Beckingham School Reunion - 2006

Beckingham Primary School
New School addition 1981
Evelyn Leggott (nee Pipe)
Reunions began in May 2002 when Evelyn Leggott (nee Pipe) joined Friends Reunited and was able to contact some of the people that she went to school with between the years of 1945 to 1951.
For the first reunion 6 ex pupils attended: - Jacqueline Murray (nee Phillips), Joan Farrow (nee Curtis), Hazel Paddison (nee Cox), Mary Cawte (nee Shuttleworth) and Evelyn and her sister Ruth Croft. The current headmistress arranged for them to visit the school and see what changes had occurred since they left. They were pleased to see the toilets had been moved inside! The bike shed had disappeared, one of the classrooms had been converted to a computer room and the two senior rooms were now merged into one room, which was now being used as a gym/dining room. Of course, since Evelyn and co left a new building to the school has been built (1981) and this is accessed from The Limes estate. The new building houses 3 new classrooms (including the pre-school section).
Reunion 2006
Since this first get together there have been yearly reunions - and the numbers attending have grown each year. In 2003 12 ex pupils attended, 2004 - 19, 2005 - 37 and 2006 38 attended (not including wives/husbands/partners etc). As time has gone by and more people attend, the reunion includes ex pupils from other years, not just the year Evelyn attended. Evelyn has since passed away but the reunions are still being held each year and it is with great thanks to her that they continue.
Reunion 2006
Ruby Rogers moved to County Durham and two ex pupils emigrated to Australia, Richards Adams and Patrick Doughty (who went on to be a Flying Doctor but sadly deceased now). Other ex pupils, who still live in the village are Geoff Proudley, Joyce Britton (nee Adams) and Mary Sheldrick (nee Searson). Sadly, Philip (Pip) Adams (who helped build the Millennium Stone Memorial) has passed away.
Original School
School Dinners
Prior to the canteen being built in the late 1940s children generally went home at lunchtime except those who lived in Saundby or at Watson's Shipyard. These children would bring sandwiches. The canteen extension was built onto the left side of the main building, removing 2 windows and fitting 2 new windows on the front. Looking at the picture of the school today (top of page) it looks much less imposing than it was and the windows on the front make it much more attractive. Once the canteen was built, school meals were cooked on the premises and were proper meals ie did not include items such as turkey twizzlers! They were generally enjoyed by the children - treacle and cornflake tart with custard being one of the favourites! The first cook was a Miss Warne, followed by a joint effort from Mrs McGlashen and Mrs Brumby.
Discipline was strict and punishment was usually the dreaded cane or ruler. Miss Mosley was a teacher who was particularly feared for her sternness, but Mr Linegar (the headmaster) was the one who handed out the punishment to those that deserved it.
One particular incident recalled by Geoff Proudley was the time when a number of children were very late back to school after a game of Fox and Hounds. Mr Linegar (headmaster) had lined the children up for their punishment by cane when, just in time, the Foxes (Patrick Doughty and Richard Adams) returned from their hiding place in Beckingham Wood. The punishment on that occasion was not administered!

Mischief Night one year resulted in Mr Linegar's gates being taken down and hidden to a safe place (across the road). It took all morning for the gates to be eventually found and restored to their rightful place - the culprits were never found.
Subjects included Needlework (knitting included), English, Reading, Spelling, History, Geography and Arithmetic and Nature. At one time there was a woodworking shop to the side of the school. This closed, however, and the boys travelled to Misterton once a week to continue their woodworking classes whilst the girls travelled to Misterton to learn cookery (the boys always liked to sample the baking
on the return). Their transport consisted of a slightly unreliable bus that frequently broke down and was nicknamed Hurdy Gurdy's Rubber Band Bus! More life skills were taught up at The Hall on Low Street. Prior to Peter and Margaret Mason's purchase, The Hall belonged to the Selby's who allowed 8 or 9 allotments to be tended by the school children who grew vegetables. There was also potato picking locally which allowed the children 3 weeks holiday - those that did not go only got one week holiday, and although it was hard
work it was a nice change from being in school.

In addition to Miss Mosley (who cycled all the way from Misterton) and the headteacher, Mr Linegar, were Mrs Waller from Bole who taught the lower class and Miss Woodliffe who taught the Juniors. Miss Woodliffe cycled daily from Clayworth (unless the weather was too bad then she walked!)
There was also a Mrs Maden who was the caretaker. Mrs Maden was responsible for stoking up the fire each day and tidying up. She would put the children's coats round the fire to dry in bad weather and during school holidays would go into school to give the floors a thorough scrubbing ready for the new term.
Until the Village Hall was built in 1948 all school sports/Sports Day and Village Fairs etc were held on a grass field to the left of Thistle House. Beckingham regularly played cricket and football with Misterton and Walkeringham. Stuart Twidale played in the Cricket Club until about 1966 and played with Hermann Cuckson (now deceased), Geoff and Mike Proudley.
Aerial View - Festival of Britain
Occasionally outings were organised for the children to be taken to Watson's Shipyard to see the launching of vessels. This was always an exciting trip for the children. But one outing that was very special was the trip to The Festival of Britain in 1951. (visit Museum of London) The trip involved about 20 to 30 school children and meant a stay overnight at a school in Penge.

The Festival of Britain was to commemorate the Great Exhibition of 1851, but it was also intended to cheer up the people of Britain in the years after the Second World War.

After the Festival closed on September 29th 1951 everything was demolished except the Royal Festival Hall, which still stands on the South Bank site today.
The Shot Tower

The Web Team would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone that has contributed towards this page and any further information and photographs are always welcome.

For more information on the history of the school please click here
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