Top Picture: Handbill for the Beat Championships at the Savoy Ballroom, mind you 5/- does seem a bit expensive!
Bottom Picture: A Southdown Leyland Tiger Cub rests in the coach park after bringing and excursion into Southsea.
Do you realise that when we went back to school in September 1960 some of us started at the new Manor Court building whilst others did not move in until one or two months later. This makes the old school 50 years old this month, maybe they should have a party? For those of you who do not remember or maybe did not know the population of the school was in stages, the senior classes moving first having physically moved chairs, desks, books etc on trolleys from one school to the other. However the complete opening being delayed by some form of vandalism in the main hall I cannot remember what it was.
One small aside; how many of you know where the name Manor Court came from? Well the original plan was to call the school Court Manor School being taken from Court Lane and Old Manor Way but at a Governors meeting Councillor Mrs Kerr and Norman Folland persuaded the meeting that Manor Court would sound far better, and so the school was named. Mind you where the name Springfield came from I have no idea, it was certainly built on a field but I know of no spring in the immediate area, maybe someone can enlighten me. The school badge was based on the old road traffic sign for a school, a flaming torch, but again I have no idea where the motto ‘Truth is strength’ came from!
Now lets really put the memory banks on rewind. What was on the site before the school was built? When we were kids the area was a large plot of wild ground covered with undergrowth and brambles, with an old abandoned Civil Defence building at the bottom on Old Manor Way. There was a large area of neglected allotments which were left over from the wartime “dig for victory” campaign and some iron rings which were cemented into the ground; these were the tethering points used for the barrage balloons which were flown from here during the wartime air raids.
The area was a great play ground of all the local children with many paths and tracks leading all over the site it could accommodate lots of groups of children in little independent areas. Many of us lads spent hours and hours on our bikes dirt tracking around the site. Most of us had more than one bike in those days; one decent one for school and proper cycling and another hand built one for dirt track racing. I know I had two tracking bikes, one dark gray and one dark blue both were stripped to the bare minimum with no mud guards and with having fixed wheels with different combinations of sockets and cogs for different conditions it meant that they only had to have affront brake, so saving even more weight.
The actual field was rather rough underfoot and most of it was definitely not suitable for the odd romantic meeting but I have been made aware of one quiet area which one couple from the Twilfit corset factory down the road used most lunchtimes for what is euphemistically known as horizontal recreation. Little did they know that they were regularly watched by two of the local 13 year olds!!!!
The strange thing about this new school is that it just seemed to appear. No one that I have spoken to can remember the place being built, no one remembers lorries with building materials moving on and off the site and no one can remember being thrown off the site with our dirt track bikes ( now you would have thought that would have made an impression). But I cannot help but wonder what happened to the lunchtime couple fro Twilfits!!!
I can find no photographs of the site before it was built on and likewise I can find now pictures of the building of the school but I do know that the opening featured in a nation newspaper at the time and there were pictures taken when the new science wing was opened.
One of the things that really amazed us when we moved into the school was that the school caretaker, Bill Foster, have his own house built just inside the school gates on Scholars Walk. Then almost behind this house a few months later the original Manor Court Clubhouse was built and for picture of the opening night just take a look at the side bar of this blog.
Ah well! 50 years ago and in some ways it only seems 10 years since we knew the school, we must all be getting old!!!
Keep in touch
Having read Griff’s piece about handicrafts, I have to say that I too have still got something from Harold Bennetts woodwork classes and that is my wooden coffee table. It resides in the loft as I cannot bring myself to throw it away. I have never been clever with my hands which is why I am not publishing a photograph of the table, but it’s mine and I’m keeping it, warts and all!!!
News and Views:
The Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame have announced their 2010 inductees. Steve Cropper was a member of Booker T & the MGs and co-writer of such hits as "Green Onions," "Dock Of The Bay," "Knock On Wood" and "In The Midnight Hour.
On this day 11th September 1960-1965.
On 11/09/1960 the number one single was Apache - The Shadows and the number one album was Down Drury Lane to Memory Lane - A Hundred and One Strings. The top rated TV show was No Hiding Place (AR) and the box office smash was Psycho. A pound of today's money was worth £13.68 and Tottenham Hotspur were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 11/09/1961 the number one single was Johnny Remember Me - John Leyton and the number one album was South Pacific Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was One Hundred and One Dalmations. A pound of today's money was worth £13.25 and Ipswich Town were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions. The big news story of the day was First Mothercare shop opens in Surrey and Manor Court School opens.
On 11/09/1962 the number one single was She's Not You - Elvis Presley and the number one album was Pot Luck - Elvis Presley. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was Lawrence of Arabia. A pound of today's money was worth £12.89 and Everton were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 11/09/1963 the number one single was She Loves You - The Beatles and the number one album was Please Please Me - The Beatles. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was The Great Escape. A pound of today's money was worth £12.64 and Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 11/09/1964 the number one single was You Really Got Me - Kinks and the number one album was A Hard Day's Night - Beatles. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was Dr Strangelove. A pound of today's money was worth £12.24 and Manchester United were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 11/09/1965 the number one single was (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction - Rolling Stones and the number one album was Help - The Beatles. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was The Sound of Music. A pound of today's money was worth £11.69 and Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.