Archive for the ‘Richmond Hill School’ Category

Carole’s tale

June 1, 2014

Memories of long ago

 By Carole Gibson (nee Hillyard)

 Plus a show of East Leeds pride by Dave Carncross

(Remember to ‘click’ on pictures to make them bigger)

I lived with my father, mother and younger brother, Ken, at No 5 Pontefract Avenue from birth until aged thirteen when we moved to No 13 Kitson Street. My father worked for LNER all his life from the age of fourteen at the Neville Hill sheds; first as a cleaner then a fireman and retired as a driver. My mother worked as a machinist at a clothing firm. My brother and I first attended Richmond Hill Nursery School and then Ellerby Lane School until we were fifteen years old.

After Ken and I were born, Dad by then a fireman was allocated three holiday excursion tickets to the east coast each year. Scarborough was our favourite destination and we used the tickets over the long summer holidays – one trip every two weeks. Mother, Ken and I would turn up at the Leeds Train Station greatly excited with our packed tomato sandwiches and flask of tea ready to catch the train. The family ticket was for a dedicated excursion train and you could only travel there and back on that particular train. It usually set off at 9.00 am and returned about 3.30 pm from Scarborough and I seem to remember the journey in those days took between two and a half and three hours. Sometimes the carriages had corridors, sometimes not. Father would occasionally be on the footplate of the train which meant even greater excitement as he was given free time before he had to return to the train. He would pack and take with him a change of clothes as he would be wearing overalls (no smart uniforms in those days).

We would start with a walk down the hill to the beach, as we always liked to sit by the lifeboat station. On the way down if Dad was with us we would stop at a shop on the left hand side for him to buy a plate of tripe. The butcher would cut it into small pieces and put pepper, salt and vinegar on it. Mother, Ken and I absolutely refused to look at it. Dad also liked to have plate of whelks from one of the stalls at the side of the lifeboat station. They were pure rubber as far as I was concerned but Dad loved them. It was all part and parcel of being at the seaside.

There would be fishing boats in the harbour and we would watch them unloading their catches. I used to love looking at all their different fish they caught: crabs and occasionally lobsters were still alive.

The weather wasn’t always good and I seem to remember days when there were sea frets and it could be quite cold. On those days Mother would allow us to spend time in one of the amusement arcades. My brother, Ken, absolutely adored them and this was the highlight of his day.

Another treat was an ice cream from Jacomelli’s on the front on our way back up the hill to catch the return train.

My dad was a member of a works club of some sort at work and he saved a small amount of money each week. At the end of the year a weekend trip to London was organised with colleagues. It would start off early on Saturday morning and return late Sunday night so that they would be back at work on the Monday. They would obviously travel by train and stay in a bed and breakfast establishment. A sightseeing trip would be arranged during the day, sometimes river trips. The evening meant a theatre visit and my father’s favourite was The Crazy Gang. Sunday morning would be a visit to Petticoat Lane Market where small gifts would be purchased for home. On one occasion he brought home a pair of nylon stretch socks. These were a novelty at the time and the first we had seen. Unfortunately when my brother tried to put them on they wouldn’t stretch! Petticoat Lane lived up to its name. We certainly had a good laugh at Dad’s expense.

Father obviously enjoyed the weekend and would return on Sunday night slightly worse for wear. Presumably a number of beverages had been consumed during the weekend as no wives were at hand. Mother was not pleased and for the following week there would be as ‘atmosphere’ in the house, until all was forgotten and forgiven – until the next time.



Thanks for your lovely memories of typical East Leeds life in the 1940s/50s, Carole



And how about this for a bit of East Leeds pride? Dave Carncross managed to get the original street nameplate from his old East Leeds terrace house in May Grove, and proudly sports, it on his summer house.

 daves may grove



Dave has also managed to get pictures of a couple of our old cinemas in their pre war heyday. The Star and the Regent. Note: the Regent has its name painted on the roof and I have had a look after all these years the name is still discernible.

daves star cinema

daves regent cinema





September 1, 2013


Alan was a pupil at Ellerby Lane School but before that a pupil at the iconic South Accommodation Road School. You had to leave ‘South Accomm’ at age eleven and move to high school if you passed your 11 plus or failing that to, usually, St Hilda’s or Ellerby Lane Schools who profited by inheriting some great footballers

Close your eyes and go back to a time before the internet, joy-riders, and crack. Before SAGA and Nintendo. Go way back to:
Hide and seek in the park.
The corner shop.
Football with an old can.
Beano, Dandy, Twinkle and Denis the Menace.
Roly Poly.
Hula Hoops, Jumping the stream, building dams.
The smell of the sun and fresh cut grass.
Bazooka Joe Bubble Gum.
An ice cream cone on a warm summer night from the van that played a tune
Watching Saturday morning cartoons, short commercials or the flicks
When around the corner seemed far away and going into town seemed like going somewhere.
Playing marbles, ball bearings, big un’s, little un’s
Making igloos out of snow banks
Walking to school, no matter what the weather was like. Running till you were out of breath, laughing so hard your stomach hurt.
The embarrassment of being picked last for the team
Water balloons were the ultimate weapon.
Football cards in the spokes that transformed bikes into motorcycles.
Eating raw jelly, orange squash, ice pops.
Vimto and Jubbly Lollies, Curly Wirleys..

