on the Natland Website
to send in a couple
of old photos
add her memories
of living in Natland as
in the days when the
was on the
the young girl
the Village Green?
more stories and photos
of old Natland
family arrived in Natland sometime in the 50's when my father, John Storm, was
appointed headteacher of the school. We stayed until December 1962 when
Dad became head of a larger school in the Midlands.
family comprised Dad - John, Mum - Jan, myself and my two sisters Jonquil and
Hilary. Hilary was born at Helm Chase after we arrived in Natland.
We lived in the School House next to the vicarage. There was a window
over the fireplace in the front room, so the flue had been built at an extreme
angle to get round it, hence the fire smoked terribly when the wind was in a
certain direction. It was so bad that we often had to have the front door
open even in winter to let some fresh air in. There was a pretty walled
garden at the side of the house where we played and Mum grew some tomatoes.
school at Natland was divided into two classes, infants and juniors. I
remember starting off in the infants' class and having lots of trouble learning
to tell the time. As well as being headteacher, Dad taught the junior class.
When I moved into the juniors it could have been difficult that my Dad was also
my teacher, but he was always "Mr Storm" to me at school. I can only once
remember slipping up and saying "Dad" before quickly correcting myself.
the class we were split into sets according to age. There were 5 children
in my age group, Catherine Hodgson, Vanessa Brimacombe, Bryony Huck, Brian
(can't remember his surname) and me, Adrienne Storm. Catherine lived in
Park Close, Vanessa up the road more towards the station, as I recall, Bryony's
parents were farmers just outside the village. We sometimes used to ride
her parents' horses or mess about in the fields and farm outbuildings. However,
I spent the most time out of school with Catherine. We loved bike riding,
and would often go off and pick bluebells, which all wilted by the time we got
home. We pretended our bikes were horses and gave them names. We
had quite a lot of freedom so long as we got home by teatime and always told
our parents where we were going.
day at the school took place on the field behind. I was rubbish at sport
so I was just pleased not to come last in the running races. However, one
year, Catherine and I were determined to win something. With a scarf tied
round our ankles we worked diligently on our technique for the three-legged
race in the days running up to sports day. As the whistle sounded we
hurtled off and amazingly crossed the finishing line in third place, which to
this day remains the height of my sporting achievement!
well remember the annual bonfires on the village green. In the run-up to
Bonfire Night we children spent our free time dragging anything that would burn
to add to the pile. On November 6th we used to take potatoes to
cook in the still-smouldering embers. Then the bonfire's location moved
off the green and around to the field near the orphanage. In the autumn we also
used to make great piles of leaves on the green and then jump around in
on the green were idyllic. I remember lying under the hawthorn and
watching the clouds drift past. At the Post Office in those days you
could get Fruit Salad sweets at four for a penny, the same for Black
Jacks. I used to regularly check Button B in the phone box because, just
occasionally, it would give out four big, old pennies that someone had
forgotten to reclaim after a failed call. That meant lots of Black
Jacks! The Girl Guides had an active group in the village. Sometimes
we would go out up the Helm to cook marshmallows. In the early 60's the
children were still holding brides and grooms to hostage for pennies as they
came out of the church, and I can remember joining in the scrabble.
year there was a summer fete in the vicarage garden next door to School
House. We children came in fancy dress. The summer I had measles I
remember being confined in the dark in bed in the front bedroom. Then the
Morris men's music started up and I couldn't resist opening the curtains
against Mum's instructions to watch them dancing. My friends and I used
to enjoy going house to house collecting jumble on our home-made go-kart for
the church jumble sales held in the school.
had a special memory of one Christmas time in the village. "Father
Christmas" used to get changed in our house before picking up his sack and
walking over to the school to distribute our presents - I never knew that at
the time, of course! One Christmas it had begun to snow. Mum described
to me how the magic of the scene she saw as she looked out of the window
stayed with her always: a picture postcard scene of Father Christmas crossing
the green amid a swirl of snowflakes, sack over his shoulder.
have very fond memories of my time in Natland and am glad to have turned up a
couple of photos of the village to add to the archive, particularly the one of
School House, as there aren't any good photos of that side of the green on the
Adrienne STORM, October 2014