A FORMER pupil of Malton Grammar School has celebrated her 100th birthday.

Pam Ginger, nee Bennett, is possibly the oldest living former pupil of the school.

Born in Reading, Mrs Ginger lived in Malton from the age of two to 16 and went to the school with her two older brothers, Jim and Doug. The family lived in Middlecave Road, next to the school.

Here she recalls some of her time at Malton Grammar School.

“It was quite a small school, but with really splendid playing fields. It was built in 1912. The gardens were beautiful and the gardener supplied all the vegetables for school dinners from the vegetable plots at the bottom of the cricket field.

“We had four houses, named after local country families. I was in Fitzwilliam and we were blue and this has been my favourite colour ever since. At school we played tennis, hockey and netball, and a sports day was greatly looked forward to.

“We held five dances every year, four were house dances and at Christmas (best of all) it was fancy dress.

“We also did a Shakespeare play every summer on an outdoor stage. There was a mixed variety of pupils from local villages, some cycling in every day from the moors, seven miles each way. One boy came on his horse. It was a happy time and I always looked forward to term starting again.”

Mrs Ginger said she remembered the outbreak of typhoid fever in Malton in 1932. “The drains failed and over 250 people in Malton were struck down with typhoid fever and 25 died,” she recalled.

“A boy in my class was one of the first to die. This was dreadful in a very small town and the country children stayed at home. So we were only a very few in each class and did very little work for a whole term.

“My brother, Doug, also succumbed and was taken to a fever hospital at Driffield where he stayed for three months. We were not allowed to visit and bulletins were posted up in a shop window every day.

“An anxious time, but he recovered after a bad dose and lost his hair for a time. No antibiotics in those days.”

Mrs Ginger left the grammar school at 14 years old and spent a year at York convent before the family moved back to Reading,

Mrs Ginger married her husband, Tony, in 1943 and they were married for nearly 60 years. The couple had four children, Elizabeth, Richard, Susie and Rosie, and later five grandchildren, a great grandchild and recently a great, great grandchild.

Her daughter Susie said her mother had returned to Malton many times, for holidays and school reunions.

“I think she left her heart in Malton,” she added.