Warley Town centre
Name: Warley Town centre
Description: Warley Town centre
Location: Nowthen
Contributor: West Yorkshire Archive Service
Rights: West Yorkshire Archive Service
Irene is 91 years old and attended Warley Town School from the age of 5 in 1918.

Irene has fond memories of Warley Town back in the early 20th century. She can recall the teachers Miss Webster, Miss Parker, Mr Shaw and the Headmaster Mr Buckstone. None of the female teachers were married because 'that was their life's ambition'.

Children came to the school from the local area with the older pupils (from 10 years old) coming on horses and leaving them in the field opposite until home time.

Irene remembers the school holidays 'more or less they have now' with one month in summer and time off around Easter time and Whitsuntide. There was a Whitsun Walk with Sunday School up Coat Hill in Warley with the children carrying big banners. Irene got to wear smart new clothes - 'right pretty dresses' - that her Mother had made especially. There were also games played during Easter time, although the girls had to make do with what they had available when playing hockey - 'we hadn't the money to have hockey sticks, we had walking sticks'!

School activities included swimming, which Irene was particularly good at, winning several certificates and 'a bronze medal with honours'. She can remember having to wear a woolly costume that would stretch out of shape on the washing line and a swimming teacher that would hit you with a long pole if you didn't get it right. Irene also excelled at reading but sometimes needed some help with her arithmetic.

There was a big allotment that belonged to the school, which pupils used to work on but not all of this work was fun - 'ooh, I hated weeding'! The teachers really made the most of the great outdoors by taking the children on nature study walks and telling them all about flowers and plants and how they could make medicines with them.

Irene says that from the outside, the school today looks very much the same - 'you would think it was just like when you used to go'. However, inside, the boiler rooms that used to heat the whole school are now used as classrooms. There was also one cloakroom that has changed, where the children hung up their clothes on hooks in the middle and in the winter huddled around 'one radiator, big old-fashioned radiator'.

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Name: Irene Sutcliffe recording
Description: Irene talks about her time at Warley School
Collection: Warley Community Association
Location: Nowthen
Contributor: Irene Sutcliffe
Rights: Irene Sutcliffe, West Yorkshire Archive Service