More Larks on the Larkman

It was a picture with sparked some great memories - and more photographs of life at Larkman lane - and a boy called Pudding.

He was the little boy in the school show who played the Christmas pudding which ran away – and the name stuck for the rest of his life.

That little chap with the blond hair, second in from the left, third row up, that's Ray Palmer known to this day as Pudding Palmer. And 60 years on, they still call him Pudding.

'That picture certainly brought back a few memories. It was lovely to see,' said Pudding, sorry Ray, now 70, who went on to work at Anglia Television as an electrician and then for Sky

The picture was of Mrs Walker's Class at Larkman Lane School in Norwich of 1950-51 and came from Jan Chalmers (Skitmore) who is in the centre on the back row.

'They were happy days. There were nine of us living at Clarkson Road. I can remember the first person in the street to have a car and I thought every blanket had 'US Army' written on it! My father worked at the American air bases,' he said.

'We were in Nissen huts and the young ones had a sleep on a camp bed in the afternoons. Our class teacher, Mrs Walker, gave us a lead soldier if we did well,' he recalled.

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He went on to the Henderson School for Boys where the nickname went with him.

'Even now, when I am walking through the city, someone shouts 'Hello Pudding'.'

Trevor Smith was prompted to send in this other class photograph taken on the same day.

He was in the next class, run by Mrs McMaster, and is in the middle of the back row between two girls.

'In 1949, when I started at Larkman Lane, I also had to walk from West Earlham where my parents lived in a 'steel house',' he said.

'The first-year classes were in asbestos huts heated by a coke tortoise stove. It was so cold we had to stand our bottles of milk on the hearth to thaw before drinking them.

'The headmaster was Mr Lyons who had a false iron arm. He stood outside the school in the mornings telling us to hurry up. We were terrified of him.

'Our first-year teacher was Mrs Sharman who rode to school on a Corgi Brockhouse scooter. I used to get letters 'd' and 'b' wrong, she got so angry she hit me over the head with a handful of books. I soon learned,' said Trevor.

'On the school site was a large kitchen which cooked for a number of schools. I can remember having rabbit stew.

'They were tough times, some children were very needy but we had plenty of freedom. Nobody had anything so I guess we were all fairly happy.

'I now live at Honingham having retired from the construction industry. We are surrounded by fields and a river – just like my early days in West Earlham. Happy days indeed,' recalled Trevor.

Watch this space for more memories and pictures of life at Larkman Lane. And if you have any to share drop me a line at Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich, NR1 1RE, or you can email me at