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St. Mary's has a proud history and there are still many documents from the early days retained in school, including the old school log book. The school was opened on Monday April 1st 1940 during the early days of the Second World War. There were large numbers of Irish living in the area who were passionate about their faith. Their first priority was to build a school for their children; the church building would follow in time. The school building was used during the week for the education of the young and then on Sundays was used for the parish celebration of Mass.
Mr. Morgan, who was the first head teacher, made the first ever entry into the school log and you can see a reproduction of this by clicking the link here.
In these days the school closed for holy days of obligations and the first of these holidays was celebrated by the new school on Thursday 2nd May 1940 on Ascension Thursday. Attendance was a major concern for all schools in the early twentieth century and St. Mary's was no exception. The children were awarded a half day holiday, following the feast of the Ascension for good attendance for the previous four weeks.
The events of the war intrude very quickly into these early days. Mr. Morgan writes;
“Because of the conditions created by the German invasion of Holland and Belgium, 10th May 1940, the Whitsuntide Holidays were cancelled by the Board, the announcement being made by the BBC at 1 pm Saturday 11th May.”
The log book continues to give a tantalising glimpse of life in school under Mr. Morgan, Mr. Elliott, Mr. Price and Mr. Storey. There are references to staff joining and leaving the school, school closures because of poor weather conditions and the movement of children to secondary school at St. Bernard's, Notre Dame and De La Salle, Sheffield.
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Click the logo to the left to see an online gallery of our 75th Anniversary photographs