A witty teacher

Long before microwaves were invented home economics teacher Miss Holcroft is posed with gas cooker and kettles.

Long before microwaves were invented home economics teacher Miss Holcroft is posed with gas cooker and kettles.

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A SMILE came across my face when I saw a picture of Mrs Holcroft (Memory Lane, October 19).

She was well known in the College of Further Education as ‘Betty’ in domestic science, on the Home Management course which I attended from 1977 to 1979.

I thought she was great.

She had a sense of humour, was witty and an excellent teacher and demonstrator.

She had us all spell-bound.

Knowledgeable, supportive and a good listener, she got us out of some tricky situations as we worked our way through the course.

One memory comes to mind.

I had a disastrous time making an egg custard.

When one of the students decided to pass it around for tasting, every one of them screwed up their face as their final verdict.

We happened to be on the top floor of the college and the girl in question holding the disastrous custard said she knew exactly what to do with it.

She proceeded to open the window and throw the contents out of the window.

Later, as we returned for our tutorial in the same room, Mrs Holcroft was instructing.

A knock came on the door and through the glass door we all could see an angry man dressed in motorbike gear.

The door opened and Mrs Holcroft politely asked him what he wanted. He told her that earlier, when he was getting on his bike on the ground level, an avalanche of egg custard had hit him and gone all over his bike, that came from a high level. Miss Holcroft looked straight at me and said: “It looks like somebody’s egg custard!”

I pinched my lips and desperately tried not to laugh.

She asked me if it was mine.

I replied: “Yes.”

Thankfully she asked if I’d thrown the custard out of the window, to which I replied “no”.

Would I reveal who’d done it? I shook my head from side to side. But thankfully again the girl who’d done it owned up and said she would clean the man’s motorbike.

In the end even he started to laugh and all the class joined in.

We all fell about laughing for ages, whilst offering to clean up his bike.

He declined and said he would do it. I’ll never forget the look of disbelief on his face and the shaking of his head from side to side, but a large grin as he left the room.

I think it was Betty’s great style of management that saved the day, and I’ve got to say that my egg custards have been perfected.

Michelle Plant,

Woodstock Way,

Hartlepool.