Sunday, June 16, 2019


Swimming in the new pool at Brigg County Primary School  in 1965

This is an important year for education in Brigg - offering us an opportunity to reflect on schooling in the past and how things have developed.
The town's original school, later known as the Grammar School, was founded 350 years ago in the will of Sir John Nelthorpe in 1669.
Part of the initial building remains, off Grammar School Road, now being grade one listed and forming part of the Sir John Nelthorpe comprehensive, created in 1976.
What became known as Brigg Girls' High School started 100 years ago, in 1919, off Bigby Street, receiving new buildings on Wrawby Road in 1937 (now also part of Sir John Nelthorpe School).
However, we won't be able to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the school on Glebe Road this year. For although Brigg County Primary opened in new buildings during September 1929, these premises closed in 2007, to be replaced by a new build off Atherton Way.

A housing development now occupies the site, following demolition of the school buildings.
Those of a certain age who attended Glebe Road School may remember some of these features:

  • The open stream that ran alongside the perimeter fence
  • Snowballs being thrown from East Parade onto the roofs of nearby classrooms
  • The scrambling net in the infants' playground
  • Growing fruit and veg in the school garden and buying rhubarb, wrapped in newspaper, for a few old pence to take home
  • Successfully negotiating rows of tins set out by the police to gain a coveted cycling proficiency certificate
  • Coke being delivered by lorry and tipped down a shute to heat the main school buildings
  • Trying to slurp down warm and slightly curdled milk from bottles during the summer term (it was pleasant during cold weather, though, when ice formed on the bottles)
  • Taking to the swimming pool, installed circa 1965, with steam sometimes rising from its surface
  • Riding to school by bike on local roads (footpaths NOT permitted, as the police were then watching and stopped offenders!)
  • Buying a 'penny bread loaf' before, or after, school from Bowen's Bakery near the top of Glebe Road (or a meringue if you were really 'in the money')
  • Carrying chairs down to Brigg Recreation Ground on sports day
  • Chanting for it to snow a bit faster between December and March in the (forlorn) hope that Headmaster Reg Stocks would close the school and send pupils home
  • Taking a shilling into class on Mondays to deposit in your Trustees Savings Bank account
  • Sitting the 11+ exam in the school hall
  • Checking the weather-watching gauges within the wooden Stevenson's Screen
  • Reading notices pinned to the side of the cycle shed to see if you'd been picked for a school or house sports fixture
  • Applying Army-surplus dubbing, from green tins, to make the old leather footballs waterproof (not a guaranteed fix!)
  • Bring-and-buy sales which raised money for the Christmas parties
  • Learning poetry to be performed on the stage as Brigg Corn Exchange during the Music Festival each March
  • Filling the ink-wells when fountain pens were mandatory
  • Finishing school early on a Friday if the class went a week without any absentees.
  • Those were the days!

1 comment:

Ken Harrison said...

Blotting paper,
Sawdust...sprinkled over sick to absorb ,
Long window poles,
Blackboard, easels , chalk, board rubbers.
Ink, milk, straw, register monitors,