Brunts 1980s

My experience of Brunts Upper School started in 1982. Initially based at The Park for our first year, we still had some lessons based at Woodhouse Road and had to use our break to quickly walk between sites.

I recall having to get changed for PE, usually freezing cold in the old pavilion. Assemblies in the gyms at both sites and for me and a group of friends (Paul Hilton & Tim Leal), our first taste of using one of The BBC micros during lunch breaks; a good start to me eventually becoming an IT manager in Sheffield for the NHS.

Teachers I can remember:
Miss Butler teaching French and telling us we wouldn’t get to the Moon if we didn’t listen – I don’t think I listened because I’ve not been to the Moon yet and was once told to “Stop speaking French” by a Frenchman.
Miss Harness teaching English and Latin. “There’s better words than ‘Nice’!” sticks to this day.
Mr Parker for physics
Mr Giles teaching geography, his holiday snaps around Europe used to demonstrate what he was teaching.
Mr Blyth (I can’t remember with or without an ‘E’) First name Gordon; the scotsman teaching Chemistry, I believe he moved to the States. He tormented us for two years trying to figure out what his middle name was, apparently it was his grandmother’s name and as promised told us just before we finished fifth year. For those who weren’t there for the unveiling, it was Spencer – Gordon Spencer Blyth(e?).
Mr Kinnard the chemistry teacher always with test-tube holders attached to his lab coat and food stains on his tank top forcing him to wear it inside out.
Mrs Tyers the Maths teacher.
Mrs Chambers the music teacher.
Mr ‘Herr’ Trundell taught German in my third year, his lessons were interesting, no English spoken, just German and actions; driving a car sat on the floor or going to sleep lay on the floor were the more unusual demonstrations.
Mrs ‘Ma’ Trundel taught English and also kicked me out of her English Literature class for saying Northanger Abbey was a boring book with no storyline.
I can’t remember the younger Math teacher’s name, there were rumours going around that she had secretly got engaged to Mr Blyth, both were asked and both remained tight-lipped further fueling the gossip. In the end no truth at all and just kids making up wild stories.
Mr Campbell-Lamberton taught RE
Mr Hayley I believe was the Deputy Head and in charge of the Park site.
Mr Miles Carter was the Head. I can remember him sweeping into assembles wearing his black gown like something from a Harry Potter story. He also had a crazy red setter dog which he Brought to school.

There’s not much left of the old school now, a business centre has been built on the site. Have not been back to The Park since leaving in 1986, I guess it’s unrecognisable now.

Comments about this page

  • A lot of familiar names and memories. On the last day of the Woodhouse Rd site being open my friend and I hung around helping some of the teachers pack stuff as I wanted to be the last person in the Brunts uniform to leave the building. My Grandmother and her Uncle before her had been pupils there too. I got my wish, and thanks to Mark Townsend for staying back with me.
    I loved the Woodhouse Rd site, such beautiful old buildings and the history. So many happy memories. I moved to Australia after finishing at Brunts in 1989 and have been back once in 1995, a lot of the old buildings had gone by then.

    By Carl Bentley Brunts 1986-89 (02/03/2024)
  • I too remember walking between both buildings during breaks and lunchtimes. My memory is not what it was but I remember Mr Giles for Geography but I never did very well and usually had detention. I remember Mr Blyth who taught me Chemistry. I was taught Maths in the old building and I’m sure this was Mr Smith. All my grades CSE’s but I did OK.
    I ended up working at Experian on mainframe computers and before ill health stopped me working I was a Senior Analyst Programmer. I moved around from Mansfield, going to Lichfield in Staffordshire, and now with my wife and children in Northampton. I try to instil in them the importance of education. I found this page a fascinating read and brought back some good memories. Thank you.

    By Mark Haywood (01/03/2024)
  • I finished my A Levels at Brunt’s in 1985, with Steve Kinnard, Josie Tyers and Herr Trundle as my A-Level teachers. They were all fantastic teachers. I’ve had a career in Chemistry and lived 7 years in Switzerland, so two out of three ain’t bad

    By Paul Cooke (28/09/2023)
  • Mr Ron Hailey was Deputy Head until his retirement. He died in 2016.
    His wife Mrs Rosemary Hailey died in 2021.
    Both loved their time at Brunts and always spoke of it with pride and good memories.

    By S Hailey (01/06/2022)
  • Nice to see your note Elaine Holden (nee Hatter) and thank you for your kind words; it is always gratifying to find that one’s efforts did bear some fruit. You must have had a pretty tough time since 2020 and there will be a lot of people very grateful for your nursing efforts. The fact that you are contemplating retirement brings home my own age. I think you were in third form when I started teaching at Brunt’s. You were a very good lab tech; I think that the system of student technicians was an excellent one and gave young people some real responsibility. Probably not allowed in this modern age!
    I moved to a deputy headship in a grammar school after leaving Brunt’s, but took early retirement in 2003 and moved to Scotland. I finished my teaching career back in the classroom, teaching Biology, and enjoying it. I finally retired a month or two after my 65th birthday. I am now enjoying retirement in the Scottish Highlands and often think back to my time teaching at Brunt’s, which, in spite of my occasional request for weapons of mass destruction, 🙂 , was generally a happy time, personally and professionally.
    Hope you get to retire soon and enjoy it as much as I am doing.

    By David Morris (21/01/2022)
  • I recall the split sites Henry Priestley was talking about! I knew him later. Mr G Sodo, Mrs D Herrett, Mr Hailey, Mr G Hutchinson, Miss Butler, Mrs Hailey, Mrs Trundle, Miss Butler and Mrs Hailey only left now, I knew them nearly all later, Mr Howarth was a former neighbour, there was the Brunts song of course.

    By Mark Wilson (19/12/2021)
  • Mr Morris – hello! I was your biology lab technician in the early 80s. You gave me the confidence to go to University which I will always be grateful for. I have spent the last 20 years as an intensive care nurse and was supposed to retire moving to a one day a week role in Feb 2020…you can imagine how that went! Hoping to escape soon.
    I remember the notes you used to leave for lab. prep for some of the classes who maybe weren’t as focused – nuclear missile was one request that made me chuckle.

    By Elaine Holden (nee Hatter) (12/11/2021)
  • A fascinating read! I went to Brunts from 1997-2002 (starting as a year 9 and continuing through to year 13) and many of the teachers mentioned were still there, even then. Mr Kinnard, Mr Parkhouse, Mrs Tyers, Mr Giles are all familiar names. Oddly, none of these were ever my teacher, however the number of staff was probably quite large by the time I attended the school in the late ’90s. I still wonder how my teachers are doing; Mr Taylor (English Lit), Mr Pierpont (French) and Mr Moran (History) pop up in my thoughts very often.

    By Thom Kay (17/09/2021)
  • I was taught O and A level physics by Mr Parkhouse at Brunts (1974-81) and have had a physics career, as a Medical Physicist in the NHS since 1985. Had Mrs Bradley (was never in Mr Morris’ class) for A level biology.

    By mark richardson (19/07/2021)
  • Thank you Mr Morris for the correction and apologies to Mr Parkhouse, should know his name, he taught me Physics.

    By Richard Ward (09/07/2021)
  • The Physics teacher was probably Steve Parkhouse, not Parker. I taught at Brunt’s from 1978 to 1988 as Head of Biology and then as Head of the Science Faculty. I remember all of the colleagues mentioned in Richard Ward’s account; some of them taught my wife when Brunts was still a selective Grammar school!
    It was a great day when we no longer had to commute between the original Woodhouse Road site and the Park.

    By David Morris (08/07/2021)

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