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Outwood Primary

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By Helen Morgan

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Published on Facebook Mar 2023
Last Updated 11/7/2023

 

Over 100 years history of a farming family but the story of the land goes way back.

Outwood Farm

The Cheshire Tithe map of 1839 shows the many acres owned by the Bruckshaw family. To give you an idea, the field that is in the top right corner, called Further Long Lane Field, would eventually be sold to build Long Lane Chapel [Ed: United Reformed Church], taking its name from the field and road.     In field number 479, on the country lane was the farmhouse, garden and outbuilding within 1 acre, 1 rod and 20 perches. In 1841 John Bruckshaw lived there with his wife Hannah and their children, Ralph aged 1 and newly born John. Their servants were Ralph Holbrook aged 15 and 14 year old Elizabeth Moult. They owned around 43 acres of land from a small orchard to meadows, arable and pasture lands.
 

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Fig. 1 Bruckshaw Fields, 1839 
© Cheshire Tithe Maps Online

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By 1810, the fields of Bolshaw and Outwood had been enclosed, later than other parts of the county, and farms had sprung up including Outwood Road farm  . Some of these fields were called flatts. There was Higher Long Flatt, Bleak Flatt and Lower Long Flatt. The word flatt goes way back to medieval times. It referred to fertile soil that was cultivated when fields were open before the Inclosure Act, when old cottages were then demolished to make way for farmland  . However, adjacent to Bruckshaw’s land, along Long Lane itself, were two small plots that retained their original cottages. These small holdings created kinks in the road where waste land had been inhabited before the Inclosure Act and they were known as purprestures (the illegal encroachment of one party upon the land of another)  . Once the cottages were demolished they became part of Bruckshaw’s farmland. In plot 462 stood 2 cottages and gardens owned by the Bruckshaws but occupied by the Warringtons. Plot 460 was a house and garden owned and occupied by John Crank. Hannah Crank had married John Bruckshaw.

By 1851 the Bruckshaw family had increased considerably. Ralph was now 11 and John 10. They also had three daughters. Sarah aged 9, Mary aged 6 and Ann aged 5, along with another son, Henry aged 2. Also living with them was Hannah’s father, now a widower, John Crank.

The 1861 census showed that the family had continued to expand and there were now 10 living at the farmhouse. Another son and daughter, Hannah aged 9 and Colin aged 4, had arrived in those 10 years. John was obviously proud to state that he was a farmer of 62 acres and Hannah was a farmer’s wife along with his 2 eldest sons, Ralph and John now aged 21 and 20 stating their occupations as farmer’s sons. Sarah was a house maid, Mary a dairy maid and Ann a dressmaker. The youngest members of the family, Henry now 12 and Hannah were scholars with nothing stated for their youngest, Colin.

By 1871 Ralph, their eldest son, had moved out into Heald Green House, on Styal Road (now
Irvin Drive) and was living with 2 sisters, Sarah Foster and Elizabeth Mottershead, who were taking in laundry to make ends meet. His occupation was stated as a farm servant. There must have been a reason why the eldest son of a notable farmer, with lots of land, would have moved away to attend someone else’s farm. John the father was now 65 and stating landowner as his occupation and Hannah his wife was now 57. Their second son John, an agricultural labourer, aged 30 still lived and worked there, along with their oldest daughter Sarah, now 29, a female servant. Her sisters Mary and Ann are no longer on this census. Now in their mid-20s they may well have been married off. That left Henry, an agricultural labourer, Hannah, a domestic servant and Colin, a scholar.


In 1876 John the father had died. Therefore, by the 1881 census his widow Hannah, now 67, was the head of the household. She held 40 acres of land and her eldest son Ralph had returned as the farm bailiff. Her second son John was not on this census. Sarah her eldest daughter, still single at 38 was at the farm, along with Henry, Hannah and Colin. They had taken in a boarder called Charles Barker, a single 38 year old, who had retired from the army on a pension.

Another 10 years passed and by 1891 Hannah, now 76 years of age, was still the head of the household. Having lived her whole life as a farmer, in an age of manual labour, she must have been one tough old lady. She classed her occupation as a farmer along with all the remaining male members of the family, Ralph, Henry and Colin. Sarah her eldest daughter, now 48 herself, was still there too. The family also had a domestic servant in 15 year old Hannah Wilkinson. After this census Colin married Annie Maddocks and they moved to Brookfield Farm further down Outwood Road (where Avon Road estate is now). They had 2 sons, John Edmund and James Moreton along with 4 daughters, Florence Ethel, Annie Evelyn, Violet Emily and Sarah Elizabeth. Sadly, Florence died.

