There were testing times for Geoffrey in schooldays

Pupils at Wheelton Primary School in the 1950s. Geoffrey Wilson, top row, second from right.
His best friend Graham Baxendale is middle row, second from left.
Pupils at Wheelton Primary School in the 1950s. Geoffrey Wilson, top row, second from right. His best friend Graham Baxendale is middle row, second from left.

It sounds like a common recurring nightmare – turning up to school and being unprepared for an exam.

For former Wheelton Primary School pupil Geoffrey Wilson, this was reality, as he was unaware he had to take his 11 plus.

Geoffrey Wilson, of Clayton-le-Woods

Geoffrey Wilson, of Clayton-le-Woods

The 68-year-old says: “My lasting memory was going into an exam nobody told me about.

“It was the 11 plus. Needless to say, I didn’t make it to grammar school. “But I made up for it afterwards.”

This was just one of the niggling regrets Geoffrey has about his school days.

He admits: “I wish I could go back again as I think I messed up a lot.”

But when looking back Geoffrey, who now lives in Clayton-le-Woods, says he has a lot of happy memories.

He adds: “I was quite good at art. It was my job in the summer to go with others to the old road at the top lock at the canal and paint it. My headmaster, Mr Bryn Thomas, who was Welsh, used to tell me to do it. It was my job and we had my paintings all over the school.”

The father-of-one, who has two grand children, adds he could name most of the people on the above photograph and is still in touch with Graham Baxendale (middle row, second from the left).

He says: “Graham now lives in France. He has had a house there for 20 to 30 years and spends more time there following his retirement.

“We speak via Facebook all the time.”

After attending Wheelton Primary School, Geoffrey, a former supervisor at BAE Samlesbury, moved on to Southlands High School, in Chorley.

He recalls: “In about 1963, when I was 12 or 13 I went on a school trip to Paris.

“We went on a coach - I think the firm was Tom Jackson. I remember pretty much everything.

“I remember staying in a dormitory with bunk beds. I was homesick as I had never been away from home before. I remember being sad on the coach and my teacher, Mr Townsend, sat with me.

“We saw the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dam. We also visited Versaille which was beautiful.

“I remember the girls were kept apart from us as we did different parts of the trip. “It is such a shame as I never had any photos.

“I put a call out on Facebook but no one has responded.

“If anyone has any photos, I would be interested in hearing from people.”