Alan Gillespie: prized possessions

Alan Gillespie was a pupil at Appleby Grammar School in what was then called Westmorland from 1934 to 1939. In those days children ended state elementary schooling at the age of 14, so the only way by which a child could carry on free education was by getting a place at a grammar school on a local authority scholarship. Aged 11, Gillespie won a scholarship from Long Marton primary school and entered the grammar school, which was three miles away from his home. His father’s occupation was given as ‘railwayman’.
By 1936, school records show that the family had moved to the nearby village of Crosby Garret, a few miles the other side of Appleby. Gillespie passed the School Certificate and left in July 1939 after finishing Form V. He became a solicitor’s clerk, but the records do not show which firm he joined.
Gillespie was obviously a studious boy, and won the two school prizes shown here. In 1938, he won the Form IV prize for General Merit and the following year secured the Form V prize for Woodwork.
The books are now in New Zealand, in the possession of his niece, Susan Richardson. Her father was John Gillespie, Alan’s elder brother.
Thanks to Susan Richardson for help with this article.

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