On September 3, 1973, I got up early and put on my new school uniform. Rain beat against the window as I listened to Diana Ross singing Touch Me In The Morning on Radio One. I was too nervous to eat breakfast. Today was my first day at Aireborough Grammar School (AGS).

Dad took me. As we reached the end of Kirk Lane, the Edwardian building came into view with its huge stone lintel displaying the name Yeadon and Guiseley Secondary School. At one end was another lintel saying Girls’ Entrance and at the other was the Boys’ Entrance. These were reminders of yesteryear when girls and boys would have passed through those oak double doors for the very first time on September 14, 1910. It became a grammar school in 1937.

On my first day, I entered through blue painted cast iron gates on New Scarborough Lane opposite the tuck shop. I followed other bewildered children to the assembly hall where Mr John Horne, the new headmaster, spoke of hope and high standards at the school. A girl a few rows down fainted with nerves. After our first assembly, we followed our form tutor, Miss Blackett, to One Fairfax, on the ground floor next to the old Girls’ Entrance. She took our first register then abandoned us to Mr Parker, who launched into a lecture on algebra. I wondered if I’d get the hang of secondary school.

But I did and we had great teachers. Mrs Johnson taught English and told us not to expect her to be nice ‘because she wasn’t’. She turned out to be my most inspirational teacher. Mr Richardson terrified me. It might have helped if I’d learned my German vocab. He told us about the Second World War, holed up in wintry Italy with his platoon, snow in his boots, bitter winds howling but not nearly as cold as the windy classroom in the attic of AGS.

Mr Davidson was my favourite French teacher. Mr Binks entertained us with the school orchestra, Mr Wood inspired us to experiment with other forms of music, Mr Royle was very tall, potentially imposing and told wonderful tales at the school dinner table. Miss Caswell despaired at my lack of engagement in PE. Sorry, Miss, but it was a shock that first week to get on the reserve for hockey and have my Saturday lie-ins threatened. I now enjoy long-distance cycling, so there was hope for me after all.

Mr Dunsmore and Mr Wilson did their best to teach me history. Science was a non-starter, so I don’t remember those teachers’ names.

Alas, AGS fell victim to falling rolls and closed its doors in 1991. Had it lived on, it would have been 100 years old this year. Happy hundredth anniversary, Aireborough Grammar School.

Michele Chew

Johnson Way, Beeston, Nottingham