Remember when…
There were two types of trainers – girls and boys and Dunlop Green Flash. The only time you wore them at school was for PT. and they were called: gym shoes or if you were older: plimsoles.
You knew everyone in your street and so did your parents.
It wasn’t odd to have two or three ‘best friends.
You didn’t sleep a wink on Christmas Eve.
Nobody owned a pure-bred dog.
Five bob (25p) was decent pocket money.
You would reach into a muddy gutter for a penny
Any parent could discipline anyone’s kid, or feed him or use him to carry groceries and nobody, not even the kid thought a thing of it.
When being sent to the head’s office was nothing compared to the fate that awaited a misbehaving pupil at home
Decisions made by dip dip dip.
The worst thing you could catch from the opposite sex was germs
and the worst thing in the day was having to sit next to one.
Getting a foot of snow was a dream come true
Older siblings were then worst tormentors but the fiercest protectors.


South Accomm School

Alan Price

Alan Price – The Theatre of Dreams – at South Accommodation Road School


Does anybody remember the ‘film’? I think at Ellerby Lane we were the first school to attempt anything like this. When we went to the flicks we had to stay while the credits stopped rolling, while we wrote down the various occupations of the people behind the making of the film i.e. the director, camera man, gaffer etc. Then there were the endless rehearsals. The star of the film was to be Eric Isotta, who believe it or not got the part because the looks of his dark skin were said to have made him look like a villain!!! Of course that wouldn’t have been tolerated in today’s PC world (and I don’t mean the computer store!!) Apart from Eric, and I think, Billy Findley, I don’t remember the rest of the cast.
To this day I still remember the opening night. All the ‘boos’ when Eric arrived – I can still see Eric furtively peering around the corner after the theft of the silver and then all the rest of the class were chasing him. Then of course, all the cheers and foot stamping after Eric was captured. I often what happened to the film and if still exists stored in an attic somewhere?
Another tit bit about Ellerby Lane School. I believe it was the first local school to teach a foreign language outside of the usual: German, French and Latin. We were taught Spanish. I believe this was an attempt to show that primary schools were as intellectual as the grammar schools. Somebody told me there was a Spaniard working at the Ellerby Lane Foundry and I followed him about for weeks bucking up the courage to speak to him in his native language and when I managed it he told me to f… off in no certain manner. To this day I don’t know of he was a Spaniard or not.

And of course that film ‘Brought to Justice’ directed by Mary Milner a schoolgirl herself has recently and magically come to light. It has no sound it’s jerky –
it’s bloody marvellous!
Thanks for bringing the past back to life for us, Alan.

Last month’s picture was the former East End Park Special Needs School. The building is still there but no longer with the same use

We should all remember this one even though it was bombed by the Germans on March 14th 1941.Richmond Hill School


I don’t want to give the name of this school away but I can’t help including this great little gem written by a lady called Edith it would seem many years ago. I’m sure everyone will love it, Edith.

Edith’s Tale
I well remember the old Richmond Hill Council School. There will never be another as good or as well loved as that school. I became a pupil in 1903 and left to start work on the 12th of December 1913. The school itself was large and at the time, very modern, having good classrooms and washing facilities. The lower hall was shaped exactly like the top one with classrooms all around a central hall for pupils to be mustered for lectures of all kinds. When I attended the headmistress of the infants and juniors was Miss Bowker, a short plump, motherly person, who had about eight teachers under her authority.
In the early 1900s Leeds began to run tramcars. Such an event had to be noted, so a little game was organized. Some of us were lined up and taught a little song, which we sang as we trotted around in a line.

High-ho, see the trams go,
ride into town for a penny.
Jump on the car.
Hold onto the bar,
You’ll get there much quicker than any.
The school clock was a landmark. It had a very noble way of striking, especially at nine o’clock in the morning. The upper floor will be the one remembered by most. Mr. Luther Wilkinson was our headmaster, he signed his name with a flourish – I remember it well. All the schoolteachers were good and did their best to make schoolwork interesting for us. There was Mr. Reilly, who was killed in the First World War. Mr. Crue was the music teacher, Mr. Beaumont my own master for a few years and Mr. Turner. There were lots of women teachers who must have been very good to turn out so many good scholars. The Richmond Hill Football Team of those early years were real champions and were once invited to Copenhagen to play schoolboy’s teams over there.
A final little poem:
In days gone by, when I was young
Some folk went out collecting cow dung.
It was good for poulticing they said
For aching backs and thumbs hard and red.
But my mum believed in other things
Like bread poultices for boils and stings.
After that she fed it to the cat,
Who always had kittens in an old felt hat.