School was happy not misery years!

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Having taught at the Princess Mary School from 1969 to 1987, I feel obliged to write in reply to the ramblings of Kate Cullen (“My Years of School Misery”, Nostalgia, January 24).

So many of her statements were wrong. In 18 years I was never aware of a clique of well-to-do girls. Looking back, I cannot recall more than half a dozen girls from professional backgrounds. the vast majority came from working-class or lower-middle class homes. As for the rich receiving “better” treatment, the idea is laughable.

Miss Kathleen Pearson, former head, Princess Mary High School, 1979.

Miss Kathleen Pearson, former head, Princess Mary High School, 1979.

Even nastier is Miss Cullen’s attack on people who are no longer with us. Her attack on Miss Pearson, a reserved and kind headmistress, is sheer spite.

Of course, there were girls who were unhappy from time to time, but they were looked after by a kind and caring staff, and soon settled down.

I am astonished that the editor saw fit to publish such pernicious rubbish!

Dorothy Arnold

Well Head

Princess Mary

Were we at the same place?

As a former pupil of Princess Mary High School (1947-1952), I read with interest both Rita Titley’s and Kate Cullen’s accounts of their schooldays there. They do not appear to have attended the same school.
I grew up in Boothtown (very working class) and attended Sunnyside School which despatched many of its pupils to the three grammar schools:- PMHS, Heath and Crossley & Porter.
The Headmistress during my first three years was the formidable Miss Scott, a disciplinarian of the highest order, but she was very fair and had a kindly side. She was followed by Miss Lindsley; we Yorkshire girls sometimes found it difficult to understand her as she spoke with a plum in her mouth.

I agree with Kate Cullen when she says the uniform was expensive. I recall my mother saying she had never spent £2.5s.0d on a hat for herself (the cost of my school black velour hat). Whilst girls wore school cardigans in varying shades of red, many hand knitted, I do not ever remember anyone being singled out for wearing incorrect uniform.

I think most pupils in my year were from working class families although I do recollect one girl’s father being a solicitor,

then another a coal merchant and a third the proprietor of a well-known second- hand shop.

I enjoyed my years at Princess Mary and think the time I spent there has stood me in good stead throughout my life. I am amazed that Kate Cullen had to endure seven years in ‘that wretched place’ and steps were not taken to move her to another school where, maybe, she could have been happier and the following 50 years would not have been filled with such bitter feelings.

Joyce Whiteley

Crag Lane


Try to think of the good days at PM

I was taken aback by the vitriolic letter from Kate Cullen about her time there. I lived very happily, in a Mixenden Council house with a father who was proud to have a job that provided for his family, despite being no high-flyer. Eight girls from Stanningley Green School in Mixenden passed the 11-plus for grammar schools in 1959, seven of whom chose P.M.H.S. 
I would say that most of the staff were out of touch with what was happening in the 60s and could have realised that if you worked hard, you needed to play hard, but as for my home background, I certainly never felt that it made any difference to the way I was taught or treated. I did have to see Miss Pearson because my cardigan was knitted with the ‘wrong’ wool, but she kindly said that it was very nice but couldn’t be allowed. No dark spectre there, Kate. 
I never asked for a school scarf or school photo’ as I knew it would be a strain on my parents’ finances but I survived!
Quite a few of the girls in my year are still in touch and meet regularly for a meal and a ‘catch-up. As we did meet, this week, we shared the opinion that we felt sad for Kate, that she should be so bitter about her time at school and hope that she’ll let the good things she remembers over-ride the rest.

Hazel E.Murgatroyd.

Brooklands Close


Faith should bring us all together

Weekend Thought (Courier 24 January) about Christian unity made interesting reading and has, I believe much wider application than only for churches.

The reasons for church disunity are fairly well known, and the present situation is much better now than the days when some churches were openly hostile to those of different persuasions.

Happily, these days, Catholics will recognise Baptists as brothers and sisters in Christ as will Orthodox and Seventh day Adventists for instance.

This happy change has less to do with religion and more to do with Jesus Christ, I believe.

