Photographs come from all directions

Hipperholme Infants 1964
Hipperholme Infants 1964

Photographs come my way from all directions with just a few coming from some very unexpected sources.

Take this 1964 nativity group for example - I had to seek the services of a plasterer recently. A quick look through a few advertisements and up pops the name of David Rowlands from Wyke. A quick telephone call and there he was with discussion about plastering soon followed. For what I know about plastering, I probably know more about travelling to the moon.

It was at this point David produced this week’s featured photograph and very kindly loaned it to us. He pointed out it was taken at Hipperholme Infants School during his school days during the 1960s.

This was 50 years ago but what was happening in the wider world these children knew very little about. But then again with a nativity play to think about this was all that mattered to them.

In 1964 the so called ‘Great Train Robbers’ wewre collectively sentenced to 300 years in prison. This particular year was still dominated by the assassination of President Kennedy with Jack Ruby the man who shot so dramatically Lee Harvey Oswald live on television being himself sentenced to death in the March 1964. The Warren Commission announced six months later there was no conspiracy to the assassination.

It was also the year three civil rights activists were found dead in Mississippi and in 1988 the film Mississippi Burning with Gene Hackman which was based on the FBI investigation of the murders.

But not even local events would have been a distraction to these children’s young minds. It was 1964 when the county council approved the building of a new school in Stoney lane at Lightcliffe. It was christened Eastfield and opened in 1969 in spectacular fashion when Edward Heath arrived at the school in a helicopter to do the honours officially opening it.

Whilst on their way to and from Hipperholme Infants school these children would have seen Sandholme Crescent being built during the 1960s and even those living up near the grammar school would have seen the flats being built on Towngate in 1968. Even the Brookes stone company which had employed many generations of Hipperholme residents came to an end in 1969 when it closed.

Few of these children would have had the delights of going to the cinema in Brighouse with the last one to close, purely as a cinema, was the Albert in 1972. It would be difficult for them to imagine that local children of their age would regularly attend the Hipperholme Theatre de-Luxe cinema before the First World War in what is now the Masonic Lodge in Hipperholme.

Returning to the photograph those taking part in this 1964 nativity play include Back Row (L to R): David Codling, David Rowlands, Anthony Farrar, Stewart Crabtree, Tony Kornijenko, Karen Jagger, Denise Clayton, Sonja Kornijenko, Alison Lloyd, Ruth Hardacre, Christian ?, Raymond Hendry and Jeremy Grainger. Middle Row: Sharon Farnworth, Unknown, Russell Martin, Margaret Wilson, Peter Hanson, Helen Armitage, Keith Taylor, Russell Barrand and, Roger Adshead, Front row: Janice Gomersal, Susan McMaster, Glenda Peacock, Jennifer Bulgacs, Lindsay Foster and Christine Kershaw.