NOSTALGIA: Life at Rivington Primary School was a close-knit affair for pupils

Pupils at Rivington Primary School circa 1958
Pupils at Rivington Primary School circa 1958

There were no age barriers at Rivington Primary School in the 1950s, as pupils all mixed together in the classroom.

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Ian Barker, of Chorley

Ian Barker, of Chorley

Former pupil Ian Barker, of Chorley, recalls his time at the school in the late 1950s. His is pictured on the front row in the middle.

He estimates the photograph was taken in 1958, when he was aged six.

He says the school was small with fewer than 30 pupils altogether.

As a result, the children were split into two age groups: those aged five to seven and those aged seven to 11.

He adds: “It was only small – this photograph shows the entire school, with only a few faces missing.

“The headteacher was Mr Whitehead and Mrs Makinson was the infant teacher, teaching children aged five to seven.

“Then another headteacher came later, Mr Royle. I remember Mrs Makinson and Mr Royle both had children there.

“I started school when I was five. There was a class with five to seven year olds and another from age seven to 11.

“Teachers had a heck of a job trying to teach everyone. Seven year olds can’t do what 11 year olds were doing.

“I could not remember the division line between it all.

“Pupils then left to go to another school, but in those days it was different as the pupils would be aged 12 to 14.

“I turned 11 before I went to Southlands, some left to go to St James’ School and one particular pupil was 14 before he moved to St Michael’s School when it was built.

“In the late 1940s the pupils stayed until school leaving age, 14 or 15.

“My aunt also went to Rivington Primary, but my mum and her twin brother went to a different school, in Chorley.

“That was how it was in those days.”

Ian, a father-of-one with one grandchild, added the school didn’t have any sports facilities and he never even learnt how to kick a ball.

He adds: “There were no sports or games – we just had each other to play with.

“I remember there being a large room upstairs where we did exercise.

“There were no sports days. I didn’t even kick a football until I went to Southlands.

“But I didn’t mind going to school.

“I used to like it, even though I was not very clever at school.”