School Memories 11


Started of in 1A (Mrs Abbott Art Teacher). I made some great friends. Hilary Keegan is still my best friend now - we met in year 1. I enjoyed doing joint things with the boys from Urmston Boys Grammar School - arranging parties for the old people at Christmas, Young Enterprise, sponsored 24 hour Netball/Basketball. I enjoyed the penfriend exchange  trip to Reims in France. I didn't enjoy getting told to leave the last term assembly one year by Miss Lowe as I laughed out loud when someone went up for an award and tripped over the curtain ties. Looking back I appreciate the discipline; it does set you up for life as does the quality of teaching. Caroline and Hugo are there now and I would not have wanted them to go to any other school. The standards have not changed. I used to ride o=home some Tuesday lunch times to listen to the radio and see who was Number 1 in the singles charts - we took it in turns! I loved having Rough books and decorating the covers with Pop Groups and Artists such as David Bowie, Roxy Music, Simple Minds, Jilted John, The Buzzcocks and Spear of Destiny!!  I liked Miss Jobling and many of the teachers in particular Mrs Crighton (French), Mrs Sanderson (Maths) and Miss Donbavand (English). I have fond memories of most of them. I enjoyed Ann Hobbs and Sue Barker coming in one day to practice their tennis. I enjoyed watching Miss Forrest on Mastermind!! Many happy memories of school!! 

Andrea Shepherd 1976-1983


I loved the sports we had at school and I was lucky to be part of a talented netball team who went on to win the All England Schools tournament under the guidance of Mrs Martindale who was our PE teacher at the time. 

Veronica Morris 1977-1983


6th Form

David Timson 1983-1990


Friends. School trips to Quiberon 1987 and Switzerland 1983.

Stefan Astbury 1981-1988


I was one of the first years when the girls and boys school were brought back together in the newly expanded Newton Road site. The new building was so shiny and new but we still had the lovely old hall and science labs. I remember the assemblies about Manners Maketh Man and the embarrassment of having to do long distance running past the prefabs where the sixth form were doing Economics. I loved biology and chemistry and had some amazing teachers (who tolerated my endless questions and constant need for validation to varying degrees). UGS made a huge difference to my life and gave me the education and confidence to achieve. It embedded a belief that I could go to university (I was the first in my family to get a degree) in such a way that I never questioned it.

Victoria Newsome (Greenhalgh) 1989-1996


My favoutite things about UGS were the friendships made, my best friend then is still my best friend now! Fun lessons especially science, drama and the drama productions (I played Dorothy in the Wizard of Ox). My favourite teachers were Mr Weems, Mrs Clowes and Mr Parker in drama productions.

Cheryl Nuttall (Surrey) 1989-1994


Special shout outs to Ms Stobie (English) and Mr Andrews (Business & Economics) who were great teachers and offered guidance and support that served me well for my career. Also special mention to Mr Whalley who always tried to swerve my TV ambitions but ironically fueled them more. Apologies to the dinner ladies who I tormented throughout my time there and the PE teachers who endured endlessly creative excuses to avoid PE.

Brad Wood 1995-2002


Meeting friends everyday, awesome teachers - kind, approachable and always trying to push me to my ability which I wasn't very good at doing myself!!! Most awesome teachers were Mr Holleran (Eng) who understood my greatest fear of reading out to the class (I am sure he would be shocked that I am now a teacher!), Mr Weems (Geog) - just the best, always did D of E which I also loved, Mr Scott (Biology) - also awesome, especially his ties and socks! I loved PE the most and playing on the sports teams which led me to where I am today, especially Mrs Clowes who gave me a love for hockey.

Julie Bamford 1985-1990


Made friends for life

Fiona Jenkinson 1989-1996


The only real subject I enjoyed was woodwork and metal work hence I'm now a self employed joiner. Had lots of fun times and the cane a few times off Mr Henderson. My form teacher was Miss Garrett. i remember we buried a box on the field and wonder if it was ever found when they built the housing estate on the school site.

Adrian Taylor 1981-1986


I enjoyed the sense of comradery I felt within my form (form M). Whenever we were all together, you just knew you would have a good time. We thought we were the best form in history, and still do now! Who would know that simply loitering in corridors and messing around could be so much fun? There were times when I laughed so hard that I forgot to breathe. What was so brilliant about Urmston Grammar, was how everyone around you celebrated success. Whether it was in the classroom, on the football pitch, or on the stage, other pupils and staff at the school would support and encourage you to achieve.

