Author Topic: Farm Street, Hockley  (Read 2044 times)

Peg Monkey

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Farm Street, Hockley
« on: July 03, 2018, 09:39:36 PM »
Villa Street School should really have been the name for Farm Street School, that was the road where the main entrance to the school was and it would have left the way clear for neighbouring Burbury Street School to be more accurately called Farm Street School. In the planner's defense they probably didn't know when naming Farm Street School (opened 1873) that Burbury Street School would be opened later in 1891.
So what's this got to do with the price of fish? Nothing really, except that poor old Burbury Street School was given a name it had absolutely no geographical connection to.
Anyway (if you are still awake) I attended Farm Street School 1954 - 1960, it was there I got my big acting break as Doppy in the School's 1956 Production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
Many said I was perfect for the part, I though I was mis-cast.
Peg.
P.S. I got the cane only once from Headmaster Mr Smith, needless to say it was a bum rap.
P.P.S. Moderators - Not sure if I should have created a new Farm Street School Thread.

Peg Monkey

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Re: Re: villa street hockley
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2018, 08:13:25 PM »
I was at Farm St School and about aged 9 when my career as a carol singer really took off.
It all started just before Christmas 1958 (my best guess) when my cousin. a few years older than me, invited me to join him and Jim (can't remember his real name) to form a trio of carol singers, Jim was a fantastic spoon player and I have to say even at aged 9 I thought  the plan to have the spoons as a musical accompaniment to Silent Night and the like was fundamentally flawed.
Anyway my cousin said it was tried and tested so I agreed.
When I saw Jim on the night of our first performance I felt really sorry for him, his family was very poor, wich was reflected in the state of his clothing, he was cross eyed and wore NHS wire-rimmed specs (yes I know John Lennon turned these into a fashion ikon but that was much later).
Anyway I thought we were just going door to door singing our carols but my cousin pointed out we would be much more productive if we sang at pub doors, which we did, all over Hockley.
Jim played his spoons like a demon, completetely drowning  out the dulcet tones of me and my cousin, which was just as well.
After a few bars we sent Jim in to take the collection, the sight of poor Jim brought tears to most people's eyes and this was reflected in their contributions, we made a packet.
Ah! Happy Days,
Peg.


Peg Monkey

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Re: Re: villa street hockley
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2018, 11:39:57 PM »
Farm St School - It was 1954 and I was 5 when I started Farm St School so I'm a bit hazy on the names of teachers who were teaching at that time: Mr Smith of course was Headmaster, there was Mr Williams (can't remember his subject) Mr Eggerton, who was a generalist and was my teacher for my final year when my class had to use Friends Hall as there was no space at the main site, Mrs Jones (who was Welsh, I thought me being half Welsh might give me the inside track with her - it didn't) she taught arithmatic (we didn't call it maths until senior school),  I remember in particular sessions where she tried to teach us fractions (I'd be about 7 then).
It was about that time my mother started taking me to the roof-top miniature roadway on Lewis's - the Austin pedal cars were superb.
Peg.

Peg Monkey

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Re: Re: villa street hockley
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2018, 10:13:54 PM »
It's 1956, I'm 7 and things are going O.K. at Farm St School (didn't have a great start at infant school generally, 3 schools in as many months, my mum worked full time and criteria for my infant school was closeness to a family member or friend who would take and collect me from school, first Ellen St, then St Mary's in Handsworth and finally Farm St.), in Heaton St where I lived there was a strong tradition of building go-carts and by the time I am 7 I'm making a pretty decent job of putting one together.
Many minor accidents along the way, one worthy of note - the now infamous 1956 Heaton St Go-cart Crash.
Briefly: I'd just built a go-cart and with 3 up we were thundering down the short but steep hill at the top of Heaton St (The Flat end) I was the pilot and things were going OK - then the steering cord broke.
The cart developed a mind of its own and went haywire going in all directions until the steering locked and catapulted us all out, bruised chins and knees galore but nothing too serious.
Crash investigators put the blame squarely at my door: in an effort to cut costs I used some old sash window rope for the steering, that was way past its useby date.
Peg.

Peg Monkey

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Farm Street, Hockley
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2018, 09:12:42 PM »
Friends Hall, Farm Street. Hi Folks, I attended Farm St School from 1954-60, does anyone know if Friends Hall on Farm St. is still there? It served as an over-spill classroom for my final year at Farm St School because there wasn't room for my class on the main school site. Mr Eggerton was our teacher and he taught the full range of subjects. From there I went to Harry Lucas Secondary School, almost opposite on the other side of the road.
Peg.