By 1901 Hannah had passed away. Her eldest son Ralph, still at the house as a boarder, and now 61, had passed the reins over to Henry the third son, who at 50 years of age, became head of the household. Henry’s older sister Sarah was now the housekeeper. Annie Clark a 23 year old domestic servant lived there along with 2 cattle boys. They were 17 year old Samuel Beard and 14 year old Robert Daniel.

In 1911 Henry was still the farmer and head of the household along with his spinster sister Sarah. His older sister Ann returned to the farmhouse as a widow aged 65 named Ann Hankinson. The Hankinson family were farmers at Griffin Farm on Wilmslow Road (where the new Bloor estate is being built). A 12 year old niece, Ethel Bruckshaw and still at school was there too. (The photo below of Outwood Road Farmhouse, is one of hers and can be found in the museum library within the book, Long Lane Cheadle Remembered). 18 year old Joseph Beard, perhaps the younger brother of Samuel, was the milk driver on the farm. Here’s where it gets tricky though! A boy called George Grimshaw lived there as well. His occupation was a teamster on the farm. That meant that he would look after the horses on the farm attending to their feeding, watering and bedding. He would also harness and drive a team of horses on a plough. No mean feat at any age. However, the census states that he was 4 years old and born in 1907!!! I have looked at the original census and his age did have 2 numbers but only 4 is clearly visible. He may have been 24, much more likely, but that does not tie up with his birth date. A glitch in the system.
 

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Fig. 2 Outwood Road Farm
© Miss Ethel Bruckshaw
(from the book, Long Lane Cheadle Remembered)

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By 1911 Ann Bruckshaw, Colin’s widow aged 54, was still at Brookfield Farm. However, by 1921 she moved to Outwood Road Farm as head of the household. The farm was now classed as 42 Outwood Road. Her eldest son John Edmund had died in 1919. Her second son James, lived at the farm as the manager. Her 2 daughters Evelyn and Sarah aged 19 and 14 lived there too. Evelyn was a milliner. Her other daughter Violet, not on this census, would go on to marry James Hankinson. The assistant housekeeper was her sister Edith Maddocks. On the day of the census, Annie Hankinson, a retired lady aged 45 was visiting. There was also a milk boy called Horace Williams who was 20.

Onto the 1939 register. James was now head of the household and his occupation was dairy farmer/heavy worker. Hannah his wife was assisting her husband. There was a bungalow in the grounds of number 42, but no one was living in it.
What an incredible journey through the Bruckshaw’s generations. I am assuming that up until the early 1960s the family continued to farm right up until the farmland was sold for the building of
Outwood Road School.

 

A New School

The population explosion occurring in our village in the late 1950s and early 1960s was a cause of great concern for the Ratepayers Association. Farmland was disappearing and new housing estates were being built without the infrastructure to support them. At this time there was only Etchells Primary School, built in 1932, to cater for the children of the village. Shadow Moss School had shut in 1961 and children from the Styal Road end of the village were having to go to St Wilfred’s in Northenden along with children around the other end of the village walking to either Cheadle or Handforth for their education.  Opposite Bruckshaw’s farm the new Manchester overspill estate, of newly built corporation houses, was adding to the burden of new children into the catchment area. Something had to be done and quickly.
 

The very first Ratepayer’s Contact magazine of October 1962 had a 2-page spread about “Your child’s education”. Previously they had canvassed the area to gain a true reflection of how many children were in the village, so that they could be armed with the correct information before approaching the council, where they “bullied, cajoled and pestered the life out of Cheshire County Council.”   The front cover of this first magazine showed an artist’s impression of the new school, built to relieve the congestion at Etchells.

The following February more news came from the
Ratepayers. The new school was catering for 260 children from ages between 5 and 10 plus and could hold up to 320. An Outwood Road campus was to be built made up of this school, a new infant school that was to be built adjacent to it and a secondary modern building to complete the education of the pupils. The infant and junior schools could take up to 650 children. Prospect Vale Primary was also nearing completion and it was hoped that of the 620 children at Etchells, 170 would transfer over leaving 450, still a huge number. Lum Head Farm Primary being built was on the cards too, all to alleviate the numbers.

