High Oakham School

Presenation to Miss Weddle 1963
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Presentation to Miss Weddle 1963
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Speech Day 1964
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School trip to Holland 1965
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Sports 1968
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This page has been compiled from memories that had been placed on the ‘High Oakham – History of!’ page, plus photographs from the Museums Chad Negative collection taken a few years later to give added interest.

Memories of Alan Curtis 

I attended High Oakham Boys’ School from 1945 to 1948. I was in the class 1AR to 4AR. My first class master was Mr ( Pop ) Paling, A fine teacher who took Maths and Sports, which included P.T. (Physical Training). Miss Slack was the Art mistress. Mr Atkinson was the science teacher. Mr Southern was the Woodwork teacher. Mr Barkes was a very strict Maths teacher. Mrs Smith was the Music and Singing teacher. Mr Copley was the Reading , Poetry, and French teacher. I can see the Geography teacher, but cannot recall his name. Another Music teacher was Mr.Raybold, he lived just at the rear of the school .  Mr. (Blanc) White was the Headmaster. He lived opposite the school on Nottingham Rd. He was a tarter., The Lord help anyone who was sent to him for whatever reason, including if your shoe’s had not been cleaned that day. Pride and Discipline were taught in those days.Mr Fossey was the Geography teacher. Mrs Smith was also the Algebra and Geometry teacher, and Mr (Prigger) Price was also a Maths teacher. Oh…and to other schools , we were known as the HIGH OAKHAM BUCKET BANGERS. Don’t ask me why !!!

Memories Malcolm Raynor

I attended the school from 1943 to 1948. Teachers who taught me were as I recall were Headmaster Mr White, Mr Fossey – Geography, Miss Clewley – History, until Mr Copley was demobbed and she left. Miss Hubbard – French who also taught the same subject in the Girls School, Mr Smith – Music, Mrs Smith – Maths, Mr Price – English, Mr Paling – PT & Sport, plus Swiming. Miss Joyce Slack – Art, Mr Atkinson – Science, (who was unfortunately killed when his dog pulled him off of a bus on Southwell Road). Mr Copley who also came back to the school after service mainly in the Palestine Police Force, Mr Southern – Wood and Metal work. There was a Mr Pollard who I believe was replaced by Mr Atkinson or it may have been the reverse situation. I recall Mr Raybould but had no contact or attended any of his classes I also recall there was another teacher with a similar name to Barkes who had a classroom at the rear of the stage in the gym.

I also recall initially there was 1a, 1ar, and 1b the latter being Mr Palings Class, and Mr ? had 1ar.  Mr Fossey had a sixth form for those who stayed on after school leaving age to which I was one. We were based above the cloakroom in what was a library and stores and undertook the School Certificate. We only had one who failed, and he was the one who always came top in most, if not all the subjects we took. Obviously his nerves went. A small number who passed went on to Brunts Grammar School to matriculate in and around 1945 /1946. Several boys came to the school from Kirkby to undertake the School Certificate as their school did not have the opportunity for them to do so. About that time the school leaving age was raised and you could leave school previously when you completed your Fourth Year. Being now in my eighties my recollections are somewhat and obviously a little bit on the blurred side

Alan Curtis Replies

Funnily enough Malcolm, I do remember you as a schoolboy at High Oakham School. You started there probably a year or two before me. I am not in my eighties until next year. I also recognised you on the picture with Mick Hallows, Barry Heath and co. Just to say that in 1945, Mr Paling had 1AR when I first started there, and if you were good at sports you were well in. I loved it ! Two new teachers came whilst I was a pupil, a Mr. Bagaley and a Mr Moss, who I thought was the teacher who returned from being in the Palestine Police. It stays in my mind because my brother was serving out there at the same time. Sorry that I was not able to stay on for my ” School Certificate “. It wasn’t by choice I can tell you.

More from Malcolm Raynor

Alan, I remember a teacher named Bagaley who must of had the classroom behind the stage in the gym but Moss doesn’t ring a bell. When I started it was Fossey who had 1AR, Paling 1A or 1B. When I was in the Fifth Form it was MR (Prigger) Price. Your name doesn’t ring a bell either I’m sorry to say. Some of those I remember from those days were – Louis Forman who lived on Garnon Street, we knocked about after we were demobbed from the RAF for several years until he got married. Vaughn Watson who came from the Barn Lane area who after time in the Army played for Mansfield Town until transfer to Chesterfield FC and then Matlock Town ????

Hardstaff who was a late comer from East Kirkby and the nephew of Joe Hardstaff who played Cricket for Notts CC and England. Graham Bull from Kirkby ????? Lee also from Kirkby. Brian Doy whose Father was the Manager of the Trustee Savings Bank on Regent Street. Maurice Ward from the Clipstone Road area. Maurice King who transferred to Brunts and was eventually a Lecturer at a College in Derby. Stewart Barker who lived on Carter Lane who was a neighbour and became a Regular in the Royal Artillery. Johnny Abthorpe another fine footballer, who I believe had a short spell with Stags, I believe as an Amateur but emigrated to Canada and who came from the Radmanthwaite area. Albert Davenport who lived in the Southwell Road area It is a pity ones memory at our age is problematic and I sincerely hope more recollections will hopefully emerge.


