NOSTALGIA: Presenting a gift to Princess Margaret at opening of Chorley high school

Sylvia Suttie (n�e Bretherton) and Desmond Grant, of St Michael's High School, Chorley, who presented a tray to the Archbishop and Princess Margaret
Sylvia Suttie (n�e Bretherton) and Desmond Grant, of St Michael's High School, Chorley, who presented a tray to the Archbishop and Princess Margaret

When the Guardian posted a photograph of Princess Margaret opening St Michael’s C E School, in Chorley, reader Sylvia Suttie dug out a picture she had of the royal visit in 1965.

Sylvia, nee Bretherton, was asked to present a tray and cushion to the princess, along with fellow pupil Desmond Grant.

The 67-year-old, who has one daughter and one granddaughter, says: “I was a pupil at St Peters CE Primary School when St Michael’s was being built and it seemed to take ages but finally the time came. I was amazed at the sheer size and amenities it had to offer, in particular the science lab as I had seen nothing like this before.

“The experiments were amazing. Science, maths and RE were my best subjects. In fact my first job was at RP Smith and Co accountants, which was recommended by my maths teacher.

“The canteen was also one of my favourites and we had our own playing fields where I played hockey and a fully fitted gymnasium and cross country runs in Astley Park.

“My only regret was that I was only at the school for a short time but it was a very happy time and certainly made a difference to me, one of which was meeting Princess Margaret. I was taught to curtsy and told that I must back away as you are never to turn your back on royalty.

“I remember being overwhelmed by the amount of preparation for the big day and so many people attended inside and out.

“My mum was so proud that I had been chosen and she insisted on a new uniform for the day, but the princess was very nice and told me the cushion would fit in with her colour scheme and then when she left it was soon back to normal. The school did take a film of the visit and I remember seeing this on a big screen in the assembly hall.

“It was nice to see what everyone else had been doing. I had lots of pleasant memories of people I met and the short but happy time I spent there.”