HUNMANBY HALL GIRLS BOARDING SCHOOL
(1928 – 1991)
This archival site about the history of Hunmanby, East Yorks (until 1974 when the village was incorporated into North Yorks ) would not be complete without a full History of Hunmanby Hall Girls Boarding School (1928 – 1991) which was of the Methodist persuasion and became one of the leading girls boarding schools in the country.
Although effectively ‘divorced’ from the village proper, the school’s presence had a very beneficial effect, providing employment and trade locally besides preserving the old Hall and its beautiful grounds.
Despite my late father H.C.Mowthorpe (Sen.) being the main contractor for the original conversion of the Hunmanby Hall into a large boarding school, my knowledge of the school itself was limited. However I was friendly with Mrs Genista Dawson. She was one of the early pupil’s, rejoining as staff in 1941, marrying another member of staff in the 1950’s and today, a leading light in the Hunmanby Hall School’s Old Girls Association. Hence the following discourse, which is an excellent précis of the school’s lifestyle.
Thank you Genista.
By Mrs Genista Dawson
The idea behind the request made to me by Mr. Ces. Mowthorpe was to create a descriptive account of our school and its pupils, during its 63 years.
In 1928 a very NEW school was opened at Hunmanby, Near Filey in the East Riding of Yorkshire. There was a magnificent team of governors from many spheres of work and life to control the years ahead, meeting up regularly at the school.
As many as 80 girl pupils came from all parts of the country as its “First Pupils”.
From East/West Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Kent, Gloucestershire, Leicestershire, Northampton and Norfolk they made an interesting collection. As the school became known girls came from North of the Border and overseas – flying across the world to school.
Education received by the pupils was carefully delivered with a great emphasis on academic and outdoor games and activities.
Many gifted girls in all spheres resulted in high achievements across the board.
Physical handicapped and speech defects were cared for – Remedial and Speech Therapy were available.
The teaching and nursing staff – later house mistresses were introduced – saw an exceptional able and experienced group of people dedicated to help and care for the girls.
Wearing of academic gowns was a habit we all got used to – for services and teaching in class.
The founder Headmistress, Miss Francis Hargreaves BA was very appropriate – daughter of a Methodist minister with a degree in History and a former Assistant Head at Kent College for girls. ‘Houses’ had the names of former Lords of the Hunmanby Manors. Gant, Constable, Cecil and Mitford. Knowledge of the historic area of Hunmanby made these names an obvious choice.
The Girl Guides movement gave an additional asset for us all, by the formation of 5 Guide Companies and 2 Brownie Packs - later Guides and the future Duke of Edinburgh Award Schemes.
Staff took training to become Brownie/Guide Captains, taking us through from 2nd & 1st class to the acclaimed Queens Guide Award and Duke of Edinburgh.
The many classroom blackboards saw white and coloured chalk in use – teaching us arithmetic, geometry, science and all other literary work. We had some tuition verbally in foreign language.
Our yearly Calendar of Events kept the pupils occupied, leaving few dull or idle moments.
Each term began and ended with the LAMP service. The symbol of the Lamp – with an in-extinguishable flame – became our schools symbol.
The original copper lamp was donated in the 1930’s by parents. Today the present one is in the care of the Chairman of the Old Girls Association and taken to all branch association meetings – on lighting the lamp these words are repeated.
“May the spirit of the flame burn in you and kindle others hearts”. Long may it continue - even after the schools closure in 1991.
Timetable for the First Term 1928
The early timetable above was much altered and enlarged as the school evolved. Each day, all classes had gymnastic lessons and games periods – Juniors and Seniors, each afternoon.
Every morning the rising bell would sound at 7.15 a.m. All were expected downstairs before 8am.
Dormitory stewards had to see each girl was properly dressed with tidy hair and shoes fastened!
Class work began at 9.45 after morning prayers in the hall/dining room – later the Assembly Hall. In each class a roll call was made by those in charge.
Many of us recall the stimulating gatherings each day of morning prayers. Starting with a chosen pupil coming forward near the lamp and reading a ‘lamp verse’ – a passage from the bible. A form captain took the taper, which had been passed around the entire school and lit the lamp.
