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She was a well respected teacher with a patient, caring nature

By Black Country Bugle  |  Posted: April 07, 2014

  • A youthful Roy Langford

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FOR many of us our school days must seem a lifetime away, a period in our lives that had its good days, its bad days, when we learnt a lot, played a lot, made friends, and possibly fell in love for the first time.

Then there were the teachers who stood at the front of the class, pointing at things written on the blackboard, telling us off for speaking, checking that homework was handed in on time, but hopefully, even though we may not have appreciated it at the time, helping to guide us in the right direction for the rest of our lives.

And of the many teachers who may have taught us there is always one we remember who brought out the best in us, an individual we liked, looked up to and respected above all others, and Roy Langford from Tividale has been reminiscing on this very same subject, but we have to go back to last year for Roy to begin his tale:

"Well over 12 months ago in Bugle 1041 I was looking back at my old school days from 1946 to 1950 at the Blue Coat Secondary Modern School in Bean Road, Dudley, and recalled being down graded after the first year at senior school from an A class to a B class.

"I can't remember whether I was mortified by this relegation or just took it in my stride and accepted that I wasn't the brightest academic student the school had ever had, probably the latter. But my lack of ability was a blessing in disguise because it brought me into contact with someone I can only describe as my academic saviour, Miss E. Collier of Form 2B.

"She was patient, caring and kind, and guided my dormant educational skills towards a level where I was able to flourish, and thanks to her I finished second out of a class of 35 after taking the end of summer term exams in July 1948.

"In my article from last year I asked Bugle readers if they could remember Miss Collier and whether there was a picture of her somewhere. Sadly no memories or photographs were forthcoming. But then one day, thumbing through an old copy of Blocksidge's Dudley Almanack for 1949, I was stunned to find a miniature photograph of my very own Miss Collier.

"What a stroke of luck, and immediately the memories came tumbling back. The Almanack stated she had just been appointed President of Dudley National Union of Teachers on February 21, and at the time of the appointment her teaching career had evidently taken a leap forward because she was listed as headmistress at the Priory Nursery School in Limes Road, Dudley.

"This of course meant that within seven months of guiding me through those all important, confidence boosting exams, she had left the Blue Coat School. I must admit I was surprised to find she had left a senior school, where she seemed suited to teach young teenagers, to become head at a nursery school. But this fact didn't diminish what she had done for me and I'm over the moon to have found an image of her, even though it's of poor quality. Nevertheless, it gives me another opportunity to ask Bugle readers if they remember Miss Collier, and now I have a photograph to help my appeal.

It would be terrific to locate other Dudleians who remember Miss Collier from the Blue Coat School. Also, if you have any fond memories of a teacher from your time at school who made a positive difference in your life, please let us know here at Bugle House. Phone 01384 567678 or email editor@blackcountrybugle.co.uk. Alternatively send us your memories by post to Black Country Bugle, Bugle House, 41 High Street, Cradley Heath, B64 5HL.

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