daughter, Charlotte who has just had her first day of school in Class 1, will also experience the sports with the sweets, the same break time bell, the treasured Eisteddfod bags and yes, those coat pegs too. All part of life at Newbridge-on-Wye Church in Wales School.

Within the echo of that old bell, my children, my brother and I, my father, his father and his father's father, five generations educated in this village school. Some things change but luckily for me they have stayed the same. Only that old bell will tell if my children's children and their children's children will have the same fond memories as I did and my family before me."

Joanne Nixon

Please tell us about yourself.
I am married to Nigel, a farmer. I'm in full time employment and have two children, James aged 8 and Charlotte aged 4. I have lived here in the old county of Radnorshire in Powys all my life. I enjoy my work, spending time with my family and life on the farm with our pedigree herd of Welsh Black cattle.

What's your story about?
My story is about five generations of my family attending the same village school - Newbridge On Wye Church in Wales School. I chose to tell this story as I feel strongly about its uniqueness. Out of all the pupils that currently attend the school, I don't think there is another family with as many generations educated there. In this ever-changing world not many families stay and make their own lives where they grew up.

What was the most rewarding aspect of making your digital story?
The whole experience from beginning to end was totally rewarding. I feel that the stories that came out from the workshop were of a very high quality and a credit to all who took part. I really enjoyed everything and could not thank the BBC digital storytelling team enough for giving me the opportunity to do my story and make new friends too. One thing that makes me feel rewarded is the atmosphere for the viewing of the stories - everyone was nervous, but excited and moved to see each other's stories for the first time.

Your comments

"Thank you for your marvellous story. I am sitting in a digital story telling class in a TAFE college. Your story is one being usec as an example of how to do it. I can relate to your story. Only I have two generations in my school in Hodthorpe, Derbyshire as we emigrated before I left school." Susan Mahony Elizabeth, South Australia.

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