A short talk from the Headmistress and any notices were then given before we started lessons. It must be said with the building of the wings – some truly delightful classrooms were included with windows opening out to the quadrangle and with parquet flooring.
The science, cookery and geography rooms possessed excellent equipment – truly an asset for our tuition. The laboratories had every modern item from sinks to funnels, books, shelves and cupboards. Botany and Physics laboratory’s in the North Wing and Cookery room with its slab marble floor and long high windows overlooking Castle Hill, held sewing machines, sinks and stoves and stools. Each table was white wood and was scrubbed at the end of each lesson.
Geography saw a three sided windowed room at the end of the north wing with superb views. All the 6 foot high windows could also be opened onto the quadrangle. There were large and small storing cupboards for sheet maps, graphs and wall charts of every place ‘under the sun’. Measuring items – wooden and metal with specimens of foreign fruits and shells. The central feature in all classrooms and art room were desks, water pots, paper and paint and large double blackboards.
PASTIMES AND HOBBIES OUTSIDE SCHOOL HOURS
These were encouraged, depending on the availability of classes or tutorial rooms being available. A girls-school, so needlework and embroidery were top of the list. Common rooms were available from Forms 1 to Upper 6. Sewing and needlework occupied many pupils. The art room attracted many with paint, pencil and brush to create artistic pieces, often creating their own ideas. Birthday and Christmas cards were drawn and coloured and abstract work that could be painted framed and given as gifts.
The cookery room was available in free time for those interested in baking many dishes, cakes and other edible items. Outdoor activities in free time saw the tennis courts, and table tennis popular with the girls. No-one was permitted to walk outside the grounds during free time. Members of the choir could walk down to join the local Chapel choir during choir rehearsals. Small numbers of pupils enjoyed riding in Filey during Saturday afternoons. Many pupils were keen on photography with beautiful groups of people and scenery ‘shot’. The annual photographic round-up was held in January and February. The head girl collected photographs from pupils to put into one album for the headmistress (F.A.H) on her birthday on the 6th March. It was the duty of the head girl to visit the study on this day and give to the “Birthday girl” at coffee time the album. You may realise that having so many birthdays over the years there were many, many photo albums. These today are in the O.G.A. chairman’s hands to take to branch meetings.
ABLUSIONS – HOUSE MISTRESSES
Teaching “cleanliness is next to godliness” was the belief throughout our school. The bath list for each dormitory was hung on the bathroom door. Three times per week and only a medical excuse saw you exempt. We all had cold baths before breakfast - a tradition led by the Headmistress! We were scrupulously clean from the word go.
Sea bathing was considered to be good for one and that was included in the programme for the summer term. Off went juniors, middle and seniors carried to Filey by the famous “Scott’s bus.” The routine carried out with each group, walking in crocodile from the bus to the bathing tents. Two girls in each, rapidly undressing, standing outside the tent in our costumes to be checked and then scamper down the beach into the sea. We had 25 minutes allowed and we had quite a job drying and putting on our clothes to dash back up the beach for the bus before the next group came to repeat the process.
Were we clean? Housemistresses duties involved them not only making sure we had washed our ears and back of neck they also took bedtime duties. With the baths taken according to rotas, nail cutting, hair brushing and the like before finally turning out the lights at bedtime. Other duties involved overseeing the tidiness of all our cubicles. Bedspreads on straight and no more than two items on the bed i.e. a cuddly toy and a night dress case. Beginning and end of term they oversaw the packing and unpacking of our various clothes and checked the inventories. Night-time, we were supposed to get off the sleep, there was some late supervision in the wings but we know of reading by torch light under the bedclothes was done by many. We had listed bible readings for every dormitory which had to be read silently as we stood outside our cubicle. Each dormitory had a steward and an assistant, namely 6th formers who were responsible for their girls. If a fire drill was staged as a rehearsal they had to cope with all their sleepy children in the dormitory. The dorm stewards had a lot to cope with. Home sickness, illness, clothing repairs etc- we remember them with great affection.
