The Little School on the Moors

An Upper Calder Valley school enjoyed unusual celebrity status in the 1950s when it claimed to be the smallest in Yorkshire.

Following a story in the press that Snilesworth School, Northallerton - with six pupils - was the smallest in the county, the four students at Wadsworth Walshaw Non-Provided School indignantly challenged this assumption.

Lady Royd's, as the school was better known locally, was the smallest, pupil Glyn Roberts, aged 10, informed the editor of the Yorkshire Post, in addition to which his fellow pupil, nine-year-old David Bradley, boasted that their lady teacher travelled to the school on a motor bike!

In the best tradition of a hot news story, a reporter was despatched forthwith to Lady Royd's, where he interviewed "hells angel" Miss Margaret Greenwood - "her motor cycle parked near her desk" - and the quartet who had laid down the challenge, who also included Vernon Halstead and Charles Roberts.

When asked what they particularly liked about their school "the sharp-witted youngsters were ready with replies":
"I was at a big school once but there was too much noise;"
"I like a small school because there is no-one to hate;"
and, most tellingly, "I would not go to a town school for £2,000,000."

Miss Greenwood commented: "They say they are going to close the school now that there are only four pupils left." Sadly that came true shortly afterwards.

Read the full story in Milltown Memories, issue 5. If this or other stories stirs a memory, we'd be happy to know - send us your memories and comments.