Gone but not forgotten!

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I think we can all remember the days back at school when there would be a visiting speaker to give a presentation which would either include a film or be just a talk. We certainly had them at our school and like many of you I can still remember the good ones and soon forgot the not so good ones.

When I was working and was being asked to visit many local schools I was determined not to be one of those speakers soon forgotten. Since retiring from the police I have been asked to speak at junior schools on some local history theme. This would usually involve a slide presentation and a discussion but how do you capture the imagination of 36 nine-year-olds?

On a visit to Field Lane Primary School in 2006 when it was the 50th anniversary I was invited to give a presentation about the school’s history and aspects of Brighouse town centre. I needed to get this large group on my side quickly – ‘Who likes pop music’ was my first question – that question brought an instant response. ‘Can anyone guess who the number one pop star was in the 1950s and to my amazement at least two children shouted out ‘Elvis Presley’? My first slide was Elvis.

I was hoping that by the time I had finished amongst the slides of local history about their school and Brighouse town centre I had at least fallen into that category of speaker they did remember.

Looking at the smiles on these children I am sure they will remember the day that Mole and Mr Toad from Kenneth Grahame’s Wind in the Willows came to school. It was on February 13 1997 at St Joseph’s RC Primary School, Hove Edge, when the Harlequin Children’s Theatre Productions came to visit.

Taking the part of Mole was Amanda Sutcliffe and Mr Toad was played by Robert Morton. The children who look a little bit nervous being so close to these two characters are (Back Row L to R): Katie Sleigh, Liam Walsh, Emma McGee and Kate McBride. (Front row L to R): Joseph Conway, James Wickham, Shane Roberts and Daniel Hall.