Mrs. Ostle’s School Scrapbooks

The following photographs are a small selection taken from scrapbooks and albums donated to the Bishopthorpe Community Archive by Mrs. Cath Ostle. Mrs. Ostle taught at the Archbishop of York’s C. E. Junior School, from 1968 until her retirement in 1992. Starting in 1983, she decided to photograph the many visits and events that took place at the school and, in particular, with her own classes.

During Cath’s time at the Bishopthorpe school, stimulating and adventurous projects were undertaken. Amongst the most notable were the building of a swimming pool; a large pond dug to create a nature reserve; and the construction of a science and maths area. Numerous exciting visits took place: Edinburgh, Beamish, Chatsworth in Derbyshire and Robin Hood’s Bay, to name but a few.

Cath snapped away with her camera recording all these activities. The resulting photographs reveal the happy children who passed through the school during this period and who will, no doubt, remember their school days with much affection.

The collection of scrapbooks and albums can be seen at Bishopthorpe Community Archive in the Village Hall on Monday afternoons 2.30 – 5.00pm or else by appointment.

Email Linda Haywood:

If you have any memories or stories of your school days spent at the Archbishop of York’s School during this period, please contact us on the email address above.

We start with a seasonal offering:

Nativity_1990Street sellers in a scene from the Nativity play, “Little Donkey”, which was written by  Mrs. Ostle’s class.  (1990)







Nature_Reserve_1986The Nature Reserve photographed in June 1986.  Pasted in one of the scrapbooks is a school newsletter, the “Bishopthorpe Bulletin”.  In this, Ian Kettlewell wrote:

“In November 1985 the School decided to make a Nature Reserve with Mr Cantrell’s help.  One Saturday we went to help dig the pond out with a digger.  Then they put a plastic liner in so that the water would not get out.  Then we got some river water with little minnows in it.  Later we planted some flowers and trees.  Then we got some frog spawn to put in.  Now we have a lovely Nature Reserve to use and a good pond to dip in.  We have found all kinds of creatures and had great fun.” 

Hand_Bells_1986Mrs. Ostle was well-known for her hand-bell ringing groups.  She is seen here on the left, guiding the ringers through a performance at the Copmanthorpe Festival in July 1986.





School_Pool_1986The school swimming pool was opened in 1971 when Mr. Alan Clementson was head teacher.  Staff and parents raised the required funding (4,800GBP) over a three-year period. Cath took this photograph in September 1986. The houses in Copmanthorpe Lane can be seen in the background.




Cycle_path_1Cycling was taken very seriously at the school.  Lee McAdam wrote in the “Bishopthorpe Bulletin”:

“Some third and fourth years have been doing their Cycling Proficiency Test, they have been doing signs turns and how to look after their bike.  They did their test on 10th July 1987 and they all passed.  In the test was a road test and a written test.  We got a badge and a sticker for our bike.”

The children were often taken for bike rides using the new Cycle Path which skirts the village.  Officially opened in November 1987, the Path was built by Sustrans Ltd. on the old railway track running from York to Selby.Cycle_path_2

The first photograph shows Cath and her class about to leave Bishopthorpe for Selby. Cath wrote that this was a very cold, blustery day in March 1989.










Maths_Garden_1Archbishop Habgood is seen here on 16 July 1990 – the day he opened the highly-praised Maths and Science area in the grounds of the school.  Dr. Habgood also unveiled a plaque in memory of former head teacher, Mr. Bill Matthews, who tragically died at Easter of the same year while training for the London Marathon.  Mr. Matthews had drawn up the original plans for the area and it was thought a great shame that he was not there to see the fruits of his labour.


Maths_Garden_2The opening of the Maths and Science area coincided with the school winning a National Curriculum award; the maths and science area forming part of the school’s submission. Parents, staff and children had helped construct the area.  The equipment included a larger-than-life pair of scales and a pavement grid of counting squares which helped with measuring, counting and weighing skills.

Jack and the Beanstalk Review

This year’s review has been written by Louise Carter and Mikhail Lim. Louise and Mikhail enjoy watching and also performing in amateur dramatics. Louise is a theatre lover and is pursuing drama school and a career in the performing arts, singing and acting. Mikhail is studying for a theatre degree at York St John University. Many thanks to them both for writing this review.

As great admirers of everything theatre and music related, it was a pleasure to be given the opportunity to watch and review this spectacular performance. I have been coming to see Bishopthorpe Pantomime for several years now, and every time I have not been disappointed.

This year was no different. As usual, we were greeted with a welcoming smile from the lovely front of house, and shown to our seats with great anticipation, ready for the show to begin…

As the curtains opened, we were taken aback by the whole visual aspect of the show, it was awe-inspiring, with attractive lighting and a captivating set design throughout, with the addition of impressive special effects that were both stunning and on point making the audience jump and gasp with excitement.

The cast this year was very strong with an extremely memorable performance from Lisa Thornton as Witch Hazel, the villain, a role I have not yet seen her take on. She is a worthy antagonist, deserving of much praise as she skilfully captivated the audience with her wonderfully evil cackle and comical taunts. Another note-worthy performance was that of Rachel Skelton, a newcomer to the role of the Princess, who delighted the audience with her charming delivery and spectacular vocal ability.

Other cast members reprising similar roles to what they have taken on before were David Rose as the delightful Dame, Paul Brook as the funny fool and Bobbie Parish as the heroic Jack. These members of the Ebor Players always deliver with their constant energy and compelling stage presence.

As always, the whole cast contributed brilliantly to the general good feeling of the show, with wonderful supporting characters such as the Good Fairy, King, Queen, the snivelling evil Scabies and the eccentric duo Bean and Dunnit. Together with a strong, energetic chorus, each performing member made sure that no audience member left feeling un-entertained.

Like previous years, the show wasn’t short of cleverly re-written musical numbers, never failing to make us all giggle, made even more compelling by the brilliant choreography that went with each number, brought to life by dancers and singers of all ages. The audience were more than happy to join in with the fun by singing and clapping along throughout.

The superb sound effects, wardrobe and props must be praised as well. As ever, each and every one of these aspects made for a heart warming, fun filled and fabulous production that we’re sure will continue to delight and represent this community for many more years to come.