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The Wakefield Seaside School

The Hornsea Seaside School opened on May 2nd, 1938 to provide a breath of fresh air for pupils at a time when tuberculosis, diphtheria and scarlet fever were rife. The city's medical officer for health, Dr Allardice, wanted to see schools with outdoor classrooms, across the Wakefield district. Manygates School, which opened in 1928, and the Snapethorpe schools were designed with this in mind, but the scheme went no further.

Hornsea Seaside School was seen as the next best thing. It operated as a residential elementary school 24 weeks a year, and a holiday camp during the summer break. But by the early 1950s its attraction had begun to fade, because families could afford more exotic holidays, and pupils' health and nutrition had improved considerably.

It became an education centre in 1974 following the formation of Wakefield Council.

Council bosses announced last year that it could not afford costs needed to modernise the centre and that it would have to close. They invited voluntary and charitable groups to come up with plans to keep it open. Sadly as yet no viable solution has been found leaving the future of the school hanging in the balance. The council’s director of finance Judith Badger said the property would be offered on the open market in February or March this year.

This Page is intended to gather the photos and memories of pupils who have spent time at the school over the last 70 years in the hope we can build up an archive that will give future generations an insight into how the establishment was run.

This photo is courtesy of Mrs V Curin who stayed at the school in 1955. Her memories of the school includes visiting a nearby pottery shed, going on nature walks and most importantly experiencing being away from home for the first time.

Photos taken between 1948 & 1951 courtesy of David Atkinson

David attended the school twice during the late 1940s and in 1950. He went for two weeks at a time. Parents paid into the school on a weekly basis to pay for their children the trip. For David, as many it was their only holiday of the year. On his first visit his parents visited. A feature of the holiday was the pupils were allowed to draw one shilling from their spending money that teachers kept in a sort of bank account. The purpose of this was to purchase sweets that had been taken off ration for a trial month. They were taken to the shop at the bottom of the hill about half a mile away and allowed to enter the shop in groups of six.. The standard supper would normally consist of a glass of milk and a slice of fat and bread.

This photo was taken in 1958 and was sent to us by David Carter. He went to Heath View junior school. Do you know anyone in the photo?

The following photos were taken by Michael Hunt who was a teacher at Saint Austins from 1950 onwards. He accompanied groups of up to seventy boys for their three week stay at the school on a number of occasions in the 1950s and 1960s.

Seaside School memories courtesy of Joyce Lowe

I went to Wakefield Seaside School in 1957 and 1958 at the age of 13/14 with Snapethorpe Secondary School which is in Lupset. The following are a few extracts from my 1958 diary.

We arrived in Hornsea at the school at 12.15pm on the 6th June 1958 we were all shown to our dormitory’s I was in Beverley dormitory. After lunch (it was called dinner in t...hose days) the matron came to our dormitory and showed us how to make our beds when we had done this Miss Atack and told us we had to go and get weighed (I did lose 3lbs in the fortnight) Then Mrs Bedford came and told us things we could and could not do and explained about the library on the camp which opened at 12’o’clock every day I got a library book out called ‘At School with Petra’.

We had to get up at 7am every morning. Monday to Friday we had lessons most mornings then after lunch (dinner then) it was usually walks collecting things for our Hornsea diaries, playing games such as Tig and Run, walking round the mere or for a treat going in a motor boat on the mere (great fun) or into Hornsea to have a look round, Woolworths was a great store to go round. We also went to the pictures a couple of times to see ‘The Pyjama Game’ and ‘Pride and Passion’. After tea we either went to the beach, played games such as Beetle Drive and we all loved dancing to records such as ‘Tammy’ ‘Magic Moments’ ‘Diane’ ‘ Won’t you Wear My Ring’ the latest record being ‘Lollipop’ which Mrs Bedford bought for us to dance to. We had to shower and were be in bed for 9pm but there was always plenty of talking going on well after 9pm until our teacher came in shouting lights out. Of course we also went round Hornsea Potteries where most of us bought ‘seconds’ for our mum’s.

On Sunday we went to the church of our choice and the middle Sunday our parents and relatives came to see us. My mum came to see me we went to the beach had tea out and then visitors could look round the school and grounds and they left the camp at 6.30pm.

Example Menu

Breakfast Dinner Tea Supper

Bacon & Tomatoes Liver & Onions Beans on Toast Bread &

Bread and Butter Potatoes Bread,Butter & Jam Dripping

Marmalade Ginger Pudding & Cake Biscuit

Tea Custard Cocoa


Miss Atack, Mrs Bedford,Miss Holland and Mrs Imber

Photos courtesy of Joyce Lowe who went to Snapethorpe School



Manygates Secondary Modern 1952

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