his Courthouse Green School class photo was sent to me by Cathy Bennett, and it presents us with two fundamental questions: "Are you in this picture?" and "When was it taken?". Although Cathy attended that school in the 1970s, it would be interesting to hear from anyone who recognises themselves in this lovely class portrait from the early 1950s.
Teacher, Miss Young
Left to right, back row:
Sally Pearsall | Diane Quinney | Barry Macpheat | Peter Innocent | Susan Johnson | Pat Pollock | ? | Margaret Bedford | ? | Alan Bassett | ? | ? | John Chaplain | Veronica Smith | Alan Kirby | Geoffrey Green
Left to right, middle row:
? | Jennifer Clarke | Michael Williams | Anthony Burdett | Lynn Hamersley | ? | Alan Goulden | ? | ? | Jacqueline Thomas | John Perry
Left to right, front row:
? | ? | Douglas Annalls | Alison Smith | Yvonne Bannister | John Curran | Frazer Hendry | Jane Gilbert | David Cutts | Richard Baker
Veronica Faux (nee Smith) has identified herself on the top row, third from right. Thank you, and lovely to hear from you Veronica.
John Oakley would like to add these memories of the school....
"I was interested in the photograph of pupils from Courthouse Green. I recognise some, but not all of the names of pupils who were later in Mr Batt's class Upper 4 in 1957 when I joined the school. It was three form entry, streamed by academic attainment. My sister Margaret also taught there for a year.
I guess that this was the 1952/3 intake who were later allocated to different groups and years.
I am reassured to hear that some contributors felt that Miss Hasten left an impression on her pupils. It was not my imagination after all.
I recall that Mr Bailey (had a son Ross), Mr Young, Mr Sayers, Mr Gibson, Mrs Smith and Miss Ward were also teachers there at the time."
John also recalls the following names of fellow pupils: Grace Annals, Susan Rainey, Christine Norton, Keith Crowther, Colin Treen, Joseph Dunn, William?, Michael Spiller, Robert Cumnor, Christine Mallier, Sharon Beard, Jeffrey Bryan & Frank Turner.
John Richardson has contacted me to say....
"Very interested in your Courthouse Green School page. I was born 1949 opposite the school in the old weavers cottages. I was great friends with Alan Goulden who also lived opposite the school. I lived there for 16 years before moving to Alderman's Green."
John Curran has been in touch again with two more names towards the completion of the class: Barry Macpheat and Alan Kirby, who, he thinks, lived in Purcell Road. He also adds:
"Courthouse Green School was divided into infants and juniors. Mr. Batt was deputy head of the junior school and taught Upper Four."
Eunice Ward, born in 1947 (and now known as Niki Ward) lived in Purcell Road in the last but one house by the fields. Eunice believes that she could be the as yet unidentified child in the middle row - 6th from left in the dark top.
"With an unusual name like 'Eunice' there may be others who might recall me. Also, I still have a very close friend who should also have been in the photo as there is only a month between our birthdays - Bernita Watson, who lived in Heddle Grove, just across the central mound of grass by the back gates of the school. I sent her your page and she too recalls a lot of the names - but she thinks she is on bottom row 3rd from right and Jane Gilbert has claimed that spot? My main memories from the infant school are the sandpit to play in - and Mr. Batt's class where we learnt to write with PEN AND INK! The good old-fashioned desk with inkwell... trying not to blotch everywhere and feeling so grown up in his class. He seemed such a tall figure but that may have been because I was so small! I recall the problems the sweet shop just up the road caused me - slipping out at lunchtime when 'outside' was banned, being snitched on and facing reprimand by Mrs. Major. I don't know why but I have a very strong recollection of the smell of face powder when I think of her...!!"
Bernita (known as Nita) recalls: "Funny that - I remember the 'face powder' smell from Miss Hasten, not Mrs. Major. She always reminded me of chalk, I do not know why! I remember all the teachers mentioned, especially Mr. Batt as I remember him saying if my Mum did not buy one of the school photos we had taken, he would. Strange how I remember that.
It could also be mentioned that I married the caretaker's son Robert Davison in 1969. The caretaker was well liked by all and was there from the opening of the school until he retired. He was called Alfie, and his wife was a dinner lady called Ella. They also lived in Heddle Grove."
Eunice adds: "Not all parents could afford to buy the photos and I think they were taken most years. I do hope someone remembers us both - and isn't it nice that we are still close friends after all these years?"
Yvonne Litten would've been known to classmates as Yvonne O'Sullivan during her time at this school, and has many vivid memories to share....
"I was also a pupil at Courthouse Green Infants and Junior Schools in the 1950s/early 60s. We lived in Heddle Grove and we all went to Courthouse Green schools over the years. I have two sisters, Yvette and Lynn, and an elder brother, John. I vividly remember Miss Young and other teachers, such as the delightful headmistress of the infants school, Mrs. Major. I can tell from the already posted comments that Miss Hasten, the Head of the Junior School, certainly left a lasting impression on us all. So too did Mr. Fred Batt!! I remember Mr. Bailey as an extremely likeable middle aged man, and an excellent teacher. He was always very popular. I always enjoyed my netball at school and I recall the sports teacher was Miss Newell, who became Mrs. Cook (I think she was also the music teacher - I played recorder too). Happy memories. From early class photos I have, I would like to believe I may just be sitting first left on the front row - but cannot be certain. But I do remember Peter Innocent, he also lived in Heddle Grove and David Cutts was the elder brother of Linda Cutts and they lived in Purcell Road. My best wishes to any former classmates who may read this."
Ormand Lucas has more memories of the school to share with us....
