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7 hours ago, DJ360 said:

I think it's just possible that this may have been the Geoff Gay who was a couple of years ahead of me at HP. He would have left 6th form in '65 and been qualified by 68.. ish.. if it as him and if he went into teaching.  


Could he perhaps be the same chap?


From what you've said, I think it's quite likely that he's the same person. Everything fits.

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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 what any of the Manning staff did during the war but the deputy head was so combative, I wouldn't be surprised if she didn't start it!

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

The one topic I've always remembered within Maths were Quadratic Equations.


As a 12/13 year-old I seemed to spend an unnecessarily large part of my life doing these things, for no discernible purpose. To this day - many years later - I don't think I've ever had to use a Quadratic Equation in real life.


Likewise Logarithms. I've never needed to consult Log Tables in the last 50 years.

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I'm sure even students don't use log tables anymore -  12 years ago, Scientific calculators were used to find Sin, Cos and Cosine, and nowadays i expect it's all accessible on their phones!

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Log tables were useful at the time because there was no other easy way of doing complex multiplication and division. I still have a set somewhere. There were superseded by electronic calculators. Even the early versions of those took up a lot of desk space. I remember Ray Leatherland of Leatherland Office Equipment was a whizz at repairing those and he was round at our office quite regularly fixing faults. When Clive Sinclair first brought out the pocket calculator with the red led display we never looked back from there and now we can do the most complex scientific calculations on our smart ‘phones. Like you, l have never come across a quadratic equation in real life. I suppose the idea was to train the brain but for what I’m not sure.

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Barmy Colleen was a dab hand at throwing log tables. Thank heaven there were no electronic calculators, the size of bricks, around at the time, otherwise she'd have pitched those too.


I can hear her now, as she was poised to chuck whatever was to hand. In her best Ian Paisley but maybe not quite as many decibels:




Whatever that meant! :blink:

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I forgot to mention the slide rule for solving complex multiplications and divisions. I've just found mine whilst searching for my log tables. I used to be a dab hand on the slide rule. The only problem was knowing where to put the decimal point in the answer!

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I learned how to use a slide rule when i was at night school around 1962 at the old Peoples College on College St.near Hooleys car dealership, i have not used one since will need retraining.

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18 hours ago, philmayfield said:

I had a dabble with mine this afternoon. I multiplied 2 by 2 and came up with 4 so it's still working properly! 


I checked that out on my calculator and it is correct Phil.

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It's not lost any of its accuracy over the years then. It's a British Thornton which I bought in the basement of Boots on High St. in around 1967. It sits in my study on top of my traditional chemical laboratory glass-cased beam balance which I still use sometimes. 

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  • 6 months later...

For @susannahanorak


There follows a fairly exhaustive list of Manning staff (not all there at the same time...and some simply 'not all there') with whom I was, unfortunately, acquainted:

Mrs Wheeler - head mistress.


Miss Alderson, Miss Pearl A Burnham, Mrs Robbins.


Mrs M Davy!!!, Mr Hammond,  Miss Scott


Miss Greig, Miss Ramsden, Miss Steele, Mrs P C Day, Mrs Dance! 


Dr Smaridge, Mrs Hadwen, Mrs Scofield, Mr D Edgeley, Mr Rundle, Mr Williams, Miss Long.


Mrs D Christie, Mrs Glass, Miss Baines, Mr A Langley, Senor Diaz

Art: Mrs A Barnes

Domestic Science:  Mrs Clarke,  Mrs Darroch, Mrs  Bibby

Music: Mr R Abbey


Miss Colthorpe, Mr R Wells, Mrs Lowe


Miss Raine, Mrs Hobson, Miss Fewkes, Miss A Garner


Mrs Vernon, Miss Fewkes

Others who must have fitted in somewhere but never had the dubious delights of teaching me:  Mrs Jarvis, Mrs Butters, Mrs Hibbert, Mrs Hall and Miss Newlyn.


