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Any information and memories on Manning School.

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I heard part of Benjamin Britten's Ceremony of Carols on the radio the other day and it took me straight back to the festering season at the dreaded Manning.   Manning held a service of Less

Re maths teaching, earlier post; The only use for higher mathematics is to be able to teach somebody else higher mathematics.  (Bertrand Russell).

I don't know Jill well enough to be able to recognise her by any leg features.

Robinswood road Aspley, I think they moved there in the early eighties, I was a governor there in 89-93


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  • 1 month later...

Hi my friend went to manning school and would like to know if there are any girls who attended 1955/1957 also when did its lo.cation to Robin Hoods Rd


My next door neighbour left in 1956 (Christine Robinson-do you know her?) There weren`t any girls who attended only `young ladies'.!!!
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  • 4 years later...

Jill  I believe young ladies  like yourself who achieved high marks in the 11 plus gained a place at Manning the complete catchment area I not sure of but being a Bestwood Estate lad I knew a few young Ladies from the Bestwood and Heathfield Estate who went there. I am sure other members of Nottstalgia can let you know if ladies from the area where they lived also went there. If you want definite confirmation I suggest you enquire from the resident expert , Benjamin 47.

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I seem to think there was no particulat catchment area,with it being a single sex school you could request your daughter went there,I know my time there as a school governor we had girls from Carlton,Clifton,Meadows etc so not really confined to the local area



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My bandmate went out with a girl, sorry young lady who attended The Manning School in 1965 and she lived on Morley Avenue which is off Mapperley Top.


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  • 4 months later...

I would love to get in touch with Sue Dawes (was Ravensworth Road, Bulwell).  We met through the 1st Nottingham Scout and Guide Group so would be about 1964/65.  She may have a married name of Wheatley

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  • 4 weeks later...

Sick of The Manning!


Sick bay consisted of a broom cupboard. Like everything else at the Manning School, it was not designed for comfort, ease or encouragement to idle away one's time in anything unrelated to hard work.


A visit to Sick Bay was one of the few legitimate reasons for a girl to be lurking in the Admin Block. Apart from passing through en route from the lower to upper quadrangles, or vice-versa, the place was associated mainly with punishment: standing 'Under the Dome' was the prescribed penance for most transgressions- being late, bad manners, incorrect uniform, stray hairs on your collar or simply for having the temerity to exist in the first place, etc, etc.  Loitering at the bottom of the staff room stairs, by the pigeon holes, was permitted if girls needed to see a member of staff to explain the reason why her homework hadn't been done. Those wooden pigeon holes must have witnessed all manner of lame excuses: Grandma dropped dead last night, my parents have decided to split up, the roof fell in, the guinea pig ate my logarithm book ....all futile, but which naturally progressed to a stint Under the Dome. Heaven forbid you had any reason to visit the Headmistress's office!


The Admin Block was the only area of the school to boast two storeys; well, there was a similar area at the back, opening onto the staff car park where the Irish Colleen parked her Austin 1100 (green, naturally) when she wasn't trying to run me over with it... and the music teacher's red Vauxhall Viva could also be found out there.


The art room was located on the first floor, up a flight of plain, stone steps with a utilitarian metal handrail, quite unlike the sweeping risers in the Admin Block with their polished mahogany balustrades, which led up to the staff room, senior library, and needlework room and from where one could look down upon those condemned to stand Under the Dome, at the same time thanking the gods that it wasn't you.


The back entrance was the poor relation. Grubby and dingy, it housed the caretaker's room and whiffed of disinfectant, sour mops and buckets. These days, no doubt, someone would suggest daubing a multicultural mural on the wall, declaiming the elitist evils of single-sex grammar schools,  depicting gender-neutral toilets or the benefits of gender reassignment (not at this school, you don't!!) or girls sporting trousers. Of course, young as we were, we all knew that girls always wear the trousers, metaphorically, if not physically.


In comparison, the Admin Block was posh because it was the entrance used by visitors. It was also intimidating to late arrivals who were forced to stand on its marble floor, Under the Dome, gazing up at the School motto: "Omnia probate, Optima tenete," roughly translated as "This will teach you to pass your 11 +, Clever Dick."


To return to the Sick Bay.  It contained an antiquated brown rexine-covered, wooden examination couch, replete with one pillow and a folded grey army blanket. On the wall, an equally antiquated wooden cupboard, sporting a red cross on the door, a pot sink (crazed, like everyone else in that establishment) and a white enamel bucket on the floor in case anyone needed to chuck up. Clearly, sickbay was designed for one girl at a time.  Two girls in a small room on their own was forbidden at The Manning, especially in the toilets. Why? We had no idea but the staff seemed to have a problem with the possibility.


So,  Sick Bay wasn't terribly inviting but, come the last day of term before Christmas, it always had a visitor ...yours truly.  Being of an antisocial nature from conception, it pained me to spend my days in that place at all but when it donned its 'jolly, festive, tinsel' face, t'was more than my innards could bear.


The entire school on this day split into houses: St David's (mine), Armagh, Canterbury, and Edinburgh, skipping off to play party games with their house staff in the gym, the hall, the dining room or the art room.  For me, this was a step too far.  The pedagogical ogres suddenly transmogrified into Santa and his elves made me want to heave and so to sick bay I went. Lying on the hard wooden couch, wrapped in an army blanket was far preferable to Pass the Parcel with Pickleface or Pin the Tail on the Head of Geography (although I know where I'd have stuck it).  


Sick Bay was a haven of festive peace and tranquility while I waited for the office to ring my parents. Within an hour, mum would be at the door and dad waiting at the gate in the Standard Vanguard. 


