Myrtle Park Primary School, Bingley

Myrtle Park Primary School 1964

Mrs Hirst's Class 1964 (Top Juniors)

Myrtle Park Primary School

December 2020

I enjoyed my time at Myrtle Park Primary School in Bingley. There I am in Mrs Hirst's class, ready to leave and start at Bingley Grammar School. I liked Mrs Hirst. Only 41 in the class that day. I'm 4th boy from the left on the back row. Just after Simon Mollar. The Headteacher is far left. I've read elsewhere that he was called Mr Scarborough. I didn't remember that, although I do remember him chasing across the schoolyard after some cheeky teenager who was trespassing. I think the chap next to him, who looks about 35, was a sixth former from Bradford Grammar School who came for a few weeks at the end of the year for some sort of work experience. He went with us on the end of year coach trip to Flamingo Park. These days Year 6 pupils get a week away somewhere. We got a day trip to Flamingo Park. Not that I'm complaining, I loved it. I remember listening to The Animals 'House of the Rising Son' on the way back. Presumably someone had a transistor radio.

The faces on the photograph are so familiar, though I could only remember a few names - David Ohr, Roger Gasson, Kathy Yates, Rae Garnett. I did remember Jennifer Sunderland and Christine Towler who were part of the school's relay swimming team, with myself and Simon Mollar. Junior champions of Bingley, so we must have been good.

I know that we had the photo at home, but this copy was given to me by my nephew, Stephen Allen, who had seen it on the You Remember Bingley Facebook Group.

By chance my nephew, Rodney Allen, contacted me recently because he had come across the swimming team photo (see below) on the Facebook Group "Bingley Memory Lane Photo's". I hadn't previously known about the group, but in looking through it I came across the Myrtle Park class photographs posted by Lesley Buxton. More impressively, she named nearly all of the people on the photograph:

Back row, L-R: Malcolm Linford, David Ohr, Simon Mollar, John Allen, Christine Mokitis, Andrea Robinson, Kathy Yates, Susan Booker, John Seal, David Skipsey, Philip Bancroft, William Clark, Christine Towler.

Middle row:Roger Gasson, Anita ?, Margaret Greenwood, Lesley Buxton, Malcolm Corbridge, Jennifer Sunderland, Sheila Greenwood, Margaret Fairbanks, Stephen Golding, Ian Town, Paul Taylor, Paul Garbutt, Andrew ?Jefferson, Roger Laycock, Geoffrey ?, David Illingworth.

Front row: Timothy Whitworth ?, Hilary Firth, Susan Jowett, Carol Langstaff, Linda Grant, Graham Yeadon, Stuart Petrie, Olwyn Taylor, Jean Goodhand, Rae Garnett, Ann Gardiner, Catherine Pearson.

Once I saw the names listed, so many were familiar.

Here's the same class one year earlier in 1963. I'm on the front row, second from the left. As I remember it, Mr Dodgson's classroom was across the hall from Mrs Hirst's class. I'm pretty sure Mr Dodgson's father had been headteacher at the school until about 1962 and our Mr Dodgson was generally referred to as Mr Brian.

Mr Dodgson's Class 1963 (Year 5)

Myrtle Park Primary School

None of us sat the 11+ exam in 1964. The Local Education Authority were trialling a new system involving teacher recommendation, I think. Some people were sent directly to the Grammar School, whilst others were assigned to the Secondary Modern. Those they weren't sure of had to go to Cottingley Manor School for a day or two, to sit some tests. That's how I remember it, anyway. I was one of the lucky ones - sent straight to Bingley Grammar. I also remember being taken to the Headteacher's office one day to sit the exams for Bradford Grammar School. Bradford Grammar was the local Direct Grant Grammar and the town of Bingley was probably given a couple of free places. I assume I failed! These days parents would have been paying for private tuition and the primary school would have been coaching me. Back then my parents probably weren't told and I didn't know anything about it until the paper was put in front of me.

Here we are. Junior champions of Bingley, so we must have been good.

Myrtle Park Primary School, Barry Watson and Bingley Secondary Modern School

Barry Watson with Swimming Team

Barry Watson with Swimming Team

Christine Towler, Me, Simon Mollar, Jennifer Sunderland

Christine Towler, Me, Simon Mollar, Jennifer Sunderland

Barry Watson Article

Telegraph & Argus Article