I've put this information on the Manning thread as it may be of use to others who are trying to remember their time there.  It may be of assistance to their psychiatrist! :blink:



As to Manning, as from September 1974 the first year pupils were to receive a comprehensive status education whereas those from the second year upwards would continue to receive a grammar status education. I'd like to know how they achieved that!!

There was uproar among the staff when it was announced that Manning was to lose its grammar status and could no longer select its pupils via the 11plus. Many, including Christie, were all for leaving but, since you knew her, she clearly didn't!

Some staff left before the end of the summer term 1974.  


The sixth form continued for a few years. One of my peers completed her A levels at the Gregory Boulevard site.  The Manning eventually moved to the old Peveril School building in Aspley and the Gregory Boulevard premises became The Forest School, admitting boys for the first time! Sacre Bleu, as Christie would no doubt shriek, as she fainted from shock!


I was told that, having absorbed the Brincliffe Girls, the building was too small to accommodate everyone and the quads were converted to classroom space. I don't know how true that is.  In my day, the sixth form slummed it in wooden huts. The whole school was run down and shamefully resourced when compared with some of the secondary moderns. Manning really hadn't altered since it was built in 1931.


The place had a brilliant reputation among employers, however. If one had been there, it was assumed you'd had a first class education. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I missed out two Manning teachers from my earlier list: Miss Long, who taught Biology and Miss Lamin, whose subject I can't recall. Neither ever taught me and both retired during the time I was at Manning.


My mother knew Miss Long who, along with her brother, had been one of the leading lights in the Gregory Boulevard Congregationalist Church for many years. I suspect Miss Long may have been at Manning since it opened as she was certainly known to former girls I've encountered who were much older than I.


I'm informed that after Manning became a comprehensive in September 1974, a prefabricated cabin was constructed in the lower quad. This edifice was fitted with washing machines, irons and ironing boards. It seems the new, comprehensive intake were being taught laundry skills!  Certain of the old guard must have suffered an apopleptic fit when they saw those!

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We'd have made a fine pair can't cook or Launder...i can't decorate or mend owt...........


But you can do great Poems and i can 'Wax Lyrical'''   we'd have been ok mi Duck  :rolleyes:

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Found my old school report today. There it was, on the bookshelf, winking at me in a lurid fashion from its yellow (St David's) cover, as if to challenge, 'Go on I dare you!"


As I had been discussing the innovations relating to domestic science with another member, in the years after I escaped, I had a look at the remarks about my prowess (!) in the fields of needlework and cookery.


I'd have said, if asked, that we didn't do either after the second year but I'd have been wrong.


The two classes were organised into 6 months of cookery, followed by 6 months, roughly, of needlework. The swap took place half way through the spring term.


In my first year, Mrs Clarke presided over both subjects. A most unpleasant woman. She certainly had a gift but it was not for either cookery or needlework. It was for being patronising. To be fair, many of her colleagues were similarly blessed: some more so and some to a lesser degree but Mrs Clarke took an early dislike to me which is reflected in her comments on my report.


In the second  year, there was Mrs Bibby. A short, rather rotund lady who walked with a pronounced limp. I wondered if,perhaps, she had been a polio victim.  Mrs Bibby was a kindly, helpful soul who didn't need to fall back on sarcasm and patronisation to improve her opinion of herself.  Her comments about my culinary efforts are quite positive.  I admit, Hubert De Givenchy, Travila and Edith Head never had anything to fear from me but Mrs Bibby was polite enough not to mention it.


In the third year, a new teacher arrived. I can't be sure but I think she taught needlework only. Mrs Darroch was fairly young and pleasant. All I recall of her was that she had recently been married which probably resulted in her being instantly out of favour with the irredeemable old bat contingent. She brought in her wedding dress which she had designed and made herself. It was a Tudor gown, heavily encrusted with bugle beads and faux pearls. Her veil was attached to a French hood, covered in the same fabric.


