Thorns Primary School

     To accommodate the growing population of Quarry Bank in the Caledonia Estate, the Thorns Primary School was built on land (fields and opencast mining) that had been donated for this purpose years previously by the foresight of John Stevens.

     Dudley Council granted planning permissiion for the school in July 1967, and building started soon after. The school opened to pupils at the begining of the September term in 1969, with the official opening by Lord Mayor of Dudley, W. W. Henley J.P., taking place on the 3rd of December that year. Miss Sturman was headmistress, coming from the Girls Secondary School in Coppice Lane. When she retired in 19?? Mr. David Howell was appointed.

     Sue Homer has taught in the school from the beginning until recently. "I remember Thorns Road as being a single carriageway and much quieter. When road works were in progress it caused a lot of disruption outside the school. One day there was great excitement when a stray horse wandered into the playground and had to be lassoed with a skipping rope. At playtime it was quite a common occurrence for dogs to decide to join the children. It invariably caused mayhem - screaming kiddies running around making the job of catching the runaway more difficult.

     Thorns Primary has always been musically orientated, and the choir have performed at Dudley Town hall, entertained the elderly people in residential homes and played for the local Salvation Army besides taking part in school concerts. The recorder groups have always been popular and many pupils have had the advantage of learning to a musical instrument.

     The summer fayres have always done well, with fancy dress, lots of side shows refreshments and many and various attractions. One year we won the Float Competition in the Quarry Bank Gala.

     The saddest day was when Helen Reno, aged 7 was killed directly outside school at lunchtime. It was before the dual carriageway and Helen was crossing the road.

     Since 1973 Barbara Smith has been a dinner lady and has seen many changes. "The primary school children used to sit on tables of eight and would be served by us. Grace was always said before the meal and the teachers sat with the little ones. The Junior School served themselves afterwards when the tables were wiped and the cutlery was set out. Crock plates and dishes were in use.

     In the early days children were not allowed to bring sandwiches, it was school dinner or home for lunch. Roast dinners were on the menu every day, with fresh veg. all cooked on the premises. Chips were not available!

     Over the years the system has been through a number of changes and nowadays the whole meal is served on plastic trays. Little ones are in first and helped by us dinner ladies. Healthy eating is encouraged with a wide choice of food ego roast meals, salads, quiches, chips; and various puddings.

     Some tables are kept for' sandwiches', a high proportion of the children preferring to bring their own lunch.

     Today the children are much more confident, assertive and noisier than they used to be. Mostly, though, they still remain 'little darlings'.

     The present day school web site can be viewed at


     ©  M.P.L.H.G.  2012