A Tour of the Brooms School Buildings Part 1

Brooms School A Tour of the School Buildings Part 1

Kindly provided by an ex Schoolboy after contact via the Memories of Leadgate Website

I ‘m standing in the school yard next to the style in front of the convent, the style is built over the old tub line that went down to the Eden drift mine(as kids ,we called it the dungeons

Walking up onto the school yard the football field is behind me,a unique field in its self as I’m sure it sloped off at a 45 degree angle

I remember Thursday afternoons, Mr John Clarke Snr would come and volunteer his time to ‘train’ us so we would a look l leave the cloakroom singing or whistling the tune to match off the day, as it was classed in those days girls were not allowed to do a ‘boys’ sport

So they did needlework.

Next to the top corner of the footy field was the sandpit,

The high jump was always the order of the day and one lad John ‘Scony’ Wilson was untouchable at it.

The tree line running next to the tub line played host to a make believe housing estate, The girls would make a outline of a house with pieces of coke ‘borrowed’ from the stock pile that heated the school then they would furnish it with bits and bobs from home.

I’m now walking up the alley way between the convent and the  wooden hut that was mother superiors(headmistress) office, through the back gate into the backyard of the convent to the door in the corner which led into the scullery/kitchen which every now and then  was a tuck shop.

I’m now out of the Sisters office, not a good place to be if you’d been sent there for a no…no…

Opposite the office was a small office I think it may have been the staff room and next to that was the boiler room ran by Mr John Haggon/Hagan I’m sure someone will correct me

Im now crossing the little yard where the the girls outside toilets are on my left to the right of me is either one of two entrances, let’s go up through the girls entrance, I’m now in the cloakroom which leads into the wash hand area wasn’t the water always freezing cold !!

The other entrance was up a small slope which I’ll come to later,now through the door and here we are at Miss Mathews class with a big roaring open fire.

Can anyone tell me,was she related to the Mathews that had the paper shop on Watling St ?

I’m now walking down the long corridor with only the outer school wall separating us and the railway line, The school would physical shake as they went by.

Just before we enter Miss McGurks classroom let’s turn left and into the boys cloakroom , same lay out as the girls but alot messy than there’s.

Back through the door and into Miss McGurks classroom the first thing to greet you was the piano, she was a wonderful pianist and organ player and led the school choir for years.

Funny how things stick in your mind every Friday afternoon for the last hour of class she would pick a book to read to us and my favourite I remember was when she read, Little House on the Paire long before it was a TV show,

Next class up was Miss McWilliams with a Scots accent another wonderful teacher

Next to that was the school hall where we had assembly, Christmas partys etc,

if I remember correctly it had a folding partition that would be pulled out or closed depending on the occasion and if the TV on the big legs was rolled in ….woohoo 

Next a long the back of the bookcases and into the side door of Miss Anne Hughes classroom it was like something you would see at Beamish Museum, a tall desk with matching  stool and the big metal pencil sharpener

The blackboard was a roller type where she had a habit of screeching the chalk down it, our desks had ink wells and we had to use with our bit of blotting paper

She had a unique way for us learning our times table, every cupboard door or window had a number which related to someone’s door number

Exiting the other door lead to a small room where once or twice a week Mrs Stoke ?

Would take you if you needed extra help in reading etc

Leaving that room I’m now back down the slope in the girls area +let’s hope the nuns don’t see me

I hope you’ve enjoyed my little tour, it’s how I remember it

Please correct me on anything I’ve missed 

Next time we’ll visit the big wooden hut, that was the dining hall.

Picture added on Facebook by Mary Russell of Brooms School Staff
Names on above photo from Mary Russell of School staff at Brooms School

4 thoughts on “A Tour of the Brooms School Buildings Part 1”

  1. Raymond allaker

    Hi this is Raymond allaker most of the tour is correct remember all the walk through not sure myself miss Mathew s was any relation to paper shop as paddy Mathew s in my class was same birthday as me 10 feb the dinner hall was something else but my nanna worked on dinners mrs brown and i did get extra heplings 😆😆. Kind regards ray

  2. Josephine Regan

    Teresa Matthews is the older sister of Pat Matthews who had the paper shop. Her other brother James had the paper shop in Lanchester and her younger sister Elizebeth had the grocery store on Front Street (Falvey’s). Her youngest sister Jenny McCallum (my mam) had the Fountain in Consett .
    Teacher, Ann Hughes was their cousin, she was also sister to Frank Hughes (spike, headmaster of English Martyres)

  3. Paul Mc Callum

    Miss Mathew’s (was my Aunty Teresa) My Mam (Jenny McCallum – née Mathews) was the youngest sister to Teresa / Elizabeth and Ann) Jenny was landlady of The Duke of Wellington & The Fountain in Consett for many years) There were all two brothers – – — Pat and Jim Mathews. Uncle Pat had the newsagents in Leadgate – under the bridge (down from the Roxy Cinema) on the way to Pont. Pat was married to Aunty Rosa (in the photo above). Uncle Jim had the News agency in Lanchester. Aunty Elizabeth married Con Falvey and they had the grocers shop in Leadgate. Aunty Ann married Vincent Hughes and had a grocers ship in Ryton. Ann Hughes – also in the photo – was my Godmother ( fondly known in the family as ‘Ginger Annie’) . We (TheMcCallum’s) emigrated to Australia in 1969/69 – we still keep in touch with the Mathew’s / Falvey’s and Hughes’s.

  4. John Clark was my uncle (no E on the end).

    We used to get sweets off Mrs McWilliams on a Friday if your school pen still had you name label stuck on it.

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