Walkley History

News, events and discoveries of the Walkley Ways, Walkley Wars history project.

Happy Days at Burgoyne Road School

St Marys School

St Marys School © Copyright Terry Robinson and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Audrey Buxton shares happy memories of her infant school days at Burgoyne Road School, now St Mary’s.

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Oh I loved school, I loved it.  I started there when I was about 4 and a 1/2 I think  according to my mom and I had this lovely, lovely teacher called Miss Wright.  She only died a few years ago apparently but I don’t think teachers realise just what impact they have on children, oh I loved that lady.  There were three classes in the infants, they were, Miss Wright was in the first class, then we had Mrs Fullard and the third class we had Miss Wright again which I was really pleased with.

Looking back on it I felt sorry for my mom, we didn’t have a lot of money of course, you had the same clothes, you didn’t have new clothes every week or two weeks, or every two months even.  You had your winter clothes and they had to last you usually two or three winters, especially coats and things like that.  But when I first started school, Miss Wright was a very tall lady. I mean she looked old to me but I would think she’d probably be only in her  20’s and she had the most amazing clothes and she used to change them every day.  She had something new on every day. Well to me seeing my mum in the same skirts and jumpers and things like that, oh I was fascinated and I couldn’t wait to come home at dinner time and tell my mum what Miss Wright was wearing.  First words I used to say when I ran in was “Do you know what Miss Wright has got on today?” and my very, very favourite, I can remember it now, was a black dress that she wore with a very, very wide belt and around this belt were all felt figures of children. Well it was so colourful and as a little girl I thought that was wonderful.  Some days I used to come home and I’d say to mum “She’s got that dress on again today mom” and she knew immediately which one it was because I loved it so much.

We had a great big rocking horse  in the doorway in that classroom and you were put on that on your very first day, and the only concession that we got, because there were no plastic things or…  everything was like make do.  So the wendy house really were just screens in a corner of the classroom but it had got a little table and little cups and saucers and things like that so we could play house in there and the cloakroom actually, we all had a peg and instead of having your name over it, you had a colour, and mine was a little coloured ball that was stuck on it so you knew where to hang your coats.

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There were little sinks at the end but the toilets were outside in the playground and I never knew, I have difficulty now, but I never knew my left from my right  and I have to think which hand I write with, and er… when it was wet or snowy or things like that we used to have to go to school in wellingtons.  We used to change into plimsolls you know for the classrooms, so what I used to do was take my wellingtons off and put them under my coat in the same order that I’d taken them off so I knew which was my left and right, and one day I remember fighting with this girl because she’d knocked into my wellingtons and mixed them up. So I didn’t know which was my left or my right.  I remember pushing her and saying to her “Now I don’t know which is my left and right!”

 Audio player for devices which don’t play Flash, such as iPad.

Do you know we had slates, they were greasy things that used to scratch and screech and all sorts with the chalk on them and sometimes when we had new ones, because they replaced them, they were all frayed at the edge.  They weren’t the ones in wooden blocks that sometimes they had in Victorian schools that I’ve seen, they were just a block of chalk… I mean slate, they weren’t framed, so they used to get chipped and broken and of course this grease used to  …  well they all used to be stacked on a shelf and when they wanted you to write you used to have to go for your little rubbers, your chalk and your chalkboard.  And when I was in Miss Fullard’s class I can remember somebody shouting “New chalkboards have come, new chalkboards” so we all ran, rushed to get a new one so that we could write properly on them.

I think by the time I’d got in the third in the infants we did have books and we used to have things like  sum cards. I just loved doing sums, I know I’m a sad person, but even today I love figures you know, yes, yes, they fascinate me.  I love sudoko now and doing things … I know, I know, I think it’s something that you are with it or you’re not, isn’t it.


About Bill Bevan

Bill Bevan is an archaeologist, writer, photographer and heritage interpreter.

One comment on “Happy Days at Burgoyne Road School

  1. Lisa Green
    June 11, 2016

    I went to Burgoyne road school and stayed there when it changed to St Mary’s school. had some great teachers, Miss Wilson, Miss Rafferti, head teacher Mr Dalton. Had some great friends too, Paula Buckley, Judith Collingwood, Samantha Heathcote.would love to hear from some of my old friends.

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This entry was posted on January 27, 2014 by in 1960s 1970s Life and tagged , .
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