 

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Fig. 3 Contact Magazine, Oct 1962
© Ratepayers' Association
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The rapid increase in pupil numbers was having an effect on secondary school numbers also. Cheadle Kingsway County Secondary School for Girls was nearing completion to alleviate pressure on Cheadle Broadway which was co-educational. Once opened the girls would transfer to the new school  . With thanks to Antony A Pownall for these before and after photos taken from his bedroom window in his family (Colin took his with the camera on the end of a pole to try and reach a similar height).
 

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Fig. 4 Outwood Road Farm, 1960
© Anthony A Pownall
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Fig. 5 Outwood Primary, 1962
© Anthony A Pownall
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Fig. 6 Outwood Primary, 2021
© Colin Barnsley
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On April 5th, 1963, the school opened officially, although children had been attending since 25th June 1962. Mr. K. Husband was welcomed as the Headteacher and he declared it “a pleasant place to work in.” The school had 220 children on roll of which 200 had transferred from Cheadle Etchells. The site was 4.2 acres and could manage 320 children. The dining room was equipped to serve 200 meals a day. The new school had modern equipment like a film-strip projector, tape and record player and a wireless with speakers and equipment for physical education. There were lots of windows for natural light and Mr. Husband said that the building was much appreciated by parents, pupils and staff, many of whom had worked in uninspiring, overcrowded schools. He was confident of delivering “educational opportunities of a high order”   .
 

"First day of the school, in the playground, parents and kids, while Mr. Husband made a speech and gave out who was to go in each class. Morning assembly always began as we were seated on the floor with classical music. I can still remember some of the pieces and I’m sure that gave me a love for the music...playing football with a tennis ball at break time. A walk to look at the local fauna and flora in the field which had a pond, at the side of the school between the school and Wilmslow Road. I seem to remember some trees there which was an old orchard.”
- Mike Sadler, Facebook, 2022

"I remember the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy and the William Tell Overture, which to me back in 1962 meant the Lone Ranger Theme.

At break time you could buy biscuits in your classroom, Rich Tea were 1/2d each but Fruit Shortcake cost 1d. These went with your bottle of milk, which had been left standing in the sun, yuk! One memory was of a school trip to Blackpool Illuminations on Bullocks Coaches. We were all looking forward to going in the amusements and spending our pennies. No such luck. The coach drove straight down the prom to Bispham, through the lights and then back home. The only stop was at a public toilet near Preston.

Another trip with Bullocks was a school holiday trip to Rothesay in Scotland. On the way back, on the newly opened M6, the coach caught fire and everyone was evacuated onto the hard shoulder to await a replacement coach. Happily, no one was injured.”

- Graham Bloxsome, Facebook, 2022

"I seem to remember that all pupil disputes were threatened to be settled after school at the Beech Tree Pub...although I never actually remember any such thing ever happening. I also remember a group of us being summoned to Mr. Husband’s office for a telling off for throwing snowballs over the hedge onto Outwood Road at any passing cars!”
- Andy Poole, Facebook, 2022

"I attended Outwood Road (infants) before transferring in juniors to Bolshaw Road School. I have one abiding memory as follows. One Monday I forgot to bring in my dinner money, so that lunchtime, thinking I wouldn’t be entitled to a meal, I walked out of school, crossing a major road to get home, where luckily my mum (who usually worked) was in. She was astounded and took me back to school where I was summoned into Mr. Husband’s office to be reassured that even if I forgot my dinner money, I was still entitled to a meal and must not, under any circumstances, walk back home!”
- Fran Wynter, Facebook, 2022

"I was there in 1965/6. I was taught by Mr. Clarke (Nobby). He was a bullying **** who used to tell us to pull our stockings down to hit our legs with a ruler. He also hit us on the head with a blackboard duster. I always wanted to teach him the word socks and hit him in the head when he got it wrong...perhaps it’s time I got over it?”
- Mike Heyes, Facebook, 2023

"I remember the abacus. If you had one on your desk you were highly privileged. The height of technology at the time! I went to Outwood Infants before Matlock opened its doors around 1966/67. Half of my class would eventually be shipped off to Bolshaw. It was a sad day when it happened, losing a best friend, a few tears were shed. Very strange going back to a half empty class.”
- Colin Wolstenholme, Facebook, 2023

"I loved that school and was there for the official opening. We were allowed to use biros to write with! Mr. Husband was the Headteacher, Mr. Cottis was our class teacher. It was my job as “monitor” every Monday morning to collect the flowers from the nursery (now Avon Road) for using in the hall. Such happy memories.”
- Lynda Heyes, Facebook, 2023

Rising Numbers

By September 1964, the schools in the village were still struggling with the increases in the number of children now living within the village. The situation was of “grave concern” to the Ratepayers Association. The new builds of Outwood and Prospect Vale had alleviated the pressure on Cheadle Etchells but were now suffering from overcrowding themselves. Unfortunately, Lum Head Farm Primary had been delayed, due to the cost of the land that the access road would go on, and this had put more children into Prospect Vale.

