Leeds nostalgia: September 1947: Uniform shortage & Man saves two children from Roundhay Park lake

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School uniforms have been in the news recently and if we turn the clock back 70 years, they were making headlines in the Yorkshire Evening Post, albeit for different (far more practical) reasons.

Back then, with rationing still very much in place, it wasn’t a case of individuals complaining about the style of a school uniform, it was one of demand, as mothers across the land struggled to get proper kit for their little ones.

In Leeds, one mother faced a three month wait for blouses, two months for shoes and three months for a vest.

This resulted in youngsters wearing “summer prints, coats of all shades and possibly not possessing a hat.”

Some schools, however, refused to acknowledge the supply problems and insisted children be properly attired. However, the Leeds Education Committee admitted there was a problem and extended help to grant-aided parents.

In other news, two youngsters feeding swans in Roundhay Park Lake had to be rescued after they fell in to 5ft of water.

They were promptly rescued by an elderly man who was nearby and saw what happened. He dived in after them and got them out but then found himself soaking wet.

The story goes on to relate that when he later went to seek help in order to dry himself, he was twice refused and when he then left the park to try and get home, he attempted to flag down a passing motorist, who refused him “afraid of damage to his car.”

The man eventually managed to find a taxi driver to take him home.

Meanwhile, the mother of one of the two children whom he rescued - Jean Bulger, five and David Castle, three - appealed for information about their saviour so that she might thank him.