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I was only at Beardall St school for 3 months, I transferred from Trent Bridge when we moved to Bestwood Village. At TB I was the smallest in the year & had to watch out for bullies, I was concerned I'd be the smallest in the year at Beardall & of course I was, however there didn't seem to be any bullies. I admitted my concerns to my form teacher Bill Driver & he said the ones to watch out for are 2 big lads called Killer & Popeye, Bill said "keep your mouth shut & you should be OK!" I made friends with both Killer & Popeye & had no problems. 


I loved it at Beardall St as I was new kid on the block & the girls were all over me. The only threat of violence I received there was when my girlfriend caught  me kissing her best mate, there was lots of shouting & fuss, & of course my new mates loved the show. On my very last day there I got the cane off Buffer White: Killer had dared me to press the emergency stop button in woodwork & I was caught red handed, well a dares a dare init? I was sad to leave Beardall when I went to work at Moorgreen pit training centre, but Horse Wilson & Bluebottle from my Beardall class were there as well. Moorgreen TC was a very different experience..

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  • 5 months later...

I have lots of memories of Beardall Street, some of them only just coming back to me after years of neglect.


Anyone remember the headmistress, Mrs Wilson? Mrs NP Wilson? Mrs Nancy Parry Wilson as we found out when her case came up.

Mrs Wilson a very buxom woman who took great pride in folding her arms underneath her much more than ample bosoms and then looking as though she was about to throw them over her shoulder.

I never liked her but she was generally very popular amongst staff and pupils. Her popularity was due, at least in part, was her enthusiasm in arranging school trips to here, there and everywhere, including overseas. Bear in mind that quite a large proportion of the pupils were from poor or very poor families and these trips were not free but, such was her "charisma" I imagine that a number of families put themselves in debt to help fulfil her dreams (not that these were known about at that time). I only went on a few of the trips, mainly to Nottingham to the Playhouse (on Goldsmith Street then) and to Ladybower Dam.


A year or so before I was due to leave the school she announced to the (figuratively) great wailing and gnashing of teeth of both staff and pupils that she was leaving and taking up the post of Headmistress of Annie Holgate.


She duly left to be replaced by a rather ineffectual Mr Simpson. She departed taking some of her cohorts and sidekicks with her, notably music teacher, Mrs Piggott (who I hated with a vengeance, see later).

A couple of years later I was fascinated to read in the Nottingham Evening post about a school headmistress in court for embezzlement. Yes! yes! yes! it was Mrs Nancy Parry Wilson, her of the acrobatic breasts. She'd been caught with her fingers in the till. Not only that, for years she had been filching money from the profit of the school tuckshop and also grossly overcharging the fees and costs of her "charitable" work organising trips and visits both at Beardall Street and Annie Holgate. I don't know what she did with the money but living in Lowdham was never cheap, even then.

To explain about my nemesis, Mrs Piggott. As I said she was a music teacher and, although I was quite interested in music, her obsession was with playing the recorder. Every lesson with her, out would come the recorders for practice. Now, it had been explained to her by my parents and eventually my doctor that I had a deformity of my hands such that my little fingers didn't work and as such I could not play the recorder (or, in effect, any other musical instrument).


There was one day when things became particularly fraught. I could see her rage getting more and more intense but that was nothing compared to my embarrassment at failing to get almost all notes played. Eventually, she snapped, picked up a board rubber and flung it at me. It missed. Without a thought, I picked it up and flung it back. It didn’t miss. A direct hit in the middle of her head. Her rage now was exceeding boiling point. She grabbed me by the ear and frogmarched me to see Mrs Wilson. This was a long and painful journey. Mrs Piggott’s classroom was in the top school, Mrs Wilson’s office in the bottom school.

After much shouting and heated discussion, it was eventually resolved that Piggott was in the wrong by throwing the board rubber in the first place and I was wrong in its return.


Even now I feel bitter about the incident.


I could add that my "finger deformity" is not visible and causes no discomfort whatsoever. It's just that the fingers don't function. Never had them, never missed them.

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Some of them were simply indulging in their sadistic tendancies, all schools had at least one like that. It would not be tolerated today, although some of the little urban terrorists we have now could do with some of that treatment.

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A list of teachers at Beardall Street 1955 - 60. Can you help complete it?

