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Jean Sawbridge


Firshill School in the 1920s

Black and white photograph of a class from Firshill Primary School, 1927.
Jean's class photograph from 1927. She is standing in the middle row, third girl from the right © Jean Sawbridge


Jean Seabridge went to school in Pitsmoor/Burngreave in the 1920s. Although she is now in her 90s she remember those days with great fondness. 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.

My years at Firshill school were very happy ones indeed, and have left me with many lovely memories.

Miss Dodds was the headmistress in the big girls' school and we were rather in awe of her. She took us for grammar every week: verbs, adjectives, prepositions, conjunctions etcetera. I found it interesting but that was because I could understand it. Woe betide the girls who couldn't make head nor tail of what she was talking about!

We always had an hour's scripture lesson first of all, after assembly, and then it was arithmetic usually. English was after the mid morning break and history and geography in the afternoons. For the rest of the time it seemed a haze of singing, reciting and country dancing, accompanied by a wind up gramophone, as far as I can remember. Miss Dodds was very keen on singing and often had the whole school together to sing 'Hark, hark the lark'. Physical training was given in the yard once or twice a week and we played competitive games in teams of red, blue, green and yellow, with bean bags.

I usually shone in all branches of English, arithmetic, history and geography, and was always on the back row of the class where the 'brainy' girls sat. I was so proud when I came first in the class at the end of the summer term in 1927!