A note from Shirley Weatherup nee Ison.
I was really delighted to discover through a friend, your website with all the information you have collated regarding Linton Camp School. I was also glad to read a newspaper article from November 2006 with a section written by Charles Priestley, a pupil I remember well who was on the dorm I looked after. Some of the staff and pupils who were at the school between 1957-1971 may be interested to see some of the photographs which I have from my time there. I was a Welfare Assistant when I joined the school on 2 Dec 1957 to 1961, and after 3 years away, returned in 1965 until 30th April 1971 when I left to be married.
As a Welfare Assistant at the time, I was resident at the school and had every other weekend off-duty. I have memories of driving in a 1935 Austin 7 across the Dales every fortnight from Tockwith near York to Linton which was a two and a half hour drive. One icy morning, I have clear memories of skidding to the centre of the road twice avoiding oncoming cars, arriving at Linton school in a state of shock. The roads to Linton were narrow and windy, in fact when the children were taken on a day trip on the local public bus, we had to have a supply of sick bags to hand!
Mr Sternwhite was the Head Master when I joined the school in 1957 and latterly Mr Barnard became the Head Master by the time I left in 1971. Two teachers were assigned to each of the four dorms along with two Welfare Assistants and would work on a rota basis with one teacher and one Welfare Assistant being on duty at anytime. Each dorm had 30 children, either junior or senior boys, or junior or senior girls. I worked with a teacher and supported with jobs to look after 30 children in a dorm. This included mending children’s clothes if they were ripped or had buttons missing and making sure their shoes were repaired when needed. Socks were washed twice a week! Quite a lot of time was spent supervising children outside such as after meals, as being outside was beneficial and the fresh air was lovely. The school had an open-air swimming pool and one of my duties, which was most nerve-racking, was supervising swimming with a teacher - I spent the whole time counting heads. The pool was only used in the warmer months when it reached a certain temperature, which was rare, but I still don’t think it could have been very warm. One photograph has a picture of me standing with Miss Rook (also a Welfare Assistant) and three boys at the back of dormitory one.
Every morning the children stripped their beds and folded the sheets and blankets neatly and put them on the end of their bed before breakfast, then after breakfast the children each made their beds which were then inspected! Even the youngest children, once taught, were experts in hospital corners and took a pride in their dormitories.
All staff were on a rota to prepare a half hour Sunday morning Service. Everyone would gather in the assembly hall for the service. There would usually be well known hymns, a prayer and a reading.
At weekends, there were organised activities for the children such hiking, crafts and sports mainly outside if the weather was fit. I recall one weekend being with a party of children and staff who walked up Elbolton, a hill behind the school. During the walk dense fog descended in the dale. Two of the senior boys had to go back to the school to get help to bring the rest of the party home.
Sports were really encouraged, especially outward bound activities, including in the summer holidays with visiting teachers. One of the photographs shows a group of children setting off for a hike from the school, including Eric Bartle (left of picture, back row) a schoolboy I remember. One of the photographs shows the school PE Teacher Ian Core talking with Mr Barnard and Don Robinson outside the Head Master’s office.
Don Robinson, the woodwork teacher at Linton school would make canoes with the children in the woodwork classroom. Once completed, they took them on to the River Wharfe at the Netherside Hall School a couple of miles away near Grassington. Wally (Wallace) Keay, a teacher who had moved from Linton School to Netherside did canoeing activities. Don and Wally ran the Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue and they were both keen pot holers/cavers and were very experienced. They had to deal with some horrific situations in rescues in the Dales.
You don’t often hear of people skiing in the Yorkshire Dales these days but that was one activity I did when I was at Linton if there was snow in the upper field near the school. I had acquired some ancient wooden skis which didn’t have release-bindings and I would take these up the hill after lunch if I was free to do so. One day, on my second descent, the snow had frozen and was very much quicker than first run of the day. I very quickly came to an abrupt halt when I hit a frozen pile of cow dung which I was trying to avoid, and promptly broke my leg! As I was on the hillside on my own I had no choice but to take one ski off the good leg and keep the ski on the broken leg and hobble, sliding the broken leg down the hill until I arrived back at my room at the school. The next morning, my Dad came from Tockwith and took me to Leeds Infirmary where my leg was put in plaster after which I was taken home to recuperate. Mr Sternwhite, the Head Master was exasperated and very cross with me, especially as a second member of staff and a friend of mine Daphne Core had strained her knee and was also off work. It took me 6 weeks to recover before I could return to the school. The ancient skis were put on the bonfire! It was not one of my better sports but did explain why release bindings on skis were necessary.
