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Teachers from Manor Court - Who do you remember?

Published: 27th October 2007 16:14

By Peter Keat, Manor Court Nostalgia Writer 

 Teachers from Manor Court

I was thinking the other day, how many teachers do I remember and I was amazed to find that I could remember over two dozen. Those that I miss I am sure someone will let me know.

The first headmaster I remember was at Court Lane and was Wally Dunstan, a quiet gentle man who was also a Lay Reader. I never had much to do with him but he always seemed to command respect as he walked around the school. With the move to Manor Court I think Wally must have retired as when we arrived at the new school Reg Davis was in charge. I remember him as a short bespectacled man and I have a mental picture of him wrapped around the lectern in the hall at morning. No list of senior management would be complete without Joyce Pipe she instilled fear into all of us, especially the girls. I understand that she passed away a couple of years ago.

Lets move on, this time to show no bias I will list the teachers in alphabetical order.

Mr Bennett: Not the Mr Bennett from Pride and Prejudice but our very patient Woodwork teacher, I still have a coffee table I made in all its rather dubious glory.

June Blitz: Our French teacher. How we were all pleased to see June at our Reunion and how she seemed to enjoy herself! It was really good to see her. I think that she must be some form of record holder as she came to Manor Court straight from College and stayed there until she retired ?? years later. She must hold the record for long service to the School. I know not many of us speak French fluently but she gave me a good grounding in the language, enabling me to just get by at times.

Miss Burden: I remember a very attractive lady with long dark hair into whose class every boy really wanted to be put.

Molly Butler: I only remember her teaching history in the Albert Road School annex in our first year at Court Lane, I believe she then moved to a school in Waterlooville.

Mrs Butterfield: Not a teacher I came across, but I understand that she is still around and living in the area.

Jill Cogan: The same comment as the one about Miss Burden applies here, but I do tend to think she was more auburn that dark haired.

Miss Crocker: Needlework,

Bob Coulthard: Quiet geography teacher, moved off to teach abroad, Malta I believe.

Passed away several years ago.

Miss Curtis: Cannot remember much about her apart from the fact that she was short and round and we all called her ‘Flossie'. I understand that she was actually a Female Mason.

Ray Dopson: When Bill Greer left Ray became Head of English he has given me a lasting affection for the works of Jane Austen, something that I shall be eternally grateful for. He is now happily living in retirement in the area playing golf and relaxing.

Ivor Fentiman: Art teacher but never being of an artistic persuasion I did not come across him very often. He left teaching and opened a shop somewhere in the Midlands.

Miss Evening: I can only remember the name!

Miss Fields: She caused me much heartache in trying to remember chemical symbols Zn zinc and Ag silver (I think) and atomic weights, I can only remember her at Court Lane but I do remember her mode of transport was a motorbike.

Norman Folland: Head of Maths, I am sorry Norman but I never did understand log tables and they still are a complete mystery to me, here I am not alone though because I know that others feel the same. Norman started the Air Training Corps and was a leading light in that organisation for many years. The Corp produced many recruits who joined the RAF, several are still in touch. Norman now lives in the West Country, has not bee too well recently but seems to be getting on top of things now.

David Gee: Religious Studies teacher, a mild mannered man with a dry sense of humour, and keen amateur artist, he was the father of Adrian and Donald Gee both of whom were pupils at the school. Both Adrian and David passed away many years ago.

Bill Greer: Head of English when I joined Court Lane and my form teacher I seem to remember him collecting and swapping the plastic Guards Bandsmen from the Cornflake packets with another teacher next door, I think it was Mr White, in a competition to see who could get the whole band first. Us kids would be only too happy to bring in our models from home to help our teacher get the full set. I forget who actually won this band collecting competition in the end.

Harry Hodgkinson: Short northerner whose no nonsense teaching methods were not to the taste of some of the folks from the south. He, with Norman Folland, was an officer in the ATC.

Miss McCann: Sports mistress but nothing else about her comes to mind apart from the fact that she had short dark hair.

Mr Ord: Sports master and I do remember him taking us for Technical Drawing when George Pledger was not there.

George Pledger: Technical drawing teacher, how he ever managed to draw such fine detailed drawings on a blackboard with such a large ruler, compasses and set squares I will never know. Died a few years ago just after coming back from holiday.

Bert Ray: Who can forget the phrase 'thunder and lightening boy what are you doing?' Bert was a very unique science teacher with his own individual, very distinctive style. We always thought that we could tell his mood by his hair, if it was all disheveled and wild he was in a good mood, but woe betide you if it was slicked down, there was trouble brewing. When on our last day we told him this he was amazed to find out that he did it and that we had actually noticed. Bet is another one who is no longer with us.

Peter Sexton: I cannot remember having him for any subject but I do remember him making several teenage girls hearts jump when he joined the school. When he joined us he rode a motor scooter which he quickly changed for a light green Morris Minor registration number PAM -. Pete is still around in Portsmouth.

John Stevens: Who can forget this bespectacled music teacher the driving force behind that amazing production of Handle's Messiah.

Nelson Trowbridge: Taught biology, never a subject I took and so have no lasting memories of hmi although I know he was popular with a lot of his pupils. Naturally I do remember the black bushy beard and his three wheeled Trojan car with the kick start under the bonnet.

Mr Walmsley: Joined the school for a short period to teach Religious Knowledge, I always remember him wearing a three-piece suit, which he amply filled resulting in the rather unflattering nickname of 'bubble tummy'.

Ken Wells: Came to the school as a woodwork teacher but took on metalwork instead, most of the lads have memories of those metalworking classes. Ken has been and still is involved with model engineering in Portsmouth and he has written three books on model engineering topics. Ken is still about although not well at the moment.

Mr Mick White: I remember him as a tall slim teacher, in competition with Bill Greer over the toy bandsmen from the Cornflakes packets mentioned above. The only clear memory I have of him is that he owned a powder blue Vespa motor scooter TBK 21 which a couple of years later he sold to Adrian Gee. The vision of Adrian's bulk sat on a motor scooter was certainly a sight to behold.

Mrs Audrey Wyspianska: The only thing that I can remember about her is that this Court Lane teacher is that she lived in a house opposite the school in Hilary Avenue, then moved to Farlington avenue. She died only a couple of weeks ago.

Miss ????: Cookery, what has she to do with me you ask? Do none of you remember that for part of a year the boys and girls craft lessons were reversed, the girls did woodwork and the boys cookery. Maybe this is why in later life I became a Chef, who knows!

There we go what I thought would start off as a short article seems to have grown and grown, thirty three teachers mentioned. If I have missed someone please let me know.

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