Burngreave Messenger.
Issue 39 March 2004
   

Pye Bank School Down Memory Lane

by Rob Smith
photography by Carl Rose

A trip down memory lane and all the music came from the chattering voices of so many forgotten and now fondly remembered faces.

 

The old Pye Bank Nursery and Infant School.
The old Pye Bank Nursery and Infant School.
Take a trip down Andover Street and you can see 130 years of Burngreave’s educational history.
The new Pye Bank (CoE) Primary School.
The new Pye Bank (CoE) Primary School.

 

Ex-pupils finding friends in old attendance records.

Ex-pupils finding friends in old attendance records.

Mrs Smethurst, oldest teacher.

Mrs Smethurst, oldest teacher.

Annie Bullas, oldest pupil.

Annie Bullas, oldest pupil.

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.

 

     
back. top. next.
Index for Issue 39 March 2004.