ACHIEVEMENT IN SPORT
Being a rather ‘young’ school we had to climb a few ladders in various spheres. Games and sport were some of them. We had to aim for excellence in tennis, netball, cricket and lacrosse. We had to put together excellent players in teams to compete against other schools. We also staged Manor Matches in all these sports. Our regular opponents were Queen Margarets School in Scarborough (now in Escrick) Bridlington High School, Harrogate College, Belmont, Skelfield and some from further a field.
Pupils with their aims set on winning brought great credit to our school. Some pupils good at cricket were elected to play for the school cricket team in Canada and each summer term saw tennis teams playing in the Aberdare cup held in London. Our sports clothes consisted of short tennis dresses, white pumps and blazers in the summer. Navy shorts, red socks and striped scarves with coats saw us at the matches with game staff.
These members of staff were from PE colleges at Bedford, Dartford and I.M. Moat in Liverpool and Chelsea - all very popular with us but with heavy timetables. Organised games every day with rules and staff in control were for every pupil. The extra subject chosen and paid for by parents was riding. Such a popular pastime saw pupils of all ages riding in Filey. Told frequently by our headmistress horse riding was one of the best forms of exercise for the body. Owning her own pony she often rode in the park. The first animal was a brown animal, then a skewbald named Toby. I did enjoy riding him from time to time. Manor team competitions were staged in all events. Those mentioned earlier and equestrian teams. Manor teams wore appropriate coloured sashes when competing. From early beginnings, this outdoor activity produced Cynthia Black (nee Hayden) who is known nationally for her breeding of Hackney ponies and competing internationally in carriage driving. The Hurstwood stud in Gloucestershire was the achievement of our one time pupil. Becoming president of the Hackney Horse Society, the National Pony Society, the British Driving association, the coaching club and official of the F.E.I. judge. Her MBA was given in honour of all her work over the year for the HORSE.
From riding on the beach in Filey and in green fields nearby we had tuition from the early days from grooms of the David Burr Riding School, Filey. On its closure, at Brookland Riding Academy in Hunmanby. Later pupils were taught at Snainton near Scarborough.
SOUNDS – VIBRATIONS AND NOISES
You can well imagine that groups of young girls together did make noises by talking, singing and even calling out through the hours of daylight.
Bedrooms, corridors, passages all echoed to the girls voices.
Outdoors were happy sounds of laughter in free time and yet more voices of staff instructing pupils in their games and exercises.
Silence reigned in morning prayers and when Grace was said before meals.
Musical sounds were obvious in the Assembly Hall, musical cubicles – later the organ and violins joining the chorus.
The Manor Music Competitions had choirs practising – Junior, Middle Schools and Seniors for the appropriate trophies.
Pupils practices for the examinations of the Royal School of Music in London. The school choir won the Challenge trophy at the Whitby Musical Festival for several years. We did have some opposition in the vibrant sounds of the wild life in the school grounds – namely rooks on Castle Hill, seagulls from the coast and bats flying all year round
The safety of the pupils and staff was of course the Headmistress’s responsibility. The regular grounds men at the school were called on duty at such times. All P.E. staff were in charge of the arrangements, should an emergency occur. There were normally four P.E. staff at the school. Names, lists of girls in dormitories and classrooms hung with pencil attached in both these places. The class teacher calling names out at the drill.
The fire drill practices were very regular. Fortunately - during my time at the school, there were only practices.
The alarm was given by both electric and hand bell - with whistles also by the grounds men.
Each of us had ’Fire Stations’ to get to as quickly as possible. There were in the west drive and tennis courts. Both for daytime and night time practices - SILENCE had to be kept. We stayed in form rows in silence until told we could return to our rooms/places of teaching etc.
As growing children, several hurdles had to be overcome. Home-sickness - each term of half term after bidding farewell to parents and friends was a regular problem.
Remedial attention was always on hand - each morning and evening there were ‘surgeries’ with the nurse in charge available to hand out tablets, personally named for a pupil, to temperature taking. In a serious case when the pupil was ill they were sent to the school Sanatorium and put to bed for the school doctor to see and advise.
