Memories of Queen Elizabeth Girls Grammar School

Memories of Queen Elizabeth Girls Grammar School

I won a scholarship to the school in 1938. I travelled to Mansfield from Edwinstowe on the Ebor bus, a double decker. Upstairs were boys and girls from all three grammar schools. The school extension was just opened and we wore ‘ward’ shoes to protect the floors. I took sandwiches for lunch and paid 6d a week to sit in the dining room, use the cutlery and get a glass of water.

The Second World War

When war broke out the government decided to give all children school meals when rationing started to ensure they got a balanced diet. Soon we shared the school with one in danger from bombing. We studied in the morning and had games in the afternoon. For the February half term, when Mansfield had ploughed up their flower beds we planted potatoes. An elderly man gave us a bucket of potatoes and told us to “…take a step and drop one, take a step and drop one…”  When we were in the fifth form I volunteered to go harvesting for the war effort. We went to a school in Lutterworth where we slept on palliases in the school hall. We were assigned in twos to farms and stoked corn, and then we were given a pitch fork to load them on to the hay carts drawn by horses.

Because my Mother always kept me a dinner for when I got home after having had a school dinner I put on weight and was 11 stone at 15.

Near the end of the fifth form our careers advice consisted of a talk by the Head on teaching, a talk by the Matron on nursing and a talk by the Librarian. These were the choices for those without money to go to University. I chose teaching because my Mother had told everyone after I received the scholarship “…Margaret is going to be a teacher…” I suppose I was brainwashed but I think it was probably the best choice. I am still giving talks on the History of Edwinstowe.

School Harvest Camp 1943

Comments about this page

  • Lovely to read theupdate about Miss Rawson. She was a great teacher who I remember very well for her encouragement throughout my time there. Best wishes, Denise (Bircumshaw)

    By Denise Smith (26/08/2023)
  • Just to let anyone who may read this know that the PE Teacher, Miss ( Mavis ) Rawson, my Aunt, is still very much with us. She celebrated her 89th Birthday earlier this month, and lives in a Residential home near Clitheroe, Lancs. She was in fine health until a stroke in 2016, which has restricted her mobility after which she moved up to Lancashire to be nearer family … Keep well all !

    By C.J.Rawson (24/03/2023)
  • Hi Andy,
    Are you referring to the old stone part of the school that remains and faces onto Woodhouse Road? I don’t recall any cellars and if there were I certainly didn’t get to go down into them. Having said that though, I wouldn’t be surprised to find there were cellars, given the age of the building.
    I think the small section you’re referring to, near Stone Cross Lane, housed the Head’s office and opposite across the corridor the secretary’s office. There was also a cloakroom around that area, if I remember correctly.

    By Jenny Wright (19/12/2022)
  • Hi
    Do any of the former pupils recall if there were cellars at the school? Also what was the section at the back used as, the small section that backs on to Stone Cross Lane?

    By Andy (18/12/2022)
  • I was a pupil at QEGGS for Girls from 1951 – 56. I used to travel from Hucknall on an hourly bus, quite a long journey. I am interested to see the different spelling of QEGGS over the years.
    I can remember hurtling down Crowhill Drive if I had something happening after school hours. I can remember Mrs Bolland who taught music very well. I learnt the cello in that time and played at the Southwell Minster.
    There was an input from Hucknall only every 5 years, I can remember only part names, a Valerie Green and a Margaret and another Janet. I had a friend at the school called Daphne, and we met later and still sent Xmas cards until recently. I can also remember our navy blue gym knickers which we had on when playing hockey and netball. Happy Days
    Janet Mary White

    By jan mary burton (10/09/2022)
  • I was at QUEGGS from 1956 to 1961 and would love to know if there is anyone from that period still available for reminiscing. Dorothy Town ( as was)

    By Dorothy Clarke (30/07/2022)
  • My mother Joyce Brenda Cowlishaw, who was born in Jan 1928, went to Queen Elizabeth’s Girls Grammar School in Mansfield. I wish I could find some school photos with her in from that time.