Comments about this page

  • I’ve just discovered this site. I was at high Oakham from 1965 to 1968. I still have wonderful memories especially the teachers. Mr Boyce, Headmaster, great guy, Mr Dicks, PE teacher and Maths, Mr Graham, history teacher, Mrs Pilgrim, frightened the life out of me. In fact all the teachers were top drawer. I remember Shaun O’Neil and Mary Roffe. I played in the intermediate and senior football teams, one guy comes to mind, Peter Allen, a great footballer!!
    We used to get the odd fill in teacher to help out, one especially Mr Bones always use to fall asleep when reading out Merchant of Venice, (understandable) to the class. Oh Happy days indeed!!!
    PS. Used to love the school dinners!!!
    I could name so many fellow pupils, one in particular Alan Barker, who could name every player in every division one football team!!!
    Bye the way I met my future wife, Lynne Jordan, at High Oakham.

    By Paul Reed (09/02/2024)
  • Hi, does anyone remember the full name of the music teacher, Mr. Raybold, in the 1940’s please?

    By Mark Ward (12/11/2023)
  • Some really good comments about High Oakham School, you certainly have good memories remembering those teachers and class mates, I’m afraid I cannot remember much about them days.
    I came up from Wales with my parents and attended the school, must have been around 1955. Remember a Mr Gamble and Dagnell and the lovely Miss Weddle. My name is Ronald Morris and my brother Michael, who sadly has passed away, there was some good times at the school but unfortunately my memory is not as good as it was

    By Ronald Morris (07/07/2023)
  • Janet Davey, our class of 69 has been trying to contact you. I’m on Facebook under andrea french, Michael Marriott is on there, please get in touch, we are having a meet up and would love you to come

    By Andrea French nee Wood (24/08/2022)
  • I attended High Oakham 1966-1969.
    Mr. Boyce was Head, Mr. Hutchinson deputy, geography teacher, he fell down the stairs from the stage in assembly, looked like a swooping rook in his cloak. Muffled laughter around, he was ok, after pushing his glasses back up the bridge of his nose.
    Mr. Graham, superb history teacher, looked like Scott Walker of the group Walker brothers I thought, I wonder where he moved onto to, he even managed those pupils who disliked history to get a pass!
    Art teacher, brilliant, I completed pencil portrait of him for GCSEs. He was strict and silent, but I loved art, and did well in his class.
    Mr. Stewart, science, Mr. Smith maths, reminded me of a small mole. Miss Fisher, maths. Miss Firth cookery, (she died), Miss Hemings sewing, wide hipped lady, Miss Rickets music teacher, could not keep her class under control, wore lots of powder, red lips, very sweet, looked like she wore a white powdered wig, a bit of a Hayden.
    Miss Pollard, short and sincere, English, loved all things Chinese and turquoise, lived across road from the school, also a good artist.
    Houses were called Hardwick – blue, Newstead – green, Thoresby – red and Welbeck – yellow.
    Good system, good teachers and quality school.
    Remember David Perry was the handsome older boy, an aloof type, of the school in these years.

    My father also attended High Oakham, Jack Davey.

    I remember Sean O Neill, head boy in my class, in fact I still have a portrait I drew of him, a profile, and Mary Roffe a year older.
    Valerie Fletcher was head girl. Jennifer Healy, Neville Shooter, Janice Taylor, David Poxon, Philip Gent, Garth Sharratt, Andrew Higham, Michael Marriet, and Philip Johnson, Stephanie Bartram, lots of others, bright and clever children.
    I lived at 52 Brick Kiln Lane from 1959 – 66. And our neighbour in the newly built bungalow, was an
    Alan Curtis, (not the Alun Curtis in previous posts), he came from Blackpool, he was married to Iris, they reside now back in Blackpool. They are now late 80s. Interesting to read about those who lived in a house before you.
    I remember I was the last year of secondary modern, before we went to comprehensive school, I may be wrong.
    So hello to those who have similar memories.
    Janet x

    By Janet Davey (27/04/2022)
  • I am just writing to answer a query from Susan Sisson. She asked if anyone knew Sean O’Neill who was Head Boy and dating Mary Roffe.
    Well we have been married now for 46 years. Sean trained as a teacher and finished his career as a Head Teacher at a large secondary school in North Suffolk gaining an Ofsted Outstanding rating the year before he left.
    I trained as a nurse and became a Ward Sister at 23 years old and retired after over 40 years of nursing to look after our Grandchildren.
    We have both always said we didn’t do badly after failing our 11 plus and High Oakham Secondary Modern certainly helped us on our way to achieve our goals.

    By Mary-Louise O'Neill (05/04/2021)
  • Past memories, does anyone know anyone who attended from 1958 to 1962? These were the years I was there and as 2022 celebrates 60 since we left, I wondered if anyone from those years would be interested in having a reunion with perhaps a meal?
    How many of us are left?

    By Michael Longdon (29/03/2021)
  • I was at High Oakham in the late 1970s, my dad was there in the 1950s, and his mum, (my grandma) went there in the 1930s I think.

    By Jane (02/02/2021)
  • Cav Powell. You mentioned on your post that you went on the Holland Trip, can you remember a Kay that also went on the trip? I believe the trip was shared with Ravensdale School. Was that right? Do you know what happened to Kay, or her surname? I believe she did get married, or was about to be in the late 60’s. I would like to know.

