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School Alumni

We have a great heritage of producing wonderful well-rounded and prosperous pupils, all of whom began their education at Glusburn Primary. There have been so many successful students and parents who have passed through our school over the years, on this page we are celebrating these achievements. These will be shared with our current pupils to inspire them towards their future careers.
If you want to contribute to inspiring our current pupils and share your achievements, please use the contact box below to let us know.

Barrie Pearce (Attended Glusburn Primary 1939-1947)

Barrie attended the school during the 2nd World War and recalls the air-raid siren sounding from the local mill, sending children underneath the classroom tables for cover, wearing their gas masks. He recalls his time at our school as a happy one - even though he was caned by the then Headmaster Mr Winch, whilst he was spotted talking behind the back of his class teacher Mrs Lee! Barrie went on to study at Keighley Grammar, he is described in his end of Easter 1947 school report as: "A good reliable boy, who pulls his weight well."

 Martin Henderson- Professional Musician (Attended Glusburn Primary 1972-1977)
I was at Glusburn school from 1972 to 1977 just in time to spend my last year in the new building in Mr Holiday’s class. My first musical memory was my teacher Mr Topper playing the piano in class and encouraging us to accompany him on various percussion instruments, I always liked the triangle and there always seemed to be a play or performance to get involved in. A musician is a very interesting job, it's taken me all over the world and back to where I started at Glusburn school (teaching a Samba drumming club) hoping to inspire the next budding musician to follow their dreams!

Ella Griffith - Journalist; Flynn Griffith - Studying Medicine at King's College London

My daughter Ella Griffith (dob 7.6.93) went on to South Craven, then Leicester De Montfort University where she got a First Class degree in Journalism in 2014. She now works for Capital FM radio in Leeds as a journalist and can be heard reporting and newsreading on Capital FM, Heart and Smooth stations.

Ella won the Radio Journalist of the Year for Yorkshire and the Humber in the 2015 O2 Awards. 
My son Flynn Griffith (dob 29.7.96) went to Ermysteds, and is now in his second year studying medicine at King's College London, and plays rugby for the Guy's Hospital team.
As you can imagine, I am very proud of both of them and am grateful for the good start they received at Glusburn Primary School.

With best wishes Neil Smith (Father of Ella and Flynn and former member of FOGS)


Richard Curtin, Senior Director, Premier Farnell (Attended Glusburn Primary 1982-1987)

I have very fond memories of attending Glusburn Primary from 1982 to 1987.
After leaving Glusburn to go to South Craven, I followed my passion and played semi professional rugby League for Keighley Cougars from the age of 18 while continuing my studies. I have spent the last 15 years working with technology companies around the world. I have been very lucky to be part of the amazing UK Raspberry Pi computer and BBC Micro:bit projects that have put the UK back on the map for leading new technology and enabling schools in the Uk to teach children how to code and program…..


Mrs Catherine R Thomas (Attended Glusburn Primary  1933-1938)

I was born at 42 Main Street, Cross Hills in 1929, where my mother and father lived behind and above the shop front and from being a toddler, I used to stand in the shop window to watch my three older cousins (Margaret, Jean and Eric Dawson) as they passed on their way to school and if I could slip away, without being seen, I would follow them to school.  My mother did try putting me in a wash tub to stop me escaping, but after a week of that, Miss Smith (teacher of both the ‘baby club’ and my Sunday school teacher), approached mum and suggested that she let me start school officially.

That’s how it all started.

Miss Smith’s classroom was a large one, with a big roasting fire and a huge fireguard, which was fairly often draped with wet knickers after ‘accidents’ – this gave the room a rather acrid smell!

We were each given very large cards on which were pictured balloons, each one showing an easy word and one day, after a lad called Brian Boocock had been teasing me, I spilled my milk over his card and was well and truly ticked off!

I remember also having a jam jar, each containing a little water and lined with blotting paper.  We each placed a dried pea or two between the rows and were delighted when they sprouted.

There were lots of collapsible beds in the room and we were made to lie on them for a while each afternoon and most of the others had a nap, but I kept awake, as I didn’t want to miss anything.

My next move was into Miss Clapham’s class.  She was a large lady and wouldn’t put up with any nonsense. 

The only thing I remember well about her, was the vigorous way she played the piano with her hands rising nearly a foot between each strike of the notes.  Things were quite serious in her class!

