Class times and activities at girls’ school

Headmistress Hilda Healy at the Parochical Girls School, Chorley
Headmistress Hilda Healy at the Parochical Girls School, Chorley

There were plenty of smiles as these girls dropped their pens to pose in front of the camera.

This photograph of pupils at the Parochial Girls’ School, Chorley, which was found in our Guardian archives, was printed in last month’s Retro page.

It sparked a bit of interest, as reader Kathleen Bentham – nee Clayton – informed us she was in the picture.

She is sat next to the headmistress Hilda Healy, who was stood up.

The 70-year-old from Chorley says: “I was about 14 there and I had blonde hair. It must have been 1961 or 1962.

“I remember someone coming in that day and the teacher stood up and we had our photograph taken, I don’t know why. Our classroom was in a big hall.

“I still remember everyone on there.

“I am still in touch with one of the girls – Joan Parkinson, who is now Margison. She is photographed behind me with her hair up.”

Kathleen, who has two daughters and three grandchildren, recalls happy times at the school.

She says: “The teachers were strict. Luckily I never got into trouble. I was a good girl so I never got the cane. I remember Miss Healy and another teacher – Miss Dobson.

“I was not very good at lessons. Maths was all right, but I was not very good at English.

“Sport and PE were more my subjects.

“We used to play with a ball and play squash in the yard but we didn’t have the right space for sports at school, so we used to go to Limbrick in Chorley.

“We used to go swimming at Chorley baths. We also used to go to the town hall to do Maypole dancing. We all enjoyed that and country dancing.

“I can’t remember any school trips but I recall looking round workplaces for jobs before we left school, at 15.

“We looked round laundry places and sewing factories. I went into laundry.

“After I got married when I was 23 I stayed at home and had my two daughters.”