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On 4/3/2013 at 11:32 AM, Jill Sparrow said:

Imagine, if you will, a little leprechaun, clothed entirely in green: green skirt, green jumper, green tights, green scarf knotted around her neck (rumour had it that her head fell off without it!)...all this verdure relieved only by a pair of prosaic brown lace-up Hush Puppy shoes. Sounds like something out of a Val Doonican song, doesn't it?

The routine never varied: after placing a pile of battered maths exercise books on the table, she'd ascend the dais in front of the blackboard, sit down, remove her Hush Puppies, open the middle desk drawer and place her feet in it. There followed a diatribe about the abysmal quality of our homework, the diabolical treatment of the Irish by the English or the rotten-to-the-coreness of Churchill, during which Colleen would gradually maneouvre her chair on its two back legs (something which merited instant detention if we did it!) until the back rail was wedged firmly under the ledge of the blackboard behind her and the chair's front legs were poised in mid-air.

Feet still in the drawer, the lecture was now supplemented by fist-waving gestures or the throwing of chalk missiles in the direction of any girl whose gaze was wandering until- eventually- the back legs of her chair skidded forward under the unequal burden of weight, catapulting Colleen in all her green glory and mid-xenophobic sentence, under the kneehole of the desk with a loud crash, squeals and a mushroom cloud of chalk dust, from which she'd emerge, spectacles askew, greasy hair white with powdered chalk, backside bruised, to pound her fist on the desk and declaim in Revd Paisley-esque tones..."I suppose ye girls think tat's funny!"

All she saw was a forest of raised desk lids, behind which we were writhing in helpless, silent, bladder-splitting laughter, thinly disguised as a frantic search for pencil sharpeners, tears rolling down our faces.

Occasionally, Colleen would while away the lesson by throwing our exercise books at us: her vitriol confined to the utter garbage of the previous week's homework (which most had copied hurriedly, without use of rulers or sharp pencils, from the one girl who understood the question in the two minutes before it had to be handed in). Hence the battered, dog-eared and crumpled state of our books,

If we struggled to understand what Colleen said, trying to decipher her writing was impossible: it resembled the meanderings of a demented, inebriated arachnid after a night out on the tiles, fulled by a surfeit of chateau-bottled red ink!

There'd be at least half a page of it: the only certain element being the ultimate dictum: "See Me!"

We'd rather not, if you don't mind. We're confused enough already!

Dear old Colleen was, basically, the reason why most of us failed our Maths GCE. Those who passed would have done so without any teacher at all, which begs the question of what they were paying Colleen for?

 

@RadFordee  The above is a little reminder of a typical Manning maths lesson with Mrs Davy from earlier on this thread.  We can laugh about it now. At the time, it wasn't funny!

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As I walked the dejected mile and a smidgeon along Gregory Boulevard to school each morning, I'd run the gauntlet of those lucky blighters who didn't get through the 11-Plus, en route for the bus to P

Once a week, in all weathers, we'd trail in crocodile out of the back entrance of the Manning School, up Stanley Road and left onto Berridge Road Central, en route to Noel Street Swimming Baths. Whoe

In September 1969, my first term at the Manning School, the All Seeing Eye (aka the Headmistress) had very recently been married for the first time to a clergyman. The ASE, approaching retirement and

Jill that is so funny & an absolutely spot on description of maths lessons with davy, we could never read her red scrawl either & were not even sure that it was actually written in english.

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One year, we were timetabled for double maths with Barmy Colleen immediately after games. Well, by the time you'd crawled in off the hockey field, been ordered to pick up every scrap of mud that had fallen off your boots on the changing room floor because you didn't take them off outside before you came in (no good arguing with Pickleface that your hands were too numb with cold to untie the laces!), got changed, been to the loo, washed your hands and crawled to room 7, half the lesson had gone!

 

The remaining half was taken up with ranting, raving, chalk throwing and threats to put us all in detention. She never did. She wouldn't have remembered. What mathematical gems did we miss out on learning due to our tardiness? None!

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We always laugh & joke about whether there was a mr davy still around & what he would be like,

cant imagine anyone in their right mind wanting to be married to that woman can you?.

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We often wondered about that, too.  I think there was a husband at one time and I believe there was also at least one child. She sometimes went off on one of her own tangents and talked about a son. Received wisdom was that her marriage collapsed. Perhaps that is what pushed her over the edge but we all have our problems. You don't take them to work with you.

 

Again, it would be very difficult to estimate how old she was but she's certainly deceased now. I have a feeling she may have returned to Ireland. She was never happy here. She lived in Tranby Gardens, Wollaton for many years. Greig and Christie are definitely deceased. Ramsden could still be with us. 

 

I've often wondered whether Mr Davy was English. Perhaps she married an Englishman and moved here. She certainly hated the English with a passion. Maybe his defection was the reason why!

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Mrs Davy would have lived there during that time. Her number at Tranby Gardens was in the Nottingham phone book for many years.  If I'd been her, I'd have gone ex-directory!

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I can't recall which number Davy occupied. I was always wary of going anywhere near there in case I ran into her!

 

She drove an Austin 1100, green of course.  Drove it like a maniac, too.  Twice, when I was crossing the bottom of Russell Road on my way home after school, she came bombing down there and roared straight through a red light, turning right onto Gregory Boulevard where she zoomed off into the distance. On one occasion, she narrowly missed me and on another occasion, she narrowly missed the friend I was walking with. I often wondered if she was trying to run me over but I don't think she had even seen us!

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And lucky you missing half a maths lesson, although i wasn't much a fan of hockey either especially on freezing cold days, have always been useless at any kind of sport too.

 

Sounds like her driving was on a par with her teaching then jill & she still had that same car when i was there.

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