Memories of Over Wyre school’s Irish adventure

Teacher Christine Bennett with pupils from St Aidan's on Poulton Station before their trip to Ireland at Whitsuntide 1964.

Teacher Christine Bennett with pupils from St Aidan's on Poulton Station before their trip to Ireland at Whitsuntide 1964.

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Christine Bennett admits she was “surprised and delighted” to see herself on a photograph from 50 years ago in Memory Lane.

Miss Bennett, of Brentwood Avenue, Poulton, spotted the picture of pupils at St Aidan’s Church of England School, Preesall.

They were not in the classroom but on Poulton railway station, heading off to Ireland in 1964 and Christine was in there towards the centre of the photograph.

She says: “I was at St Aidan’s School when it opened in September 1963. It was my first teaching post after three years teacher training at Edge Hill in Ormskirk. I taught physical education and English in my first year of teaching and developed a health education human biology course in those early days.

“I was the female member of staff on this our first school holiday to Ireland. I’m the dark haired young lady with a light double breasted coat, centre of the back row. I was responsible for the care of the 13 girls, all aged 14 and 15, many of whom would leave in summer 1964.”

PE teacher John Gledhill is also on the back row with a group of nine boys including the first head boy Stephen McKay (fifth left). Teacher George Ingram (maths/rural studies), who is standing on his case at the back of the group, organised the holiday.

The girls, from left on the back row next to Miss Bennett are Marion Bleasdale, Ann Mingham, Jennifer Shepherd, Diane Raby, Jean Rayner and Sandra Skinnner.

Front row sitting on suitcases, from left, are Annie Cookson, Dorothy Curwen, Linda Penswick (first head girl), June Huck, Linda Hallet and Eileen Lawrenson.

Miss Bennett says: “All these Over Wyre pupils had previously been at secondary schools in Lancaster, Fleetwood, Thornton and Poulton before transferring to Saint Aidan’s, the new school for Over Wyre pupils.

“I retired from the school, the last of the founder members, as assistant head in 1998. I spent 35 years at a school for the future, founded on time honoured traditions.”

The school, now a technology college, is marking the jubilee year with a range of celebrations. Former pupils can find out more by emailing alumni@st-aidans.lancs.sch.uk or ringing (01253) 810504.

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