Back to school for the Fleetwood Bailey ’64 gang

Maureen Waistle (left) and Valerie Lyon are organising a 50th anniversary reunion for ex-Bailey School pupils.
Maureen Waistle (left) and Valerie Lyon are organising a 50th anniversary reunion for ex-Bailey School pupils.

It’s a milestone few schoolchildren will probably even think about, but for Bailey School’s class of ’64 the moment has arrived!

Former pupils of the long-gone comprehensive, which used to be based on Beach Road, Fleetwood, are staging a reunion to mark the 50th anniversary of them leaving school.

The big half-century event is taking place at the North Euston Hotel’s Vantini Room on Sunday August 17, from 1 to 5pm.

Organising the bash are Valerie Lyon (nee Hargreaves), 65, of Mowbray Road, and Maureen Waistle (nee Shawcross), who will be 65 tomorrow.

Grandmother Valerie, a mum of two who has three grandchildren, said: “Most of us are aged 65 and this 50th anniversary is a bit of a milestone for us all. We’re hoping for a good turnout – the more, the merrier.”

Maureen, who has three children and five grandchildren, added: “Partners, husbands and wives of our old schoolmates are welcome to come and join us.”

It was back in 1964 that they finally said goodbye to the school where boys and girls were kept separate, and the fearsome Miss Muriel Black was the strict headmistress.

The pupils were aged just 15 (or even 14 if they were summer-born) when they left school, without any formal qualifications, as none were taken at the school.

Maureen, who went on to work at places such as Mullards Valve Factory and a slipper factory in Cleveleys, said: “We didn’t really have anything to show for our time at the school, we just left and that was it.

“But it was easier to get a job in those days. You didn’t have many people on the dole, there was always some vacancy somewhere.”

Miss Black was felt by many to be tough but fair, although Valerie recalls one unfortunate incident with the headteacher.

Valerie, another ex-Mullards girl and former Scotch Bakery employee, recalls: “Miss Black was really strict and you didn’t want to be called into her office!

“One time I had made a nice hand-sewn dress for my mum, and I had to take it to her office to look at it. She told me it would never fit me, and when I said it was for my mum, she said I was supposed to make it for me. Then she ripped it up!

“It would never happen today, but things were different then.”

The last time there was a reunion was back in 1989, when Bailey old boy Rick Horrabin organised the event.

Bailey School, which was located close to the Queens pub, was finally demolished in the early 1990s to make way for housing.

Anyone who wants to attend the reunion should call 075352 14521.