The Magazine of Lenton Local History Society

Cottesmore Girls School


Photographs | Memories | Map


Photographs


Photographs of the School Building

Photograph from Nottingham Local Studies Library

Photograph from Nottingham Local Studies Library

A modern day aerial view showing the basic layout of the Cottesmore Schools. The top half of the complex was the location for the Girls School while Cottesmore Boys had the bottom half. The building now houses the City of Nottingham's Education Department.

Although undated the initial three photographs in this sequence appear to have been taken soon after the schools were first opened. This one taken from Cottesmore Road includes a view of the 'open-air' classroom and the main hall.

Taken from the corner of the playground closest to the junction of Derby Road and Lenton Boulevard this shows the row of classrooms on the southern side of the school complex.

Photograph from Nottingham Local Studies Library

Photograph from Nottingham Local Studies Library

A view of inside the Girls' School quadrangle with the Cookery classrooms housed in the block on the left and the Handicraft room, store and locker rooms on the right.

Inside the school hall which was was shared by the two schools. We have no date or specific information as to what the play taking place might have been.


1930 to 1939


Photograph courtesy of Joyce Haynes

Photograph courtesy of Lenton Local History Society

Photograph donated by Mrs Thompson

1930s

1935/6

1937

Photograph donated by Margaret Moore (nee Brainsby)

1938


1940 to 1949


Photograph donated by Gren Cropper

1946


1950 to 1959


Photograph donated by Sandra Clegg (nee Arnold)

Donated by Joan Slote (nee Stevenson)

Photograph supplied by Maureen Hudson (nee Stables)

1951

1951

1952

Photograph supplied by Ingrid Roberts

Photograph donated by Mary Litchfield

Photograph donated by Gwen Thornhill (nee Lambert)

1956

1957

1958

Photograph supplied by Carol Williams (nee Wesley)

1959


1960 to 1969


Photograph donated by Eileen Swain (nee Westwood)

Photograph donated by Ingrid Roberts

Photograph donated by Brenda Weatherbed

1960

1960

1961

Photograph donated by Patricia McNelis nee Burton

Photograph donated by Sherry Sidstaff

Photograph donated by Glennis Bird

1961

1962

1963

Photograph donated by Sheila Wheatcroft

Photograph donated by Barbara Allcock (nee Woodward)

Photograph provided by Barbara Woodward

1965

1965

1965

Photograph donated by Jacqueline Haywood (nee Hall)

Photograph donated by Barbara Allcock (nee Woodward)

1965

1967


Memories

Julie Allcock (née Bestwick)


I attended Cottesmore Secondary Modern for Girls from 1960 until 1964 and have some fond memories of my time there (and some not so fond!).

In my first year in form 1A2, I was in Bruges house and we had the pleasure of being taught by Aileen Bramley (who was and hopefully still is, a direct descendant of the founder of the Bramley apple tree). She took me and my friends Maureen Ellis and Jennifer Ashley (Jennifer's family owned and ran the last steam gallopers at Goose Fair in the 60s) under her wing and used to treat us occasionally to a film at the Savoy Cinema just across the road from the school. I don't know why she singled us out, but she left such a lasting impression on us and I, for one, won't ever forget her.

I have some lovely memories of form 1A2 but suspect they were breaking us in gently for what was to become much harder and stricter as we progressed over the years! I remember Mrs Clements the dance teacher (she used to "borrow" Mr Fisher for dance demonstrations and we probably incorrectly assumed that there was more to that than met the eye!). The only thing that used to irritate me about her though, was the fact that she always referred to us as "you little people" which was so patronising.

I can remember a younger French teacher (think she was called Miss Earnshaw) who taught us around 1A2 to 3A2, but unfortunately she fell pregnant and left to get married (not the done thing being pregnant and unmarried in a 60s school full of impressionable girls!), but she gave me three very happy years of French tuition (the French name I was given was Dominique). Mrs Sutton used to take us for Art lessons and she was very ahead of her time (used to have the odd pink/green streak in her platinum blonde hair which used to fascinate me). Miss Downer used to take us for drama and at every opportunity would launch into her rendition of Lady MacBeth - quite blood curdling!

In my last year at Cottesmore, 4A2 were housed in the boys' school and we had to run the gauntlet to get to our form room with Mr Davies. He used to take us for Maths as well as being our form teacher but he used to get very frustrated with me as I did badly in his class but to his disgust, did very well in exams (must be a moral there somewhere!).