I used to be terrified of the school dentist, who was always at school for a fortnight and occupied the head teacher’s office.  At assembly or the day previous to the one when we were chosen to see him, our names would be read out in assembly.  I remember pretending to be ill on those days to escape a visit.  Of course, unbeknown to me, our parents were also informed in case they wanted to be present, so I never got away with it.

My next class was still in the ‘infants building’, but I don’t recall much about it.

Lovely Miss Gladstone was our teacher, as we moved up to standard 7.  She obviously loved her job, which made her an excellent teacher.

During that year, a typhoid epidemic swept the whole neighbourhood and three children from one particular family died.  The entire school was swabbed and myself and Brian Boocock were the only ones with ‘positive’ signs, but neither of us developed the illness.  Apparently at that time, almost all the children were sent to an isolation hospital in Riddlesden.  

One afternoon as I was returning to school, I was at the bottom of Wheatlands lane, when a huge airship flew low overhead en route for Keighley, where a wreath was dropped near the town’s cenotaph by the German crew in memory of some German POW’s, who were sectioned near the town on WW1.  Several of whom, who had died in captivity.  Mrs Chew, a tiny little lady, who we all thought was very old, was our teacher then and each week, we had to write an essay on a given topic.  Myself and a boy called Paul Greenwood used to try to be the one whose work was read out.  If we were chosen, we were allowed to copy it in Mrs Chew’s ‘best book’, in our neatest handwriting.

She it was, who taught us girls how to knit, the aim being to knit a dishcloth from a ball of string and on that occasion, mine certainly wasn’t the best. 

The school bell was in a roof turret and the bell rope hung down into our classroom.  One day, when the Headmaster, Mr Charlesworth, was at a meeting of air raid stewards, it fell on Mrs Chew to toll the bell and the weight of it took her off her feet, which caused some badly disguised amusement.

It think it would be when the troops were moving all over the country, to be shipped off to an invasion of the continent.  Mr Charlesworth allowed the whole school to line the walls of the field, between the school and the road, so that we could cheer them on their way.  He was a very patriotic man and on each Armistice day, we were assembled en masse in the hall, to observe the two minutes silence, after which we would sing a hymn, which began ‘Oh valiant hearts, to whom your glory came’ etc., and mum told me that one baking day, when I was little, I asked her to bake some ‘valian tarts’ and she had hadn’t a clue, what I was on about.

At Christmas, once more (and before the 2nd World War), the entire school would assemble in the hall to sing carols, after which Mr Charlesworth would produce a large sack of nuts, still in their shells, and leave us to scrabble for them. They were like ‘mini missiles’.  I for one, was scared when the big lads from the back hurtled forward to grab what they could.

During WWII, Cross Hills entertained quite a lot of Bradford evacuees and compared to us, they were very ‘street-wise’ and tough, and we used to tease them.

I was heard by one girl, to say something derogatory and she challenged me to a fight.

It was to be in the girls’ playground at playtime and to be honest, I was scared stiff.  When I told my dad about it, he had no sympathy at all and told me to go ahead and then (whatever the outcome) apologise.  Well, all the pupils (girls and boys alike) made a circle and one of the lads acted as a referee.  Within two seconds, she’d flattened me completely and a friend, Maureen Stirk, muttered to someone ‘hold my glasses’, only to be beaten, like me, so we both retreated to the cloakroom and sat together to console one another, whilst everyone else dispersed.

The next day, my opponent brought me a comic and from then on, we were good friends.

My final class was with Miss Binks, with whom six of us were picked out to try for the 11 plus scholarship.  Three girls and three boys took the exam at Sutton School and all three boys passed and the girls didn’t.

There was a local land owner – Sir John Horsfall, who each year, sponsored the pupil from a group of a few schools in the parish, who had been the one to fail, but with the highest marks of any other unfortunate child and that year, I was the lucky one and went on to study at Skipton Girls High School.

My husband used to think it was amusing to say he’d married the ‘best failure’ in the district! 

My time at Glusburn school was not just a good grounding for me, with excellent teachers, but the happiest of my life.  My mother and her six siblings also attended Glusburn school, as did at least six of my cousins.  Contemporaries of mine were Mary Shuttleworth (nee Preston), Maureen Stirk (nee Pearson), Marjorie Sellers (nee Broomhead), Derek Earnshaw, Paul Greenwood, Brian Boocock and Oswald Smith.   I wonder what happened to them all?  It would be lovely to get in touch again.



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