Some Historical Recollections

From: Colin Billington [left Ecclesall Juniors in 1953]

When I started at Ecclesall, it was a Junior & Infant school, but included 'Seniors'. There was one class per year cohort: i.e. 2 infants and 4 juniors.

The 4 cohorts of seniors were either all together or in two groups. A Mr Williams took them, and possibly Mr Griffiths as well.

The headmaster was Mr Jenkinson, who retired at the end of my 1st Infant year. 1st year infants - Miss Goodfellow, 2nd year - Miss Jenkinson (no relation to the headmaster). At that time Mr Jenkinson's desk, and therefore office, was under the propellor, i.e. it was accommodated in a teaching classroom. The infants' classes were in the same room, divided by a curtain in the room at the Ringinglow Rd end of the building. [On the wall furthest from Ringinglow Road, in the triangle at the top of the wall there was a large wooden aeroplane propellor, about two thirds the width of the room. See 1960 Magazine.]

Mr Benson came as headmaster and had an office at the bottom of the Infants/girls playground - up some steps to a room in the upper story of a building in the vicarage grounds.

I think the Seniors were at Banner Cross, and I am unable to remember when they ceased, but it was before Silverdale was built.

The 1st year Juniors was Mrs Walker, and in the room on the Ringinglow Road side of the school. The 2nd year was with Miss Hanson, and we were accommodated at Banner Cross Sunday School. The 3rd year was with Mr Farnsworth, and we started being taught in the other half of the propellor room, i.e. near Ringinglow Road. I think it must have been our second term (Jan 1952) when we started to be bussed to Totley. I can remember King George VI's death & funeral, when we were at Totley.

There was at this time a Mrs Osborne as a class teacher, but she never taught me - so the number of classes increased. The new Infant School opened in 1952, Easter or Sept, and thus relieved the pressure on the old school due to the 'baby boom'.

Mr Benson left then, and Mr Long became headmaster. The 4th year was with Mrs Booth down at the Memorial Hall. Mr Egan used to come down and take us for Geography, and we used to come up to the old school for P.T. with Mr Egan.

In the 50's school dinners were cooked in a communal kitchen at Bents Green and delivered to Ecclesall School in insulated containers. There was not a dining room or kitchen, and the meals were served in the class rooms and eaten at our desks. The class teacher supervised and served the food. We never had chips, because they would not travel and keep in acceptable condition in the containers. I do not know how or where the washing up was done - it could have been taken back to Bents Green.

Colin Billington (Website: www.billogs.com)

From: Stewart Edwards [left Ecclesall Juniors in 1957]

I did my J1 year - 53/54 - at Huntley Rd before going back to Ringinglow Rd. for J2, J3 and J4. I remember starting in the Infants at Ringinglow Rd. and moving to Huntley Rd. when that building opened but what I can't remember is whether I was at Huntley Rd for one year or two. My guess would be that Huntley Rd. opened in September 1953 but it may have been a year earlier.

Stewart Edwards

From: Gaynor Fitzpatrick [left Ecclesall Juniors in 1957]

When I started [Ringinglow Rd], in the room that was divided by the curtain, the teacher was Miss Goodfellow. She was ancient, even more ancient than we all are now, and she had taught my mother, and she was evil. About three weeks into the term, as I recall, my very first term at school, she hauled me to the front of the class and rapped the back of my fingers with a ruler, and it hurt, because I was whispering to Pamela Fisher who was two rows in front of me, bravely asking if she would sit next to me at lunch time. I was very, very shy, and would have withered under just a look - that's all it would have taken. I've borne Goodfellow's scars ever since!

After that class I would have been at the new primary school for two years, then came back to Mrs Walker for J2, Mrs Booth in the annex [the Memorial Hall] for J3, and Mr Griffiths in the new classrooms for J4.

I do remember the lunches were tepid and tasted of the containers they were delivered in. And then there was the warm, bottled milk. Ick.

Gaynor Fitzpatrick

From: Don Nicolson [left Ecclesall Juniors in 1959]

I arrived at Ecclesall Infants from Leeds in Sept 1955; I was in Mrs/Miss Langrish's J1 class (and was surprised, after Leeds, to find that fighting in the playground was not de rigueur). The Head was Miss Needham, who seemed formidable. We then proceeded in an orderly fashion at the Junior school through J2 (Mrs Beynon; in a room in the old building), J3 (Mrs Booth - first room in the new building) and J4 (Mr Griffiths - last room in the new building).

I think there were 2 classes per year; the other J4 class was next door to our classroom, and the teacher might have been Mrs Bull. The other J3 class might have been in the old building together with the 2 J2 classes.

The head was Mr Ellis, office exactly as described by Colin above - he would invite the best chess players for a game and was astonished to lose to my brother Rod a few years later.

There was constant soccer in the playground (I was asked on day 1 whether I supported United or Wednesday, a question which meant nothing to me; enquiries at home revealed that United's ground was the nearer, and so my allegiance was straightforward). I don't recall that many formal games of anything except rounders. Games were often at the Bents Green Special school*, although I recall a game of cricket on the 'Rec' on Common Lane.

There was regular swimming at the Glossop Rd baths, perhaps weekly throughout, and regular rounders practice in the boys' playground weekly after school.

[* I am reliably informed that games were actually at the then Maud Maxfield School for the Deaf, next to Bents Green Special School, on Ringinglow Rd, just before Common Lane.]

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