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MEMORIES OF BURRADON SCHOOL

BY HONOR WEIGHTMAN

School was rather different in the 20’s and 30’s. Mind you it was very highly regarded and the headmaster during that time (Mr Hindmarch) was a very forward looking man who wanted the best for every pupil. He employed a teaching staff second to none and always got good results. We, the pupils, loved and respected every one of them – even though they were very strict. I still get a warm feeling just thinking about them. I could be lavish with praise for each one of them, but would most likely end up just boring you so will just compare now with then.

You have a lovely school – a happy school, that’s so cosy and warm. I remember sitting shivering with cold and being told to go into the corridor and jump up and down to keep warm, often we kept our coats on. We had to share books and very often there was only one book and the teacher would have to sit and read to us, but it was exciting waiting for the next chapter. There would be anything up to 40 children in a class and you would be able to hear a pin drop during the story telling. Can’t ever remember anyone being bored (we didn’t know such a word existed), but then we were always inventing new games, we seemed to have vivid imaginations in those days.

The most wonderful thing I can remember was the year 1935 when I was among the chosen who because of our impoverished background, were invited for a two week holiday in North Seaton Hall, near Newbiggin – the only holiday most of us would ever have. There were perhaps twenty of us and boy of boy, the excitement when Cooper’s bus (I think) came to 2 pick us up. I felt on top of the world because I had a tablet of Palmolive soap, the first scented soap I’d ever had. It didn’t go into the brown paper carrier bag with my holiday clothes, I kept it in my hand and kept letting the other girls smell it. Do you know I can still smell it and believe me Chanel doesn’t have a look in.

I wish the pupils of this wonderful school could understand just how fortunate they are and know the thrills and excitement each day brought for me and have the same happy memories.

God Bless them all!

The above contribution is the text of a speech honour was to present at the opening evening at Burradon School on 7th July 2005 which was opened by John Harrison, the Mayor of North Tyneside.

Unfortunately, due to prior commitments Honour was unable to attend the opening, however, we are extremely pleased that we are able to include the article for the enjoyment of the visitors to the website.