Ascension Day – Spring Term 1918

Midsummer herself could not have invested a day with greater glory, and we appreciated it all the more because the weather of previous Ascension Days has often left so much to be desired.

We awoke with the ” something is going to happen ” feeling, and as we looked anxiously out of the window, agreed with the poet that

“It were a most delightful thing
To live in a perpetual spring.”

Ascension Day began for most of us, as it always has done, with our early Celebration at St. Martin’s, while for those who have not been Confirmed yet there was a service at school at 10 o’clock. And then we had the morning before us, in which to be either energetic or lazy after our own fashion, and the time fled until one hundred and fifty of us found ourselves on the way to the station. In the two coaches allotted to us we were packed like-but; no, sardines at least look cool! Not that we minded it rather added to the fun, and wee reckoned our­selves lucky indeed to be able to travel even as far as Wishford, where we arrived in due course. As each House had provided its own food, we did not arrange to meet, as we used to do, for tea, but took our separate rations and went our ways. Some people made straight for the cowslip field, many yielded to the fascinations of grass and beech trees by the roadside, but my way led me straight on to the heart of Grovely Woods.

There I spent the afternoon rejoicing in the perfect blue of the sky, the magic of the new-leaved beech trees, and the mystery of those little woodland paths which might lead to fairyland itself.

But after tea, when the end of the day was in sight, those of us who had not already been busy for some hours, went seriously to work and picked flowers. Violets first, and primroses, from the shady nooks beneath the sheltering tree trunks, and the grassy edges of the paths. Then bluebell’s-sheaves of them and, lastly, we crossed a downy bit of turf to the cowslip field. There a goodly company gathered steadily, until the miniature figures trudging along the road far below began to look really business-like, and then we said we would go straight on and leave the cowslips. But the fascination of “Titania’s pensioners” was upon us, and it was only after we had had “just one more” many times that we really did reach the road, and eventually arrived at the station. There were a few mild alarms because someone was late, but when the muster of Houses was taken the number was complete and a very happy School packed into the train at Wishford, unpacked at Salisbury, and walked, flower-laden, through the town.

Then came the special School Service, and as we sang our Ascension Day hymn we realised that this had been indeed a day of days.

M. M. DALSTON (Tipper VI.).