In our day horrible infectious diseases were suffered. Mumps, measles, rubella and scarlet fever. You could be certain in the 20-40’s these four diseases would come to Hunmanby and leave dozens of girls in the Sanatorium for weeks and weeks afterwards with side effects.
Thankfully we had an active group of nurses and visiting assistants - the doctor from Hunmanby Village and later the Head Medical from Lloyds Hospital in Bridlington looking after us. You can imagine the great task and responsibility on the medical staff for 250 girls. There were accidents and some crippled children on the playing fields, falls with sprained ankles, broken arms and also falls when riding. Personally I experienced my arm in a sling for 6 weeks following trapping my finger in a swing door when going to my music lesson - the top of my finger being cut off.
Every morning in the gym (not weekends) there were ‘Remedials - girls were sent to attend for exercises for weak joints, back problems and I had to go and learn to use my left hand to write whilst my arm was in a sling. Several pupils were sent to our school suffering from breathing difficulties because it is know East Riding is so pure and good for those with respiratory problems.
When in 1945 on return from evacuation I was a member of Staff (a trained physiotherapist) I was allocated to take the remedial classes for the girls!
Food played a great part in our growing up and away from home cooking by our mothers. The domestic matron in charge of staff residents and visitors made sure that at each meal, our milk, bread and fresh fruit were of the highest quality and plentiful. It really was excellent and so, so tasty.
CONDITIONS UNDER EVACUATION
In July, 1940, the Governors had to make arrangements for evacuation. For the Senior School, Wheatley Lawn, Ben Rhydding, Ilkley, with four neighbouring houses, was taken. Ben Rhydding, lying as it does in the heart of the Yorkshire Moors, is easily accessible and situated in one of the most beautiful of the Yorkshire Dales. Both Wheatley Lawn and the other houses are charmingly placed and excellently equipped.
For the Middle and Junior School, Armathwaite Hall and Bassen Fell, Bassenthwaite near Keswick, were secured. Theses premises have proved most suitable for our purposes.
A well-wooded deer park of over a hundred acres in extent adjoins Armathwaite Hall, which has in recent years been one for the most popular Lake District Hotels.
As the two centres are no great distance apart, Miss Hargreaves is able to keep personal control of both, supported by a staff which has been associated for many years with Hunmanby Hall.
At Ben Rhydding the girls attended the Methodist Church on Sunday morning and evening. Bible classes are conducted by the Rev. W.H. Beales, MA. At Bassenthwaite services are held at the school. These are conducted by Methodist Ministers who visit for this purpose, and Bible classes are held by members of the staff.
Northern and London School’s University Examination
As a junior you sat an entrance examination for entry into Hunmanby Hall. As a pupil, the school timetable kept you ahead in all subjects - literacy, scientific and mathematical.
At the end of your fourth year having written numerous school exam papers you were faced with your Public Exam - Early years supplied by the Northern Examination Board and later the London one.
According to your ability you first sat for the school certificate and two years later the Higher School Certificate. From 1930- 1970 is a space time. The examinations, changing names to G.C.S.E. (General Certificate of Secondary Education) and A levels (Advanced)
To sit these papers - both our Gymnasium and Assembly Hall were used - chairs and tables/desks for the pupils. The blackboard carried details of times etc and staff chair beside.
You were allowed a ten minute ‘read’ of the exam paper - then pen to paper for two and a half hours began. The clock on your watch kept you writing until the staff called papers in.
After each session much chatter about the question and remarks about how you might have done.
The School Premises - Old and New
The early years of Hunmanby were very rural. Farmhouses and barns, cottages and a village main street with a church and some houses.
