village schools have a special place in the hearts of their pupils and teachers alike, and this week we take you back to Tosside Parochial School in 1955.
Mrs Vera Newhouse, for many years headmistress of the school, has kindly sent in the photograph, along with others from 1964 and 1971 which we will publish in weeks to come.
Miss Mitchell, as she was then, had qualified as a teacher just four years previously when West Riding County Council appointed her as headmistress at Tosside.
Assistant teacher Mrs Winnie Tomlinson stayed on for a short time to show her the ropes, and apart from a break of three-and-a-half years when she had her two children, Vera continued as head until she retired in 1982.
“I always really enjoyed teaching in a village school,” said Mrs Newhouse, who is now 86 and still resides at Tosside. Over the years I was teaching local children and their children in turn. Most of them came from the farms for miles around, but these days so many of them have moved away from the area.”
Pupil numbers varied from just nine to more than 30, with many brothers and sisters appearing on the school photographs.In later years under Lancashire County Council, it had the longest official name in the county: Gisburn Forest (Tosside) Parochial Church of England Voluntary Controlled Primary School. Sadly the friendly little school, built in 1845, was closed in 2000 despite a determined battle to save it, but the former staff and pupils still have their fond memories.
Seen on this 1955 picture are: front row (plus little dog!) Gerald, Neville and Jeffrey Adair; second row Audrey Newhouse, Sheila Daley, Freda Tomlinson, Marjorie Sutcliffe, Barbara Jackson, Beryl Humphries; third row Paul Smith, Robert Sedgewick, Jeffrey Wilson, James Snowden, Ian Askew, Robert Wray, David Ward; back, assistant teacher Mrs Winnie Tomlinson and Miss Vera Mitchell.