Author Topic: Notre Dame High School, Cheetham  (Read 47008 times)

cheethamgirl

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 951
Notre Dame High School, Cheetham
« on: 06:38:42, 01/05/11 »
Any other old Notre Dammers out there? I was there from 1964 to 1971 and would like to hear others' memories.


If so, do you recall: sky parlour, foundresses' feast day; SMT; Mrs Kirk (music) & Miss Rossall (PE); Miss McEvoy (French); the choir winning at Llangollen Eisteddfod in 1968; the beautiful marble altar in the chapel? 


Was anyone there at the end, when it became a co-ed, changed it's name, then was closed & demolished?  Care to share your memories?
Author:  'Odd Man Out - A Motiveless Murder?' & 'The Cheetham Hill Murder'

custard61

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 1
Re: Notre Dame High School, Cheetham
« Reply #1 on: 08:14:02, 23/08/11 »
Hello. I was at Notre Dame between 1972 and 1979 so we will not know each other. Mixed memories of school days. Some of those teachers were still there amazingly enough but got married and changed their surnames ! I will have to check with my sister as she still has a good memory for names. Sky parlour - what a blast from the past. I wonder who first named it that ? I remember the layout of the school as if I were still there particularly the bottom corridor. Through the main door, turn right and the staff room with coffee and biscuits wafting out, past the bottom of the main stairway and if you continued it led to the 6th form common room. The other direction was to cloakrooms and the tuck shop and the the glass corridor that led to the dining hall ( my favourite ! ). The lunches were brilliant in those days. Proper food and large portions. I remember Sr Marie Therese, Mr Ashcroft ( Physics ), Mrs Green ( Felicity - Biology ) who I later worked with at Wythenshaw College, Miss Lavin ( PE ), Miss Cahill ( English ),  Mr. Smith ( Chemistry ), Sr Ann ( needlework ). I was still there when it merged with St Paul's - just my last year in 6th form. The whole place had gone downhill by then as staff were unsettled. I recall that for my maths A level I actually had four teachers in the two years. The marble in the chapel corridors and the chapel itself are vivid in my memory. We had to be silent as we queued - always a toughie for me. I wasn't fond of that route to chapel. The light was eerie and the marble reminded my of tombstones as I lost my mum to cancer whilst I was in year 2. Good memories are sports days as I loved running and high jump and thw whole sheebang of being out in the sun for a day and not having to work. I heard that the school had been demolished way after the event as I had been living overseas. I was quite upset actually and presumed that somewhere there would be a record photographically of the school but apart from the odd snap on friends re-united I don't think there are any official photos. Shame.   What was SMT ?         

cheethamgirl

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 951
Re: Notre Dame High School, Cheetham
« Reply #2 on: 13:15:43, 23/08/11 »
At last!  Someone else who remembers! I was beginning to think perhaps I'd dreamed it up. SMT was how Sister Marie-Therese signed school reports, and those of us upon whom she never smiled but glowered used to imagine a little 'u' in there and nicknamed her Smut!  I recall all those teachers bar Mrs Green (perhaps she was Miss someone when I was there?).  Our biology teacher was a Mrs Van Der Koon (Koen?) who gave us a sex lesson, all about frogs mind, delivered to the clock on the wall at the back of the biology lab!
 
I remember queueing for lunches, but they weren't so good in my day - they came in aluminium tins in the back of a van from the education dept's city centre kitchens - cold lumpy potatoes with blackspots in, gritty lettuce in summer, and everything tasting of aluminium. 
 
We were allowed to run riot a bit on foundresses' day, and we would turn sky parlour into a haunted house and charge juniors sixpence to be admitted and have goo spread on them and cotton threads dangled in their faces, to the ghostly sounds we made.  All funds for charity tho.
 