The old cottages remaining within the school grounds in 1928 comprises: ‘The Ruined Gate’(Low Lodge), Castle House, The Round Gate House and stables with grooms accommodation above. Thanks to the Osbaldeston family there efforts to bring character and elegance to the area. And enhancing the landscape with trees around the Hall in the early 1800’s Beautifully designed and still to be seen today the 3 storey oblong house with protruding wings, courtyards was typical of the day. Stone capped fireplaces in oak panelled rooms, large long windows with wooded shutters against the sun. Sculptures plasterwork ceilings and magnificent wooden staircases. The bedrooms had views across the park with bathroom adjacent and iron bath, water tanks and toilets flushed by the long chained handles.
Logs from the woodland came in handy for the rooms in the winter.
The ‘H’ letter ground plan with front and back entrances the former facing east over Filey Bay had a carriage driveway up a short incline from the village the rear entrance featured a small paved patio with a central well, walled edging and steps down to external wooden entrance doors in the wing. For the most part the northern side of the Halls wing had kitchen, scullery and pantry on the ground floor with the servants bedrooms above in the same wing.
A photograph taken in the year of the Mitfords residency show the exact lines of this beautiful building before alterations in 1928. An architectural ‘kink’ came in the Elizabethan era that houses should be constructed in the form of the letter ‘H’ Hunmanby was no exception. A walk around today will show the stone work, floors and fireplaces still in place and some of the baths and parka flooring.
The Modern Residential Wings
In order to accommodate some 250 pupils more premises had to be built, these took the form of north, south and west wings surrounding the paved and grassed quadrangle. Local builders and architect worked hand in hand and created a more than excellent set of buildings.
They contained a dozen classrooms, Assembly Hall, bathroom facilities for 200 or more pupils and staff. The three storey blocks with sash paned window faced across the quad towards Filey Bay. The rear facing the countryside around. Red brick and grey roof tiles were put together to look attractive.
From the West drive a beautifully fronted arch way stood on top of a short flight of stone steps looking through a stone roofed portico onto the quad. A small fish pond was the centre piece of the quad and grass lawns and birch trees made an attractive setting. There were short flights of stone steps up to the west, south and north wings. The flooring of the dormitories was parquet with long corridors and tall windows to let in the light. The ‘specialist’ tutorial rooms included cookery or domestic science room , art room, 2 science labs and a gymnasium. The dormitories all had large bathrooms on each wing, small twin bedrooms had their own bash bowls as in the staff rooms. Each dormitory had wood panelled cubicles (10-12 in the small dorms and 24 to 26 in the larger ones.) Every pupil would be allocated their own cubicle at the start of each new term. The space in each allowed for a 6 foot single bed, dressing table and chair. Each cubicle had a large window. The height of the partitions was door height and no more.
With the attractive surroundings of the school, each cubicle had an attractive view from the window. It has been remarked that the dormitories were quite the best of any boarding school in England.
Following the schools closure all these have been readapted and made into residential flats.
Great Changes at our School
After a period of 27 years - our Founder Headmistress called it a day in 1955.
The assets she brought to Hunmanby - daughter of a Methodist Minister - History graduate, together with her good physical health - were a great help to her fulfilling her task of Headmistress satisfactorily.
The year of 1955 saw a new Headmistress, again from Methodist parents, and a university degree. Rather her shy personality - hid away other excellent features - there was no ‘Foundations to be laid’ but to keep up the number of pupils and work to forward the schools ideals. We all know of her interest in each pupil - kindness and care for their needs and how the girls liked their new head very much.
Alas, health problems saw her retirement of this headmistress after several years.
In 1967, another change, with a new named person to lead our school. Coming from the South Coast in Hampshire. Miss Bray, with her Methodist background and a well respected member of the B.B.C’s Religious Broadcasting Panel and also a local commissioner on the Guide Movement was appointed.
More, sometimes rash changes were made under her direction - parents did query that she had any academic qualifications - almost a MUST you would think?
In her years at school the Golden Jubilee occurred with quite an amazing collection of events. Regretably, Reverand Pratt Green who was to have taken the celebratory morning service did not attend owing to an accident.
With extra ordinary changes in school uniform and lavish carpeting and decorative items, throughout the place fell into a Contemporary Historic Complex. The many clothing items still talked about today.
Health problems ended the era under this the third headmistress. Regretably, her retirement years led to more ill health back in Hampshire.
