Abbeydale Grange - The Whole Story

A Pupil's Story

I was in the first intake at ABGS in 1958 - definitely September 1958. I came from a very working class background - I was born at Neepsend-and
found ABGS very daunting in my first year there.

Certain teachers delighted in mocking my very Sheffield accent and loved making me read out loud in Class so that when I dropped my aitches
everyone could have a laugh. I literally fought my way through that first year when some of the "posh" boys tried it on. The amazing thing was that I came top of the whole year in English Language in the exams at the year end.

I know that "Johnny" Mann (Chemistry teacher) spoke to Howard Wilkinson's class (Howard is 3 years older than me) about how all the staff
could not believe that an "oik" like me could do better at English than his peers.

I was streamed into the top section in the 2nd year and Cookson (or was it Cuckson?, music) was my form teacher. He tried to humiliate me several times - One I remember well was because I was wearing blue socks (under long trousers!). He paraded me in front of the class and made out that I was trying to be trendy etc. etc. My then use of "us" instead of "our" was picked up by him (i.e. "We've done us homework"). I was made to repeat the sentence many times (without realising what was wrong!) in front of the Class whilst he mocked away at me.

I have many stories but managed to be top of the year in Maths(4th year) and RI (Ken Ramsbottom, 3rd year).

See attached photos - I'm to Cucksons immediate right; front right end with Charlie; and front left end on the football (where I was 12 yrs old playing
in the Under 14s!

I don't think I can add anything to these recollections - they seem rather familiar to me and no doubt to many other working class pupils. 


Return to the main ABGS article

Return to Main Homepage

This page was last updated on 23/08/11 12:36