The school outfitters, Henry Barrie of St Anne's Square, gave an annual prize for progress, though it was rumoured it went to whoever had bought the most uniform.  I was never going to win this, as I was wearing the same gaberdine in the upper sixth that I'd started out with in first year!  My parents couldn't afford to replace it, so the two foot hem gradually got lowered each year, but the coat wouldn't meet in front eventually, and the sleeves gave it the look of a straight-jacket!  No wonder SMuT glowered at me.  She didn't approve of poverty. My elderly next door neighbour used to tell me to enjoy my school days, since they would be the best days of my life.  If she were still around today, I'd be able to contradict her.  Almost every day of my life since then has been deliriously happy by comparison!
Author:  'Odd Man Out - A Motiveless Murder?' & 'The Cheetham Hill Murder'

St Chads

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 588
Re: Notre Dame High School, Cheetham
« Reply #3 on: 08:55:56, 23/11/11 »
I remember the green uniform..


You were someone if you went to Notre Dame,well that's what i always thought . 
I would have loved to have gone there but i guess i didn't have the  wherewithal .
" Life calls the tune , we dance ".

JOHN GALSWORTHY,

cheethamgirl

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 951
Re: Notre Dame High School, Cheetham
« Reply #4 on: 11:55:45, 23/11/11 »
That's what my dad thought, too.  His greatest hope in life for me was for me to go to ND, as he thought it would turn me out to be a lady.  We could see from our upstairs windows the girls playing netball & tennis in their smart green culottes and yellow aertex shirts.  It was all so Enid Blyton,  ::) and I longed to be part of it all.  Somehow, it wasn't quite so magic when I got there. Can't complain tho, as I made some great friends, and the school did help me to, learn a thing or two.
Author:  'Odd Man Out - A Motiveless Murder?' & 'The Cheetham Hill Murder'

St Chads

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 588
Re: Notre Dame High School, Cheetham
« Reply #5 on: 07:57:22, 24/11/11 »
I'll be honest Denise....you were on your way to being a lady (someone ) when i knew you ,you were smart and refined ...unlike me who was a scruffy lil redhead with no incentive to be "someone " / anyone.
" Life calls the tune , we dance ".

JOHN GALSWORTHY,

cheethamgirl

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 951
Re: Notre Dame High School, Cheetham
« Reply #6 on: 08:20:12, 24/11/11 »
That's sweet of you to say so.  However, my cousin in US recently sent me a photo which her mother took of me when she visited us when I was about 6.  Altho I'm in a posh frock which my American auntie had brought me, I'm swinging on our garden gate (for which I was always being told off) and I have a big plaster on my forehead from a collison with a stone step (the step came off worst!).  I was a bit of a tomboy back then.  If you want to send me a personal message with your e mail address, I will send you the pic and perhaps you might send me one of yourself from back then.  I can remember your name so well and us playing together but I'm having difficulty recalling what you looked like.  My mum always referred to you fondly as 'that nice little Dorothy', in the same way she referred to father Maguire as 'that nice little priest', which I think is reflects the Irish suffix 'een' which they put at the end of everything, not necessarily to suggest they are small but that they are lovable.  I was a bit of a readhead too, not ginger exactly, but auburnish.  Nowadays I'm a dark blonde (well, that's what is says on the bottle!).  Would love to hear what you've been up to since we last met, by pm if you prefer. I don't remember many of our other fellow pupils at St Chad's tho, perhaps because I was only there about 3 years before I moved to St Clare's.  I hope all is well with you. O0
Author:  'Odd Man Out - A Motiveless Murder?' & 'The Cheetham Hill Murder'

cheethamgirl

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 951
Re: Notre Dame High School, Cheetham
« Reply #7 on: 08:25:47, 24/11/11 »
Just remembered that at St Clare's my new form master one day recorded us all reciting poems and, when he played the tape back, I was horrified at my thick Manchester accent.  I sounded like such a thick dork!  I made a bit of an effort to try to lose my 'manchisstoh' sound and, after having lived most of my life in the south of england, it's now left me completely, but it returns whenever I visit my home city.  As as soon as I swig my first glass of dandelion & burdock!  ;D 
Author:  'Odd Man Out - A Motiveless Murder?' & 'The Cheetham Hill Murder'

St Chads

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 588
Re: Notre Dame High School, Cheetham
« Reply #8 on: 08:28:35, 24/11/11 »
 ;D ...your post made me laugh , "een "  ;D ...

Yes Denise i will pm you asap, I've got to go out just now but  it's going to    be a long post so have a cuppa beside you .
" Life calls the tune , we dance ".

