Friday, 18 November 2016


by Dave Roberts

Lingering surprisingly late on the Lewin Street scene in 1975 is the Church of England Infants School, at one time presided over by Mrs McCullough (don't quote me on the spelling) who was the sister of Miss Mason, the headmistress at Wimboldsley. Notice the steel bracing on the outer walls, a sign of the subsidence which would eventually see the end of this and other large buildings in Lewin Street. Next door is 'Square One', a one-time rival for Samuels in the town centre which was, in the sixties, a branch of Dawsons Record Shops. This site is now occupied by gardens which are part of the environs of the Salinae Centre.

On the left, next to the lamp post and actually in Leadsmithy Street is Les Gibbin's (previously Challinor's) Newsagents, a building which still exists. It later became home to J&M Print, and, in 2013, extensive work was carried out to convert the shop into new premises for Forshaw Funeral Services (formerly of Wheelock Street).
I have a vivid memory of this school. It was used by St Michael's as a Sunday School (never popular with me, as it clashed with Sergeant Bilko) and one Sunday during a flu epidemic I was the only child to turn up.
Instead of cancelling, the Revd. L.R. Ridley insisted on going through the whole thing, including hymns and prayers, giving me no chance of adopting my usual policy of hiding behind something and pretending I wasn't there.

This photo was first published on Facebook on the 18th April 2011. The original feedback is below:

Colin Derek Appleton I remember this place. I used to creep in there in the early 80s to catch pigeons!* If I remember rightly every classroom had its own fireplace, something I thought was well cool at the time!

I also have a vague memory of Square One becoming a very short-lived youth centre.

*I've no doubt that Colin used to do this, but it couldn't have been in the 80s; the building had gone by then -Ed.

First published 6th July 2011
Re-formatted and re-published 18th November 2016


  1. New Facebook comment from July 2011:

    Geraldine Williams:
    re: Square One. That shop used to be a haberdashery when I was at Primary school. I remember Miss Barry sending two of us down there to buy embroidery silks (imagine a school daring to send 9 year-olds out on such a mission these days!). Was it also once an electrical shop? We definitely bought an oil-filled radiator from there in 1963.

    1. GERALDINE WILLIAMS19 November 2016 at 11:00

      I now think the haberdashery was attached to the newsagent shop

  2. When was this school closed down does anybody know?

  3. My partner is also saying he used to go in there in the late 80's. When was it pulled down?


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