    By Andrew Wingrove (19/02/2021)
  • For Tony England. Jackie Canty was in my year. I don’t know where she is now, but she must have been born between September 1957 and August 1958. She will now be 62 or 63. Knowing her age might help you to find her.

    By Elizabeth Coe (27/11/2020)
  • Anyone remember Jacky Canty who was at Queggs in the 70’s? I have been trying to catch up with her for years as we lost contact when I moved abroad.

    By Tony England (03/11/2020)
  • I went to QEGGs last in the 40’s. Anyone remember me? Margaret Guard (nee Brough)

    By emily guard (28/03/2020)
  • Barbara Butler has kindly submitted a photograph of the school which has been added as a separate page becasue photographs can’t be added as a comment. Please see the Girls Grammar School page.

    By Liz Weston (15/07/2019)
  • This brought back a few memories! especially about the harvest trips to Lutterworth & the mattresses on the floor. Does anyone reading this remember me – Barbara Butler?
    We’re all a bit aged now so maybe not…

    I went back there after some 75 years and was so relieved to see the old stone building had been listed so not demolished like the ‘modern’ extension, even if it is now turned into flats. The park area where the playing fields were was really pleasant. Long may it continue!
    Do add something to this page if you do have memories.
    All the best, anyway.
    Barbara Butler

    By Barbara Butler (26/06/2019)
  • I was clearing out some drawers recently and came across my school report book from QEGGS, most of which said ‘Jennifer could do better’, plus an autograph book which many of the people named above had signed as we started to go our separate ways in 1970, but also some new ones.
    I was at QEGGS from 1965 to 1972 and can vividly remember going through those gates for the first time in my uniform ‘that I would grow into’!
    In the second year some of my friends and myself were taken to task as we were playing marbles in the quad, NOT the done thing for young ladies to be playing, but it didn’t stop us.
    Looking through I have autographs from Sue Abell, Penny Evans, Sue Green, Elaine Stanbury, Janet Orwin, Gillian Unwin, Lesley Ward, Anne Mellor, Linda Fowler, Christine Burney, Cherry Dugan, Jane Hartley, Anne Mellor, Josephine Kinsley, Angela Turner, Helen Southcott, Stephanie Cheetham, Judith Bingham, Angela Geeves, Irene Dennett, Sheelagh Zuerner, Elaine Smith, Jane Ceney, Maureen Tunney, Vivienne Webster and Anna Auzins.
    Anybody out there who recognises any of these names?
    I was in Greyhounds and enjoyed athletics, although I was regularly beaten into third place by Sandra Hadfield, (Falcons), sadly I believe Sandra died several years ago, she married one of the Troop family (market traders), and Barbara Michalek, (sorry if I’ve spelled this wrong), I think she was in Dragons.
    Also in my autograph book I have the names of many of my teachers, Mrs. Thomas (scientist) her words, Mr. Maw, (Latin) who wrote ‘Vale puella!’ does that mean ‘Go girl?’ Probably not, as I wasn’t the most promising student in Latin and was chased out of the classroom by Mr. Maw for not paying attention, Latin was never my strong point! Miss Baker, Miss Rawson, Mrs Kent, Mr. Bell, Mrs. Stanton, Mrs. Bolland, Mrs. Birkett, Mrs. Jameson, Mrs. Moffat, Miss Bonsall, Mr. Williamson, Mrs. Wilson, Miss Oldham, Mrs. Thomas and Mr. Newlove (art) who put in a little drawing of me with a big grin on my face and several drawings floating down to the floor with a caption ‘Have I finished yet?’
    My maiden name is Jennifer Frost in case anyone is wondering.
    I apologise in advance to Maureen Tunney who I now understand is Head at Garibaldi School, but I feel I must share her entry.
    ‘A little bird was flying high,
    It dropped a message in my eye,
    I did not laugh,
    I did not cry,
    I just thanked God that cows can’t fly!’

