Grandads go back to school

BACK TO SCHOOL: Grandfathers Mike Webster, left and Barry Ensor go back to Wolverley Sebright VA Primary School after 60 years.

SCHOOL DAYS REMEMBERED: Barry Ensor pictured standing, back left, in his school days.

HAPPY DAYS: Mike Webster, behind the easel looking at the camera, in his school days.

First published in News

FORMER schoolmates Barry Ensor and Mike Webster took a trip down memory lane to the Wolverley school they started at 60 years ago.

The 65-year-old grandfathers were impressed with the mod cons now available at Wolverley Sebright VA Primary - such as indoor toilets instead of “out in the snow as they used to be”.

Mr Webster, of Hayes Road, Wolverley, recalled being able to buy a chocolate snack during morning playtime just after sweet rationing ended in 1953.

Their first headmaster was Sidney Jarvis but he retired after 32 years when the school closed for the summer holidays in 1955, to be replaced by William Harrison.

Other teachers from those times included a Mrs Cole, Mrs Hanson, Mrs Ferguson, Mrs Taylor, Mrs Townley, Mr Vaughan, Philip Greenfield and Mrs Gilley.

Mr Webster, who spent the first few weeks of his life in a Nissen hut at Wolverley Camp before his family moved into one of the first 12 council houses built on Fairfield estate, especially remembered the kindness of reception class teacher, Miss Dorrell, when he first started there.

After leaving school at 15 he began a plumbing apprenticeship, then served as a corporal at Kidderminster TA Centre and later became a contract supervisor in the water industry.

Mr Webster, who has been married to his wife, Lynn, for 45 years, renewed his friendship with Mr Ensor after a reunion for ex pupils of their secondary school, Sion Hill, School, in 2002.

When he realised it was 60 years since they started at Wolverley's village school, he suggested they go back for a look.

Mr Ensor, of Husum Way, Kidderminster, spoke of how times had changed, saying: “When our class moved on to secondary school, I remember we bought a new pipe and an ounce of tobacco for Mr Greenfield.”

Mr Ensor, who is married to Christine, was an engineer for Severn Trent Water and later a civilian worker for West Mercia Police.

Both men agreed they were usually happy at school, even though some of the staff were strict at times.

Mr Webster sat his Eleven Plus exam in the Wolverley school’s new classroom on February 12, 1960 but Mr Ensor was sick at the time and had to sit his a week later, under the watchful eye of Mr Harrison in his office.

Mr Ensor and Mr Webster enjoyed their nostalgic trip and commented on the “delightful way” the present staff and parents welcome them.

“It was amazing how little the building had changed - all the modern additions made to make the school more comfortable, being overlaid on the original structure,” said Mr Webster.

Today’s head teacher is Michelle Reeves-Walters, with 121 pupils attending the school, and the 2013 Ofsted report praised her for “strong and dynamic leadership”.

“Just like those of us from the past, today’s pupils will also have fond memories of Wolverley’s friendly village school,” said Mr Webster.

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