JOHN GALSWORTHY,

Mandyann

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 5
Re: Notre Dame High School, Cheetham
« Reply #9 on: 23:43:26, 04/12/11 »
I was at ND 1963 -1970. Remember SMT, Mrs Kirk, Mr Riley, Mrs Celensu, Mrs White, Mrs Corbett and so on...
Spent whole school life fund raising -hall,gym science block. Then they knocked the lot down!!!!

cheethamgirl

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 951
Re: Notre Dame High School, Cheetham
« Reply #10 on: 07:17:35, 05/12/11 »
Hi Mandyann.  We're roughly contemporaries then.  You would have been a year ahead of me. I had Mr Riley for maths ( :( ), Mrs White for French (later Miss McEvoy), Mrs Celensu for German & Mrs Corbett for Latin.  I loved French & German, couldn't be bothered with Latin (to my regret now) and hated maths.  My first form mistress (one alpha) was Miss Rylance and I seem to recall a Miss Mulherin for history. Mrs Smith (tall leggy blonde) for art, and also Mrs Ritchie.  Later on Miss Sheerin for English.  I think there was a Mr Smith in science (Geordie accent, no relation to Mrs Smith).  One odd memory I have is that 2 of the teachers were married and, in the 6th form we had childcare sessions (!) so the lady teacher used to bring in her baby son so we could bath him. Wasn't that forward thinking? Mandyann, wasn't there a girl in your year who committed suicide in 5th year?  Do you remember that?  The whole school was shocked, but I don't remember there being a mass held for her in the school, chapel. ???
Author:  'Odd Man Out - A Motiveless Murder?' & 'The Cheetham Hill Murder'

St Chads

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 588
Re: Notre Dame High School, Cheetham
« Reply #11 on: 11:55:43, 11/12/11 »
My sis remembers going to a  fair / fete there Denise......Ena Sharples opened it ...lol
" Life calls the tune , we dance ".

JOHN GALSWORTHY,

Mandyann

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 5
Re: Notre Dame High School, Cheetham
« Reply #12 on: 00:17:33, 22/01/12 »
sorry to take so long to reply Cheetham girl! You must have been contemporary of Cath English and Kath Potts.


I dont remember any body committing suicide in my year, although there was a girl struggling with depression, as I remember. some of the 5th years went on a mediterranean cruise. It had cost about 100!! Whoo! too much for me!



cheethamgirl

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 951
Re: Notre Dame High School, Cheetham
« Reply #13 on: 08:28:30, 22/01/12 »
I think the girl who died was in 5th year and I must have been a few forms below her, so it would have occurred in the mid 60s maybe.  It was not mentioned at school - no prayers in assembly or service in the chapel.  My mum said tha no priest would say mass for a suicide.  I've tried googling to see if I could find a report of the case, as we only learned of it from an article in the Manchester Evening News, but there was nothing on the net that I could find.
I never heard of any bullying at ND.  There was a little bullying at St Clare's.  I was bullied for a year, just after I'd transferred there, aged 7, and I had not made any friends so probably stood out as a loner.  At the end of that year, my two 10/11 year old tormentors were leaving anyway, but towards the end of their last term, the two girls who always threatened me in the canteen at lunch time and then beat me up afterwards in the play ground were in the canteen when I picked up a jug of water and threw it over them.  I sustained a worse than usual beating once we got outside, but it was worth it for the thought of them having to spend the afternoon in their PE kit.   O0
I recall the name Catherine English, but not Kath Potts. 
Author:  'Odd Man Out - A Motiveless Murder?' & 'The Cheetham Hill Murder'

Elaine53

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 2
Re: Notre Dame High School, Cheetham
« Reply #14 on: 11:18:08, 13/02/12 »
I found this thread by chance, and it brought back lots of memories!! I was at Notre Dame '64-'71, and remember all the names mentioned.
 
I was in London at a meeting in 2000 run by the government (Teacher Training Agency as it was then), and the woman chairing the meeting looked vaguely familiar. She came over to chat to me at the break, asking where I worked etc as she also thought she'd met me before. It turned out to be Madame Celensu - remarried so the name had meant nothing to me, and without the French pleat but still very glam. Thirty years on.