    By David Hawley (03/09/2020)
  • I’m in the Holland trip picture and remember it well. Sunshine all the way and visits to Amsterdam, Keukenhov, Almaar among other places.
    I can name many of the kids in the picture. Happy days

    By Cav Powell (06/08/2020)
  • Don’t know if anyone still reads these comments, I only came across this article on 1.07.2020 looking for something. I went to High Oakham School, 1952/1954, before moving to Chesterfield Road where I went to Pleasley School.
    I used to live on Beaumont Avenue off Big Barn Lane, I can remember Ms Weddle, Mrs Harpham, Mr Bollands, the rest escapes me.

    By Patricia Campion (then) (01/07/2020)
  • I discovered this site whilst searching for something unrelated. I discovered the photograph showing the Girls School teachers. On it is a Miss Sisson and a Miss Pollard. I know these teachers well. Miss Sisson was the great aunt of my husband Barry Sisson, who attended High Oakham between 1967 and 1972, as did I and his twin sister Anne, Miss Sisson was then Mrs Harpham and was the girls’ mistress, I think. She certainly kept the girls back on a regular basis after morning assembly to make us kneel on the floor, she then checked the distance between the floor and our skirt hem. I seem to have vivid memories of many of the girls unrolling their skirts, which they had rolled up at the waist to shorten them. Miss Pollard ran the Library and taught English, though I was never in her class.
    I remember many of the teachers from then. Mrs Beresford and Mrs Lloyd who taught what was then domestic science, Miss Shacklock who was my first form teacher and also taught biology I believe. Mr Eyre who was one of the science teachers and also taught Judo and fencing. Miss Eyre, (no relation) geography, Miss Riley (I think) music, Mr Smith maths, who told me I would never achieve anything. Incidentally his son lived a few doors down from us when we lived in Yorkshire. I had great delight in telling Mr Smith that I was a qualified nurse who was doing her degree, teachers should never write off students. I am now educated to masters level and became an advanced nurse practitioner, prescriber and unit manager. I hope Mr Smith reads this.
    There are several other teachers I remember, but Mr Graham, history, holds a very special place in my memories. He was an incredible teacher, in my opinion, he made the history lesson very different and interesting.
    I remember lots of fellow pupils as well. Richard Thomas, Roger Stone, Peter Graham, Philip Edwards, John Wragg, Stephen Hovell, David Drewitt, David Peet, Adrian Kemp, Sue Bull, Gillian Tate, Patricia Roberts, Hazel Bowers, Celia Landers, Judith Dickinson, Janet Nicholson and my long time friend Elizabeth Dunajewska to name a few.
    Reading the posts on this site it appears that mainly ex pupils from earlier eras are actively posting. I hope my post opens up some recollections from 1967/72. We have not lived in the Mansfield area since 1983 and as Barry’s parents have since passed away and I only have my mother now who has been moved nearer to us in Norfolk, we don’t see anyone we might know. I am kept up to date with some of the news by Elizabeth Dunajewska who still sees Sue Bull as was. It would be interesting to hear recollections of school etc. from others who were there at the same time. One final question for the class of 67/72 do they remember Sean O’Neil? He was head boy and something of a sports champion, he was dating Mary Rolfe.

    By Susan Sisson (20/10/2019)
  • School trip to Holland 1965 photo. Any names ?
    I wasn’t on the trip but recognise a few faces. The ones I can put names to are only Melvin Flint, Jaqueline Astle, Pat Gel, Edward Pogmore, Geoff Davy (or was it Geof Day ?) I know some other faces but can’t remember names.
    I was there from 1963 to 1968.
    Other names from my year, but not in the picture as far as I can see are:
    Paul Lockton (left after a couple of years because they moved to Arnold or Burton Joyce I think)
    John Lager
    Pete Allen
    Roger Stendall
    Susan Walker
    Clarinda Cale
    Chris Drew
    Sheila Nettleship
    Nigel Farrand
    Betty Jameson
    Stuart Swindell

    Any takers ?

    By Peter Bond (05/10/2019)
  • I’ve noticed there are some photographs on this site from around 1964-1965. I wonder if anyone can remember a Kay who attended High Oakham around this time? She lived on Sutton Road at the time and I think her father worked for BP. I cant quite remember her surname but I think she may have married and changed it to Clark or Clarke. I went to Ravensdale School and a party from High Oakham visited Ravensdale because the two schools had done something together. Thats when I met Kay and we went out together for a while. I just wonder if anyone can remember Kay and knows what happened to her.

    By David Hawley (27/06/2019)

    By Neil Hayes QSM (12/03/2019)
  • Still got the illustrated bible presented to me and signed by Miss Reid in 1965. I am not religious but I used to enjoy her class, she made it interesting.
    On a completely different note I still remember getting the slipper from Mr Lockhart and the cane from Mr Boyce, of course I was innocent on both occasions it was a case of mistaken identity. but don’t ask me to swear on the aforementioned bible

    By Ray Cope (10/02/2019)
  • I am a former pupil of the school. I attended
    in the years 1960 to 1965, mostly fond memories, although
    some staff members could be quite heavy handed, but in saying that I was no angel.