In my last couple of years there, my best pal was Carol Simpson who I lost contact with years ago, but if anyone out there has any news or an email address for her, would be really grateful to hear of it (her elder sister Pat Simpson is pictured in one of the photos on the Lenton Times website but can't find Carol or myself in any of the other photos).

If Carol's still living in Nottingham, would love to hear from her or anyone else who remembers us.



Sandra Meakin (née Woodhead)


I was looking up the stories in your magazine as my brother is a regular of yours and has written his memories from when he was born - his name is Ted Marriott. My name is Sandra Meakin nee Woodhead and I was at Cottesmore from 1961 to 1965. I lived on Grove Road in Lenton until I left and got married in 1972. I had two daughters and now have two grandchildren Luke and Leah who are fourteen and seven. I have looked at the photographs of Cottesmore and noticed I wasn't on any of them although I recognised most of the girls,so i must have been ill or playing truant which I was known to do once or twice!! The memory that really stands out for me was once when we had PE. I was getting dry after having a shower and was putting talc on me. While shaking it everywhere the PE teacher Miss Gregory came behind me and slapped my legs as hard as she could. She wouldn't get away with it nowdays!! I dont think I said anything to my mother in case I got told off for messing about at school. I didn't think I was a naughty child, just mischievious. I liked to make people laugh! As you can imagine I couldn't wait to leave school, which i did just before my fifteenth birthday, being as it was in August. I am now retired and loving every minute as I have more time for my grandchildren and looking after my daughter's dog while she is at work. I would love to hear from anyone who knew me then.



Barbara Allcock (née Woodward)


Three former Cottesmore Girls getting back
together some forty years later in October 2008:
(left to right) Marilyn Clifford (nee Hickling),
Barbara Woodward (nee Allcock), Carol Wright
(nee Sims).

I attended Cottesmore School from 1963-1968, and have many happy memories of the school, where I was in Florence House, and at one time a prefect, and also house captain.

Three former Cottesmore Girls getting back together some forty years later in October 2008: (left to right) Marilyn Clifford (nee Hickling), Barbara Woodward (nee Allcock), Carol Wright (nee Sims).Mrs Abbott was our formidable head teacher. She married while I was there; previously she had been Miss Cooper.

The Maths teacher, I remember, was called Mr Davies. As he was Welsh he was known by us as Taffy Davies and he had slightly bucked teeth and was going bald on top but with grey tufts sticking out from the side of his head, a bit like Jimmy Edwards. I think he gave up on me with my Maths, but strange to say my career was always full of stats and graphs, so something must have sunk in.

The French teacher was a very petite lady called Miss Coupe, who encouraged a group of us to have pen-pals in America, and we would read out our letters to her. I was writing to a Becky Yentes of Eddyville, Nebraska, who had a brother, Jeff, who was sent to fight in the Vietnam War. Miss Coupe died about two years after I left school, so I was told. One of her favourite sayings when she was a little rattled by the six of us who took French was - 'how can I teach French, when you don't understand English, now listen to me!' We all had our own French name, I was Babette. We used to sing French songs, and the French national anthem, but I still don't like croissants!

I remember Mr Pashaika, who taught Russian. I wonder where he came from, and I bet he could tell a few stories about his past. I always wondered if he had escaped from Russia during the Second World War.

I seem to recall a Mrs Brown who took us for lessons in Domestic Science. I remember being taught to clean shoes, and I made a yellow and white gingham apron in her class.

Who taught us cookery? I can remember the class with the ovens, sinks, and the wicker baskets we carried about. (I still clutter up work surfaces, and make rock hard cakes, so I blame it on the 1940s austerity cook book.)

Mrs Dorothy Sutton, the Art teacher, was an inspiration to me, and I won the Art prize two years running, and I still have the books I was given at School Speech Day. (Thanks Dorothy, the pot head I made in your class, my father used to put a nub end in its mouth, and for years it stood on the outside step).

Mr Fisher was our handsome geography teacher, who took us on a field trip to Borth, in Wales. It never stopped raining, and the winds were gale force, and we traipsed across a boggy marsh, where he managed to lose his binoculars. I was not interested in studying rock pools, or picking up seaweed to see what lurked beneath. We were at the age when the boys back at the Hostel were far more interesting, and after a trip to Aber (somewhere), when the staff went off to a pub, well we ... well that's another story. We stayed at a Youth Hostel and would raid the kitchen for food, and we were so hungry one afternoon that we opened a variety of tinned soups, mixed them all together and sat eating this ghastly coloured soup. Such happy days!

Is the small chapel still there that was situated next to the school? I remember throwing hymn books to fellow classmates while in it and being given a detention.

