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More bright sparks from Albright Secondary, Oldbury

By Black Country Bugle User  |  Posted: March 08, 2007

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Marion Gabrysiak (nee Hadley) of Rowley Regis was the first of several readers to respond to a recent mention of the girls of Albright Secondary School in Pope's Lane, Oldbury. She writes:

"Regarding the photograph Ken Rock sent to you of the girls from Albright Secondary Modern School (Bugle 5th February, number 755) I can confirm it is of the school prefects, probably of 1948.

  "Of the five school photos I have, of course this one would be the only one that I had not written all the names on! However I will do my best to recall:

  Back row, from left: Wendy Tonks, Dorothy Nash (head girl) Joan Rayner, Margaret Sweetland, Marion Hadley, Sheila Spilsbury, Dorothy Bunch, Mildred Bissell, Dorothy Chadd.

  Middle row: Vera Evans, Doreen Jordan, Pauline Wimbush, Sheila Darby, Brenda Nicklin, ?, ?, ?.

  Front row: Betty Turner, ?, Margaret Sorrell, Muriel Hill, ?, Jean Love, Barbara Priddey, Jean Danks.

  My apologies to the ladies whose names evade me!

  Doreen Jordan ran with Mildred on numerous occasions but is unable to shed any light on that particular photo."

  Sylvia Foxall, now of Lower Gornal, is anothe girl who has fond memories of those times at Albrights, and has kindly supplied us with the accompanying photograph. She writes:

  "I'm writing in answer to the letter in the Bugle from Ken Rock. He asked why the girls in the photo of Albright Girls School were wearing sashes - they were prefects.

  "I went to Albright School from 1947. I enclose a photo of all the prefects in my year. My name was then Sylvia Drury; I'm the second from the right in the first row of girls standing.

  "Ken also asked about Oldbury's Salvation Army. I went to Oldbury Army from the age of eleven years. It was a good Corps at the time, but over the years the number of members dwindled and eventually it had to close."

  Muriel Gillgrass of West Bromwich, originally Muriel Hill, remembered Mildred Bissell, as she explained in her letter:

  "I lived a few doors away from her down West Bromwich Street, and we were playmates. I am on the front row of that photograph, fourth from left. Mildred was always a good runner, always betaing me, but she had to give up due to a heart murmur.

  "As regards Mr Rock, when Mildred and I attended Rounds Green School, we used to visit her Granny Rock, as she lived in Florence Road. I remember eating carroway seed cake there, which I hated - but as we were hungry we ate it.

  "I was sorry to hear about Mildred's death. We lost touch when I left Oldbury in 1952."

  Iris Parkes, who now lives in Merseyside but remains a Black Country girl at heart, also let us know that the sashes worn by the girls were the sign of a prefect.

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