Learning to be learned

CLASS ACT: This picture showing pupils of St Joseph's School, Batley Carr, in the early 1950s will bring back lots of memories for the children who went there, particularly as the teacher pictured, Mrs Davenport, was a firm favourite with most of them.

CLASS ACT: This picture showing pupils of St Joseph's School, Batley Carr, in the early 1950s will bring back lots of memories for the children who went there, particularly as the teacher pictured, Mrs Davenport, was a firm favourite with most of them.

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NO-ONE ever forgets their first day at school but some of us I’m afraid do get a bit hazy as the years go by.

There are others who remember everything and these are the people we turn to whenever we get stuck.

The other day I was talking to a boy called Peter Birmingham who went to my old school, St Joseph’s, Batley Carr.

He is writing his memoirs, and although he is doing them for his family, he is happy to share them with readers.

Peter, who was born during the war and lived at Warwick Mount, was taken to school on his first day by his cousin, Maureen.

He remembers clearly the summer’s morning in 1948 when they walked together hand-in-hand through Batley Carr on their way to St Joseph’s.

I’m sure there will be many others from St Joseph’s who will be delighted to read once again about those early days.

Peter recalls passing brick-terraced houses and gardens filled with sweet peas and gladioli.

Also Batley Carr Parish Church and Mason’s shop which sold the Beano and Dandy and where he first tasted the delights of kayli and spanish.

Walking into her shop was like going into a magical room, Peter had been told by Maureen, and for tuppence they could buy and buy. The only problem was, he only had three-ha’ppence.

They crossed the road where J Don Leo’s florist shop stood and trudged the rest of the way to where the fish shop was situated on the corner of Naylor Street.

Suddenly, there it was, standing tall and majestic, St Joseph’s School and Church, and what followed is described in Peter’s own words in the following extract from his memoirs, above.