Prior to the broken leg skiing incident at Linton School, I took the old Austin for a run up the valley to watch other people skiing in a remote area. It was a sunny day though the ground was covered in thick snow. I pulled the car off the road into a field gateway and watched the skiers in the distance. When I decided to go back to the school, to my horror I realised I couldn’t make the car go forward and I was stuck on this remote hillside with no house in site - no mobile phones in those days. To my disbelief, after only 5 minutes a man appeared out of nowhere, walking up the hill with a shovel and dug my car out. Had he seen me coming? It wasn’t unknown for the snow to get as high as the dry stone walls. I recall one lunchtime walking with staff on top of the snow which seemed to be as high as the walls, a time when the school was snowed in and cut off from contact with the outside world.
I left the school in 1971 to get married to Jim Weatherup, who had recently returned from working in New Zealand for several years. The service was held at Burnsall church which was about 3 miles from Linton School. It was a lovely surprise to be greeted on leaving the church by lots of children from Linton School who were singing and playing recorders, as well as a group of children and staff in their finest watching as we left the church. One of the pictures shows Jim and his twin brother Will, searching for coins at the church gate before the children would let us leave, which was tradition.
I have very happy memories of my time spent at Linton School looking after the children and enjoying the routine in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales. Such happy memories and good friendships made.
I would be glad to hear from any of the staff or pupils and if you have a reunion in the future please do let me know.
Here we see Mr Norman Barnard headmaster, Mr Ian Core PE, Mr Don Robinson standing in front of the heads office.
Mr William (Bill) Sternwhite headmaster before Barnard, photo about 1957.
Group of boys in readiness for a long hike, Eric Bartle on back row far left.
Here we see Shirley with Miss Rook, both at this time welfare assistants with two young boys sat on steps at an entrance to a dorm. around 1957/59
Photo taken before the rebuild and alterations. Here we see Daphne Core, Mr Peter Mallinson Teacher, lady unknown, Shirley, Mr Eric Moorhouse and two boys sat on the veranda of one of the dorms. We always thought Mr Moorhouse was one of the best teachers at my time at the school, always in a good mood, very jovial and a good all round egg.
Here we have Shirley Ison, Miss Rook and Daphne Core all working at the school as welfare assistants. Photo around 1957
The following photos are of the wedding of Shirley and Jim Weatherup at St Wilfred's Church in Burnsall on the 21st May 1971. In addition to family and friends at the wedding, there was a strong contingent from Linton School, including Mr & Mrs Barnard, Mr & Mrs Robson, Mrs Airey welfare assistant, Christine Patrick, school secretary, Mr Miles Ramsden teacher and his wife Betty Ramsden welfare assistant. of particular interest are the groups of children from the school who sang and played their recorders as the happy couple exited the church. This was a lovely surprise for the happy couple who had no idea that this was going to take place. On senior girl presented Shirley with a Silver Horseshoe gift. I wonder how many ex pupils can identify themselves?
Here are a couple of photographs of Mr and Mrs Core who both worked at Linton Camp School. Daphne Core was a Welfare Assistant and Ian Core was a PE Teacher as well as teaching other things. They were great friends of mine and we continued to keep in touch after our time together at Linton.
The lower photograph shows Ian celebrating his 80th birthday with badges on his jacket “80 maturing nicely” and “Birthday Boy”! (June 14th, 2005 at Rombalds Hotel).
Daphne and Ian moved to Canada after Linton Camp School, and returned to Ilkley, Yorkshire to retire.
I would like to thank Shirley Weatherup for allowing me to reproduce her story from her days at Linton and the
wonderful set of photographs Shirley has sent me.
The days are numbered for the old school which has been standing empty for so very long since it was last used in
1986. Ruined by various people, vandal's and the like but during this year 2021, finally after many attempts,
something is to be done with it. A nice new shiny hotel and leisure complex is to be built on the site and with it an
opportunity for jobs and of course investment that is so very much needed in the Yorkshire Dales.