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.
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