St Philips School

A Memory of Burley in Wharfedale

At this time (1950) I became a pupil at the above school. The playground was truly superb and it has very recently become a permanent green space for the use of the village. This ground has in it a ha-ha and we younsters (I was 9) used to pretend that it was a shelter to protect us from arrows and spears being hurled at us from the fort (school). Unfortunately the school closed down in the mid 1950s. The building is Burley House, a well known large Georgian house at the junction of the old Otley Road with the roads from Guiseley and Ilkley and is now offices. One thing I do remember is that on this junction was an RAC box and often there was a patrolman complete with motorbike on duty at it. He was always kind to us and let us inspect his motorbike and sidecar (don't touch anything). School itself was fine and I progressed quite well although it turned out I was not a scholar. Every Sunday morning when I was a boarder we used to go to church, one week to the Methodist and the other to the C of E. I always fancied myself as a singer of hymns and used to bellow them out at the top of my voice whatever kind of hymn it was. (I am now a member of the choir at Burley C. of E known as St. Mary's) One, I thought, lucky chap was excused going to church because he was Jewish and indeed he never attended school assembly either. Tuck was very important to us particularly as rationing was still very much in but there were some things that were not rationed. We used to go down to the Tuck Shop, which was just outside the school gates in a wooden lean-to shed and come back to school with liquorice root and sticks and of course my favourite, when I could, aniseed balls. Unfortunately I cannot remember the name of the lady who ran the shop but she was always very kind to us.
In the past 60 years much has changed. At the far end of the playground is now built the Sandholme estate of a large number of houses with Geogian style windows and the most dramatic change to the village in recent years was the opening of the very long awaited bypass, which has made our village become a village again instead of a group of buildings lining a motorway.

Comments & feedback

Tue Aug 19th 2014, at 11:36 pm

jhstx commented:

Very interested to read your account of St Philips. I also attended this school as a boarder from 1948 to `1953. Reading your recollections bought back a few memories. I remember Miss Hayes (matron) Miss Harris (head mistress) and many names of fellow boarders. I have lived in U.S. for many years but would love to know if you are in touch with any fellow boarders from that time.

Tue Aug 19th 2014, at 11:37 pm

jhstx commented:

Tue Nov 3rd 2015, at 3:22 am

geoff commented:

I was a day pupil at this memorable school from roughly, 1952
thru 1959 during this period, we very sadly lost Miss Harris.
The Reverend Whitaker was put in to run the school and it was
never as anything like as engrossing during his watch.
I stumbled on this site and the time has got to 3.20 am so I am going to close but will return.

Mon Mar 21st 2016, at 3:38 pm

mikejanet1 commented:

I was a day pupil from 1951 until I was 16 in 1956 and had done O levels. Happy memories, lovely field to play in and gym. Remember Miss Harris, headmistress, and Mr Sutton and Mr Hawkins. Would love to hear from some of my fellow pupils. Seems a long time ago now, having now retired to sunny Spain.

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