    By Ray Cope (10/02/2019)
  • I have just discovered this site by sheer luck and well remember my time at High Oakham during 1955-1959. The staff were strict but excellent, always supportive and interested in my life. They encouraged confidence in kids who the system branded as failures by not passing the 11+ We all know that now as nonsense.My most memorable teacher was Tom Martin,but not one to be crossed, and I did on a number of occasions, but he did not give up on me. He encouraged me in two areas of my life, Hill walking and acting. Ian Thornley and I cleaned his car and dug his Mother’s garden for pocket money.

    By John Irons (21/12/2018)
  • I was at school at High Oakham from – 1949-1954 – and I well remember Clem Bark, Joyce Slack, (I became a good friend of her brother after I left school), Prigger Price, Mr Copley (who emigrated to Australia), Mr Bollans who did the phys ed, Bertram White and Miss Weddle.
    Most of my school chums went to the coal mines; I wanted to follow them, but in 1954 my dad organised an engineering apprenticeship for me at S A Monk Ltd in Sutton-in-Ashfield and I became their first ever indentured apprentice.
    The apprenticeship was for six years and I went to day/night classes – first in Mansfield and then for four years in Nottingham: one whole day and then night class on the same day.
    Early on I flunked one subject and it put me a year behind – which was great cos National Service was cancelled during my last year.
    In 1959 I met Sylvia from Alfreton at the Palais de Dance, married her in 1961 and we emigrated to New Zealand in October 1962; arriving in Wellington on Nov 29th – after six weeks at sea.
    After six years on a drawing board I ‘retired’ to teaching and had 24 successful years in the NZ education system. In between we reared two Kiwi sons.
    Between 1965 & now I became a national pistol champion, established two shooting sports equipment importing companies and from 1967 and now I’ve been dedicated to saving one of NZ’s rarest species of waterfowl – the NZ Brown teal – and in 2005 the Government awarded me a gong and I managed to get a piece about it in the CHAD. Instantly, I received a phone call from a chap who I served my apprenticeship with, another came from a chap with whom I went to Carter Lane School with and also sang with in the St Lawrence Church Choir – and who I played lots of soccer with and receive a phone call from a long lost niece.
    All three eventually visited us in New Zealand, and we keep in touch with them on a regular basis.
    Neil Hayes QSM – haltd@actrix.co.nz

    By NEIL HAYES (15/10/2018)
  • Some other people on the 1964 Prize-giving photo are Headmaster Mr Boyce, and on the far right (front) Hugh Street. On the back far right is Dave Hogg (who used to live on Hillsway Crescent). 

    I was on the trip to Holland in 1965. The organiser (Geography teacher Mr Hutchinson) fell ill and was replaced at the last minute by the school Secretary who I felt was a real battle-axe, having formerly worked under the strict Miss Weddle regime.  

    By Peter Burrows (15/03/2017)
  • I am on the picture ( behind Brian Johnson I think) will be the start of the Holland trip in 1965 and I can still name most of my fellow travellers.

    What a great trip!

    By Cav Powell (14/12/2016)
  • Only just discovered this site – brings back many happy memories. I was in the same class as Malcolm Raynor 1943-1946. I and another lad went to Pop Palins house on Westfield Lane to fetch his new ‘Crawler Machine’ and  I think I was the first to try it out.   I have a photograph of the 1945 swimming team with lots of names you would remember but unfortunately I don’t know how to download it onto this page – we didn’t do digital in our class!

    By Roy Cornwell (16/08/2014)
  • Prize giving photo 1964, boy top left is me William North (Billy)

    By Bill North (04/07/2014)
  • I went to High Oakham around 1960 when Mr Boyce was the headmaster. I lived in Radmathwaite under the surname,name of Cordon. I used to have to take two buses to get there,in those days the girls were told to travel on the lower deck and the boys rode on the top. I loved the school and really blossomed there, it was fairly strict but veryfair. I loved the verandas and the quads and the lovely playing fields at the back. Grenville Bailey was the head boy when I was a ‘sprog’ (first year) I thought he was so handsome. Jennifer Jones was the head girl and a lovely person.I think I was in in 1a for English and 1br for maths my friend was called Kathleen Greaves in lived on a farm close by. Other people I remember in class where John Wilford, Peter Harrison, Peter Sidebottom,Timothy Redfern. They were special days that I will always cherish.

    by Angela Hope-Murray 21/05/14

    By angela Hope-Murray (21/05/2014)
  • It was Anne Greaves not Kathleen memory has faded a little.

    By Angela hope-murray (21/05/2014)
  • Just wondered, does anyone  remember High Oakham from 1965 to 1970?

    By barbara whetton (26/01/2014)
  • Answering Mike’s comment about the speech day in 1964, some I can remember are – back row left to right first girl Jill Brown then third is Ann England and boy at top right is David Hogg. Below him is Hugh Street then 4th from left Alderman Armstrong, then Mr Boyce (Head after Miss Weddle) and then Jill Holdsworth 😉

    By Hugh Street (29/12/2013)
  • Hi Ken, Just picked up this website by accident. I was at High Oakham from 1955 – 1959, when it had just changed to a Secondary Modern. Dorothy Weddle was head mistress in my day and Clem Barkes Assistant head. I think all the remaining staff that I knew were after your time!!! There is one point I would like to correct you on and that is the Royal Marines were NEVER EVER knicknamed Pongos!! The RM’s were “the bootnecks!!” I served with the RM’s for 12 years and if it was disclosed what you inferred – you would have had a riot on your hands!! The Army wallas were always known as “Percy Pongo – because wherever Percy went, the pong went!!! ” Nothing to do with Marines serving aboard ships because we were used to living at such close quarters with our “mate” the matelots. It’s just that when the army went aboard the troopships- they thought that were still living in a or the field! Nothing personal against them of course but ??? Anyway what a great site I have found and I look forward to reading more about the great High Oakham School and it’s various scholars. As a matter of fact some of the boys who were in the same years 1955 – 59 are having our 6th reunion dinner in 2 days time a glass will be lifted to absent friends!!

