Planting the seeds of happy memories

1950 tree planting at Fox Lane Junior School in Leyland
1950 tree planting at Fox Lane Junior School in Leyland

From sleeping on a camp bed around a fire to watching the planting of a new tree, Guardian reader Pam Ward has plenty of memories of her time at school.

The 73-year-old recalls her time at Fox Lane Junior School in the 1950s and has shared this photo of a tree planting in 1950. Pam, whose maiden name was Aston, is pictured on the front row, to the left of the boy digging. She was wearing ribbons and a pleated skirt.

Pam says: “I have vague memories of that day. I was six. They were trying to do up the school after the war by planting trees. There had not been an awful lot of bombing in the area, but I remember they hit Ward Street in Farrington and there was an incendiary bomb in my grandma’s back yard.

“I have more general memories. I used to live in Fox Lane so I was not very far from school. I went home for lunch and then when I came back we would all have a sleep on little camp beds. There was no central heating so we slept around a fire. We were all in one big room.

“We used to play in fields that is now Wade Hall. There was a big pond and an air raid shelter near a playground.

“Everybody looked out for everyone and would watch out for the children.

“I remember going to the milk man and getting my jug filled up and Robinson’s ice cream van used to come in a three-wheeler bike with a tin box on the front which had ice cream in.”

Pam left Leyland when she was 10 as her dad had a new job.

She adds: “My dad, William Aston, worked at Leyland Motors as a clerk and then he left to work at the Hawker Aircraft Company in Blackpool. I got a scholarship at Arnold High School for Girls.”

Pam, a mother-of-four, with 11 grandchildren and five great grandchildren, now lives in the Lake District. She has previously owned Balmoral House hotel in Blackpool and was an English lecturer at Lancashire Training Agency.