Taking her place in 1979 - the then deputy head took the appointment for the next 10 years 1979-1988. A different and very charming leader - MA degree and family of methodist background in the Hull area and Yorkshire born. For the next 10 years we were guided successfully by an attractive, vital person - with full knowledge of the school traditions and interest. Progress was good.
Another headmistress was sought to take over - when we learnt that for personal reasons the third headmistress was to leave - taking an appointment nearer to London.
Our replacement was a lady from Northumberland. M.A. Hons and eager for a headship. She had been a staff member at a school in Glasgow.
From 1988-1991 we saw more changes - routine work and games changes and the uniform again.
Preparing for the Diamond Jubilee in 1997, no-one had a thought of the schools closure - but alas, unknown to us - behind the scenes things were really poor in money ways.
A brief and quick announcement in the summer of 1991 - told the world that the school wanted to close in May of that year. The then headmistress returned to her home county and family in the North.
The Fawett Library
1936 saw contributions and donations subscribing to the building of a school Library. Named after a prime donator as the Fawcett Library, it was a large detached building situated upon Castle Hill inside the school’s grounds. Today, 2005, it is a private residence.
This proved a great asset to the pupils, they could now study in purpose-built premises provided with all the appropriate books. Complete silence was mandatory and there was always a member of staff on duty to enforce this rule.
Subscriptions took many forms. Direct, endowed and the right of any pupil or parent to subscribe ‘nine-pence’ (in old money’) to buy a brick. Interestingly, some coins from the ‘brick collection’ were carefully inserted into the cement mortar between the bricks whilst it was still moist and can still be found by careful examination. Many parents also subscribed books or money with which to buy same.
The downstairs consisted of the main library room which was beautifully panelled-out in oak. Upstairs were five staff bedrooms and adjacent toilet facilities.
When completed the library provided pupils with a fine area for quiet study – instead of, as previously, they had to find a free classroom or similar. Until the building of this librarythe Castle Hill section of the Hall ground had always been completely ‘out-of-bounds’ to the pupils. Now of course, it was necessary to cross part of Castle Hill to gain access to the library.
The Methodist Church
The opening of our school in 1928 at Hunmanby Hall was an epic. Our school was established through much care and thought by the Founders. Together with a worthy team of Governors from several parts of Yorkshire.
The older Methodist schools - Woodhouse Grove and Ashville College in Harrogate had in Hunmanby Hall a ‘sister school’ The religious background established had pupils from Roman Catholic and local schools. The pupils attended weekly services on Sunday in the Chapel in the village and daily morning prayers in the School Assembly Hall.
Evening services each week at the school saw many visiting preachers - some who had daughters at the school.
To name but a few- Rev Butterworth, Rev Hopkins and Rev Gibson. The Sunday morning services at the Bridlington Street Chapel saw 250 pupils walking in crocodile down from the school. In navy blue suits with hats and gloves they added greatly to the village congregation. Our musical contribution to the service was noticeable - the choirs and some had solos arranged.
The Christian belief was established in us all and our School became an extremely happy and well run place of education.
The schools first chaplain was the Rev. F. Prett Green - the well known hymn writer. He and his successors took classes of girls for preparation into the Methodist Church - an annual service being held in the chapel.
The school progressed and from 1928 - its silver, golden and diamond jubilees - each with significant services to celebrate, Girls of families for the Church of England had their preparation classes for membership conducted in the church vestry with confirmation services at All Saints Church.
Ancient and Modern
It can well be said that the schools evacuation did disrupt routines established pre 1939.
Returning to the premises from West Yorkshire and Cumbria - much had to be done to erase all traces of the military units that were at our school during the war.
Much joinery and carpentry was needed. Surfaces damaged by army boots and heavy plant etc were just some necessary repairs.
The staff of the school had to be enlarged owing to the extra number of pupils now on the role. We gained pupils from the areas mentioned.
Nearly 380 girls saw for two terms all the junior and staff housed at a hotel at Primrose Valley. Some older girls and staff had ’dips’ in the village. Quite a new arrangement.
