So good to see old photos in Mail

A FORMER Hartlepool woman has told of her delight after viewing Hartlepool Mail photographs, which were nearly 70-years-old, showing her and some former town schoolmates.

Chris Purdie loved our story about Hartlepool resident Wynne Rae who had discovered some old photographs, because Wynne is an old friend.

They showed girls from the Technical College in Hartlepool playing netball and another of the college production of The Mikado by Gilbert and Sullivan, both from around 1943.

One featured Mrs Rae as the netball shooter while three other girls stood by the post.

Mrs Rae, now 83, appealed for our help to trace her school friends and Mrs Purdie, nee Carver, was over the moon to hear from old colleagues, especially as she now lives in Brighton.

"It was like another Christmas present," said Mrs Purdie.

"I too am in the pictures shown and remember with fondness the wonderful time we girls, with a few boys, had. We were the first class at the Technical College to become the new Commercial Day School.

"It was war-time, but in those early days we were not affected greatly. Wynne Rae I think was then Wynne Basor and very pretty she was too.

"My close friends were Eileen Kitchen, nee Wilkinson, who now lives in Aberdeenshire to be near her daughter and family. Also Jean Charlton, Jean Cussons and Allene Swales, with whom I have lost touch, but memories come flooding back from those halcyon days.

"I was there at the netball practice, behind the girl who threw the ball.

"I too was in The Mikado and was one of the three little maids, I believe Pitti Sing was the name, I am on the right. Ivy Ellis was another and I thought that Lily Brackstone was Yum-yum as she had the best voice."

Mrs Purdie has lived in Brighton for many years but recalled her days as a Hartlepool resident in the 1940s.

"My husband Lionel was a policeman stationed at Raby Road in Hartlepool. He is now 88 and, of course, retired.

"He had his bike stolen from the back of the station. We can laugh now, but it wasn't funny at the time.

"His wage was 5 per week. We had to save for a new bike. It wasn't easy."

The couple lived in a police house in Greatham "with no flushing toilet," recalls Mrs Purdie, adding: "Talk about the dark ages. When one is young one copes.

"Eventually we followed our family south, even spending one year in Australia, but it was not for us and we soon returned to England.

"We have now been happily married for nearly 62 years, with three strapping sons and seven grandchildren, with no problems other than arthritis.

"Life has been good to us and we have precious memories to reflect on.

"What more could one ask for?"