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School Days - a Memory of Woodhouse Eaves.

I grew up in Woodhouse Eaves and my siblings and I went to the school in this picture. This is of St Paul's junior school and if my memory is correct it had four classrooms, and the headmaster's office was in the building closest in view. We had to go into his office to get our school supplies as he had them stored in a great big cupboard! The metal barrier outside each entrance was a favourite for doing somersaults over.
Every school day we would walk from school to our dinner room which is pictured down on Main St on the left. We had to cross the street at the bottom, and a lady called Mrs. Hardy would stop the traffic with her "lollipop" so we could cross safely. We called her the "lollipop lady!"
The school house is pictured on the right down the hill, and that is were our headmaster lived. His name was Mr Hughes, though we all called him "Taffy" since he was from Wales. He was very strict, loved singing and boy you better keep your eyes on him when he was teaching the singing class!
Although you can't see it in this picture, but opposite the school was our playground. I remember having to go out to play rain or shine, the fresh air was good for us! I'm not sure of the exact year, but I do recall that it was in that playground I saw my first total eclipse of the sun. Our teacher Mrs. Leslie gave us dark glass bottles to look through so that we wouldn't injure our eyes.
Behind the school was steep rock formations that we used to climb "illegally" and see how high we could get. I remember during my days at St Pauls's the Abervan disaster occurred. Being young children we didn't really understand what had happened, but I do recall being afraid that the rocks behind us would collapse and bury our school. Mrs. Sherwood would try to reassure us that it couldn't happen, but somehow I thought differently.
To the right at the bottom of the hill was a small grocery shop owned by Mr Spencer. I remember you could go in and buy so many sweets for a penny! He had a tray of all kinds of sweets that he would bring out when he saw us and as we pondered on what to buy with our few pence he would say "come on Make Haste". I don't think I have ever heard any one else use that phrase again.
The bus stop is still in the same place I recall at the bottom of the hill, though I doubt the numbers 601 or 602 double deckers still run into the nearby towns.
I left my home village many years ago, and now live in the US, though I do still have relatives there. The old school is now converted into luxury flats, and no doubt shows no resemblance of what it once was inside, but outside is still somewhat reminiscent of our school. The headmasters' house is still there and last I saw the bell from the school had been moved to the school house. Although modern technology has changed so much in our lives, I'm glad I was able to grow up in such a charming village, that still holds so many fond memories.


A memory shared by Josephine Linger on Feb 6th, 2007. Send Josephine Linger a message

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