“It is a very sad reflection on the times, when we see the danger of the effectiveness of a brand new school with all facilities for giving a good education, being reduced by the number of children that are attending.” With the old MU site behind Queensway being given the go-ahead for 290 more houses to be built, the problem with the schools was only going to get worse. Over the next 5 years classroom numbers of 40+ pupils were expected   . In September 1966 it was noted that the funding for the building of the new Outwood Infants School would be in the 1967/68 budget. It was also hoped that another infant school could be built around the Bradshaw Hall area    .

By December 1966 a new County Infants’ School was being built on land adjacent to the Primary School. Hopefully more new builds were to follow both north and south of Finney Lane as well as around Cheadle Etchells. Secondary education was also being planned in readiness for this explosion of children to move onwards. The Department of Education and Science had included in their 1967/68 budget the building of a Cheadle County Grammar School for Boys to replace the old Moseley Hall Grammar School. All Education Authorities were requested to submit plans for secondary education within their own areas. These were to be comprehensive schools for age ranges from 11 to 18 or at least 16 with a link to a 6th form college    .
There does not seem to have been much of a fanfare on the opening of the infants in September 1967 on Matlock Road. Indeed, there was only one sentence within the Contact Magazine   .

 

"I’d love to see any photos of Matlock Road Infant School. I started school in maybe 1974, in the wonderful Mrs. Mackay’s class for 2 years then “top infants” with Mrs. Southern. I saw Mrs. Mackay a few times as she lived in Cheadle Hulme too and she always remembered me. Happy days.”
- Kate Godfrey, Facebook, 2021

"Mrs Mackay. I remember being mistakenly rounded up with some older kids who had strayed too near to Outwood Junior School ( we weren’t allowed to go too far up the field I recall) and given a good telling off.”
- Mark Bond, Facebook, 2021

"I always remember worrying Dad would embarrass us as he called Mrs. Mackay Mrs. Okie The Noo!”
- Adele Brook, Facebook, 2021

"I started at Outwood Infants in 1966. Miss Fogey was my teacher. Then I moved to the infants at the other end of the field, think it was called Matlock. Mrs. Mackay was my teacher. Then back to Outwood. Year 1 Mrs. Wells, Year 2 Mrs. Rose (born in a leap year), Year 3 Mr. Bury, straight from uni) and Year 4 Miss Bertenshawe (who got married in our year and became Mrs. Fuller)”
- Colin Wolstenholme, Facebook, 2022

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Fig. 7 Looking from Outwood Primary playing field towards where Oakgrove is now. No longer an open field between the 2 school buildings as it was. Nov 2022
© Helen Morgan
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Fig. 8 The infant school is now called Oakgrove but the building still has some original bits. It is now a special educational needs school. Nov 2022
© Helen Morgan
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The AGM meeting held by the Ratepayers in February 1968 stated that the Department for Education had approved 2 new infants’ schools for the budget of 1968/69. One was to be on Cross Road (Bolshaw) and the other was intended to relieve the pressure on Cheadle Etchells   .

By June 1968 there had been many consultations about the education provision for the children of Heald Green. After all there was not just primary education to consider but also secondary and it was at the time when grammar schools were seen as far superior to comprehensive ones. Outwood now had 198 juniors and 199 infants on the roll totalling 397 pupils and this was to be expanded to take on 560 in total over the 2 sites. Etchells was still very full but there were plans to build another infant school on Oak Farm (Price’s farm where Roseacre Drive is now) to alleviate it. Bolshaw was to open shortly and along with Prospect Vale and Lum Head, and with the soon to be built High Grove Infants, the provision was at long last there for primary aged children. With Roundhey and Avon Road estates being built it was thought that the numbers were about covered. Perhaps also, with the new Catholic Church on Finney Lane, parents may have wanted to send their children to a Catholic school?

