When schools were schools....

Thames Road Secondary Modern School 1955 form 4A, Leslie Hamp is third row from the back, third from left.
Thames Road Secondary Modern School 1955 form 4A, Leslie Hamp is third row from the back, third from left.
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RETIRED teacher Leslie Hamp shares a photograph from Thames Road Secondary Modern School, South Shore in 1955, when he was in the senior class, 4A.

Leslie, 71, rose to head of Geography and was also health and safety officer at St Georges College, (now an academy) in Sleaford, Lincolnshire, before leaving 11 years ago.

Today’s pupils tend to be known as students, but as Leslie says: “My Blackpool schooldays were spent in a time when schools were schools, teachers were teachers, pupils were pupils, boys were boys, and girls were girls.

“Separate playgrounds and entrances were used for boys and girls. You lined up and walked in pairs to the classrooms which were all situated around a central hall.

“Many pupils travelled by tram or bus, both of which ran frequently along Lytham Road. The others usually cycled or walked. Smart uniforms were worn and discipline was strict. Good order was maintained as pupils knew where the boundaries of acceptable behaviour lay.”

Leslie, who can be seen third row from the back, third from the left, says: “Many parents earned a living from the holiday industry while others were employed at the Hawker factory at Squires Gate. The abundance of hotels owned by parents often provided the venues for out of season birthday parties which always proved very popular. The school laid on a fourth year dance at the Lido Ballroom on Lytham Road.”

Leslie recalls the sports pitch was where Palatine School is located.

He says: “It involved a fair walk and changing rooms were very basic in a wooden hut. Football was popular as this was when Blackpool FC had a team full of internationals and provided first class sportsmanship along with the wizardry of Stanley Matthews.”

Steam trains regularly came through the cutting at the side of the boys’ playground travelling to and from Central Station. Yells from holidaymakers enjoying themselves on the Pleasure Beach roller coasters were often in the background.

Leslie says: “Tom Cross, the 4A class teacher, organised an annual holiday to Kilmory Castle at Lochgilpead, Argyll which allowed us to see the beauty of the Scottish Highlands. Having travelled widely and climbed the Matterhorn he felt there was nothing to match the beauty of the British Isles.”

Leslie adds: “A lasting memory is the respect pupils and teachers had for each other and a feeling of sadness when the school finally closed.”

Among names he recalls are Ronnie Atkinson, Brian Horn, Peter Davies, Jack Glenister, Carol Bragg, Pat Finch, Enid Gregson, James Rodney, Gerard Bell, George Pimlott, Peter Lonican, Fred Mercer, Sheila Howarth, Dorothy Atkinson, Norma Robinson, Thelma Colley, Hazel Riches, Maureen Clegg, Laurence Rose and Leslie Smith.

Leslie can be contacted at leslieham p7lp@btinternet.com or 92, London Road, Sleaford, Lincs, NG3 7LP.