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Fulwood and Cadley Primary School

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History of Fulwood and Cadley

Fulwood and Cadley Primary School was opened in 1938.  Read below for an account of what school was like back in the early days.  If you have any memories of your time here at school please email them to Mrs. R Smith, School Business Manager, on


This story is from 

Sue Edwards nee Susan Wilkinson who lived at 109 Garstang Road opposite Moor Park.


First Day

On my first day in Mrs. Porter’s reception class I wore a crimson raincoat. Most of the class had dark navy gabardine trench coats so I was different. It felt a bit strange because it was different from my nursery school, but we sat on small chairs around small tables in a room with paneled French doors which led out to the playground. Poor little Michael Salt sat at the back. He  had a round red face which was smirched with his tears which he shed all morning. He hadn’t ever been away from his Mum and he didn’t know what to do when he wanted to use the bathroom, so inevitably he had a soggy bottom too. It got better for him, I’m glad to say. I was lucky because I had learnt to read a bit, so some of it was more familiar. But quite a lot of the class had to cope with being away from everything familiar. New classmates, new place, and new meals.


The Teachers

Mr. Allen, round of body with combed back hair and a very kindly personality was very encouraging, and when he retired, Mr. Webster who wore a dark suit and was rather more intimidating took his place as Head. I remember singing a hymn with him behind me. “Praise my Soul, the King of Heaven”. We were in fear of being sent to the head for misbehaviour, because we could be caned on the hand, which hurt. It didn’t happen often. The threat was enough. 


Mrs. Porter had fair hair in tight rolls round her head like a sort of crown which was the fashion in 1954. She wore a pleated skirt almost to her ankles and a “twin set”. This was a short sleeved pullover, and on top of that a matching cardigan with buttons all the way down the front. She was quite kind but we had to behave and we started learning to read and become more used to the routine of school.


The next teacher was Miss Walsh who had fair curly hair and was rather fierce. I missed quite a lot of time with her after being in hospital to have my tonsils out but must have missed quite a bit before that with sore throats. We had to learn times tables, now called multiplication, which we can still do. We also had to “add up” (addition) and “ take away” which meant subtraction not a fast food meal. 


Then Miss Tomlinson, tall and thin with a greying pageboy haircut. She was very kind and instilled in me a love of reading, writing, and knitting. Hard sums ( maths) were still a problem though, and I still struggled with “mental arithmetic”. 


Mr. Watson came next, and he was smiley, and had a real sense of fun and loved history. He organised a school show after seeing Sandra Bowman, my best friend, and me singing lots of songs from musicals her mum liked, and we showed these off singing in the playground. We were replaced by Carole Sheldon and Michael Cummings who looked more attractive and had better singing voices than us. But it felt rather unfair as we had given him the idea! I compered the show and introduced all the acts, which was a role I had all through senior school as well.


Then Miss Wilkinson, who became Mrs. Toulmin a bit later. She was warm and rather cuddly though we never actually cuddled her, of course. We were then learning rather hard arithmetic ( we called it “sums”) and were reading quite long books. I had enjoyed classics like “Black Beauty” “Heidi”, most of Enid Blyton, and Arthur Ransome’s books set in the Lake District where we went for holidays in a caravan. By then we were starting to do things that were called “intelligence tests “ in preparation for the 11 plus exams.


Mr. Swann was the teacher of the “top class” though I didn’t go there because at the age of 10 I went to Queen Mary School, Lytham and there took the 11 plus exam. Then on to Queen Mary College London to study law. 


School Dinners

Our school was one in the area which has its own kitchens so we had fresh food cooked every school day. We weren’t very impressed with the quality but there were some things I really liked and still do. Cheese and mashed potato pie with a lovely crusty top. Spam (a tinned version of pork and ham originally invented for the armed forces) which was a shade of pink not seen naturally, but we liked it with salad. We never had chips. Steamed puddings and custard were often on the menu on cold days and sometimes jelly. The best was chocolate pudding and chocolate sauce, a real treat.



In the playground we ran around the concrete blocks and played “step on a nick and you’ll marry a brick and a beetle will come to your wedding”. We had to avoid stepping on the gaps between the concrete. Hopscotch was also good. We had to throw a small stone at each of the numbers up to 10 made in chalk going further and further away; then hop accurately to the square with the stone, lean down and pick it up without dropping it or falling over. “Simon Says” was where the person who was “it” would say “Simon says... “ and then the group had to do what “it” asked, such as nod your head, raise your arm etc. When the group got complacent “It” would say something without saying “Simon says” and those who did it were out. Last to go won.

“What time is it Mr. Wolf” started with “It” facing the wall, and the group behind a long way away. Turning to the group, “It” would say “one o’clock”, or “two o’clock”, until everyone felt secure, then would surprise them by saying “dinner time” and run to catch one of the group who were running away. The one who was caught became It. Tag or Tig was played also with the boys where It ran after others and touched them, or tagged them so the one caught became It.


In summer we played at making daisy chains in the playing field and waving to the steam trains which passed the end of the field. They often waved back. We made music with grasses stretched over our mouth which made a buzzing noise. And looped grasses to make wreaths.


In the autumn we all played "Conkers" collecting horse chestnuts, drilling them with a skewer and trying to get an edge on the opposition by pickling them in malt vinegar or baking them in the oven. Neither worked. If you hit another cooker and smashed it, your cooker became a “one-er” and so on till you got smashed yourself. I don’t remember more than a 3-er but who knows? 


In winter the rain made puddles in the playground and when it froze we made slides as long as we could, running to the edge of it and sliding along fast. I suppose we got a few skinned knees when we fell down, but I don’t remember any serious injuries from either conkers or slides. 


The Corner Shop on Cadley Causeway

This sold great treats though our pocket money rarely gave us much more than penny chews, 4 for an old penny, now worth less than 1p. Liquorice was a root which we chewed till it was stringy. Not as nice as Liquorice pipes and straps in a roll, but these roots lasted lasted ages. Aniseed balls, bubble gum balls and a very occasional Mars bars 6d, now about 2p were a whole week’s pocket money. We couldn’t go there every day.



My brother Charles Wilkinson and long time friend Aline Hesling both went to Cadley after me. Charles became a doctor in general practice. Aline became a drama teacher. and I qualified as a barrister and spent most of my working life as a government lawyer. We are all retired.