Pinner Wood: We're Going On A Book Hunt

Michael Rosen

Children’s novelist and poet Michael Rosen recalls what it was like to be a schoolboy at PWS in the 1950s to celebrate reopening



Former Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen enchanted Pinner Wood pupils and staff with tales of his own school days there as he welcomed them back to their Latimer Gardens home.


The novelist and poet - who has written about 140 books including We’re Going On A Bear Hunt and Chocolate Cake – presented his first school with a selection of his works for the library. Then he recited some of his poems - with hilarious actions and sound effects that had everyone in stitches.


“I wanted to give you some presents as you’ve all done so well,” the 71-year-old said, referring to the school’s journey since its closure in March when chalk mines in dangerous condition were found underneath. “Isn’t it wonderful you’ve all come back!


“I did come to this school but I’m very, very old,” he added, before joking: “I was born in the Stone Age when they were building the tunnels under your school. When I was a boy all we had was stones and rocks. There was no television – just a rock! How did we live?”


He shared stories of walking to school from his home in Love Lane, anecdotes of “lovely” teachers, colourful chalk drawings on blackboards that inspired his imagination and how the corridors of the building “still look exactly the same”.



Later, he enjoyed a tour of his primary school - which he went to until the age of seven - and tweeted photos of himself with his thumbs up by an area he remembers as a toilet block and outside his old classroom.


Cllr Christine Robson, Portfolio Holder for Children, Schools and Young People, said: “It was wonderful to see Michael address the children and watch their fantastic reactions to his stories and poetry.


“It is so inspiring for them to see what a pupil of Pinner Wood can achieve – maybe we have some more budding writers among them who will come back to tell the future generations about their own school adventures.”


Head Teacher Sarah Marriott said: “We have been on such a high since we came back home and Michael’s visit has been the icing on the cake.


“He has taken such an interest in the school’s progress over the past few months – and couldn’t wait to welcome us back here. The children will treasure this memory of his visit and his gifts will take pride of place in our library.”