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Priory School

History of Priory School

Reminiscences of Mr Weston:

I first attended priory Junior School in September 1949 when I was five years old. my family were still living in Gwydir Street off Mill Road but were preparing to move to the new Dudley Road Estate off Newmarket Road. It was decided I should start the new school year at priory instead of my present school, St Matthew’s Junior School. I went to school by bus each day until the family moved to Egerton Close in 1950. Priory School was incomplete when I first went there, the infant school later to be built in the same grounds had not been started, the famous grassed hill inside the small gate was only a heap of soil excavated from the foundations of the Junior School. The only part of the school that was actually finished was the dining room, and we had all our classes at one end of this room while the other end served as the dining areas. I seem to remember that a second class arrived when the classrooms were completed. This was probably in the January of 1950. At this time there were only two teachers, Mrs Wilford and the Head Teacher Miss Gray. Mr Studdley must have arrived at the same time as the January intake. Mrs Wilford was my class teacher for the whole time I attended Priory until I left in 1955…… I remember having to walk down Galfrid Road and cross the stream on a temporary wooden bridge, a scaffold board on bricks, to get to Coldham’s Common for games lessons.

Reminiscences of Sue Santry née Glynis Adams (Memories of Abbey and East Barnwell p.40). Sue Santry lived when married at 167 Sturton Street.

I have lived in the area [Barnwell] since 1948. I went to Priory School. Miss Gray was the Head. There was a mass walk to and from the school, with a lollipop lady helping us across the road. …. My father played fro Cambridge United when it was called Abbey, and I had to watch the football on Coldham’s Common every Saturday. I remember the floodlights being erected.

I was five years old in 1953, and don’t remember anything about the actual service [Queen’s Coronation]. However, I do remember my mother buying me a new ‘Coronation’ dress and some Union Jack ribbons for my hair; most of the children had new outfits. On the day we were going to watch the service on my grandmother’s television, as she was one of only a few people who possessed a television in those days, I remember getting ready to go to her house, just a walk away, and my mother telling me to put my coat on, as it was quite chilly. I got very upset because I wanted everyone to see my new ‘Coronation’ dress; eventually I was allowed to go out without my coat. When we got to my grandmother’s house the front room had been changed, and every available chair was in the room so we could all watch. The curtains were drawn because you could not see the television (an eight inch, I am told) with the curtains open. After a short while my numerous cousins and myself felt it was all very boring and went into the garden to play…… I had a very happy childhood in the Barnwell area and remember most the freedom of playing in the streets and across the fields with all the other children. I can remember taking homemade buns and going off across the fields to ‘the iron bridge, where we had a rope swing, and we might stay all day. My mum used to say we always went home when we were hungry. My parents were quite strict and caring, yet they let us out to play. But the world has changed now.




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