    By Ian Thornley (27/11/2013)
  • My wife and I have recently returned from a visit to our home town of Mansfield, as usual we could resist buying a Chad. Nothing surprises me any more, but I must say how surprised I was to read of the passing of an old school friend whom I had not set eyes on since leaving school, High Oakham that is and that was 65 years ago. I cannot say we were Buddy Buddies, for he was a couple of classes above me at High Oakham. Nevertheless, we did play football together, often. His name is Jeff Hollingsworth, and when we were at school, he lived in the row of houses at the top of Station Street, up the steps off of Portland Street. One thing about Jeff that stays in my mind is, whilst playing football on the school field at High Oakham, at this point I have to tell you that all along one side of the pitch was a wooden fence, which the ball was kicked over many times. Of course, to retrieve the ball, one had to go through a missing piece of fence and throw the ball back onto the pitch. Jeff, playing on the left wing, saw that the ball was about to go over the fence above his head, being quite tall, Jeff did no more but, to jump up and catch the ball to stop it going over the fence. How surprised he was when the referee blew his whistle for a foul for handling the ball. Somewhere at the back of my mind I believe Jeff held the Junior High Jumping record.

    By alan curtis (13/11/2013)
  • I was again there same time as alan curtis also I worked at Landers bread 1959/1960-Beeston /Stapelford was my area.I remember most of the teachers mentioned.There 1947/1952 from Bull farm school to high oakham.Took exam at mans/gramar,failed did not like the look of it when sitting exam.Then exam to go to H/O Was there when they first mixed boys/Girls new first year.Went 1b-2b-3b 4b-finally form 4.We were then allowed to go onto the girls side on the field (at Last)!!We all had girl friends mostly,but to me football was 1st on my list.I met Bill Taylor from Rainworth and a lot of my teens years spent there and Blidworth Folk house/mans.palais other memorable places,I lived 28 Abbott Rd then.Now in Norwich visit Mansfield regular 5/7 weeks to see my 3-sons and friends after living 7-years northern cyprus.I’ll keep in touch Ron Brown

    By ron brown (10/11/2013)
  • Hello from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Does anyone recognize the name Francis (Frank) Marsh? He was my uncle. LOVE these types of websites and really enjoy your memories 🙂

    By Wendy Kouvelas (05/11/2013)
  • Pongo was a nickname given originally to the Royal Marines but also applied to members of the army.This was due to the stink emanating from the troop ships.’every where the army goes,the pong goes’.Knowing Alan since Primary School at Bull Farm,I can affirm that there was nothing wrong with his personal hygene.He was Conscripted into the Army inthe early 50’s hence his nickname. His father was known as the Paint Man and had a small workshop at the top of the alley running from Clumber Street to the Market Place.

    By Ken Harrington (25/05/2013)
  • Tom. Yes I have been away from Mansfield since 1969 and I thank you for the update on Pongo. I did go to see him building frames, in his shed on High Oakham Hill,in the late 50’s.

    By Ken Harrington (24/05/2013)
  • It appears that you may all be too young to remember my parents who were pupils at High Oakham in the mid 30s. Bill (Billy) Gorner, from Terrace Road, and Dorothy Noakes-Mooring, from Moor Street. Does anyone out there remember them? My father’s twin sister, Peggy, was also there.

    By Martin Gorner (21/05/2013)
  • Ken Harrington, you mention Alan Braithwaite in your submissions.You have been away from the Mansfield area for some time, are you aware Alan [Pongo] Braithwaite was an icon nationally? Search Pongo Braithwaite, Aende cycles and you will find pages on the internet about his famous bike frames. He died in the Phillipines, he married a local girl but the Home Office refused to let her into the UK so Pongo went to the Phillipines. Hope you find this interesting, I did post some info on the Cycling Clubs page a few years back. Tom Shead

    By Tom Shead (30/03/2013)
  • Hello Mike, to answer your questions, we used to live at the Cockle end of Brick Kiln Lane. In 1957, my wife and I bought number 52, from a lovely family by the name of Mr and Mrs Boot… The house was built on a double plot of land, and prior to the new Ladybrook estate being built, it was the last house on the right.

