Join us as we take a trip down Memory Lane………

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May Procession 1963  –  May Queen 

On the day of the procession all the children assembled in the school hall with the nuns and teachers and we made our way through church and walked up Upton Street and around the streets of Cross Bank, where the school and playing fields are today.

Many of the houses would have statues of Our Lady and flowers in the widows or outside of the house. Crowds of people gathered on the streets to watch the procession go by.
We then made our way into the school playground for prayers, hymns and Benediction, I crowned the statue of Our Lady when the hymn “O Mary We Crown Thee” was sung. The cushion bearer was Ann Cahill and the ex May Queen was Kathleen Small.

My train bearers were Maureen Keelan (my younger sister), Jane Hemingway, Susan Lewis, Linda Ward, Ann Finn, Jacqueline Firth, Maria Brennan and Diane Maguire.

Margaret Keelan (Gierula)
I’ve found a couple more pictures from my early days at St Mary’s. The ‘formal ‘one is of our class in 1948.  it would be nice to know if anyone can remember their names.  I can recall a few of them but I lost touch with St Mary’s when I went to St Bede’s in 1950.
The school play dates, I think,to 1949.  We were all in Miss Colleran’s class when we took to the stage in the Parochial Hall.  The prince, who won my hand in marriage, was Joe Hill but he is missing from the picture.
Peter Connor
St Mary’s First Holy Communion 15th July 1957

Here is my First Holy Communion certificate and my group classmates 15 July 1957. As you can see there is a great crowd of us – we were part of the Baby Boomers after the Second World  War and we would be in our last year in the Infants School and aged 7 years old. We would have two streams in the year with up to 40 in each class – you sat at your desk facing the blackboard and didn’t move around!

After the photo in the  rain we then went down to the hall for our breakfast after several hours of fasting which had been prepared by The Mothers Union (UCM). The hall  would be filled with long tables and noisy happy chatter from seventy 7 year olds.

The Mothers Union here in St Marys started up 71 years ago – how do I know that? Well I was the first baby girl born in November to a member followed by Stephen Farrar in December as the first baby boy – both Mum (Mary Keelan) and Stephen’s Mum (Agnes Farrar) both received five shillings and baby matinee jacket! Happy days.

Pat Batchelor (Keelan)

On Saturday September 21st 1929, after years of fundraising efforts, the church of St Mary of the Angels was ready for consecration.  The ceremony was carried out by Bishop Cowgill the culmination of which was a Solemn High Mass at which the school children provided the Gregorian Chant.
The following day the Bishop returned to celebrate a Pontifical High Mass at which he used vestments that he had bought in Rome in 1914.  The sermon was preached by Fr McBride’s own parish priest from Ireland who preached again at the Solemn Benediction held in the evening.  It was at this service that our handsome monstrance, the gift of an anonymous parishioner was used for the first time.

At a quiet moment during the celebrations the Bishop found time for a private prayer, which was when this picture was taken.

Recently Peter O’Connor shared a wonderful picture of the Pentecost (Whitsun) Day Parade which took place in Batley in 1936. The woman in front of the photo of the Whit Walk is his mother, Mary Hunt as she was then.