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1950s memories

Cottesmore St. Mary's RC School
Photo by Peter Groves

Making slides in the playground

Good old Cottesmore. I started at the primary school not being able to speak a word of English in Mr Joyce’s class in late 1952. My recollection was it was a cold winter, and we used to make slides in the playground. I still carry a scar after hitting a wall coming off one of them. I am pleased to say that I was made very welcome and joined in the football. I specially remember Mr Joyce who used to walk about the class with his hands tucked in his trousers behind his back, and would give you a knuckle if needed.

The famous flying rubber

I remember that we used to find spent ammunition by the trees on the edge of the field. I also remember having the strap most weeks it seemed, from the Head Master, it was probably for fighting. I moved up to the secondary school in Mr Harvey’s class. I remember the flying rubber – but it was never aimed at me though. I still recall the ghostly story of the tramp read out to us; does anyone else remember that?

Did you attend Cottesmore? Please share your memories by posting a comment below

Cross country to Hove Park

Mr Harvey used to take us cross country to Hove Park – snow and all. He was also keen on boxing; “get them in the solar plexus”, as John Rose did at the Dome inter-schools competition’s fastest round ever. I went to the new school and was in the school football team – inside right, Paul Rose – inside left, Jimmy Mulholland – left wing, They were very happy days.


Comments about this page

  • My Dad, Frank Joyce, died in 1975 after a short illness but is obviously remembered by his pupils.  I was chatting with Jim Lloyd recently who remembers my dad from the mid 50’s and his being rushed into hospital with peritonitis. My brother Vincent and I were at Cottesmore, leaving for Xaverian College in 1959 / 1960.

    By Peter Joyce (31/01/2015)
  • I remember the flying blackboard duster I think I probably deserved as I was always talking in class. I also remember having homework to do and hadn’t done it so borrowed my best friend’s book and copied hers. Stupidly I copied it word for word so it was obvious I had cheated. I was never very academic – much preferred being on the sports field. Mr Harvey lives in Australia and I believe has for several years. I have spoken to Jim Mullholland but not recently and often see John Rose as we both play lawn bowls but for different clubs. They were certainly happy days but I don’t think I thought so at the time.

    By Jenny Bainbridge (nee Bleach) (31/01/2015)
  • Jenny – yep, I remember the lines too – so it was you receiving the duster. Ask John Rose if he remembers the fastest knock out. I used to be very friendly with Paul Rose, John’s brother. I still have the photo of the football team we were in 1955-6. I sent it in but it may have been lost in the process of computing. I used to roller skate together to school with Paul. I used to live in Edmont Road, two doors up from the church hall. I used to have other friends in Stapley Road, Vincent and Edmond Burke. In the teddy boy times I remember two squaring up to each other outside the hall and they were cooled down by the lady from across the road throwing a bucket of water over them – can you imagine that! I think the record playing at the time was Diana by Paul Anker. Fancy catching up with Jimmy Mulholland – he is in the photo right wing: me inside right, Paul Rose inside left. Give them my regards and lovely hearing from you. Tom

    By Tommy Sandy (01/02/2015)
  • Hi Tom,  yes will give your regards to John next time I see him. I don’t see him very often but think we may still have a match against his club. Jenny.

    By Jenny Bainbridge (Bleach) (04/02/2015)
  • I was at Cottesmore from 1953 to 1957. Miss Hobden Year 3, Miss Hanvey Year 4, Mr Joyce Years 5 (strict but fair), and Mr Woolley Year 6.

    By Richard White (11/05/2015)
  • I was at Cottesmore until 1957. Mr Woolley was the best ever in Year 6. He taught me so much and was such a help in promoting my future education.

    By Henry Gormally (09/09/2015)
  • Mr Joyce was the first person who really opened my eyes to the Catholic faith. Plus he enabled my drawing talent to blossom.  He was a great person.

    By Cathy Cullen (20/12/2015)
  • Hi, I was at Cottesmore junior and senior – junior 1949-1951 and senior 1951-Dec 55. Lots of happy memories. My two sisters are Francis and Ann Young. Francis went on to teach at Cardinal Newman.

    By Joan Downs (15/04/2016)
  • Does anyone remember Miss Hanvey who took us for Needlework and was our class teacher when she sadly died? Such a character – I remember she coined the phrase about me: bold, brass, brazen Bickerton! I felt honoured when she asked me to be her needle-threader because her eyes were failing…

    By Lynne Shrubb (nee Bickerton) (16/05/2016)
  • Lynne, do you or anyone elose remember when Miss Hanvey died and what of? She was a close friend of my family and I would really like to know. Thanks.

    By Iain Jackson (15/09/2018)

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