Pye Bank in 1917
Image courtesy of Lewis Boam
© Picture Sheffield, Sheffield Libraries
Annie Neal is a long term resident of Burngreave, having grown up here in the 1920s. This extract comes from 'School Days: how we remember our time, in peace and war', produced by the Firshill and Pitsmoor Local History Group in 2005.
I started at Pye Bank School in 1917 when I was five years old. I really didn't like going to school at all, in fact I hated it. I remember the head teacher, Miss Hurn, was very strict and she and other teachers picked on me all the time. I was always in trouble. I used to fidget and giggle a lot and that started the others in the class giggling and I would get a telling off and a few sharp raps with the cane on my hands. That happened to me quite a lot. I didn't mind reading and spelling and arithmetic but, although I wasn't a dunce, I wasn't really clever either and I was very giddy and a bit of a show-off and this always landed me in trouble.
About the only thing at school which I did like was swimming lessons. We used to go to the Chatham Street baths at Neepsend every week and I was the best swimmer in the class. When we came out of the baths we were always hungry and used to call at the pork shop nearby and buy a 'halfpenny duck', like a sort of sausage. I loved swimming then and have ever since. I was still going swimming twice a week when I was in my 80s and I only gave it up when I reached 89.