    By Jenny Wright (12/03/2019)
  • I attended Queggs 1963 -1969. I remember being very in awe of Miss Batty the headmistress, Mrs Bolland at the piano for Assembly, Mrs Ratcliff who taught English, poor Mr Jowett who tried to instill Latin into us with weekly tests, seem to remember most of us “cribbed” from the text book & fooled no-one!
    Miss Wilkinson in Cookery,my Mother used her Christmas cake recipe for many years. Miss Rawson for PE that I adored, I think Mrs Beastall was Deputy Head at that time.
    1st & 2nd year in The Cedars, sewing in Elmfield & poetry competitions somewhere in Mansfield.
    Learning to play the violin with Mr Hart & my parents being so proud I was in the orchestra
    I was in Greyhounds.
    I remember my year in 6th form as the best, white braid on blazer and much hated beret!
    That went in the pond in the Quad on the last day!
    I visited Mansfield for the 1st time years after leaving school & was sad to find the School gone.
    Names I can recall include Margaret Cant, Susan Turner,June Beaumont & Pat Norman.

    By Sharon Andrews nee Taylor (11/11/2018)
  • I was at Qeggs from 1965-70. I have very many happy memories of the school from being a first year in Cedars. I remember Mrs Bonsall playing the piano in the school hall, the wonderful school song, the school houses- Greyhound,Falcon, Roses, Dragon,the Standing Salt. Playing tennis after taking exams-there must have been at least 12 tennis courts! The covered way leading to the dining room. The fabulous library. Trying to learn to play the cello! The school rules,one of which we weren’t allowed to wear long white socks! Doing my needlework in Elmfield. All the science labs particularly the Biology labs with specimen jars,the source of endless fascination.I remember all the teachers listed above as well as Mr Bell, Miss Germany,Mr Newton, Mr Fawcett. People I remember-Cherry Dugan,Linda Kirkham,Susan Green,Susan Abell,Lesley Green,Angela Turner,Sandra Hadfield,Gillian Unwin,Jane Ceney,Vivienne Webster,Linda Fowler,Maureen Tunney,Helen Southwell. Happy days!

    By Irene Watson nee Dennett (03/08/2017)
  • I was at QEGGS 1964-1968. I recognise the names above. A few years ago I was on election duty at Garibaldi School where I met Maureen Tunney who was headmistress. 

    By Aileen Sochon nee Bennett (19/03/2016)
  • I was at Queggs from 1965 – 72 along with friends Sandra Hadfield, Jean Harrison, Maureen Tunney who remain close friends of mine. I remember Cedars and Elmfield, Miss Batty, Mrs Kent, Miss Oldham, Mr Maw, Mr Pepper, Miss Starmer, Mrs Thomas (geog), Miss Fever, Mrs Moffatt, Miss Williamson, Miss Starmer, Miss Rawson, Mrs Birkett, Mr Plant and Dr Duckmanton to name a few. Other friends I’ve lost touch with were Elaine Stanbury, Liz Vickers, Gill Unwin.

    By Angie Peppard nee Turner (10/05/2015)
  • I was at QUEGGS between 1971 and 1976 and my brother David Tuckwell was at QUEGS Boys School two years earlier We lived at Croft Avenue, Mansfield as kids. I now live in New Zealand. I have fond memories of the school which I believe has now gone, memories of Mrs Batty headmistress, Mrs Baker dinner lady. The hall was amazing, we held a Bay City Rollers concert and we all went mad. One incident was of five naughty girls who pushed the dinner lady into the Quad pond – Carol Tuckwell, Deb Vincent, Jayne Leatherland, Theresa Purseglove and Maxine Turner – we were aged fourteen (love u girls) – Sorry Mrs Baker.

    By Carol Martin nee Tuckwell (20/03/2013)

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