finding friends in old attendance
The street surrounding old
Pye Bank School was full of all types and models
of modern day vehicle. Fred Thursby was an ex-school
caretaker who’d been here 28 years, and
told me how he’s seen three headteachers
pass through the school in his time.
I then met Mrs Smethurst an old
school teacher who worked here in 1943 during
the war up until 1948.
“I was Miss Fisher then and
in 1943 there was the barrage balloon to protect
the school from the bombers, young man. Are you
getting all this down?”
Yes I was, as, in old school teacher
fashion Miss Fisher (now Smethurst), corrected
my spelling. She added how it took her two hours
everyday to walk to school, back in those days.
“My father, he had a farm out in Penistone
see.” I sadly didn’t but 65-year-old
Keith Farnshaw who stood close by did, and remembered
Miss Fisher, as he was one of her pupils. Keith
recalls, during the war, being taken out to the
Fisher’s farm and having a wonderful time.
The memories continued for so many
arriving as others departed; there was recognition
of 92-year-old Evelyn Pinchback, one of the oldest
ex-pupils to return.
A large bouquet of flowers was presented
to Annie Bullas who attended the school between
1914 and 1924. Annie used to live on Thistle Street;
that unfortunately no longer exists and at 95,
she was the oldest ex-pupil to return on the day.
There were many faces here and many names collected
as the registers stating their years of attendance
were read over and reread by the many ex-pupils,
caretakers and teachers who attended.
Pye Bank Trinity School has now
amalgamated with Pye Bank Nursery and Infants
to form Pye Bank Church of England (CoE) Primary
School which has a new purpose-built building
on Andover Street. The school opens with the start
of a new term on Monday 23rd February. The old
building will remain and there are hopes it can
be put to good use for the community.