The enlargement of the staff numbers saw much younger graduates coming into teaching. Some of the original staff were nearing their retirement - so Modern Times were ahead of us - never forgetting the ’Family Feeling’ we had as a school.
Soon a change of Headmistress faced us all and the Post War Years changes again.
In keeping with the world outside school, Things were changing and the things which we knew about - you need no longer wear a hat for church! The girls had more freedom to walk into the village to make purchases in the shops.
Pupils could go home at visiting weekends and stay overnight - Not done previously.
There were Saturday night ballroom dances with visiting ’boy’ pupils from Scarborough College and later Woodhouse Grove.
We noticed changes in timetables and food. Some of which was supplied ’frozen’. Not quite the same as matron’s home made. New uniforms appeared and less fuss was made about wearing UNIFORM shoes!
An increase in nursing staff came as the numbers to cope with were larger. Another observation - two of the PE staff newly appointed had such a modern way of teaching. They even assisted in their free time if teams were practising in free time for Manor matches in all games.
The gymnasium saw the introduction of balancing bars and exercise mats. Teams were still taking part in all sports against other schools.
Little did we know that soon a full sized netball pitch was to appear in a new Sports Hall - courtesy of donations and organisations with qualified people - as a farewell gift in the name of our third Headmistress.
Today and before the school closed this hall saw indoor games and sports - gymnastics, badminton etc. for all the pupils.
Now known as Hunmanby Leisure and Sports Hall it has a thriving number of participants, with shower and changing rooms, car park and soft drinks bar and a weekly programme of tutorial classes for the under 5’s, over 50’s and those others who care to exercise.
The present owners of the Sports Complex and the Parkland have to many peoples delight constructed a 9 hole (perhaps 18 hole, by now) golf link for all to come and play. A well thought out piece of modern development on what was our school grounds.
With the renovations of the premises it is a pleasure to tell you that both sets of gates have had some repairs and repainting and can be seen on the entrances today. The West Gate has been widened - therefore the gates stay open, being rather smaller than the new entrance. They too bear the four manor crests on them.
For years to come - we hope we shall have a cake for every O.G. Reunion. The 70th year event held back at the school, saw the trained home economics members who make the cakes now - for the most part - can be recommended for their skills in making and decorating them.
One celebration that lacked GATES - was the entrance to the schools lavish bungalow - built at Hunmanby Gap - courtesy of one of the governors from Otley, some years ago.
The steep incline and uncertainty of the terrain at the Gap - just did not make a decorative or special pair of gates or practical thing to attempt!
In closing - another Gateway has appeared in the West wall and nearby the Green Gate for the use of the new residents at the Hall.
From the start we learnt that the Headmistress was not in favour of speech days at all.
We learnt at our Manor Meetings how we were coming along in our learning and physical abilities and were awarded grades or marks for our achievements.
It wasn’t until the third headmistress took over that speech days were started.
Arranged as part of a visiting weekend for the parents, these very formal occasions took place in the Spa Hall, Bridlington and Queen Street Chapel in Scarborough.
Formal clothing to the fore - the Headmistress giving the opening remarks and a V.I.P spoke prior to present our prizes.
One by one the pupils name and subject were read out and the girl or girls concerned walked to the platform to receive either certificate or cup. The cups accrued by the school were over the years gifts from parents. Each bearing the event for which it was meant and the donors name and date e.g. The Manor Riding Cup or the Tennis Cup donated by Mr. & Mrs. Briggs. The team trophy for netball etc.
Awards - framed and with names and inscriptions were awarded to the girl/s concerned at the appropriate place in the school- Assembly Hall, Old Hall, Dining Hall and the tennis courts or cricket fields and netball pitches. All the pupil certificates for elocution, pianoforte, singing, cookery and the like were handed by the Head or eminent person to the pupil or group concerned at various times of the term - in a Town or Public Hall with the entire school transported to the location by coach.
The Flourishing School - Post War
Numbers were well up and progress in many spheres - the premises being well cared for - domestic staff, foreman and gardeners - all making the premises fresh, clean and up to standard.