Thinking of school dinners, I recall the metal jugs and beakers, and the sometimes gruesome food we were given. I remember an outbreak of throwing rock hard donutty things about, and then sent with others to see Miss Cooper. One by one, we were called into her office, and reminded that she ran a school for young ladies. She made a point of directing her glare and comments again at the next school assembly. I always had the greatest respect for her, she had such a presence.

While we were at Cottesmore the Queen came to Raleigh, and we all stood outside looking for the car. It was open topped and she seemed to have loads of makeup on, even then!

I can't recall the names of the English teacher(s). All I remember are the three books, Under Milk Wood, and Cider with Rosie, and A Midsummer Nights Dream we did for the GCE.

I can't recall the Science teacher's name either, nor her assistant, but I do recall we dissected eyeballs and tadpoles, and remember the fish tank which overheated. I can also recall the so-called lesson on the birds and the bees. I left school with all sorts of baffling questions after we had been shown a diagram of a naked man and woman. We had a rough idea, but my friend, Vivien, thought for ages that babies came out of the belly button. I wondered how it got there in the first place. My Dad used to tell me I came on a Co-op lorry, and he also said if a lad asked me I was to say 'no". How sweet and innocent we all were then, except we heard that one girl left school a bit early because...

Mrs Harrison was a lovely woman although I was useless at RE. I do recall the stories about her bobbing up and down in the salty Red Sea, and her early adventures in the Middle East. I think Gladys Aylward once visited the school at some point. I feel certain she was the very tiny, grey haired lady that Mrs Harrison walked about the school with. I know that Mrs Harrison was a missionary somewhere once before she went into teaching. I once went to her house at Wollaton Road and she told us about her life.

Mrs Matthews, my music teacher, taught me to play/scrape the cello, and Hilary Robinson to play/twang the double bass, as she was tall enough to hold it up. Some others played violins, violas, but I don't recall any brass or wind instruments, but there must have been some.

I remember Miss Gregory, and the 'you've got five minutes to get changed', after we had trekked to the playing fields, to put on our navy blue knickers, Aertex tops, plimsolls, or hockey boots, depending whether you had been selected for tennis or hockey. I had to bully off once with her, my ankles never forgot, neither did I. Then the rush to get through the freezing cold showers and being herded through like a sheep dip, then the walk home afterwards to Charlbury Road, Wollaton.

There was a dancing teacher at Cottesmore although I don't recall her name. We would practice country dancing, a bit of ballet, and, one time Vivien Giddens and I were made to waltz round the gym in our navy blue passion killers while the boys were waiting to come in. I played a prank on Vivien once, and replaced her size four plimsolls, with a size six. She only realized when we were getting ready for dancing, and went to complain, which fell on deaf ears. Vivien was told she had two plimsolls, told to put them on, and dance. Many years later, fifteen or so, we spoke about these strange plimsolls being in her locker, and then it dawned on her who the culprit was. I started school with Vivien at Bentinck Infants, but lost touch with her in the mid 1980s.

After leaving school I married, but was later widowed with two small boys. I remarried and now lives in south east Spain, on a finca with five acres of olives and figs, and three dogs.



Susan Simpson (née Shepherd) - Congleton, Cheshire


The teacher I remember most was Mr. Davies, our maths teacher. We used to have our maths lessons in the end classroom of the boys school which was distracting at times to say the least! Many of us would rearrange our hair before going over there!

I didn't transfer to Cottesmore Girls School until my third year and my maths was dismal to put it mildly. Mr. Davies spent time explaining things to me and by the end of the fourth year I was 'beginning to see the light' even beginning, dare I say it, to enjoy the lessons. I didn't pass the GCE as it was then, but did as a 'mature' student. I met Mr. Davies quite by chance about seven years after leaving school. I was amazed that he still remembered me by name. I can say that it was down to him that I regained some confidence in myself and will always be grateful to him for that.

You can find me included on the photograph of the 1963 outing to Edale. I would be delighted to hear from anyone who remembers me from that era.



