Adrienne Storm
discovered the
Scrapbook pages
on the Natland Website
in October 2014.

This prompted her
to send in a couple
of old photos and
add her memories
of living in Natland as the
Headteacher's daughter
in the days when the Village School
was on the
Village Green


Can you identify
the young girl
running along
the Village Green?

You can find
more stories and photos
of old Natland at:

From the Scrapbook

Scrapbook 2



The Headteacher's Daughter

Our 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.

Our 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.

The 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.

Within 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.

Sports 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!

I 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 them. 

Summers 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. 

One 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.

Mum 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. 

I 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 Natland site. 

From Adrienne STORM, October 2014


Natland Village Green

Post Office and General Store

The Church on the Green

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