"I was outside the juniors' waiting for the gates to open in 1951, I was moved from Edgewick School. I remember Mr. Bailey, Miss Sheldon (or Shelton), Mr. Batt, and Miss Hasten was the Head Mistress and if you did anything wrong and was sent to her office she would rap your knuckles with a ruler. On Friday afternoons we all had to polish our desk tops then one of our class had to go and collect Mr. Bailey's son who was in the infants' and bring him into Mr. Bailey's class and he would be asked to pick the most polished desk and get a prize of three pence. Mrs. Major, Head Mistress of the infants' was my class teacher in my last year at Paradise Street School but due to a bad road accident I was off school for a long time and Mrs. Major arranged a collection for me and bought me a Rupert the Bear annual and a selection of sweets - she was a very nice person."
Although not in this photograph, Linda Moore and her sister did attend Courthouse Green School, and has these memories to record....
"My mum was the lollipop lady on Sewell Highway by the infants' entrance. I was in Mr. Batts class and Mr Buckingham's too, and remember Miss Hasten - scary lady. I can also remember sitting in the hall watching the investiture of Prince Charles as Prince of Wales. We moved on up to Lyng Hall but left around 1972 when we moved north "for a better life" away from the strikes/unemployment."
Alan Goulden was shown this webpage by his son, and he subsequently recognised himself as seventh from the left in the middle row.
Barry Adams has particular memories of the Shuttle Street Children's Home, which he relates here....
"....you ask if anyone else remembers Shuttle Street Children's Home. I certainly do. It was No. 37 and was indeed run by Mr. and Mrs. Garvey. I was aged 5 when I was incarcerated there from The Grange Kids home in Keresley in 1958. I seem to remember Mr. Garvey was a nice bloke but Mrs. G. was a real battleaxe! I was terrified of her! I was there with my older brother and two sisters. Our names were Jacqueline, Yvonne, Philip and myself, Barry Adams. I don't suppose anyone else would remember us from all those years ago. We attended Courthouse Green school, but were only at Shuttle Street for a year or so before being moved yet again. I have written my autobiography detailing what life was like being brought up in care during the years 1955-1968. There are currently copies in various libraries in the city. It is entitled "Pater Noster" by Barry Adams - Shelved at 362.732092"
Malcolm Strong also recognises several of his friends, and can confirm that the seventh lad from left in the front row was a friend of his, Frazer Hendry. Another friend, John Chaplain, is now a retired policeman, and indeed, Malcolm recalls being friends with most of the children in this picture.
Geoff Green can confirm being on the right in the back row, and he would like to add....
"I recognise a huge amount of the faces and names. Had a copy of this from Pat Pollock a number of years ago through Friends Reunited. Also remember very well a friend of mine called Alan Goulden but don't recognise him from the pic. Does anyone else remember him? Quite remarkable how the names come flooding back. I remember Miss Hasten vividly. 'I SHALL SMACK YOU AND I SHALL HURT YOU'. Dont think she would get away with that these days. Happy memories. Cheers, Geoff Green"
Veronica Faux (nee Smith) has written to say that she was in this class, but cannot identify herself. Veronica says:
"I was born in 1947 so I would have been aged 6 in this picture. I remember Jennifer Clark as she lived next door to me in Armfield Street. Does anyone remember me (Veronica Smith)?"
Jackie Ward (nee Thomas - second from right, middle row) has also been in touch now, and has added a few more names to this class of c1952/53.
Pat Pollock has now supplied a larger photograph, which should make for easier identification of the children.
Mark Bolton has written to add some extra information to this picture....
"I remember the piano teacher (Doris Stafford) mentioned in the update (7th Spetember) as she was a friend of my nans, who lived about 6 doors down. Yes, the Victorian semis were demolished in the seventies, I remember playing there before, and after they were gone."
We're doing well with this photo now, with additional information from Pat Pollock (sixth from left, back row), who has supplied many more of the names for the children....
"That photo of the children sitting outside the classroom is of Mrs Young's class in approx 1953/4. John is right about the boys' names, I am alongside the teacher (left) and Margaret Bedford is on the right of the teacher. I still have an original print on my wall at home, and in fact also posted a scan of the pic on Friends Reunited. I do remember the Shuttle Street children's home. Our Sunday School classes were held at Courthouse Green school for a while when I was young, too."
We have another update on this photo from John Curran, who says:
"I am the dark haired boy middle front. I recognise Peter Innocent, Alan Bassett, John Chaplain, Geoff Green, Tony Burdett, Douglas and Ernest Annals and Frazer Hendry."
John would also like to add:
"Courthouse Green was a great little school. The catchment area included the then newer estate of Purcell Rd, Shuttle St, Heddle Grove etc. and Proffitt Ave, Elkington Stn, Tallants Rd, Sewall Highway and surrounds. The Headmistess of the infant's side was Mrs. Major, and there was a Ms. Smith amongst the teachers. Miss Hasten, a strict disciplinarian, was head of the Junior's. Other teachers included Mr. Batt, Miss Ward and Mr. Bailey. Mr. Phillips was the lollipop man who guided us across Bell Green road. There were two very popular sweet shops near to the school; Mrs. Russell's and Elkington's, which was opposite the Weavers pub. In those days there was a large pair of Victorian semis at the junction of Bell Green Rd and Sewall Highway, one of which was owned by a piano teacher. They were demolished in the 70s, I believe."
Geoffrey Jewkes has written in to inform me that the six year old girl sitting in the front row, fourth from the left, is his sister, Wendy, and that the photo was probably taken in 1961. He also tells us that many of the children who attended Courthouse Green School would've come from a nearby children's home in Shuttle Street. This home was run by Mr. and Mrs. Garvy, and they were known by the children as Aunty Masie & Uncle Lorrie. It appears that discipline was quite strict at the children's home - but maybe some kids of today would benefit from a little firmness from time to time?
Does anyone else remember the Shuttle Street children's home?