Morecambe nostalgia: childhood memories

Rummaging through old photographs has led one reader to pursue her childhood friends.

Wednesday, 31st May 2017, 4:00 pm
Updated Sunday, 4th June 2017, 9:41 pm

Norma Massey has sent in this picture which was featured in the Visitor in May 1948.

The picture shows Norma Massey (then Cooke), aged five-years-old, second from the right and highlights the crowning of the Sunday School Queen at the Salvation Army Hall.

The article published at the time reads:

“In the centre with the demure-looking page boy, the Queen, six-years-old Patricia Leaver, of Raglan Road, smiles brightly.

“Her train bearers and attendants watch the cameraman with a mixture of curiosity, coyness and nervousness.

“Patricia was chosen Queen by Sunday school teachers from children of the primary department.

“She was crowned with a pearl and diamanté crown by Mrs Battersby, wife of Councillor J.H. Battersby.

“After the ceremony there was a procession of more than 100 children, teachers and friends from the Salvation Army Hall in Moss Lane, down West End Road and along the promenade to the Clock Tower, where Captain Carr conducted a service.

“Carried proudly was an efficiency shield awarded to Morecambe Corps for the greatest increase in numbers and the best progress in young people’s work by any Corps in the north west.

“The procession was led by the junior and senior bands.

“The page boy is David Taylor. Others on the photograph are Marion Turner, Ann Kennedy, Joan Woodman, June Bell, Kathleen Ingleby, Jean Ibbetson, Joan Plumbley, Norma Cooke, Lesley Summerfield and Margaret Tyson.

“Mrs Battersby presented the Queen with a bible. Norma Cooke presented a bouquet to Mrs Battersby. Young People’s Sgt Major Miss Williams headed the Salvation Army workers who made the arrangements.”

In a letter addressed to The Visitor Norma said she wondered how many of the people pictured in the photograph are still alive and living in Morecambe?

At the time of the picture Norma’s mother, Joyce, was living and working as a housekeeper in the town while her father, Gerry, was abroad in Burma on war duty.

Joyce had a sister, Dora Wilkinson, who was living at Buckingham Road, Morecambe at the time.

Norma’s brother Ian was born in Lancaster Hospital in 1942.

She said: “I was born in 1943 in Gloucestershire whilst my mother was visiting with her in-laws.

“I think we lived in Acre Moss home.

“When my father returned (presumably 1949), we became a family at last and went to live in RAF accommodation at RAF Kirkham. This was just to be the start of many moves, as my father was a regular serving airman and finally left the RAF IN 1968.”

Norma married and left home in 1961 and now lives in Salisbury, Wiltshire.

Her last visit to Morecambe was in the 80s with her husband.

Thank you to Norma Massey for her memories and for sending in the picture and newspaper cutting.

If you have any old school photographs or earlier memories in Morecambe you would like to share then please email reporter Gemma on [email protected] or call 01524 385 932.