Milk monitor Geoff loved going to school
Snow-topped milk, outside toilets and canalside rambles are just a few of Geoff Crowley's memories of junior school. He talks to Jenny Amphlett.
Geoff Crowley was given a special responsibility for milk at his Hanley junior school during the early 1960s.
The 61-year-old security officer, from Thames Drive, Biddulph, was a milk monitor at Eastwood Junior School.
"We all used to have a little bottle of milk every day and it was up to me to disperse it out to the pupils," he says.
"There was no real reward for doing it, but it was a stripe on your sleeve.
"The milk was kept outside at the time, in metal crates where the milkman left it.
"It would have come straight off the milk float and sometimes the bottles had snow on top of them.
"I would carry it all in and I used to think it was a good little job.
"We had monitors for different things, which was designed to give us some responsibility."
Geoff was prompted to share his memories after reading other recent recollections about Eastwood Junior School.
"It was a great school and I loved every minute," he says.
"I can remember Ellen Jones arriving as a teacher. The headmaster was Mr Allman and the deputy head was George Skitt.
"The teachers included Mrs Moseley, Mr Hodson and Mr Lovatt."
George Skitt was quite a character.
"He was a great teacher and arranged a regular Saturday morning ramble for pupils eager to go.
"More often than not we would take the canalside route from Eastwood Bank Bridge to Stockton Brook, stopping on the way back at the Carmount Inn for refreshments.
"A great time was had by all and it would have been twice the distance back for Mr Skitt as he would have had a few drinks by then."
Geoff and his fellow pupils were encouraged to participate in competitive sports, including against their nearest rivals Cauldon Road School.
"We would indulge in a weekly visit to Hanley Baths and, not being very far away, would sometimes walk with a teacher escort," he recalls.
"Everybody liked the visit to Hanley Baths and I remember Mr Chatfield was the swimming teacher.
"We would also attend Hanley Museum for regular lessons.
"These were taken in rooms at the rear of the building."
He says Eastwood was an old school, but was well maintained.
"There were outside toilets and two old concrete shelters in the top yard, which had probably been used as air raid shelters during the war.
"Everybody played in them during break times if the weather was rainy."
Geoff has submitted a photograph of his classmates, taken in around 1960, although he is missing from the shot himself as he was off school with a broken leg at the time.
The back row, from left to right, includes Billy Hancock, Paul Kirby, Philip Barcroft, Roy Kelsall, Stephen Kidd, Peter Wallbank, Barry Pickard, Glynn Oldfield, Peter Hammond, Gary Brocklehurst and teacher Mr Lovatt.
The middle row includes Jeff Whieldon, Raymond Shufflebotham, Graham Biddulph, Derek Burkes, John Neate, Paul Harding, Christine Lines, Linda Heath, Susan Parkes and Susan Birnie.
The front row includes Denise Wilson, Carol Redding, Pamela Bullock, Sylvia Barker, Cheryl Smith, Jean Hurst, Elizabeth Dokic, Carol White, ? Collins and Linda Jervis.
Geoff also has copies of the school magazine, Eastwood Review, dating from 1963.
"They're a bit primitive as they were done with an ink printer. I shouldn't imagine there are many of them left now."
He adds: "I remember it as a tremendous school. I remember there was a good atmosphere and everyone seemed to get on with one another."
Geoff is married to Josie and has two children, two step-children, three grandchildren and has another on the way.
Did you attend Eastwood School, or do you recognise anyone on the photograph? Write to Jenny Amphlett, including your name, address and telephone number, at Features Desk, The Sentinel, Etruria, or email email@example.com.