Back to class for 94-year-old Gla­dys – and what a day

Sunderland Echo - - Retro -

It was a trip down mem­ory lane for Gla­dys Wat­son as she stepped through the doors of Eas­ing­ton Col­liery Pri­mary School.

For the grand old lady of 94 ded­i­cated 16 years of her life to teach­ing young­sters within its walls.

As the then Miss Un­der­wood, she taught the ‘Three Rs’ to hun­dreds of lit­tle boys.

She can still re­mem­ber many of their names, and happy mem­o­ries of that time al­ways make her smile.

“They were very very happy times. There are just too many nice mem­o­ries to re­count re­ally,” she said.

Young­sters in Eas­ing­ton Col­liery were taught at a tem­po­rary school, nick­named The Tin, un­til the proper pri­mary was built.

Mrs Wat­son started work at the Sea­side Lane school in 1925, at a time when women teach­ers were not al­lowed to be mar­ried.

Classes of 50-plus were a nor­mal size at the time, with the ma­jor­ity of pupils be­ing the sons of min­ers.

She said: “It was all black­board work then – we had no TV or ra­dio to help us out. It was left to the teach­ers to make class in­ter­est­ing. “The stan­dard of work was very high. The boys were re­ally good and we never had any trou­ble with them at all. We had a very strict head­mistress and she had a very high stan­dard for both staff and boys.” Mrs Wat­son kept in touch with many of her for­mer pupils.

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