    Bill Shotbolt Married our neighbour’s daughter, he was teaching at the School was on Sutton Road, opposite the Resorvoir. It was originally a Prisoner of War Camp at the side of the old American Camp….Just about where Morrison’s Supermarket stands today….The name of the school was Sherwood Hall Technical School…So I guess it was the original Sherwood Hall Technical Grammer School, before the school moved up to Ravensdale, and across from the Ravensdale Inn….Kind regards to your Mum, Alan


    By Alcurtis (25/08/2012)
  • Could anyone tell me who some of the people are in the photo Speech Day 1964. The 2 lads on the right side seem quite familiar and a couple of the girls do as well. I was in 1BR and 2BR Some of the other people in my class/year: were: Michael Dring, Geoffrey Peach, John Revill, “Rusty” Phillips, Sandra White, Pauline Carter, Susan Smith, Colin Flowers, a rehead girl named Janet.. if anyone knows a bit more I would appreciate it Thanks Mike

    By Mike Frost (21/08/2012)
  • Alan, You mentioned you lived on Brick Lane, at which end ??. The school you mentioned which Bill Shotbolt taught at, was that the Technical College? My Dad went there. Thanks for all your annecdotal stories and recollections, many of the places you described I also “travelled” with my chums off of Moor Street or Brick Kiln Lane. I relay these comments made back to my mum, who is approaching 87 and she sometimes can recall even more details. Thanks Mike Frost

    By Mike Frost (20/08/2012)
  • OOOPS. Roy Overton lived on Cherry Grove not Cherry Avenue Mike

    By Mike Frost (12/08/2012)
  • Hello Malcolm: Thanks for mentioning Roy Overton, he and I were chums, he lived on Cherry Avenue, near the little “jetty” that we took to walk to the “tip” behind the Brickyard to play Saturday football. After coming back to Canada, I sort of lost touch with all my school chums and the people I chummed around with when living on Brick Kiln Lane, our neighbours then were the Pettits on one side and Les Cornwall on the other side. I did read in the Chad some time ago that Roy had passed away. I will ask my mum if she knew any of those people you mentioned.. We lived at 116 Brick Lane.. and the old farm house was still standing with that big oak tree in the field.. and the “Ladybrooke” was still a stream with wild water cress if memory serves me right. You mentioned Miss Weddell at Ravensdale, is that where you went to school ? By any chance did you know of a family called Price ? Regards Mike

    By Mike Frost (11/08/2012)
  • Hello Ken, If you look on the other pages on this site, (Living on Bradder St. – Landers Bread and Quarry Lane pages), you will pick up on what I have been up to since leaving school. I also did my bit for King and Country. You mention Bill Shotbolt, in the 50’s he married a young lady who lived next door to us when we lived on Brick Kiln Lane. He did some teaching at the school which was next to the old American Camp / Police Training Camp.

    Sarah, I am sure I can remember your father Maurice King at school. A tall, very smart, clever young man. I am not surprised that he did well in life. Cannot remember if he also attended Moor Lane School.

    By alan curtis (13/07/2012)
  • Hi Alan.This is quite good fun, trying to remember things from our school days .I have not lived in Mansfield since 1969 being now a resident of Sherborne, Dorset.You are correct with Colin Seymour and Maurice Turner however the only person that I can remember meeting, since leaving school, would be Bill Shotbolt who used to visit a relative of his that lived opposite my house on Kings Mill Lane.That would be between 1957,when I got married and 1969 when I moved to Dorset Is there such an organisation as an Old Boys Organisation? I expect this site is a very good substitute.All we have to do is to get everyone to log on to it.By the way,there was another Blyth,Alan, who was very keen on snakes and amphibians.He lived Radmanthwaite way.I cannot recall any school photographs,can you?

    By Ken Harrington (05/07/2012)
  • Maurice King is my Dad, we came across this site when my older brother bet Dad he could find reference to him on the internet. Nice to see he is remembered, hopefully fondly!

    By Sarah Taylor (formerly King) (04/07/2012)
  • Hello again Ken, Yes, we did start High Oakham at the same time in 1945…It seems about 3 weeks ago !A simple correction, it was 1A Remove we went into…and I agree with you, Mr.Paling was indeed a frightening figure, especially when you were in the first year.I knew all the boys you yourself remember…Paul Catherall lived on Cromford Avenue and when walking to school each morning, I would knock on his door ( I think it was a bungalow ) , and we would walk to school together. We both carried our satchels with homework enclosed. I am sure somewhere on this site is a photograph which includes Alan Braithwate. Was it Maurice Turner, and Colin Seymour,(Only a guess.) There was also Don Parsons, Albert Severns, Roy Blythe, Eric Sheppard, and Bill Shotbolt to add to the list. My very best wishes to you and yours…Alan Curtis

    By alan curtis (02/07/2012)
  • I stumbled across this site whilst looking for information on Mansfield’s railway history.I think I must have been in the same year as Alan Curtis,joining the school in Sept 1945 from Bull Farm .I was in 1A under the watchfull eye of Pop Paling (Get away you Clown, Dog in a Manger)He terrified me as I was rather timid then. Some other names I recall were Paul Catherall.Barry Boden,Frank Brealey,Mick Hallows,Richard Sandham Alan Braithwate and Brian ClatworthyThere were two other lads. Turner and Seymour but I can’t recall thier first names.Mr Barkes was actually Mr AC Barke according to my old school report. As I remember it, the school was known as High Oakham Boys Selective Central School and was, together with the Grammer schools able to offer the chance to progress to the Oxford School Certificate.

    By Ken Harrington (01/07/2012)
  • Alan I suppose you was one of the elite who were allowed to use that swimming machine Pop Paling had on the stage. As for me I only managed those boxes in the Gym that were used to go through the motions of swimming.