Andrew Horan 2002-2009


Making friends. Favourite lesson was PE.

Drew Rivans 1989-1996


Creating strong, close friendship groups that have lasted over time, and developing a love of learning that inspired my career choice!

Michelle O'Neill (Aspin) 1994-2001


Aside from all my wonderful friends, the teachers really made the difference in my time at UGS. To this day, I still remember so much of the excellent help and advice I was given over the years, and often still fall back on explanations/tips that I was provided when trying to explain things to my own students! Alongside making work interesting and manageable, they also never failed to try to stretch and challenge me. Many of them went well above and beyond what was needed, so I'll always be grateful. Though I had 'many' brilliant teachers (and I apologise in advance for not naming more of them), I'll always be indebted to Mr Tighe; not only was he an excellent teacher, he always had more to discuss and and ways to challenge me. We had many really excellent talks and discussions, throughout the many years he taught me for. Additionally, he always managed to bring a smile to our faces, not to mention the truncated-spur dance with Mr Weems...! Similarly, Mr McPartland made GCSE History one of the highlights of my weeks, again with lots of really interesting side-discussions (away from lessons, I ought to add..) and general debates about the state of global affairs...! I'd also like to thank the whole of the Maths department (particularly Mrs Parker, Mrs Tancred and Mrs Hunt) for making GCSE and A-Level Maths my favourite lessons by far (something, I'm sure, not many people say...) and to all of my excellent science teachers, particularly Mr Campbell, Dr Stuckey and Dr Greaves.

Sasha Taromsari 2003-2010


I liked being able to opt for specific subjects in the third year and I alos remember enjoying the general ambiance of the building. There was a rule that you must wear your school hat at all times on the way to and from school. One lunch time, my boyfriend gave me a lift back to school on his motorbike. He gave me his helmet to wear and Lynn Brownhill, Geography teacher, arrived at the school gates on foot at the same time as we did on the bike. Her first words were "I hope you're wearing your hat under that helmet, Lane!!" I also remember that it was  separate staircases for boys and girls. Just before I joined, they relaxed the rule about knickers. Previously girls had to wear nave blue with white linings. It had been considered improper for girls to wear coloured underwear if it came into direct contact with intimate parts!! Deep joy that I was allowed to wear plain nave blue....

Susan Lees (Lane) 1958-1963


The friends I made. I loved PE when it was gymnastics, dance and trampolining but hated tennis and netball. My favourite teachers were Miss Lewis and Mr Pennington. I have fond memories of choir, drama and representing school at the Festival for Performing Arts dancing with Helen Waterhouse to '19' by Paul Hardcastle. I also vividly remember the joint performance we did with the boys grammar with a take on Jesus Christ Superstar and met my first husband!

Mandy Smith (Fleet) 1983-1988 


We were the last year to wear the grey hats, brims down of course. They stopped them in 1975. We were also the first year of sixth form without uniforms. Previous years has to wear a more mature version of the school uniform with a straight grey skirt instead of pleats and no tie. We loved going to school in jeans. My favourite teachers were Mrs Barker (Chemistry) and Mrs Hesford (newly qualified Biology teacher).

Alison Roan (Edgar) 1974-1981


The social side of it, lunch times on the field in the summer. Friendly and approachable teachers. PE always my favourite lesson, the teachers tried to fit in as much practical work as possible to keep us engaged, in particular Mr Hines as a teacher as he was on the same page as the students. Always trying to make it practical and fun.

Kayleigh Penwill 2004-2011


I loved history, home economics and art. My favorite teachers were Miss Forrest and Mrs Hughes (art). Both made lessons interesting. Mixing with the boys school in the 6th form was certainly an interesting time and helped create lifelong friends. Whom I am glad to say I still keep in touch with now. I’m not sure that they would get away with the changes we went through back then. All change from the old O’Level to the new GCSE and then a move to the boys school for 6th form. But they were a great two years. I remember having to get the coach from the boys school back to the girls school for home economic lessons and then more often than not, either walking back during lunch or getting a lift off Mrs Hughes back to the boys school for Craft and Design lessons. The sixth form common room – a tatty old wooden hut but it was our hut and we all loved spending time in there. Playing music and socialising with your peers. Having Mr Tighe as our form tutor for two years in sixth form. He was lovely and made our transition to the boys school a lot easier and memorable. Although I think our form were certainly memorable for more than one reason. Those in it will probably remember why! School days at Urmston Grammar were the best days and it’s only as you get older you appreciate just how good they were.

Joanne Daley (Stewart) 1983-1990