"What's wrong with you, then?" he winked as I climbed into the back.  I didn't need to answer. He knew.  Like father, like daughter. I went home early for the holidays and he went back to work, smiling.


Worked a treat every year!

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Wonderful Jill, this is what I’ve been waiting for, one of your brilliant stories of schooldays.  Still making me choke on my lunch too.   You have a fantastic memory for detail. I cannot remember much at all about my days at CleWGS. 



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These days, there's a lot of emphasis on food science in the curriculum: calories, proteins, carbohydrates, fats and nutritional values, etc.  At the Manning School in 1969, cookery wasn't very high on the agenda.  Lip service only, assuming the results were edible, and mine often weren't!


As much as I hated the place, putting one's head in the gas oven wasn't an option. The cookers were all electric.


The first 'dish' we made was poached egg on toast which we then ate because there was no point in taking that home.  I've written elsewhere about the conflagration that almost sparked a 999 call after my classmate threw a slice of burning toast into the plastic pedal bin.


Next up was salad. No cooking required. Fruit salad likewise. Even I couldn't ruin these dishes.


Week 4 was Victoria Sponge. Yummy!  Bring a tin or plastic bag to take it home in.  Not a good idea to place the red hot sandwich tin straight out of the oven on the plastic food bags though! "What's this sticky mess on your table, Seymour? Well, I suppose we should be grateful the place isn't on fire again. Don't you realise that plastic melts?" She and I still laugh about that!


Week 5 and the high point of my years at The Manning.  Chocolate mousse.  Delicious!  Kept the the recipe for decades.  Chocolate mousse involved beating 4 egg whites until they were stiff enough to fold into the mousse mixture.  The DS room boasted no labour saving electrical appliances other than the cookers, most of which didn't work properly anyway, so egg white beating was done with a hand whisk. Takes time. Mrs Clark smugly  produced one she'd fluffed up earlier and took great pride in demonstrating how she could invert the bowl over her head without the contents falling out. Gravity-defying stuff!  Whisking egg whites manually is a time-consuming, wrist aching process but not without humour as we discovered when one of our peers emulated Mrs Clark slightly prematurely, treating herself to an egg shampoo in the process. Laugh? We wouldn't dare.


Next up was apricot crumble. Yummy again. "Why is it, Sparrow, that you manage to accumulate twice as many dirty pots as everyone else?" Answer: it's because I'm lazy and can't be bothered to wash up as I go along. Next silly question? Not really, although it was true.


A week later, it was chicken casserole. Having staggered along Gregory Boulevard with a HUGE wicker basket containing a hefty brown glazed earthenware casserole dish plus lid, I was obliged to stagger home again with said dish full of casserole. Most of it ended up slopped on the pavement in front of Hyson Green Library.


"What's this mess?" groaned my father at dinner time, casting around in the dish with a fork. "Is there any coal in it?"


Final week was bread making. "Mine isn't rising!" was the doleful anthem of half the class. "That's because you've killed the yeast," barked Clark.


A hot oven is, apparently, vital for baking bread but since most of our cookers had faulty oven doors, we had to wedge them shut with a kitchen stool laid on its side, a bit like a lion tamer facing the beast at the circus.  Our old caretaker, passing through on his way to stoke the coke stove in the junior library, which was actually a Nissen Hut in the car park, looked askance at me. "What you got in there, duck? Summat as might escape afore it's done?"


Dad's comment: "What is it this week? The national loaf? Sawdust and pencil shavings?"


And that was it.  Those doing cookery in the autumn term of 1969 made a Christmas cake but I was not among them.  Anyway, I couldn't have competed with Grandma Kate's festive fruit-filled offerings which were famous all over Beeston for their indigestion-inducing properties. Even my father, at the risk of a clip around the ear aged 45, refused to partake, pointing out that even the birds wouldn't eat it because they'd have to walk home!


Oddly, we never made any pastry and I might have been good at that because Kate's pastry was brilliant, especially flaky pastry. We put it down to the bashing she gave it. Evil-tempered at the best of times for no apparent reason, Kate vented  her frustrations on the dough with delectable results.


I suppose they thought poached egg on toast and chocolate mousse was sufficient to keep body and soul together. There was no meal planning or hints on how to buy good ingredients.


To this day, I can't cook and have no interest in food whatsoever but I never look at a poached egg without remembering that glorious day when we almost burnt down the Manning.


Now...where's the tin opener? :rolleyes:

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1 hour ago, Jill Sparrow said:

How lucky you are, Lizzie!


Actually, I think Clews gs was a brilliant school and I remember my days there with fondness - when  I was there, there was good teaching from (mostly) nice teachers.  It was a well run school where students were  always encouraged to do their best.   I know others may have had a different experience from me, but I can only speak about mine.   There was never a day I can remember when I didn't want to go to school - all my friends were there and I generally loved learning.   I suppose I wasn't overkeen on Domestic Science and Music but everything else was good.

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Jill, you’re a marvellous story-teller with a fantastic use of the English language.   Love your stories and I have no doubt at all that everything you write is the whole truth.  

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2 minutes ago, MargieH said:


I suppose I wasn't overkeen on Domestic Science and Music but everything else was good.

Miss Gatley and Mr Todd?!!  

I did rather well in a Music exam in the first year as my best friend, now sadly in heaven, lifted her exam paper up for me to copy almost word for word. She was top and I think I was in the top 5.     That honestly was the only time I cheated in an exam though!  

I cried the last time I rode the Trent bus back to Arnold from Gedling.  

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