Hands off our camp school!

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It’s a faded photograph from over 60 years ago but for me and all of those still with us who were there at Whitehough Camp School in the late summer of 1954, this picture has priceless memories.

Here are our teachers from our happy years at Primet Secondary Modern School during the “rock and roll” years. Happily still with us we see Miss Margaret Foulds (now Mrs Bonney) and also seen here (now in the great classroom above) are Miss Vera Atkinson, Miss Ida (Fanny) Briggs, Mr Edgar Peel and Mr Alan Brindle.

The legendary Ken Oldham welcomed us to his camp school with a final message: “Whatever you do this week, just make sure you do your very best and have a memorable stay.”

My first day was certainly one to remember being badly beaten up (black eye, bloody nose and broken glasses) by Rendell Shorten.

Things must surely get better! Sticking plasters on my cuts and glasses and I’m off with my school pals David Bolton and Roger Cookson to search for insects with Mr Brindle’s class. We find a hedgehog (which we later sneak into Pat Croasdale’s bed!) and with our nets and jam-jars capture around 40 moths, spiders, ladybirds and an enormous azure blue dragonfly, which when presented to Mr Brindle is named on our list as a rare “crumble-crowned-Crambie-fly”!

The week gets even better with Mr Peel’s excursions to the top of Pendle Hill, glorious sunshine, bottles of Tizer, calling curlews, tales of Lancashire Witches, Keith Carradice and Keith Gibbons rolling back down the hill at great speed. It was just a great daily adventure.

As I look at the fast fading photograph I can recall so many school pals from “Whitehough ’54”. Why here’s Graham White, Trevor Hudson and George Dawson. Also here are Rita Pearson, Elaine Foster and Yvonne Gray, plus great local sporting heroes of the 1950s and 60s, Jimmy Wild, Barrie Gibbons and David Walker.

The week I spent at Whitehough Camp School will be with me forever. Don’t rob our grandchildren and their children of our unique, character-building place.