9 thoughts on “Tilery Primary School

  1. I started nursery at St Anns, about 1955-6 and I always remember having my own coat peg, and in the afternoon having a sleep on a camp style bed. I do remember a very special day, when the mayor and lots of people came to the opening of a new playground in the grounds of the nursery, It included a sandpit and a small splash pool.


    • I remember the pool, it was lovely being able to go in when the weather allowed, I work in the community centre next door to it now, there is no pool anymore but it’s still a beautiful nursery. I sometimes bump into one of my old nursery teachers Norma Archer from 45 years ago and she doesn’t look any older! Mrs Rigg used to run the nursery, was her husband the headmaster of the junior school?


  2. Indeed many nurseries were built during the war so working mothers could leave their children and do essential war work. Some were custom built single brick walls with pillars and probably asbestos roofs usually lined inside with a primitive Hardboard, more cardboard I think. Some where indeed barrack style blocks but a lot used existing buildings as did the one on Norton road near Lustrum beck. Many went on well after the war as did the one on Durham road opposite Appleton road, and I believe the one in the old Hall on Norton road. Those nurseries as well as the British wartime Canteens did stirling work. It meant that as well as helping the war effort by allowing women to work it meant those women had money to look after the family when husbands were away. When I started Browns Sheet Iron Works in Prince Regent Street, Arthur Brown insisted we young lads went to the Alma Street Canteen for a good lunch and he paid for it. We would all troop down to Alma street with fourpence in our pockets and get a substantial two course meal, the men paid sixpence and it was all off ration, no coupons needed. I remember it as a very busy place but we never had to queue for long and as soon as you finished others were in your seats. The girls serving always loaded our plates so it is a wonder we managed to work without falling asleep from over eating. As the men came back from the war requiring work many of the women had to stop work and the nurseries changed purpose becoming what we now call early learning centres although there were still women war widows and such who used it so they could work. I would surmise many children got a good healthy start in those places as they were well looked after.


  3. Some of my first memories are of the Nursery and having to polish the non-stainless knives and forks used for school dinners. I think that the Nursery was originally built to allow women with children to work during WWII. And like the canteen, these were temporary hut-like buildings, probably made out of asbestos cement.


  4. I have vivid memories of St Anne’s nursery. I remember a sand pit, french doors with small window panes and a fish tank. We had to lay on camp beds after lunch for a nap (not too bad if you were near the fish tank because you had something to watch). The grey blankets were very scratchy. We all had a symbol that identified our towel and face cloth, mine was a little boat. I left just before I was due to move up into ‘the big school’ because we moved house. George Clement’s sisters went there too.


  5. I remember Mr Lee. He had a terrible job because coke for the boilers was short, and I expect he got blamed. I certainly remember the morning classes starting out with exercises, which we did until the temperature crept up to 60 deg F (15 Celsius). One time the fuel ran out completely. I think the classs of the 10 and 11 year olds were kept going, but the rest of the school went home. The older part of the school, not shown in this picture, still had big fires so the cental heating was not so important.


  6. The picture was taken October 2008 when I last visited Stockton.
    At the opposite end of the school from where I was standing was the infants section and you progressed through the other classes until, as senior juniors, your classroom would be near to the block in the foreground
    The newer brickwork between the two near entrances was indeed a corridor but it was covered in glass.
    Behind where I was standing the school grounds continued and, if memory serves me correct, there was a nursery school. So, as Brian Less has said, you could go through the school from under 5 until you left at 11. From here you would have gone to Tilery Road, Bailey Street or a few lucky ones would have gone to either Stockton or Grangefield Grammar Schools. I attended the school from about 1949 to 1954 and during that time Harry Rigg was the headmaster before he moved to become the Headmaster at Tilery Road Boys.


  7. Just felt like a trip down memory lane, St Ann’s Primary School – my dad, John Lee, was the Caretaker of this school for quite some time. In fact, from me starting the school in the nursery, through the big school and up to the end of my schooldays at Tilery, and I should imagine, the lives of many of the others of my era. From 1950ish, till about 1962ish. I hope the children and young scholers thought the best of him, as we his children did. Ok, I know there were times when most really disliked him, especially in winter time when he used to put the ashes from the boiler on the slides that were made in the playground. And by the way, it had nothing to do with me, so I don’t know why I used to get it in the neck also, ‘just cos he was me dad’. But if it hadn’t have been for him you wouldn’t have had that lovely warm milk when you put the bottles on the radiator at milk time to defrost the ice from inside the bottle. Yes, I hated the taste also! The picture, so kindly given by George Clement, shows the headmaster office on the left and his secretarys on the right. At the other end, was the original entrance to the school. On the left, just before you went into the school was the boys toilets, then when you went in, the stationery store then the changing room. On your right was the staff entrance, leading to the headmasters office first on your right was the male staff toilets and then the headmasters room, on your right was the clinic, Remember “nittie nora”, and when you had to have dental inspection ” God the taste of dettol”, then the female teachers toilet, and then the secretarys office, remember going there with your bank book? If you were lucky, a sixpence a week or very lucky a shilling. Anyway back to the entrance, you then went through two swing doors into the corridoor, I think there were three classrooms on the left, and then the hall, and then another three up to the toilets for the junior’s, turning right, on your left you had four junior classes, and one jutting out at the end. On your right opposite the hall were the girls toilets, in the picture, the building jutting out half way along the corridors. At the rear of the classrooms near the fence of “The Black Path” running the length of the school was the grass, remember in summertime being able to go onto the grass to do “Biology” – for the girls, looking at daisy’s and for the boys pulling the legs off dragon flies. Mind you though some of the girls were just as bad.
    I remember going back to the old school just before dad retired, and going into the hall and seeing the School Crest, the Unicorn, and Bull on either side of the Castle and Anchor, and I remember the day they painted it. I looked around and thought “how could so many of us have fitted in such a small place”, yet at the time it seemed huge. When we had the Christmas Nativity Play, with our original head gear of course, checkered tea towels, and lovely floral curtain material as our robes. Sacking bags for the shepherds, I think I was one, I can still feel the itch from it as I type now. Good old school days, come on lets hear, I am sure there are others out there who can contribute. I hope I have jogged some minds, things that should never be forgotten. Pal’s and mate’s and I am sure some remember a person that was there to help them if they needed it, my dad. The Caretaker.


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