Marilyn Hickling (née Clifford) - Nottingham


I attended Cottesmore from 1963 to 1968. I have many fond memories of my days there. I was a prefect and house captain of London house and remember being absolutely terrified of reading out loud in assembly. I now know why - it's because I was as blind as a bat and should have been wearing specs from the age of five [I work at an opticians now]. I remember Mrs Bradbury the English teacher - she always seemed so glamorous to me and she took us to the theatre, I think to see 'Far from the Madding Crowd'. Mrs Poole was the needlework teacher and I can recall going off to Jessops, as it was then, to buy material to make a dress and coat for my exam. Her classroom wasn't in the main block, but situated in outbuildings in the playground. I took Russian as a language, mainly because the French class was full and can still dredge up a few little phrases and a song - but they have never come in handy as I have yet to meet a Russian! There was Mr Davies, the maths teacher - we never really got along and I had quite a few detentions from him, once for throwing a rubber at him. Ironically I have worked with figures for 90% of my working life, so he must have got through to me somehow! As for Mr Fisher the geography teacher, I had such a crush on him - he was so handsome! I met Miss Gregory, our PE teacher, many years after leaving school. She was now deputy head of my son's school and she remembered me, which was quite a surprise. There was Mrs Clements the dance teacher. I always loved dancing and still do - but prefer to jig along to Motown sounds now. I was once involved in a fashion show at the school. I wasn't picked for my looks but for the colour of my 'orange' hair as it was in those days. I wore an awful green trouser suit with a John Lennon type of hat. Does anyone recall our school trip to Lucerne in Switzerland with the train journey through France? It was the first time I had ever seen a duvet on a bed. The food was lovely and I remember in a field nearby were some cows with bells on. Some of the girls, I recall, attracted the attention of a few of the local boys. I think it cost £32 for two weeks which sounds like a bargain when compared to today's prices. I met my husband of thirty seven years while I was still at school. He was working then and would walk along the Boulevard with me on my way home. We have two wonderful boys and five lovely grandchildren and still live in Nottingham.

I have already been in touch with Barbara Woodward, and have met Carol Wright and Sandra Hilton all within the past year. I have also had a couple of emails from Ann Cragg and Carol Hextall through Friends Reunited and would love to hear from anyone else who remembers me.



Sandra Milano (née Plewinska)


I have fond memories of Cottesmore Girls School. Like others there are certain lessons and teachers that stick in the mind.

I remember the PE teacher, Miss Gregory, who lived just down the road from the school, on the Boulevard. I liked her, even though I was useless at all games apart from basketball. I was the one that was always left until last when captains picked their teams. My excuse is that at only 5 ft I had more ground to cover so couldn't keep up! I remember Russian lessons and choosing Russian thinking my father, who was Polish but also spoke Russian, would be able to help me. It wasn't until after his death, on meeting his sister who came over from Canada, that I realised that the reason he spoke Russian was because of having been in a concentration camp in Siberia during the War. He had never mentioned this whilst alive. Memories were still raw and painful and he wasn't happy speaking Russian. Needless to say I cannot remember hardly any Russian from those five years of study.

My favourite subjects were Maths and Art. If the situation had been different I would have continued my studies, eventually hopefully to become a Maths teacher. Years later I discovered that the aunt in Canada is a professional artist, so that probably explains the flair and love of art. I was also fascinated by RE. I loved the Bible and still have one that was presented to me in 1961 when I attended Bosworth Junior School in the Meadows. Religion is still a very important part of my life.

I can recall Mr Fisher, the geography teacher. He gave me my only ever detention for explaining to the girl next to me during the lesson something she hadn't understood. I still remember over 40 years later having to write 'I must listen to and obey instructions' for what seemed like forever! Having had no mother from an early age, and being the oldest of five, I didn't go on any field trips, in fact I can't really even remember them taking place!

As I said my memories of school are all good. I also remember standing with all the other girls outside to wave to the Queen who had been visiting either Raleigh or the cigarette factory further along the boulevards? I remember Gladys Aylward visiting. At the time I supposed that she had been a past pupil at Cottesmore but now I know better. If I remember correctly the school also began to be mixed (boys and girls) about the year of my leaving and stopped being a bilateral school and became a comprehensive.

Girls that I particularly remember are Carol Wright, Carol Greenhalgh, Janet Bestwick and Rita Krzeminski, some of whom had been at Bosworth Junior School with me. It would be good to know what life has dealt them. Hopefully by keeping up-to-date with this web site I may find out!

I have not had any contact at all with any of my former classmates, probably due to the fact that I left England to work in Italy less than a year after leaving school. I did marry an Italian (we celebrated our 36th anniversary last December) and lived in Italy for a number of years, returning to Nottingham in 1984. I have two wonderful sons and three gorgeous grandchildren.



Doreen Hill (née Rushin) - Western Australia


Quite by accident, whilst searching for something completely different, I came across the Lenton Times web page and its accompanying memories and photographs of Cottesmore School. Congratulations, you are doing a wonderful job!

