Shelia Reader School days in the 1950’s

I would like to share my memories with you about my school days in Heath Hayes and about the educational problems caused by mining subsidence to the Wimblebury road junior school. I went to the infant school next door when a rather fearsome lady called Miss Walker was the head mistress.  The reception class was taught by a Miss Davis who always wore a flowery smock over her dress and taught us to recite poetry every day. The second year was taken by Mrs Hudson and we had a mock market stall in the corner of the classroom and took it in turns to be shopkeeper or customer thus learning about weights and measures and adding up money for change while playing. Maths made fun!. When we had to applaud anything we always were told to do a thumb nail clap to avoid disturbing the next room. Then finally the exciting day arrived when we would all go up to the big school, our mum’s usually stood outside to see us walking proudly across the playground and through the gate to the junior school. Unfortunately we were only in that building for a few months before it was condemned and deemed to be unsafe due to mining subsidence. From that point onwards we were no longer together as a school. The only lesson I can recall having there was music and movement to the radio in the assembly hall. The school was dispersed through the village with two classes being held in the St John’s church hall with only a couple of screens between the two classes and every word being overheard, one class in the Bourne Methodist church hall but of course there was no playground at all and one class in the little chapel on the Wimblebury road. This was the best venue as we could play in the field opposite and climb the trees. It was only for our final few months that the new school in Hill St was finished and we completed our secondary education there. The downside of this separation was that you only knew your own class and never met any other pupils. The staff did a wonderful job despite very difficult conditions; the headmaster was Bob Evans who had his study in the vestry at the Bourne chapel. Other teachers were Mr Harry Orme, Mr Savage and Mr Falkener. The intake area covered Heath Hayes and Wimblebury so it was quite a walk up that hill in the winter as no one was taken to school by car. Despite all these problems we still received a very good basic all round education. The pupils I can remember in my year were Ruth Fereday, Margaret Hawkins, Margaret Hughes, David Jordan, David Johnson, Irene Darby, David Grantham, Janet Mellor, Pauline Forester, Gene Dace, Sidney Degg, Gerald Nicholls, Janet Slater, Paul Kelsey, Margaret Almond, Tony Bill, Valerie Street, Ralph Instone, Joyce Lee, Margaret Poyser, Cynthia Bakewell, Roger Riggs, Maureen Thacker and Linda Badger. I would love to hear from any of you if you read these rumblings.

Sheila Carrier now Sheila Reader


The Easter bonnet parade 1960’s

The Easter bonnet parade 1960’s
L to R
1Celia Wilcox. 2 Rosemary Spanswick. 3 Joan Robinson 4 Joan Hawkins 5 Hilda Teece 6 Mrs Linford 7 ? 8 ? 9 Margaret Linford 10 Joan Tranter 11 Lizzie Carriere. 12 Sheila Carriere

Nellie Bruce

During the 1940’s, 50’s and early 60’s Nellie Bruce known as Madame Bruce and her dance band held a weekly dance at St John’s church hall every Saturday night. The drummer was a Tom Lawrence who lived in Stafford St. Twice a year Mrs Hurley who lived in the bungalow opposite the church organised a ball.
The ‘daffodil ball’ in the spring and the ‘chrysanthemum ball’ in the autumn. During the early 50’s the emcees were Florry Shorthouse and Trevor Genes.
They formed a formation dance team of youngsters and we performed our routines at quite a number of dances. The photograph is of this team.

Photo and Information thanks to Shelia Reader (Carrier)

Shelia Reader ‘School days in the 1950’s’

Ladies Social Circle In The 1960’s – Thanks to Shelia Reader

Standing L to R
1 Rosemary Spanswick
2 Marion Spanswick
3 ?
4 Mrs Linford
5 Joan Hawkins
6 Barbara Thompson
7 Margaret ?
8 ?
9 ?
10 ?
11 Margaret Linford
12 ?
13 ?
14 Mrs Lester Kelly
15 Nancy Grice

Seated L to R
1 Tilly Oakley
2 Clara Oakley  in front of them
3 Joan Tranter
4 Sheila Carriere
5 Lizzie Carriere
6 Mrs Hartshorne.
7 ?
8 Gert Hollowood
9 ?
10 Hilda Teece
11 Kathleen ?

Shelia Reader St John’s Church Garden Parties

Thanks to Shelia Reader

The church always had an annual garden party held on the field next to the graveyard which is now a housing estate. There were races for the children including an egg and spoon race, a three legged race and a sack race. The fancy dress parade was always popular and was often judged by one of the Tennant  family. The photographs are of me after winning first prize twice in the early 50’s. I did have a plate of jam tarts when I was queen of hearts but had eaten them by the time the photo was taken. It was a hot day when I was a south sea islander hula girl and I remember the colouring began to run and melt as it was made from cocoa paste and water.

Thanks to Shelia Reader
Church nativity play 1950’s

Back row L to R

1 Terry Bruce. 2 Rev Roy Hibbert. 3 David Grantham 4 Bob Sturgess

2nd  row from back L To R

1 Geoff Teece. 2 Peter Blake. 3 Mrs Hurley. 4 Ruth Fereday  5 ? 6 Hilary Poxon

3rd row standing L To R 1 Sheila Carriere  2 David Johnson. 3 Derek Smith 4 ? 5 Margaret Smith Seated from L to R

1 Linda Maund. 2 Anne Johnson. 3 June Fowler. 4 Joyce Maund

Joyce Maund  is now Joyce Stewardson  an ordained deacon at St Johns and Derek Smith married Hilary Poxon and entered the priesthood.

heath hayes history
© 2019