Tudor history has always fascinated me and I have never forgotten that beautiful garment, along with the photos of her big day.  It caused me to ponder why, with such talents, she was teaching needlework to girls who, if they were anything like me, didn't know one end of a needle from the other.


I can't be sure but I don't think domestic science was a subject Manning girls could study for GCE O level. It was always regarded as a poor relation.


After my departure and the installation of a portacabin stuffed with washing machines, ironing boards and irons, I like to think of Clarke with her rubber gloves and economy sized packet of Oxydol, amid the whirr and hum of rows of Indesits, Hoovers and Hotpoints. Perhaps it washed away her huge opinions of herself. Something needed to!

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  • 8 months later...

Mrs Romley was my form tutor. Didn’t like biology and physics same teacher can’t remember his name. Think a new teacher for maths we had was smith although I loved maths played up in class and geography poor teacher can’t remember her name I would’ve slapped me. Saying that they did in those days did get clipped round the ear.  

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  • 2 weeks later...

A recent post on the Southwell thread, about a particular hymn we often sang at The Manning, reminded me of a problem we experienced at that institution which I never really understood.


I'm sorry to say that there were some light fingered little s*ds at Manning. Who they were goodness only knows but they had rather odd tastes in their activities.


Girls were not permitted to bring anything other than a very small amount of money into school and there was a rule that this must be kept in their pursebelt. At times when the pursebelt was removed, ie games, gym or dance lessons, pursebelts were placed in a large biscuit tin and locked in the gym staff room for the duration of the lesson. Dance lessons in the hall were slightly different as pursebelts were placed on the ebony grand piano where they were in constant view of everyone.


If any girl brought in a sum larger than permitted, it had to be handed in at the office. If you didn't do so and the cash went missing, there was plenty of Trouble but no sympathy whatever.


Yet, it wasn't money that, generally, went missing. It was, of all the bewildering items available, hymn books that got nicked!


On entering the school in the first form, each girl was given a copy of Songs of Praise. A blue, hardbacked, melody edition which had to see us through our entire sentence.  I thought it was slightly odd when, having handed them out, Mrs Christie, head of french and part time inspector of grey flannel knickers, warned us in no uncertain terms that if we lost these volumes we would be required to replace them at our own expense. Such a warning was never given concerning any other book issued to us.


It soon became apparent that hymn books had a worrying tendency to vanish from one's desk.  It was no good thinking you could share someone else's in assembly. Indeed not! Anyone seen sharing a hymn book was descended on heavily by the likes of Mrs C and challenged to produce their own. If they couldn't, a week's grace was given to buy a new one and present it for inspection.


These books were expensive. Sisson and Parker was the only place in town that stocked them and it was a lump out of one's pocket money to buy one. Many girls simply nicked someone else's from their desk, leaving them with the same problem. The only way to avoid this quandary was to carry the blessed thing with you at all times.


Mine lasted until the third form and then, one morning before assembly, it simply wasn't there. Of course no one was going to own up and even though hymn books had to be covered with wallpaper, the thief would remove this to avoid identification.  Therefore, I was Mrs C's target that morning, caught sharing a hymn book with someone else.


I could have pinched someone else's but, sad to say, I was brought up to be honest! The following Saturday, it was down to S&P to spend my pocket money on a new one.  Ouch!


Why, I wondered, did no one ever nick SMP maths text books, or Pseudolus Noster our Latin Primer? No one ever had their copy of The Mill on the Floss purloined, nor their French Dictionary. Why was it always hymn books? Did someone have a market stall somewhere?


Needless to say, although I gummed the regulation label inside the front cover of my new book and wrote my name on it, I had no intention of ever handing it back. It was mine and it never left my side for the remainder of my internment.


I still have it!  If there are any hymn book thieves out there reading this, you should be ashamed of yourselves!

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Jill, I’ve just listened to the St Patrick’s Breastplate hymn and really like the words.  The music isn’t to my taste, but each to their own!

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