My early days as a schoolboy in Hunslet (Part 1).


My first day at school (Hunslet Carr) 1953

I remember it well, Miss Smith was our Teacher.

Hunslet Carr School today
Hunslet Carr School today

We did the usual things school children did, as what I suppose they do now, painting and drawing, sandpits. Looking at books. Our teacher reading books to us.

We had to sit on coconut matting, ouch.

On warm days, we had some of our lessons outside. Then we could play ball, hopscotch and stuff. Chase after girls, pulling their hair and them giving us a smack back.

The only thing different to nowadays (as far as I know) was that we had no lessons in afternoon, we slept on hammock type things all afternoon. Our mothers picked us up, later that afternoon.

Me at primary school (Hunslet Carr) 1960

Our Form Teacher was Mr Harold Hobson. I believe, if my memory is correct, the Headteacher’s name was Mr Slee.

Mr Hobson was our music teacher and our sports, geography and english teacher. Mr Hobson played the piano brilliantly.

Mr Harold Hobson taught my dad and uncles before me, so was well known in the family. Harold lived in an old cottage on Middleton Town Street.

Many years later I met up with Mr Hobson, when as a family we moved to Town Street, Middleton, the other side of the road to where Mr Hobson lived. In fact my dad and uncles ended up going to the RAOB, (Royal Association of Buffaloes) together with Harold.


Hunslet Carr School was fast becoming well known for coaching rugby league at schoolboy level. Mr Hobson coached rugby and was very good at it. I played rugby, football and cricket. But not at school team level.

Hunslet Carr School rugby teams over the years won many cups against the other Schools in the area and beyond.

I remember catching the tram to play rugby on the Clearings in Middleton Park and walking to the playing field at the bottom of Pepper Road to play football.

Skipping ropes and things

Some of the games played by the girls were skipping ropes, hopscotch, hoola hoops, whip & top and many more.

Boys, played marbles (tors), kicking balls about, playing with cap guns. The caps you could get for the guns, you could also put into the toy bombs, that you threw up into the air, and on landing would make a bang. We thought the higher we threw them the louder they would bang. Of course this was not true. The boys took great delight in chucking these about near the girls. That was until the girls ran off with the bombs, never to be seen again.

We hold an old Hunslet Carr School reunion on the first Tuesday of every month at Hunslet Carr Sports and Social Club. Me and Robert Naylor run the reunion where about ten ex-pupils get together for a few pints, talk about old times and look at old photos. All ex-pupils are welcome.

Part 2 of School days to come next week

10 Replies to “My early days as a schoolboy in Hunslet (Part 1).”

  1. Hi Ken
    I came across the article by accident and it has brought back memory’s of my time at Hunslet Carr. I can actually can remember my first day in the infants school. It will have been around 1957ish I was born in October 1953 and I cried so much that “Miss” put me in a 2 person rocking boat to quieten me down. I have a really bad memory for names but I remember Mr Hobson and an Australian called Mr Rose but that may have been after your time.
    St Oswald also brought back memory’s of my time in the Cub Scout but memory’s of Mr Vann the dentist are put back firmly to the back of my mind.
    I dont remember the head teacher at Hunslet but Jim Slee was the head master at Belle Isle which was my next school, a firm but fare teacher even though I received the cane from him once.

  2. Hi Ken

    I’ve read Part 2 and again it has brought back memories. We were one of the first families to move into the new flats on Moor Close and my mother cleaned at The Prospect Pub when Ken Trail was landlord. I used to clean Ken’s car every Saturday morning for 2/6 and occasionally I cleaned the car for the manager/owner of the scrap yard next door, he used to pay me 10 bob to rile Ken. I actually cleaned Ken’s car one day when a big old Rolls Royce turned up with Richard Harris in it, I believe he and Ken got matey after filming “This Sporting Life”.

    I also remember Tallants at Middleton. Back then a trip to Miggi park was a day out, do you remember the flooded quarry at the bottom of the park?

  3. Hi Ken, I am the great grandson of Harold Hobson and came across the article as I am in the process of researching my family’s history. I would be keen to know if you had any other memories regarding Harold? Many thanks, Michael.

    1. Hi Michael, I am Margaret and Albert’s daughter. I forwarded the article to my parents and to my brother. We spent many weekends at Grandad Hobson’s house on Town Street growing up. We remember Kenneth’s Dad Roland. We moved to Canada in 1974. If you have any info. on our family’s history I would love to read about it. My cousin Margo (Kath’s) daughter has done a lot of research into our family tree. It is very interesting. We actually go back to royalty so we are very special!!!! Ha Ha. Margo lives on Vancouver Island here in Canada. Maybe you should get in touch with her. Let me know if you want to reach her. Maybe we will meet one of these days.

  4. Hello, I have found out very little so far, I have been trying to find out more between the Hobson and Robertson families. I would be keen to get in touch with Margo and find out about our history, especially if we are linked to royalty. I actually travelled to Vancouver back in 2008 whilst I was travelling around the world. I would love to return sometime.

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