003 Ullswater: Walk to School
Barton School was the primary school I attended when we came to Ullswater from Ainstable in 1939. It was a 2 teacher school and was two and a half miles from our home. I used to have to walk this distance every day, I was 5 years old. There were some older children at the beginning but these children eventually left school. There was just me and Audrey an older girl who also lived at Sharrow Bay but she left to live elsewhere after a while. Also about this time some people named Bell came to live in the area and they had a taxi, they were from Newcastle and then there were more children to walk with. About this time too, a ruling came out that all children two and a half miles from school could apply for transport and the Bells, well over the distance applied and provided the taxi for school transport. My parents also applied and being on the two and a half mile boundary, the distance had to be measured to satisfy the authorities. The distance was 200 yards under the required distance and I was refused by the authorities. It was, after protests re-measured and again refused. I had to walk. The taxi with the distant children used to pass me each day but I had to walk. The authorities were inflexible. I remember, I used to think, "why can't Mr Bell squeeze me in?".