15 January 2020

Year 7 pupil, Amelie, is following in the footsteps of grandma Joan at Priory.

Joan is 72 and attended Priory when it was Penwortham County Secondary School and Amelie is in her first year at Priory Academy.

Joan Frost, as she was then, attended her first trip abroad with the school in 1961, going to Paris, and she has shown Amelie the photographs and wooden plaque she brought back from France during the visit.

“There was only me out of our group who had a camera and it would only take eight photographs at a time, in black and white of course, so they were the ones I showed Amelie,” said Joan.

“It’s funny as Amelie asked if everything was in black and white but we said the grass was still green. I think it’s hard to grasp nowadays!

“What I remember most from the trip is the journey. I remember we met at Preston Station at 8am and got onto a steam train to London Euston. We then got a coach to a little airport, it might have been Lydd, and it was the first time I had flown!

“We got to France and then we got another coach and I remember landing at the college where we were staying at Notre Dame for 10pm.

“We sat down to get some food and they gave us meat. We all waited for the vegetables but we were told we ate that first and got veg separately which was unusual! Then we got coffee in bowls not cups.

“We went all over, we saw the Mona Lisa and to Montmartre and it was the first time abroad for me, it was such an experience. It was really expensive as well. A chocolate bar was six pence in old money in England and it was one and six pence in France, everything was three times the price. I remember walking down the River Seine and we found a department store which was reasonable and I bought a wooden plaque.

“My mum hung it on the wall and I got it when my mum died and showed it to Amelie. It was just a memento.

“I loved it at Priory; my form teacher was Miss Fisher who was also the cookery teacher. I studied Office Skills and I went on to work in offices. I am glad Amelie is there.”

Amelie said: “It’s strange that my grandma came here and looking at her Paris photos, there is no colour!

“I would like to go on trips abroad while I am here. I like art and English.”

Footnote: Joan left Priory in 1963 and we have continued to run trips to Paris ever since (the next in October this year).  However, despite the legend that is Geography teacher, Mr Watters, now beginning his fifth decade at Priory, he was too young to have organised the trip that Joan attended!