One of my challenges this year is to visit the library each month and choose a non fiction book. The book I've brought home for January is Scenes From East Leeds by John Gilleghan.
It doesn't look like the sort of book which jumps out at you, a plain green hardback cover with no photographs or drawings on it.
There are, however, two reasons for me choosing this book. The first is that it contains lots of interesting information about places which I know well, all from the area where I grew up and still live, and it's all in bite sized, easy digestible sections.
The second reason is that the author was one of my teachers at middle school. He was born in the area and after obtaining an honours degree in Botany and Zoology at Durham University, he obtained a post at the local grammar school teaching Biology. It was in 1974 that he was appointed Head of Science at the newly built middle school where later I was to become a pupil and where Mr.Gilleghan would become my Science teacher. He took early retirement from teaching in 1991 but he's very well known in the area as his love of local history and travel has led to him presenting very popular colour slide talks which he presents to local groups.
The book is based on a 100 part local history series, Scenes From The Country, which was published in the free local paper. It's intended to be a comprehensive A to Z guide to villages, people, estates, events and landmarks in East Leeds and in the distribution area of the paper in which it was published.
This is John Gilleghan outside Whitkirk Church, the church in which Mick and I were married.
I've enjoyed reading about my local area and I've learnt many things from this book. As you might expect, places I've mentioned many times on my blog feature in the book and I've learnt more about them.
This is one of my old Science books from the time when Mr.Gilleghan was my teacher.
I'd just moved to middle school and I had just turned ten years old.
This topic concerned the diet of mammals. I think the drawing is supposed to be a wild cat. As you can see, I got an A for this work, he obviously wasn't grading my drawing. Now you can see why I didn't take Art.
The school was just outside Temple Newsam, a place I've written about many times. We often visited it when covering certain topics and it was the ideal place when our topic was about trees. Some more fabulous art work there. It's interesting to see the Elm included in the work, though Dutch Elm Disease is mentioned too as it was around this time that the trees were being attacked by this devastating disease.
The library book is due back now, so I shall be scanning the shelves to see what I might choose for February. It's interesting how this month's book took me on a trip down memory lane.
That looks to have been a really good choice of book to start the year off. Flighty xxReplyDelete
I really enjoyed it. I think it makes a difference when you know the places you're reading about. I find that in novels too, I recently read a book based on the author's mother's experiences growing up in Leeds and it was fascinating hearing about places I know but from times long ago.Delete
How interesting, he must have been a great teacher, and I rather like your cat.ReplyDelete
His lessons were interesting to say the least. I've got memories of locusts flying up my skirt and lenses from bulls eyes being flicked across the classroom. The wild cat may have been one of my better drawings, I usually stick to stick men.Delete
Oh how fascinating to look back on an exercise book. Loved this.ReplyDelete
I'm really pleased that my mum saved some of my books. They're rather old though now, this one was from thirty five years ago.Delete
Gish, I can't believe you have your work books from school! Looking forward to hearing about February's bookReplyDelete
I've got my mum to thank for saving my books. I haven't got a clue what book I'll choose for February yet, it will be interesting scanning the shelves.Delete
Very suitable book choice. I love reading books about the local area.ReplyDelete
Love from Mum
I'm the same. It's fascinating learning about the area in years gone past.Delete
Looks great Jo, its nice to find out more about the area you live in. I was reading a book (Didnt buy it but it was in the Book store at the garden centre) about where our houses are built here. There was a prisoner of war camp on this site in the first world war and it was fascinating reading. I think its lovely you still have one of your school books, I dont have any of mine now.ReplyDelete
I don't think I'd have been able to resist that book, especially if it was about the area where your house is actually built. I've got a few of my school books, my mum saved them and I'm really pleased that she did.Delete
Wow, that sounds like a fascinating book!! Amazing that you still have your school books, I don't think that I ever had any of mine, and if I did I have got rid of them! Hope that you enjoyed the book, it certainly sounds as if you did. I wonder what you will choose for February! xxReplyDelete
I've got my mum to thank for keeping my school books. I'm pleased that she did as it's nice to look back on them from time to time. I really enjoyed the library book, it's fascinating learning new things about your local area.Delete
Your drawing of the wild cat made me laugh - but only because it's much better than I could do! :oDReplyDelete
I don't believe that for one second. I hated art at school, I don't have an artistic bone in my body.Delete
This post is fascinating to me for several reasons. Firstly, that you knew this man and the book itself looks very interesting. But also, I'm really intrigued about school in other places. I was a teacher before I had my children, and worked in two different states in the US. Schools were quite different from one state to the other, but I can imagine the differences might be even greater between the US and the UK. I'm sure many things are the same too. But I really enjoyed seeing an example of your schoolwork. I think it seems a bit advanced for what would be expected of children here at ten years old right now, but you and I are probably roughly the same age so it may be similar to what I would have done at that age. Anyway, this was very interesting to me and I'm glad you shared all of it.ReplyDelete
The whole school system has changed since I was at school. We used to have primary school for age five to nine, then middle school for age nine to thirteen, then high school from age thirteen to sixteen. You then had the option to take A levels and stay on in school until the age of eighteen but it wasn't compulsory. Now, in our area at least, primary education is from the age of five to eleven and secondary education from eleven to sixteen. Kids then have to take a further year of learning, be it in school taking A levels or vocational courses, college or learning whilst employed. I believe this is going to be extended in due course to two years after the age of sixteen. I'm forty five now so my Science book is from thirty five years ago. I know that the subjects taught at school now are very different from what was being taught when I was there, though the world has changed since then so I suppose that's only natural progression.Delete
Such neat handwriting even at 10!ReplyDelete
I think local history books are fascinating. Finding out things about places on your doorstep and be so enlightening as we just take it for granted places are there and 'how' they are there if that makes sense. Books like this explain the whys.
We were made to write joined up at school, but I reverted to printing as soon as I could. I don't write joined up even now very often. I love learning more about the area where I live.Delete
I remember Dutch Elm Disease being devastating. I've not got any of my old school books, a chapter to leave behind me!ReplyDelete
I remember the time when it struck too. I think the only school books I've got are from middle school, I think the rest of them went in the bin.Delete
That's nice that you still have your school books, we moved around so much when I was little that many are not around anymore, lovely neat work though!ReplyDelete
I don't have many of them, but I'm pleased that my mum saved a few for me. It's quite interesting going back and looking at the work that was set at that time.Delete