    By Malcolm Raynor (18/05/2012)
  • Today, at school, if the boilers break down during the winter months , the children are sent home. I can only recall this ever happening once at High Oakham School. We did not get sent home, we were told to go outside and run round the perimeter of the playing field half a dozen times. That got the blood pumping round, and we soon felt warm. From the quadrangle of the boys school, (I cannot think why it was called the Quadrangle, it only had three sides). there were three or four steps leading to the playing fields, I say fields, because half the playing field belonged to the Girls School, and an imaginary line separated the boys side from the girls side. Most of the boys side were taken up with a football pitch and along side of the football pitch was a treasured cricket pitch. At the top of the field along the hawthorne hedge that separated the vegetable gardens from the playing field, there was a sand pit that was used for the long jump. Also close by was what I can only describe as a boat shaped wooden instrument that was used to sharpen up your catching at cricket. A group of boys would stand around the machine, one would throw the cricket ball to hit the inside of the ” upturned boat”, the ball would shoot off at any angle, making the onlooking boys ready to catch it when it came their way. Of course the cricket pitch was what one could only describe as a bowling green. No one was allowed to walk on, or anywhere near it. It was only used for the inter-house games. As I have previously said, the boys houses were thus - Newstead House were Blue, Wellbeck House were Red, Haddon House were Yellow. Chatsworth House were Green. The inter-house sports games were :- football, cricket, swimming, running, long jump, high jump, javelin throw, throwing the cricket ball, bowling at the wicket, tug of war. The vegetable gardens were used to grow all kinds of vegetables that could be used for school dinners. There were many High Oakham Boys who went on to play football and cricket for league teams.

    By alan curtis (14/05/2012)
  • I remember when the school Changed from a Central School and I took the School Certificate there were eleven of us, all but one passed. My memory fails me at times I think we were called the Fifth Form and Mr (Prigger ) Price was what amounted to him being shared with Form 4AR, probably due to a change in the shool leaving age also around that time. He had us all in his main classroom when the results came through and he read out the said results alphabetically and I was one of the last few. I sat there fingers crossed and when he said Raynor what the Hell have you been up to you have got a distiction in geography, there was a pause and I sat there nervously wondering what next. He then told me I had passed with a credit in maths and passes in all the other subjects, was I relieved you could bet I was believe me!

    By Malcolm Raynor (24/04/2012)
  • Reference the 1944 Act if I am correct the full transition took some time to fully implement, with two exceptions the School Leaving Age and the schools became the responsibility of Notts County Council, prior to that they were under Mansfield Borough Council

    By Malcolm Raynor (24/04/2012)
  • Much is said about Mr White who was certainly very strict, and we all I suppose lived in fear of being called or taken to his office  I suppose. Once when I went into the office my father was there which made matters worse, all sorts of thoughts went through my mind until Mr White explained why he had sent for me. This was on a Wednesday mid morning, the previous Saturday Charlton Atheletic and Derby County had been playing in the FA Cup, on that day my father who worked for the Trent Buses had obtained some tickets for the League Match when both teams were playing the same sides as the previous Saturday at Wembley. Free tickets, free transport a wonderful match which included several internationals Mr White went right up to the top in my estimation. The rest of my class were dumfounded when I turned up the next day at school. Mr White even asked me about the game – he was great.

    By Malcolm Raynor (24/04/2012)
  • I recall that in 1944 the Government introduced a new Act…. It was to change the standards of all schools above the comprehensive schools….The schools that required pupils who had to take an 11+ examination, and passed the standard the exam results required, were streamed into that school… The Education Act of 1944 changed the system of Grammar Schools’ into three different categories , Grammar School….. Secondary Modern School….. Technical School /College….. All of the above, had their own teaching standards . But none better than the other when it came to the exams for the School Certificate…..

    By alan curtis (21/04/2012)
  • Malcolm, I would like to re-iterate all you say….The difference being was that I liked all sport….I was chosen in a team of five to represent the school in the National Schools Swimming Championships….We didn’t win, but came third…..Two of the other members were Alan Gray and Don Parsons. I can see the other two, but cannot remember their names…We were able to train at Mansfield Baths before going to school every morning for free…In our time at High Oakham, the school held the national High Jump Junior Championship Record….If my memory serves me right, I believe the Record Height at that time was 6ft-2ins.,and was held by I think, Geoff Hollingsworth…Anyway, the Certificate was also on the wall in the hall, above the steps leading up to the stage on the right…I also managed to get my picture on the wall in the Rogues Gallery…

    By alan curtis (13/04/2012)
  • Malcolm, although it was not 60 years for me, close to 51 though,, you did get me thinking about some of the “trades” teachers we had there. I cannot recall some of the names, I did take the metal/blacksmith class, and the woodworking one as well. we did not make pipe racks, however I recall making a coal shovel for my Grandma, and a “paint” scraper.. was not that good in those classes. Did you live in the Sutton road area…. we moved to Brick Kiln Lane New estate in aroun 51-52. Prior to that we lived on Moor Street