I wonder whether there is any other geriatric out there who attended the Cottesmore Girls' School during the years around 1948-1952? I know Jo Palmer is still living in Wollaton because I keep in touch with her, a valued friend from school who has remained so throughout my life. My time at Cottesmore was when Miss D Walters was headmistress. Other members of staff I can recall are Miss Smith, English; Miss Coupe, French; Miss Salivansky, Art; Mr Tuchler, Science; Mr Allen, Geography; Mr Hodgson, History and Miss Raine, Music. What a good education we had, regardless of it being a time of post war teacher shortage.



Glennis Bird


Lots of memories there - It's lovely to see the pictures of the quadrangle where the girls in their last year would have a fashion show of the garments they had made in that year for the GCE !! - seems so long ago (though I suppose 40 years or more is a long time).

Those who were in school at the same time as me (early 1960s) would remember me as I was disabled, having had polio when I was a baby. The four 'houses' were named after capital cities - Paris (green); London (red); Bruges (blue) and Florence (yellow). - We would have a house meeting every other Friday I think it was and the person with most merits for the two weeks would get a badge to wear on their tie until the next one.

Mrs Sutton was the art teacher - not science (unless she taught that as well). I think science was Mrs Stanton or something like that. Mrs Abbot was our headmistress (she got married whilst I was at the school but I can't remember her other name). Mr Fisher taught us geography and the other maths teacher was a welsh man (Mr Thomas) who had his classroom over in the boys school. Mr Pasheika (or something like that) taught history and russian, and Mrs Cooper (clank!) taught french. Like others I also remember Miss Gregory who taught games - I was always encouraged to join in even though I was disabled - and was never teased about it.

I do remember enjoying music too and our class (the whole class) were part of the audience contingent every night for the "Little Sweep" which was the school production one year - we were split into 4 groups who each had a bird call or something which was part of one of the songs.



Audrey M Scott (née Scattergood) - Colorado, USA


My maiden name was Audrey Margaret Scattergood. I went to Cottesmore approximately 1944. I left England for the U.S. in 1952. I used to live in Lenton Abbey. Would be very interested in finding some of my old friends. Marion Denham was probably my closest friend. I did catch up with her in 1976 when I visited England with my late husband and son.

I lost her address and would love to find her. It was a very interesting trip back home. My late husband was a Chief Justice in Boulder Colorado and so we got to visit the old Bailey and watch the British Justice system. I now am very involved selling real estate.



Dawn Glover (née Day)


I attended Cottesmore School in 1943/1944, when my surname was DAY. I lived at 18 Johnson Road, opposite the school. At the moment I am trying to find old friends:-
Valerie and Maureen Barrs, who lived in Wollaton and Jane Redgate, whose father owned the Redgate Brewery, who also lived in Wollaton.



Pat Saville (née Brooks)


I have fond memories of Miss Gregory, Games Teacher. I have forgotten the science teacher's name, but I liked her too. I did not like Mr Cook. Can anyone recall the teacher who took us for religious studies? She was a white haired old lady, but I can't remember her name either.



Lynne Wright (née Palethorpe)


I also have fond memories of Cottesmore Girls School, Lenton, 1965-1969. The R.E. teacher that Pat Saville was thinking of was Mrs Harrison, a sweet old lady. Other names I can remember are Miss Gregory, Miss Jones and Mrs Matthews, the music teacher. I seem to recall that Mrs Sutton was the science teacher, not forgetting Doug Scott, a teacher at Cottesmore who went on to be rather famous in another field of endeavour. I cannot remember the name of my first Headmistress but one fact that has stuck was that she often used to bring her Labrador dog with her. A later headmaster was Mr Heathcote, a double for Sergeant Bilko.

I would also like to get in touch with Lorraine Whittlam, Susan Bowman and Sandra Curtis. In fact anyone that can remember me please get in touch. Sharon Sisson, Jean and myself remain in contact and we have just celebrated our 50th birthday together.



Barbara Fullerton (née Raynor)


I was really pleased to see myself among the picture of Cottesmore Girls 1957 (second row fifth from the left).

I don't know if it is the onset of old age but I can only remember a few of my fellow class mates - among them Jacqueline Ward, Mary Litchfield, Rosemary Dobson, Christine Pratt and Sylvia Higgins. I would love to know the whereabouts of any of the abovementioned plus Brian Nicholson (Nickabar) who attended Cottesmore Boys.

As for myself I am married with four children and thirteen grandchildren living in Canada where I work for an Oil and Gas company as an accountant. This is quite an accomplishment when you recall we were taught Maths by Mr. Cook. We did very little maths as we only had to bring up the subject of football and we could almost guarantee that a Maths-free session would follow.

Hope someone will contact me would love to know what happened to you all.



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