History of Cockton Hill Infants’ School
Cockton Hill Infants’ School was opened in 1909 and has gone through a number of different “set-ups” over that time but throughout has remained an integral part of the local community. On 27th February 2009 the school marked its centenary with a whole school birthday party and a re-dedication ceremony by County Councillor Claire Vasey. This is a school with tradition, while also being innovative. It is a family school and many of our current pupils have parents or even grandparents who came to the school.
We have many photographs from the past. Did you attend Cockton Hill School. Can you recognise yourself or any of your classmates in the photographs?
Ken and Margaret Walton – Memories and Photographs
Ken Walton’s Memories
My mother tried to get me into Cockton Hill school while I was still only four years old, in the September of 1936, but they weren’t having any. When I look at my old school reports I can see one very good reason – some of the classes had fifty children in them! I finally started just after my fifth birthday into the infants’ class with Miss Bell, plump, spectacled, kind. You got rides on the swing with ducks on the side, or on the rocking-horse, if you behaved yourself and did well at reading. Tommy and I were good at reading, it was something that we just took to.
Not everybody did, and with some seventy years of hindsight I can see why. We moved up through the infants’ classes to junior school – Miss Hamphlet, Miss Scott, Miss Worden (and a world war started somewhere about here). Using my old reports again I see that classes never contained less than 38 children, sometimes as many as 50; and the school was run by Miss Patterson, also plump and spectacled. She usually played the piano for ‘prayers’, some stirring march to get the troops into position.
My primary and junior school was at the end of the lower block of Fleet Street. The school also housed an outstation of the County Library. The main library was in the Lightfoot Institute, a long way down the town next to the football and cricket field. But Cockton Hill School held a supply of books that were put out on the benches in the woodwork room one or two nights a week by the woodwork master, Mr. Hankin, who was also responsible for checking them out and back. Up to around the time I went to the grammar school, I suppose I borrowed most of my books from this limited selection.
Ernie and John Greenwell – Memories from the 1950’s
The following photographs have been provided by Ernie & John Greenwell who were ex-pupils of Cockton Hill Infants School.