School Memories 9

At the time, like many children, I felt school was a bit of a chore. However looking back I realise that there were many aspects of being at Urmston Grammar that I enjoyed. The interesting lessons, diverse subject choice, supportive teaching staff and extensive extra-curricular opportunities. I learnt things that I still remember and use to this day and made many good friends a number of which I still see regularly.

Graham Seex 1995-2002

I always remember how thrilled my parents were when I passed my 11 plus and got into UGS. It was certainly a big deal in my family. So I definitely felt proud of the opportunity to attend. My favourite subjects were english and history. I remember Mrs Miles and Mr Herbert being 2 of my favourite teachers. I was at the all girls school for one year and then we merged with the boys.

Ruth Houghton 1988-1994

The people - I have great friends from UGGS whom I still see regularly and it is like nothing has changed since we were back at Newton Road. Favourite teachers were Miss Forrest (history) and Mrs Harris (chemistry) and my worst subject was domestic science, which I was utterly useless at.

Justine Rawlins 1983-1990 

Last of the UGS boys to merge in the 6th form and last to leave Bradfield Road. Great friends. Crazy times when just a boys school. The school basically falling apart around us! The old common room wooden hut was brilliant. Cutting my finger in metalwork and finding the machine was there at Newton Road years later. With safety sign! Mr Kilby was a great form teacher. We had him in the 6th form.

Andrew Brookfield 1984-1991

Started off in the girls' school then merges with the boys so remember both Newton Road and Bradfield Road sites. Made lifelong friends (apparently it's rare to have the same friends you had when you were 11!), taught by some great teahers who taught me things which have stayed with me for life. Favoutite teachers were Mr Dixon, Mr Parker, Mr Cull and Mrs Day.

Paula Hamer 1986-1993

There has been a lot of new building, I know, but I imagine that the original place will be much the same. I wonder if the wide window sills in the corridor are still there... when it was too wet to go outside at break-time we used to play shove ha'penny on those window sills! And I wonder how school lunch is organised nowadays. I remember how we boys would move along the corridor in a queue towards the dining room, which was at the 'girls' end of the school. We used to shuffle slowly past the girls' cloakroom, I remember! I can still remember exactly where I sat, and how we all stood in place until one of the teachers shouted 'Sit'. And I wonder if the same grand piano is still on the satge in the hall. Four of us formed a band in my last year ( I was on piano) and we played for a sixth-form social evening. I have still got the thank-you note that the Head Boy sent us later. I have just been looking at my diary for 1950, my final year. Fascinating! We started back on Tuesday January 10th , and my diary says 'Make up my mind to swot like heck for school certificate.' It also says, on that day: 'We are doing page 32 in Macbeth; carrying on at this rate we'll finish in about 1960.' Then... 'We are going to see "Hamlett" at the Curzon on Wednesday afternoon - only 6d' (which means sixpence). There was even more excitement the following week....'Freddy gave us a shock of about 40,000 volts from a Wimshurst machine'! Freddy was actually Mr Bell, the physics master. And so it goes on - partly about the work we did and much about the different girls we liked (and about whether or not they liked us!) Happy Days!

Gerry Kreibich 1945-1950

Loved sixth form and enjoyed Mr Tighe's cloud stories. Best trip was German trip in year 9 when we got up to no good and the teachers had to take turns manning our room.

Laura Palfrey 2001-2008

I left at the end of 4th year as I moved to Scotland with my family. I loved my time at UGGS and made many lasting friendships. Duringmy time in UGGS, Miss Lowe was headmistress and Miss Bolton was the deputy. For me, the teacher who made the biggest impression was most definitely Mrs Martindale - her dedication to the pupils, sport and the school was exceptional. I was on the netball team and also took part in athletics. Mrs Martindale freely gave up her time during break, lunch time and after school, not to mention weekends and even school holidays sometimes. She was a tireless motivator who enriched the lives of the girls she worked with. She always had a smile on her face but was firm and strict when needed! She traveled up and down the country with us and took us on to great victories in the netball team as we became the England number 1 Under 16 team! We loved her to bits and if she is still around, I would love her to know what a great impression she made on my life. In my years as a student, then a high school teacher myself and now a mum of 2, I have never met such a dedicated, motivated, inspirational teacher as Mrs Martindale was to me. Thanks!

Gaynor Bartolome 1982-1987

The main things I enjoyed while at Urmston  Grammar were Chemistry with Mrs Harris, History with Miss Forrest and Home Economics, which is why I wanted to work in the forces as an officer in the catering core, unfortunately this didn't work out because of my asthma.

Kate Larkin 1983-1988

My father Roger Bates had earlier been a teacher at the Newton Road site, before the school split. He taught RE I think 1956-1964. There used to be a staff reunion each year at my parents house, this went on after Dad died in 1992 and many teachers like Bill Kirschner and David Nicklin would visit.

Rick Bates 1968-1974

I thoroughly enjoyed science lessons and Latin with Miss Lowe was interesting to say the least! One thing I loathed was PE, particularly hockey. I played a back and frequently had to challenge Jackie Duffin, she played st county level if my memory serves me correctly. It got to the point where I would just let her pass me to avoid the inevitable pain and humiliation of yet another successful tackle on her part.

Kirste Farrell 1971-1978