Josie Smith (née Walker) shares some of her memories of her time at Bradford Girls’ Grammar School. Supporting her memories are photographs, articles and information taken from the 1940-49 edition of The Chronicle – the first of which is an archive photograph of Miss Hancock’s class of 1945.
Back row: Elsie Hancock, Maureen Lowe, Pamela Wild, Molly Rawlinson, Morag Hutchison, Mary Moore, Kathleen Wells.
Middle Row: Rachel Arnold, Mary Smithies, Christine Hindle, Miss Hancock, Pat Sneezum, Anne-Marie Heymann, Elaine Miles, Monty Wood, Shirley Padget, Mary Skelton, Olga Harbron
Front Row: Hilary Tindall, Barbara Hill, Margery Tattersall, Thelma Hey, Patricia Stringer, Jacqueline Sharp
Most of us started in Upper 3H in 1940, (that was the A stream) with the exception of Elsie Hobley (née Hancock) who had come up through Ladyroyd, and Margaret Holdsworth (née Jackson) who moved sideways from one of the other streams which made up the annual intake in those days.
Rachel Wyatt (née Arnold) was Head Girl about 1947, has lived in Canada most of her life since then, and is a renowned writer. Christine Verber (née Hindle), who like Rachel trained as a nurse, emigrated at about the same time and has lived in New York ever since, doing great things for nursing and particularly midwifery.
Kathleen Fort (née Moll) joined the family business, very successfully, and Margaret became a maths teacher and lecturer. Pat Walker (née Stringer) went into teaching, as did Elsie, specialising in domestic science and P.E. respectively and both having a wide range of interests.
Jacquie Briggs (née Sharp) became a teacher and headmistress, treads the boards in amateur dramatics (last seen in Calendar Girls!) and got a first class honours degree in German at the age of 70.
Hilary Kennedy (née Tindall) sadly died some years ago having suffered from MS for much of her life, and Margery (Tattersall) died even younger in tragic circumstances.
This was a group of friends who used to go Youth Hostelling together, and several also have uncomfortable but hilarious memories of Harvest Camps. Oh yes, that leaves me – I knew there were ten of us – Josephine Smith (née Walker) – I trained as a teacher and later took an OU degree as a mature student and have been a writer and broadcaster at various times.
Our time at BGGS was almost coterminous with WW2. Sugar was severely rationed, as were meat, eggs, butter, margarine, lard, bacon, cheese – even bread for a long time – and many other foodstuffs were very limited and available only on ‘points’ which had to be given up to the shopkeeper. Sweets were very scarce, and rationed, and chocolate was unobtainable, as were bananas. How the catering staff at school managed to feed us at lunchtime four days a week (school on Friday ended after the morning session) I can’t think.
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