Extensions were planned for the sixth form - improving their study on the North Wall - enlargement of the place known as ‘COS’.
In addition a wing block was planned nearby on the same west side of the school Assembly Hall.
The construction of these new premises was kept in time with the old wings - the red brick and oblong windows, grey/green roof. Earlier I mentioned the pageant known as the Saga of Hunmanby. It was written and created around the many and varied historical facts and happenings at Hunmanby by the one time Chairman of our Governors.
The new building or wing was duly given his name - and included on the second floor a suite of rooms designed for the sole use of Home Economics - sewing and cooking - again given the name of our dear member - WILLIE.
At this stage of our schools life everyone had a lot to be thankful for. The new buildings added to the facilities available - a needlework room with modern facilities of every kind - sewing machines, materials, a library of instruction manuals and lots more space to work in - not sitting round cookery room tables on wooden stools.
There was room in the Blakeston Wing to hang pupils artwork and stage commemorative exhibition when needed.
An official opening ceremony brought a eminent O.G. back to her school for the ceremony.
The outdoor facilities saw four new hard courts build on the east side of the park. The matches, be they Manor ones or against other school teams would see us in high chairs on all six of our tennis courts.
To swim or learn to in the sea at Filey Bay was no longer continued. Classes instead took tuition from our staff who escorted them and the staff in the South Bay Outdoor Swimming Pool in Scarborough.
In the science scene - many more pupils were encouraged to go out on expeditions. To the local hedgerows and farms (with permission) to search for birds, plants and foliage - to write about and study. At the Gap - marine life and the famous fossil filled cliffs - were another interest. Often crabs and jellyfish were washed ashore to take a look at - make a drawing of or take a sample back to the lab.
Trees features throughout or life at Hunmanby. Who could fail to notice the extreme beauty of those planted around our park centuries ago.
There were regular tree planting in the far parkland - forms taking part in the ceremonies. Each tree carefully fenced round to allow it to be safe and grow to maturity. Sycamores and ash were preferred. Though one large oak stands today - duly planted to replace one that blew down quite near to the cricket pavilion.
Every girl in the school took part if only a walk-on or dancing piece. It was a real delight.
The arrival of the Vikings on the coast made the start - the first scene ‘The Kings Sails East’ In it the king directs his war - like servants in these words ‘ You must stay here and govern - as Lord of the Manor etc etc.
The unexpected retort from said servants. Nay, noble king no peaceful task for me. The Battlefield for me. Another gesture from another servant Hund - the name Hund evolving to Hundemanebi and later Hunmanby.
I happened to place Guthlac – robber - as a Viking, metal helmet and shield and sword - mini tunic type shirt and hessian bands bound for leg covering (not trousers!)
Following the detailed talk I gave in 2003 to you in the library on the SAGA of HUNMANBY - there is a printed copy to borrow on the shelves. I did stage a costumed sketch - mini size people dressed as Lord of the Manor in addition Viz Gilbert de Gaunt, Marmaduke Constable, Lord Cecil, Admiral Mitford, Sir Dennis Readett Bayley.
In medieval England it was common practice to gather men to form an army. The wars amongst enemies were rife. So the Dukes would gather workers from rural farms to join their ranks as soldiers - so in the SAGA this act was recalled in Sir Marmaduke coming to collect any ‘men folk’ from Hundemanebi to fight with him in the north.
A similar effort saw volunteers going as soldiers to the crusades across the water. Large numbers of these were represented by girls, there leader riding on horseback to go and take part in the crusades.
Shall we never forget dear Robin Hood - riding around Britain as he did and naturally Hundemanebi was on his re-make. We had a very happy time dresses all in green tunics as he called on this pipe to attract us all. Just another side of life for our Manor continues as characterised in the SAGA.
The staff who tutored us to perform this historical pageant had to teach several dances to us all from the Minuet, the Flamborough Sword dance, Maypole dancing and the Horn Pipe. There was a scene dominated by the sea faring men who were around on the East Coast shores - another scene to see.