Peg Monkey

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Re: Farm Street, Hockley
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2018, 09:33:35 PM »
Farm St School - I'm guessing the school has long gone, can someone confirm? As I recall the school was on a number of levels to cope with the fact it sloped from the top of the site on Bridge St West down to Farm St (Main entrance being on Villa St which was a bit confusing).
St Saviour's (in Villa St) was the School's local Church and I attended many a Carol Service, Harvest Festival, Easter Service, etc there.
Although I could ill-afford to lose time from lessons somehow I became a dinner monitor - each day helping the Dinner Ladies to erect the benches and tables in the lower hall where the meal servery was - if I remember correctly there was no kitchen, meals were delivered in huge tins from the city's central catering unit - but they were still very good.
The School also had an upper hall which served as the gym, it's where the Symphony Orchestra performed on their regular visits (always ending their performance with The Teddy Bear's Picnic) and where plays were performed.
Ah! Happy Days!
Peg.

Peg Monkey

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Re: Farm Street, Hockley
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2018, 10:11:47 PM »
Farm St. Cafe - I have fond memories of the cafe corner Farm St and Bridge St West where I enjoyed many a lunchtime egg sandwich whilst attending Harry Lucas School (1960-65). Most days I enjoyed a meal at the school but on salad days I sort alternative catering arrangements, the cafe being one of them.
You could get an egg sarnie for a shilling (5p in today's money) that was the same as a 2 course meal at school, but then you had to buy a mug of tea or coffee, but you did get a free read of whatever newspaper was lying around, usually The Mirror or The Sketch.
Peg.

Peg Monkey

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Re: Farm Street, Hockley
« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2018, 09:05:04 AM »
Farm St School opened in 1873 and closed in 1974 (so it lived for 101 years), curiously it closed between 1941-1949, one obvious reason for this may be a reduction in the need for school places due to a dip in the local birthrate during the Second World War, it's also puzzling that Burbury St School only a few minutes distant was built so close (opened 1891).
National Archives record that a former Head Mistress Mrs D. P. Gower lodged information with them, it's unclear if Mrs Gower was the last headteacher at the school but it seems likely.
Peg.

Peg Monkey

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Re: Farm Street, Hockley
« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2018, 09:21:23 AM »
Provident Clinic - Corner of Farm St and Villa St was built in 1881 (I think it's still there, or at least it was up until a year ago), the clinic predated the NHS (started 1948) so I'm guessing people paid for their treatment like the old provident cheques (my mother borrowed 30 for clothes for me when I was about aged 7 and paid the money back weekly, I guess the interest was pretty steep but not as bad as the current pay-day loans).
(Come to think of it 30 in 1956 was a lot of money, I don't think it could have all been spent on me.)
I doubt the photo below can be dated, but the date the building was constructed is clear.
Peg.

astoness

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Re: Farm Street, Hockley
« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2018, 10:27:02 PM »
Farm St School opened in 1873 and closed in 1974 (so it lived for 101 years), curiously it closed between 1941-1949, one obvious reason for this may be a reduction in the need for school places due to a dip in the local birthrate during the Second World War, it's also puzzling that Burbury St School only a few minutes distant was built so close (opened 1891).
National Archives record that a former Head Mistress Mrs D. P. Gower lodged information with them, it's unclear if Mrs Gower was the last headteacher at the school but it seems likely.
Peg.


farm st school closed during the war years as it was used for what was called a british restaurant that served lunches for the work force of surrounding factories that played a major part in the war effort..non less than joseph lucas gks...

Peg Monkey

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Re: Farm Street, Hockley
« Reply #10 on: July 24, 2018, 05:30:32 PM »

farm st school closed during the war years as it was used for what was called a british restaurant that served lunches for the work force of surrounding factories that played a major part in the war effort..non less than joseph lucas gks...
Fantastic bit of info', Lyn. thanks.
It seems the school deserved a plaque recording it's contribution to the War Effort (I don't think it had one, mind you, I would probably have missed it if it had, I had a limited horizon 5-10 (last year, aged 11, at Friend's Hall)).
Be great if anyone has a story relating to that part of the school's history. It's got me thinking ....as a dinner monitor there's a good chance the tables and benches I helped erect at lunchtimes could well have been those the wartime factory workers used.
Peg.
P.S. I wonder why Farm St School was chosen? - Burbury St much more convenient for Lucas Workers.
P.P.S. I really wish my anti-virus would make friends with Forum's spell check.