Heald Green children would need the option of 5 secondary schools in the area. Cheadle County Grammar Schools for boys (once finished) and girls operating around the same site, Kingsway for girls, Broadway for boys and Woods Lane. But no children from our village went to Woods Lane as it was oversubscribed by Cheadle Hulme children. Therefore, a proposal was made for a secondary school to be built alongside Outwood Primary on the corner of Outwood Road and Wilmslow Road. If built it would be co-educational, as times were changing, although many parents still preferred single sex schools. There was no funding proposed at this time. The plan had been sent to the Department of Education as looking ahead it was thought that by 1976, 1100 children from the village would need a new secondary school   .

As usual decisions always come back to finances. In December 1968 Local Government Departments were looking into different ways to organise Local Authority ones. We were Cheadle and Gatley Urban District Council at this time, working with Cheshire Education Committee. Being in North East Cheshire we were stuck between Stockport and Manchester and it seems we would be absorbed into a far larger concern of either place. This had ramifications as they had different budgets and priorities for the new secondary school. If Heald Green was absorbed into Manchester City Council, then the plans might be scrapped in favour of extending somewhere like Poundswick School. If we went into Stockport then the school might get built, but there would be less funding available, as there was a College of Further Education already in Stockport to which the budget was devoted. It became a waiting game to see what would happen in the report of the Royal Commission on Local Government   .

More Memories


On our Heritage Facebook page, I asked for memories of time spent at Outwood School and here are some of them.
 

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"I went there from 1962/63, my son went there in the 90s and now grandson Oliver is in Year 1. I remember going into the assembly hall to watch the moon landings on the TV. I also remember the lovely Mrs. Rose and Mrs. Wilson who told us off when we ran in the corridors. Also, the honour of being the staff room monitor, washing the cups of the teachers. Loads of very happy memories.”
- Debra Whittaker, Facebook, 2022

"I was there from 1964-69. Mrs. Wilson was my teacher. I remember watching the moon landing on the TV in the hall.”
- James Roscoe, Facebook, 2022

"Fond memories of Outwood Primary, I played netball there.”
- Joanna Leigh, Facebook, 2022

"I remember standing in the long corridor having the annual “eye test”, hand over the eye reading the card miles up the corridor (1963 onwards). Mrs. Rose was the loveliest of teachers. too.”
- Susan Franklin, Facebook, 2022

"So many memories. Most memorable were trips to Belgium and the following year to the Isle of Man when the TT races were on. Wonder which teacher was into motorbikes?”
- Michael Clarke, 2022

"Seem to remember a trip to London for a few days, think we stayed somewhere near Sevenoaks, Kent. Possibly 1968/69. I was there from 1964-70.”
- Andy Poole, Facebook, 2022

"I was there between 1965-71. First headmaster was Mr. Husband then Mr. Howe. Other teachers included Mrs. Rose, Mrs. Wilson and Mrs. Adshead. I think Mr. Bury started the year I left but I lived next door but one to his brother’s family on Kilburn Close.”
- Steve King, Facebook, 2023

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Many pupils remembered the oak tree that stood proudly in the playground. It measured 430 centimetres around the trunk. That’s 14 feet!! I asked my tree man, Chris Hudson, to estimate its age. He came back with 242 years old, give or take 10 years, so around 1780. Unfortunately, the tree in recent years has had to be chopped back due to disease and is no longer the magnificent tree it once was.
 

Fig. 9 Oak Tree, Nov 2022
© Helen Morgan
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"Oh, the oak tree looks rather sad! I attended Outwood Primary from 1964 to 1971 and my mum worked in the kitchen helping prepare the school dinners.”
- Carole Barlow, Facebook, 2022

"Loved sitting around the oak tree in the summer days when our teacher would let us have reading lessons outside. I always sat around the tree at lunchtime with my friends.”
- Jackie Robinson, Facebook, 2022

"I too attended that school, lived in the Close facing it. I spent many a lunchtime sat under that tree chatting with pals. It was a farm when my parents first moved here.”
- Maureen Meehan Murphy, Facebook, 2022

"So it is an old oak tree then....any yellow ribbons? It was part of the school that tree. Lessons sat out there in the summer. We were so lucky. The mighty oak.”
- Donna Harcourt-Evans, Facebook, 2022

