QEGS (boys) and my memories of 1930s and 1940s Mansfield.

Grammar school days and travelling from Creswell.

By Jack Thompson

This story is only relevant to our more senior members (ho ho).  I was enrolled into the Prep. dept. of the boys grammar school at the end of 1938.   Mrs Simpson was our teacher and Mr. Brettle the headmaster.


I travelled from my home in Creswell by train.  I  walked up Debdale Lane, to the back gates of the school, from M.Woodhouse station.   Without going into too much detail it was wartime and things were difficult.

I stayed at QEGS until 1946.  I can remember some names of our masters.........Tim Martin, Art, Mr. Burgess, Geog.,Mr. Lacy, Physics, Miss Tingle, French, Mr. Kite, Chemistry, Mr.Eyres, Scripture and Mr. Philips, English.
Not too many younger masters as they were mostly fighting the war.     Life was quite peaceful inspite of the cooked lunches which were **** poor.     I shall never forget wondering what the wooden counters were for, in the corner of the dining room.  These turned out later to be site of the Tuck Shop which was definitely out of action. 

Mr.Brettle ran a tight ship (in today's terms).   Every morning a short queue of boys were lined up outside his office......these were the miscreants or the absentees, with their sick-notes, to be signed by him.
All had to give a credible account or suffer his wrath.

One of the most annoying things was to fill up a notebook and then have to go begging to the school secretary for a new one.  She would scrutinise every page and if she found even the smallest empty space she would send you away to use that...and then return for further examination; Paper shortages !

When the School Certificate came along I was hopeless only scraping some bare passes.  

If anyone is still reading this and who remembers this lost world I would love to hear from them.   After a rather varied career (Coal mines, Royal Navy, Teaching, Lecturing.) I now live in darkest, deepest lovely Devon. My three sons have professional careers and my six grandchildren regularly 'challenge my bank account'.

I love my trips back up to North Notts and the old haunts.  AAaaahh!  Happy times
Jack Thompson.   Nov. 2011.

This page was added on 20/11/2011.
Comments about this page

I was five years behind Jack, and recognize very well the school as he describes it. Brettle was a strange chap in some ways - particularly when he decided that all the female staff should be addressed as 'Sir' for the duration, to keep up standards.

By Tom Cotton
On 11/12/2012

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