On September 15, 1949, I started attending Mount School at the ripe old age of 4 1/2. The School was located in the Market Place. I travelled with a small group of students from Eppleby to Darlington and then on to Bishop Auckland on the United bus number 1 which stopped quite near the front door of the school.
The boarders slept either at 'The Cottage' which was close to the gates or at 'The Elms' which was a large house which I think was near where Silver Street is now. We wore cream blouses, brown and cream coloured ties and brown gym-slips in winter, and in summer brown and white checked dresses.
I remember Richard and Rita Darling, twins with whom I shared a room when I was very young, also Paul and Steven Muir who were related to Miss Muir (the headmistress), Mrs Smith who taught 2nd form and Miss Heslop who played the piano and I believe taught sewing, sadly she committed suicide early one morning so we were all sent for a walk around the golf course and then were sent home early. I also remember Miss Tomlinson, Mrs Richardson who took us 'boarders' to her house to watch fireworks one November.
I also remember nightly 'homework' time in a big room at The Elms, and the 2 or 3 steps out of the dining room to a long hallway tiled with crimson tiles leading to the kitchen where there was a box on the wall with stars which moved when someone in one of the rooms in the house rang for maid service. There was no refrigeration so milk would go sour if there was a thunderstorm.
There was a large lawn at the rear of the main building of the school where we did formation marching to impress our parents. Beyond this there was a very steep slope with bluebells and wild onions growing in it leading to a patch of gravel at the bottom where we practiced tennis strokes. To the east of this there was a very tall stone wall with shards of glass embedded in the concrete on the top. I am not sure if that was to keep us in or to keep others out!
There were weekly spelling tests on very small pieces of paper, just big enough for your name at the top and the 10 words in the test, the next week you used the back of this paper for the test. Kindergarten was in the wood building beside the lawn, I remember large, colourful sheets of card with times tables written on them on the walls in this building.
I have a few photos one of which is Sports Day about 1955. Mrs Staley, Anne Shelhorn, Mrs Maclane, Miss Muir, Jean Stevenson, Helen Banks, Margaret Raine, Pat Slater, Lesley Britton, Christine Henderson, Judy Emmerson, Anne Dixon, Susan Allen, Val Cawthorn, Wendy Hart were some of the people on that photo. I also have a long photo of everyone in the school taken in May 1956.
Every evening we went for a walk to either the park to play rounders or hide and seek or to Woolworths, we always walked in a crocodile.
I left Mount School in 1956.
There is a website all about history of Bishop Auckland which has some interesting information on it.
A memory shared byon Mar 2nd, 2009.
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