A warm welcome at St Joseph’s

DURING the 1980s I regularly used to visit St Joseph’s Catholic School at Hove Edge.

These visits were usually to give presentations to the older students, both on crime prevention related matters, as well as some local history.

Like all my school visits back in those days I was always sure of a warm welcome – at St Joseph’s that welcome always started with head teacher David Gott.

I recall one particular day when the top corridor outside Mr Gott’s office was heaving with children with some trying to go in one direction while the rest tried to go in the opposite direction.

Suddenly the office door opened and standing in the doorway was the imposing figure of Father Dwyer, the Parish Priest and someone I had not met before.

It was as if by magic the corridor cleared, the children pinning themselves to the walls of the corridor to let Father Dwyer pass. The strange thing was I found myself doing exactly the same thing as if nailed to the wall I could not move until he had gone by.

‘Good morning everyone, Good morning PC Helme’ and we all replied with a similar greeting in typical junior school chorus style.

A number of changes had taken place in the 10 years prior to Father Dwyer’s appointment as Parish Priest in 1981.

In 1974 following the creation of the new Calderdale Metropolitan Borough, St Joseph’s became part of the new borough.

Those children at the school in that year will no doubt recall the half day they got off for the royal visit.

Up to 1975 the fields in Finkil Street next to the school were in a state. That was until the Brighouse Girls’ Grammar School annexe was finally completed and opened. In 1985 this building became the present day Brighouse High School.

Mr Young, the head at St Joseph’s, retired in 1977 and was replaced by Mr Durnin who joined the school at a time when it had 332 students.

I wonder if two of those students from the 1970s, Nicola Sykes and Alison McCann, can recall wining the two top prizes in the under seven painting competition.