By: Blonde Two
I have some very fond memories of growing up in Malvern and of having such free access to the Malvern Hills. My first school was North Malvern Infants (the building is apartments now) which perched on the edge of the Malvern Hills directly opposite a quarry. Quarrying ended in 1970 which was before I started school.
The history of the quarry and of the two water tanks there is fascinating but my memories are just of a rather special ‘playground’ in a spot that, sadly, nobody would dare to take kids to play in today.
We had a ‘normal’ playground at the back of the school but on summer lunchtimes, our teachers would crocodile us out of the front door, cross us over the road and lead us up the path to play in the old quarry yard. The yard was a place of endless adventure and imagination for us youngsters. It was, by that time, a wide, flat, grassy space with a clock tower and some very exciting rocks. Rocks, I would like to point out, can be exciting but I wouldn’t recommend anyone admitting to this in an (unsuccessful) interview as I did the other day.
There were two particular rocks that we were allowed to play on – please bear in mind that these were at the bottom of quarry faces and would never pass a risk assessment today. The first was The Flattie and all but the youngest were allowed to play on it. Accessing The Flattie involved a bit of a scramble to the top and then a slide (knickers were stronger and almost certainly more visible in those days) back to terra firma. My sister and I visited The Flattie yesterday and did manage to climb up despite there now being all manner of plant life surrounding it.
The second rock was only an option for those in Class Six and could only be visited with special permission. To access The Biggie, you had to ask the sentry (I mean teacher) if you could, “Go round the corner.” The corner is pictured below and hasn’t really change that much.
Once you were, “Round the corner.” you were allowed to scramble to your heart’s content up and down The Biggie. Like The Flattie, The Biggie is now overgrown but you can see from the picture below that it would be forbidden without safety hats and probably high visibility jackets today.