March 1965 and I was on teaching practice in Holywell whilst studying for the PGCE at Bangor University. I received a message asking me to contact Prof. DWT Jenkins, head of the Education Department as he had received information about a job he thought would be suitable for me. The next week I found myself at DWS experiencing an overnight interview and subsequently was offered the post of Junior English Teacher. The head of department was Mrs Bingham and Miss Lickes had considerable input in English teaching as it was her subject. The days of Miss Do Davies were over, but at one of the Autumn Fairs I was presented to her for her approval!
Miss Cynthia Evans (Music), Miss Paddy James (Classics) and I had all come from Bangor and the fourth member of the novices was Miss Pam Heron, who had come from Art College. The fifth person who joined DWS that autumn was the delightful Mrs Audrey Vaughan who brought a wealth of experience with her.
I was placed in Tremhyfryd with 21 Upper 3rds and 4 Upper 5ths. Miss Betty Wood (Music) was in charge and the Matron for the first year was Mrs Bessie Lewis (an Old girl) and the second year Miss Ann Morgan from Arthog,
Mrs Lewis went to her house in Abergynolwyn each Tuesday after tea until Wednesday late afternoon. One late Tuesday night in the winter when Miss Wood had gone to a concert in Liverpool I was in charge at the age of 22! There was a knock on the door and a smart blonde lady stood there when I unbolted the door she said "What a bloody hole this is! All the lights are off already!". It was Mrs Lewis' daughter on route from her home in Cardiff to see her husband who worked at the BBC in Bangor, calling for refreshments. I learnt later that it was non other than Ann Clwyd, the Labour Politician. I did give her a coffee before she went on her way.
There were two floods during the time I was there, one that washed away the Lady Bridge and another the following year. One of the floods was over the river bank and lapping at the door of Tremhyfryd. A group af staff from school and Glyn Malden had gone to an Eisteddfod choir rehersal at Corwen and Mrs Lewis and I were worried about how they would get back. The problem was solved by Miss Margaret Williams, Matron of Glyn Malden who contacted a local farmer. The group returned home triumphantly on the back of a cart drawn by a tractor.
The two years at DWS were hard work, but we had a lot of fun and it was good experience. I left in 1967 partly because my mother was anxious about the status of Dr Williams' School and whether a Direct Grant School would pay in the normal pension contributions. She need not have worried. Forty years later when I completed the paperwork for my retirement I discovered that Miss Lickes had paid in every last penny that she should have - so all was well!