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Annie Neal


Pye Bank in 1917

Colour photograph of the head and shoulders of Annie Neal.
Annie Neal Image courtesy of Lewis Boam

Black and white photograph of Pye Bank Primary School, 1991.
The old Pye Bank School at the top of Andover Street, 1991. This one closed in 2003 and a new school has been built lower down the hill. © 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.