Wimboldsley Primary School - Part One. It should have been easy for me. In 1957, when my carefree days of playing in the garden at 53 Nantwich Road, sitting in the Persil box that the ‘stores order’ had been delivered in (there’s nothing new about grocery deliveries - sixty years ago the Winsford Co-op used to deliver a box full of necessities to us every week), were abruptly brought to a halt by the need to start my education, I didn’t know what had hit me.
I was taken ‘down the town’ to the Crosville Garage, which has now become the flats owned by MoCoCo at the top end of Wheelock Street. From there a green Crosville single-decker chugged its way out into the pleasant Cheshire countryside and deposited me at Wimboldsley Primary School. It was just a short distance away from Middlewich, but I thought I’d been dumped in alien territory, miles away from civilisation.
In the 1950s Wimboldsley School (or Occlestone as many still called it, after Occlestone Green just down the road) was radically different from the still thriving and popular school it is today. For a start there was less of it. Only the original school building, along with a brick building containing sports equipment, spare desks and chairs and the like,along with the girls’ and boys’ toilets were there at the time.
It should have been easy for me because Gladys Mason, the Headmistress (and she was emphatically The Headmistress, not the ‘Head Teacher’) was my Mother’s cousin; my brothers had both attended the school and our teacher, Mrs Mort, was also a friend of my parents.
So all these factors should have helped me adjust. Not a bit of it. I looked at the school and decided I wanted no part of it. I made plans to return to no 53 and get back in my Persil box.
My plan was very simple, and I lost no time in carrying it out. I headed for the school gate, slipped through it, and ran like mad in the direction of Middlewich and freedom.
I was recaptured by Mr Jackson who overhauled me before I’d got more than a few yards and dragged me back to school.
And so, tearful and chastened, I settled down to life at Wimboldsley, of which more soon.