Pat Evanson at School
Pat Evanson, who is being laid to rest in St Peter’s today (Wed), leaves behind her many many sweet memories, and memories which can be sustaining and uplifting.
She has gone to a better place, but those she has left behind are missing her like crazy. To them our deepest sympathies.
One of the things I learned about her was that she attended two schools which have been repurposed. The first was Nantwich Church of England School which is now the premises of Peter Wilson Auctioneers. The second was Willaston School which is now a nursery /physio centre (near The Peacock). You can probably think of lots of other schools which have been repurposed in this way – for example Bradfield Green School and Church Minshull School, both now private residences.
There is something quite moving about old schools. In my head they echo with the chatter and laughter of children, the teacher’s whistle, and the swish of the cane, and I can smell the chalk dust, the bleach in the toilets, the cabbage boiling up for school dinner. Some will have living memories (happy or painful) of life in those classrooms. They don’t need to imagine anything. They know.
All of these abandoned schools served communities and helped sustain them. The children came from all backgrounds and learned not just the 3 R’s, but how to rub along together. Whether or not they were Church schools, they started with a Christian Assembly and the children all learned Bible stories and hymns.
Warmingham School and Wimboldsley School are probably the closest examples to St Peter’s where you still have schools which have something of the character I am referring to (minus the chalk dust, etc). They are in my estimation very precious – precious enough to be kept going even though in theory large town schools are cheaper to run per pupil.
Next time you attend a Peter Wilson auction in Nantwich (or just fancy a nosy around – the auction house is often open for viewing) think of Pat running around, chatting to all the other children, preparing herself for her life work of being a friend to everyone. Did she cheek the teachers? I hope so!