Dorothy C. Maguire (nee Coles) recalls an inspirational teacher

I FIRST met Mrs Jessie Morris when I became a teacher at Arnside National School in 1954.

Jessie was the reception class teacher and her classroom was in the annexe, at the bottom of the school yard and up a flight of stone steps - a large, spacious room.

I was appointed to the upper infants in the small room of the main school.

Jessie was a flamboyant person and fond of fresh air. Most days she cycled from her Silverdale home. In inclement weather she drove a red sports car.

On fine sunny days she would be seen walking her class of 24 five and six year olds up Silverdale Road to Arnside Knott, to the entrance near the top of Arnside Tower Farm. There the children would climb trees and slide on the 'shilloe' (loose stones) beds, often on a tin tray.

Later she became Mrs Jessie Lockwood, still cycling or driving from Silverdale.

In the late 1960s, my daughter Lydia was in her class and she had this inspirational teacher. First in the annexe and then the new school - I was head at Underbarrow School then.

Jessie had a maypole erected, plus all the ribbons, and the junior children were taught maypole dancing. Some of the boys weren't too keen on skipping round in this dance with the girls.

The display was given on open days and in the May celebrations, organised by the Royal British Legion.

She and her husband, Cecil, were life-long supporters of Lancashire County Cricket Club and they often entertained the players at their Silverdale Cottage. At her death the County Cricket Club flag flew at half-mast, and the crematorium was packed. Her legacy of Arnside's freedom with its surroundings was passed on to so many children.