This better attitude can be extended to our friends of non Christian Faiths together with our Atheist and Pagan friends.

I can’t speak for other Faiths, but the most important thing in Christianity is the concept and practice of forgivness, which is the only thing which can solve many of the conflicts going on in the world.

Graham Rigby,



Do we need all spaces for disabled?

Steve Sharp (“Disabled parking is a farce”, Your Say, January 31) rightly condemns the occupation of authorised disabled only car parking bays by fully active drivers both in the hospital setting and elsewhere in Calderdale.

In my experience however there is often over- provision of disabled only parking bays in both hospital and road-side dedicated parking areas in Calderdale leading to unnecessary queuing delays for non-disabled drivers including many hospital visitors.

I therefore believe there is a need for a comprehensive review of current usage of car parking facilities throughout Calderdale. (A job which could well be done by parking attendants criticised by Mr Sharp), with the aim of achieving a more balanced car parking provision between active and disabled drivers.

Dr Bob Heys

Bar Lane



Stop this car park


Residents of certain parts of Calderdale are being subjected to an attack of total incompetence by CMBC.
In November, Mr Barry Collins attended a Ward Forum meeting in Ripponden to explain why CMBC were proposing to install several miles of double yellow lines through the centre of Ripponden.
Whilst many question were asked, Mr Collins struggled to find answers to most of them. Eventually he decided that he would withdraw the proposal and revisit the whole proposition.

My understanding is that there is a much reduced and carefully thought out proposal being consulted on at the moment.~
This brings me to the current fiasco in Ripponden; car parking charges. CMBC have now decided that the main central car park in Ripponden should be a pay and display car park. I suppose if you live in the centre of Halifax or Skircoat Green, or for that matter Brighouse, you might say, “why not”? I will tell you why not.  Several weeks ago I requested under the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) for CMBC to supply me with the business case and financial income projections that led to the decision to apply charges at Royd Lane, Ripponden. 
I also asked for a copy of the impact study that I assumed a responsible and sensible Council would have carried out to make sure they were aware of any adverse effects charging would have on residents and the business community in Ripponden: to date I have received a copy of “Parking Income Generation Study 2013” and that is it.
On page 14 of that document it states the following:
4.6.4  It is recognised that the introduction of parking charges is likely to result in a displacement of vehicles and problems with poor and inconsiderate parking elsewhere. There may also be a knock-on effect on the local economy and businesses. These factors have been taken into account in identifying which free car parks are suitable for conversion to pay and display.
It goes on to say:
4.6.9  The capital costs to implement this proposal will be high as significant work will be required, including pay and display machines, refurbishment of the car parks as appropriate to payable standards and the promotion of a legal parking places order. The costs are estimated to be approximately £194,000.
And further states: 4.6.8  It is considered that a 40 per cent average occupancy rate is realistic and achievable across the 14 car parks. This would generate an annual income in the region of £195,000.
And finally details of how we, the electorate of Ripponden, were consulted: Public consultation: - as part of the review carried out in 2008 and 2009 public consultation was carried out using questionnaires and roadshows in Brighouse, Halifax and Hebden Bridge attended by Council officers and elected members. The roadshows were publicised through Calderdale Call, in the local press and by direct invitation to interested groups. roadshows and 87 questionnaires were returned. Issues identified in relation to Equality and Diversity were: 
-  Enforcement should prioritise disabled bays. 
-  Criteria considered when choosing where to park include security/safety and cost. 
-  When asked ‘should all users pay for the cost of providing the facilities that they use?’ 68.8 per cent agreed with the statement, 17.2 per cent disagreed and 14.1 per cent did not answer. 
Only 100 people attended the -  70 per cent of respondents supported the reinvestment of surplus income.
If ever there was a case of manipulating the figures this is it.
I am not writing to ask the current Council to change its mind, I am writing to ask which Party will rescind this nonsense and start again by consulting those who are directly affected by decisions made by an arrogant and unintelligent set of Councillors.

Charles Moran

Crosswells Road,