School Memories 10

I was encouraged to express all of my skills and passions for every subject area. I remember being in year 9 and suddenly excelling myself at maths, whilst also discovering a passion for drama. Despite the hard work of studying lots of different GCSE areas all at once, I miss the times at school when I could do a bit of everything. Mrs Hughes' art room always felt like home, especially in the A-Level years when we all had to work right through lunch in there to get everything done! I'll never forget tyhe confusion of the many french terms and phrases pinned up all over Madame Garrett's walls, or the sign which happened to slip into my bag on the last day of school (sorry!). I remember the cold of the PE too much. I always loved the days spent in the theatre. The worry and nerves I went though in those back rooms before putting on a performance always felt like torture, but looking back they were some of the most thrilling times I had at the school. Scouring through memories, a personal favourite of mine was the look on Mr Parker's face when I somehow managed to gain full marks on an AS-level English re-sit. My original mark had been one away from a fail so I suppose it was quite a feat. Don't worry Mr Parker, I'm still as shocked as you were... But I would have to say, above all else, I enjoyed studying psychology the most. It wasn't always my natural forte (whichas I was told lay somewhere more in the creative writing or drama department) but there was something about it which engaged me more than anything else. After our brief introductions at A-Level my interests only grew and I went on to study Psychology at Undergraduate level. Thanks Mrs Dooley, I owe my future career to you!

Alice Smyth 2004-2011


I started at UGS in 1987 when it was a boys school at Bradfield Road and absolutely loved my first year there as I was amazed at what the older lads got up to! I have some great memories of the place - it was very different to what most people would imagine life at a grammar school to be like. The two schools merged in 1988 and we moved to Newton Road with buses back and forth for various lessons. Things seemed to settle down after the merger - it's fair to say the girls had a calming influence. I particularly enjoyed Geography, largely due to Mr Weems and Mr Tighe who were both brilliant - we had some great laughs and they both influenced my career as I'm now working in urban regeneration professionally.

Greig Lees 1987-1995


The obvious answers like the freinds you made (which I suppose would be the case for any school that you go to really). When I try to think back to things that stand out I remember: School talent show with Mr Thomson (RE teacher) singing Wham's "Wake me up before you GoGo". Mr Parker's drama lessons were always fun - improvisation where he would join in would always have the class in stitches. Something else that stood out for me whilst I was there, was the lack of bullying! I had been bullied a lot at primary school, but when I moved over to UGS I never got bullied - thanks for that guys and girls!

Kay-Leigh Butler 1996-2003


I didn't really have a specific thing I enjoyed whilst at Urmston Grammar. I enjoyed the whole experience.

James Walsh 2005-2010


Being at a 'grammar school' I felt privileged lots of my friends from primary school didn't get in. Loved the close proximity to my house...loved only having a 5 minute walk to school in the morning! The building (old part) it was beautiful. Even back then as a kid I thought it was pretty amazing. I always remember being fascinated with the stairs near the canteen which were worn down in the middle from the years and years of wear and the banisters and metalwork on them....I did an art project on them once! Obviously the friends I made and some of the mischief we got up to at break times and in lessons. I was pretty good and often referred to as a 'BOD' by my classmates even though I was never a genius. I just worked hard and handed homework in on time because I didn't want to get into trouble! Loved art...I lived for art lessons each week. Also loved PE although didn't appreciate being told I couldn't ever play on the netball 1st team by Mrs Martindale because I was too small. I did better at hockey. My first match was when the 1st and 2nd years each had a match v alti grammar. The 2nd years were short and so the teacher Mrs Clowes asked me if I'd play for the 2nd years too. I was petrified but keen and had no idea what I was doing but loved it.  Also quite liked chemistry lessons. Loved Mrs Ruthven. She was strict but she made lessons interesting. Always scared still of Miss Ganley. She was deputy Head when I was there and don't think she ever taught me but I remember all deputy heads and the heads turning up to assembly in their black gowns and mortarboards...very hogwartish! It was her or Mr Henderson (when we mixed) had me in her/his office once as someone had written on my desk with a compass. Clearly every man and his dog had access to your desk and blatantly anyone with half a brain wouldn't deface their own desk but the teacher was raging at me saying if it wasn't me who was it. How would I know...I was only in first or second year and was mortified at being accused of doing it. Think I actually cried whilst being questioned in the office.

Lora Millward 1986-1994


Looking back I did enjoy my time at the Grammar School. I remember the porta-cabins we were in for 2nd year (Yr 8 now!), sitting on wooden benches on the stage in the hall for morning assemblies in the first year...all eyes on us!!! Miss Lowe was our first head teacher. My favourite lessons were History with Mrs Miles, English with Mr Parker and Geography with Mrs Coleman  and Mr Weems at 6th Form. I also remember Mr Lawrence for economics with his rather "dodgy" toupee! I remember Gabardines, purse belts, cooking baskets and that we had to make our own aprons in Domestic Science before we could even start cooking lessons!! We were also the first year to do GCSEs and I remember being really nervous....what were they? What if we weren't prepared enough?? But I passed them all so fretting was for nothing!! I remember well the friendships we made at school and am lucky to still be in contact with some.

Michele Gaines (Fox) 1983-1988


Enjoyed sport the most. The highlight of my time at school was coming top in needlework with 65%. Didn't do much for my position in class. Whilst still at school I trained to be a fashion model, after a lot of persuasion my Dad allowed me to leave school as long as I got a "proper" job.

Joan Nicholson 1951-1955


I didn't really enjoy school at the time but looking back I should have done! My favourite teachers were Mrs Heaton (History). Not because she was the kindest (Mrs Digweed) but because she brought out the best in me. Art was my favourite lesson.

Jenny Carter 1980-1986


The friendships and the support of some wonderful teachers. In particular Mrs Digweed, Mrs Miles and Mr Pennington.

Claire Murray 1984-1989


Urmston Grammar was a fantastic school in my opinion. I met so many friends at school, some of whom I am still in contact with now. I thought the teachers were great, our headmaster (Mr Spinks) was really nice and I just have lots of fond memories of my time there. I particularly liked my Geography classes with Mr Tighe and we enjoyed some brilliant field trips such as the one to Langdale. I also loved my language lessons with Mrs Cooper (German) and Mr Elston (French). I remember our trips to Normandy and Boppard - so exciting getting the coach at midnight outside the post office in Urmston and arriving in a different country the next day! I also arranged a French exchange with Mr Elston which was so much fun too! 

Rebecca Lowe 1997-2004