Mrs Wilson, Headmistress. She was replaced by Mr Simpson

Mrs Piggott, Music. She was replaced by:

Mr ?? Music

Mrs Nicholson, Needlework. She left to go to Annie Holgate

Mrs Pratt, Science and General Studies. She left to have a child

Mr Mantle, Science

Mr White, Woodwork

Mr Holdsworth, Metalwork

Mr Smith, Religious Instruction. I think he left to move to AH

Mr Derbyshire, Art

Miss Pierrepoint, Art

Miss Lingard, Cookery & Domestic Science

Mr Swindells, English

Mr Petty, Maths

Mr Woolcott, English Literature

Mr ??? Geography & Sport - he left and was replaced by

Mr ???? Geography & Sport

Mr ????? Can't remember what he taught but he was known as "Pinhead" as he had a very tiny head perched on a very large body (we assumed he was a bodybuilder).


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Just remembered that "Pinhead" was really called Corbishley and one of the unnamed sports teachers (I think the Mr ??? on my list, above) was Mr Philips. I have no memory whatsoever of the sports mistresses. Possibly because we had no association with them at all but, then, a vague memory of Mrs Pratt teaching girls sports is coming to mind.


How could I have missed out Mr Nixon, the teacher of the remedials (or thickos)? He was a really nice fellow. A big bear of a man who could put the fear of God into you but he was always very kind. He took the class with most of the school to listen to the launch of The Sputnik - the first artificial satellite launched by Russia on October 4th1957. Wikipedia tells us the time of launch was at 19:28 but it wasn't. We heard it in the afternoon at school.


I have little anecdotes about a number of the teachers which I will relate in due course.

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Two more have come to mind


Mr Pass, Art

Alastair Mc??? English and Religious Knowledge (tall, gangly, very posh and shy. Totally unsuitable for Beardall Street).


There was another fellow there for only a short period whose prime subject was English but his obsession was country dancing. Imagine a load of arse-out kids who didn't have soles on their shoes doing country dancing? His speciality was Morris dancing YUK YUK YUK!!! The stuff of nightmares.


I should point out that these teachers weren't all there at the same time.

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  • 5 weeks later...

The ones I remember are Mr Simpson, (the headmaster) Mental Mantle, Buffer White, Bill Driver, Petty. There was also a Mrs Daft, I fell about laughing when I heard her name & all the other kids looked at me as though I was 'err' daft, I'd never heard of the Daft name before... 

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When were you there, colly? I left in 1960.


I'd forgotten Mrs Daft although I have written about the Dafts elsewhere on here.


I can't recall Bill Driver at all. What did he teach?

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I was only there from April to July 1968 but so loved it. I can't remember what subject Bill Driver taught, he was my form master & used to tell me off nearly every day as I'd shout out "2" when he was doing the register as that was always my class number at Trent Bridge. Chaos would then follow & he had to start again & then I'd forget to shout my new number of 15, or 16, or 17, I still can't remember what it was, lol..

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Ah! Well past my time there. Bill Driver must have joined after I had left.

You mention Buffer White. I never knew him as "Buffer", must have been a name he acquired after I had left. Also, I never found him the least bit aggressive and giving someone the cane seems completely out of character. Perhaps it was because I was friendly with his (identical) twin sons that he kept this tendency to himself.

I remember once when, for some reason, we could not get over to the woodwork room across from the main school, we had him teach us some more "theoretical" aspects of woodwork - like the original of shellac: (This is paraphrased)

"Errr..... shellac. Do any of you know where it comes from?"

I did know but I wasn't going to let on so that I could be called a clever dick.

"Well, it comes from an insect. You know when you go to the toilet for a sit-down visit?"

His face started to get very red.

"- - - and you produce errrrr, solid stuff, errrrr - - -"

By now his face was a shade of puce and he was sweating like mad.

"Errr - - - errr"

"You mean sh1t, sir."

White ran out of the classroom and into the staffroom opposite and wasn't seen for the rest of the day.


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Ha ha, love it.... Think the reason he caned me was because we'd all been told what the punishment was for pressing the emergency electric cut off button for no reason, & I still did it. Stupidity on my part so fair enough that I got the cane. BTW I'm still as stupid, lol..

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  • 8 months later...

In assembly at Beardall Street they had 3 kids from each class to read out prayers & announce  hymn's & it was my class's turn, I'd never done owt like this at Trent Bridge so was excused. On the said morning only 3 of us out of my class turned up so I had to do it. I  stood there on the stage & could see everyone staring at the new kid = me. A lad who had a high pitch voice read out a prayer & forgot to say amen, I nudged him to say amen but he didn't, so I said "amen" in a deep voice & to my horror the who'll school including teachers burst out laughing, I wanted the floor to swallow me & I went bright red, other kids would say "amen" when they saw me just to remind of my embarrassing moment...

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