    By Mike Frost (12/04/2012)
  • Mike — Regarding metal work, we never had lessons in that subject I suppose it was due to the War and only wood would have not been available. Personally at the time of my attendance at the School I lived on Carter Lane. I was at School in the same form with Louis Forman who lived on Garnon Street and we were close friends before and after National Service until he got married. I also used to go to the Westfield Folk House and knew Mike Hallows and Rob Cameron the latter living on The Knoll. I cannot remember where Mike lived but it was in that area you probably moved there when the Ladybrook Estate was built around that time and at times. I knew the Shotbolts who lived on Garnon Street and later Roy Overton and a couple who lived at the Top of Brick Kiln Lane whose names I fail in my dotage to remember apart from the Christian name of the brother which was Wycliffe. His sister lived on the hill down to the centre of the Ladybrook estate when she got married. Later on I knew Roy Overton, a really good footballer who became a professional but that was later when my family moved to Wainwright Avenue at the top of Westfield Lane /Abbott lane Junction

    By Malcolm Raynor (12/04/2012)
  • With reference to the organization of Classes . Each classroom had four rows of desks of five in number and each row made up the membership of a House within the School — Newstead, Welbeck, Haddon And Chatsworth. This was used mainly in competitions, in particular sport in the Quadrangle. Miss Slack, the Art Mistress arranged for the Coats of Arms to be displayed around the said Quadrangle and in our form we had a talented young man one Graham Bull who painted the same. They were fantastic. Graham came to the school from Kirkby primarily to take his School Certificate with several others as the establishment he was attending did not provide the same. The golden parts were done using gold leaf not paint. Regarding Mr Paling (Pop as we called him) – he not only taught PT but also the weekly swimming lessons at Mansfield Baths and had a lot of success in competitions around the County. On the walls of the gym were a considerable number of photographs of winners. Whilst I was at the school Ken Riley was a Champion but he was older by  2 years than myself. Reference has been made to the imaginary line on the Sports Field and Mr Paling was always supervising the separation of the sexes apart from continually keeping students from playing on his treasured Cricket Pitch and with his pocket knife removing Dandelions etc from the same. During the war at the top of the field each of the boys classes had an allotment growing vegetables for the school meals. The story was he had served as a Captain in the First World War and had a slver plate over his skull. Whether that was true or not he certainly wore a Trilby at all times. On Wednesdays he always went to Nottingham as we understood for Dancing Lessons. It seemed to be the case as in the Gym he seemed to be practicing dance steps on the Stage while we were having the lesson. I was told he actually got married around the time I left the school to his dancing partner. Pop seemed to be fair but strict. To my knowledge he only had one failure that was he couldn’t teach me to swim. I detested it and to date I still cannot and have no wish to do so

    By Malcolm Raynor (12/04/2012)
  • In my latest submission I may have had a memory proplem but it is so long ago it may have been a class mate named Donaldson not John Abthorpe who emigrated to Canada I therefore apologise if that is the case, but it was over 6o years ago!

    By Malcolm Raynor (10/04/2012)
  • Alan I remember some of the names you knew at School, Johny Abthorpe he lived in the Radmanthwaite area seem to recall he had a few games with the Stags as an amateur on a trial basis as did Vaughn Williams who actually signed on then played for Chesterfield and later Matlock Town. He came from the Crown Farm area. John I understand emigrated to Canada but passed away many years ago Brian Salmon I believe joined the Police but later had the Garage and Motor Sales Garage at the crossroads at Ravenshead near The Hutt. Maurice Ward lived in the Ravensdale area and went into the Civil Sevice Miss Weddle did teach at Ravensdale before taking over at High Oakham my sister who attended the girls school always led me to believe she was very strict. I remember Bill Shotbolt who lived in the Sutton Road area I seem to think either Garnon street or the Knoll certainly somewhere near to the Cockle public house. I also remember Geoff Hollingsworth by name I do not remember the garden and trellis work, that must have been after I left and I suppose I was lucky, I did not make a pipe rack but a photo frame which my Mother used for years

    By Malcolm Raynor (09/04/2012)
  • It was very refreshing to read this article on High Oakham. I too attended , albeit briefly, from 1960-1961, was in forms 1BR and 2BR… before emigrating to Canada. I did make 1 more visit back in the early 70s. Have many fond memories of my time there, although i am sure some of the teachers were “pleased” to see me leave. I recall Ms Gough, Ms Greenhalge, (sic), Mrs Beresford and of course Ms Weddle…. whom I “saw” many many times . You are correct Alan.. Ms Weddle did teach at Ravensdale.. she taught my Mother.

    By Mike Frost (14/03/2012)
  • Hello Malcolm, Just to say I knew Maurice Ward, he was in my class. I played a lot of football, and many times I played on the same football pitch as Johnny Abthorpe, but never with him, always against him…What a good football player he was. Let me see if I can conjure up a few names for you to ponder over from your school days. I guess you must have known :- Alan Gray, Don Parsons, Geoff Hollingsworth, Brunner Brown, Alan Brown, Maurice Lamb, Albert Severns, Bill Shotbolt, Raymond White. Brian Salmon.George Mellors. George Palmer. You will recall the boys’ quadrangle and the lovely gardens to the right, just before the sports field…Mr. Southern the woodwork teacher, instead of making the usual pipe racks, had us making the Trellis Work for the gardens… And when completed, had us erecting it all, it did look lovely…. Re… the pictures, I believe that Miss Weddle the Headmistress of the Girls School, was, in the early 1940’s, a teacher at Ravensdale School, prior to her move to High Oakham School.

    By alan curtis (03/03/2012)

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