"I was at Outwood until 1972. Mr. Whiteoak (who the mums thought was dishy) would take us to sit under the big oak tree, while he played his guitar and we had a singsong. I remember Mrs. Adshead loved tennis, so she’d take us into the dining room to watch Wimbledon. It was a very important part of our education! Yes Mrs. Rose was lovely.”
- Alison Aspinall, Facebook, 2022

"I remember that tree. It was on our cap and blazer badge 1962 to 1968.”
- Norman Clarke, Facebook, 2022

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Fig. 11 Between the two schools was a footpath that skirted the playing fields. It has gone now but can still be seen from Outwood Road. June 2021
© Helen Morgan
Click On Image To View

 

"I went to Outwood Infants, then Etchells juniors in the Seventies. One of the things I remember from the infants’ school is the public footpath from Outwood Road to Matlock was still open and people with shopping bags would cut through the playground while we were on our break time there. Not sure when it was shut.”
- Matthew Thompson, Facebook, 2022

"I was at the infants first and then the juniors from 1977-81. When we were at the infants, we used to walk down a path from Outwood Road at the edge of the playing field to the infant school. We were only allowed to play on the playground at the infants and maybe about 6 feet of the grass between the two schools. Now and again the teachers used to let us all play together on the field but this was a very rare treat! I remember the oak tree vividly, and the school floor...sat on that many a time! When we were in our last year, we had the privilege of sitting on the long benches at the back two rows.”
- Michelle Fleming, Facebook, 2022

Bolshaw school opened in September 1969 under the headship of Colin Duckworth, who had been the deputy head at Handforth C. of E. school. Children from Outwood moved into the new school.
 

"I went to Bolshaw in the 70s and our pipes were frozen so we had to go to Outwood for the duration (which seemed like forever but was probably only a day or two). I was on packed lunches and Jammie Dodgers had brought out chocolate dodgers which were treasure in my Tupperware- I thought it was the height of posh and highly delighted.”
- Kim Orton Mannion, Facebook, 2022

"I went to Outwood Primary early 70s before being shipped out to Bolshaw, happy days.”

- Ian Matthews, Facebook, 2022

The next Headteacher was Mr. Graham Howe and he started there on 1st May 1970. His secretary was Mrs. Pat Fox and I remember them both very well.
 

My Memories

"When I was probably about 10, a large dog came into the playground with a collar on. Mr. Howe found a piece of rope, and once attached around its neck, gave it me to walk it home, right down Queensway somewhere with a chosen friend. No safeguarding then!

I can remember he sat all the top junior girls down in the hall and explained that we no longer needed to do PE in just our vest and pants as we were “developing”. We also had to endure sex education, sat with our parents in the hall one evening, watching a cine film about rabbits and then humans...

Mr. Howe would pick you up and throw you over his shoulder and carry you somewhere for a laugh.

I used to stand under the big oak tree and watch the leaves float down in the autumn.

The A4 maths books were called Alpha (harder sums) and Beta. The answers were in a smaller book, so you could cheat.

At the back of the school, an adventure playground was made. It consisted of a large concrete tunnel with a mound of earth on top and foot holes on one side to climb onto the top of it. The horse field was still alongside.

You lined up outside Mrs. Fox’s office for the school nurse and dentist.

My 3rd year teacher, Mrs. Rose, went to Wimbledon to watch the tennis. She knew I loved the sport and brought me back a compact mirror with Wimbledon on the back that I still own.
You could be staff room monitor and do all their washing up after lunch.

On the way to school, boys would throw “sticky buds” at you full of sap that stuck to your coat.

Mr. Howe was followed by Mr. Bromley. When he was off sick Mr. Ray Whiteoak, the deputy head took charge. Ray would eventually retire after 20 years’ service in 1989. I went to give a talk in the school last year and although much had changed, the memories came flooding back. The dining room canteen roller shutters were the same along with the floor tiles!
 

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Fig. 12 The Dining Room Feb 2023
© Rachel Hilton
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Fig. 13 The Floor Feb 2023
© Rachel Hilton
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Back now to the need for secondary school provision for the children in Heald Green. In the Summer of 1971, it was still a top priority and the Ratepayers sent a letter to the Director of Education at Chester urging them to make plans as the land was readily available   . In Spring 1972 the matter was again re-emphasised. In the Contact Magazine it was being delayed by “time wasting antics of the Divisional Educational Executive.” and “because of party political machinations, children will be denied a secondary school for years to come”    .

By the end of the 1970s, the horse field next to the school was still there with its ponds and trees. Since the early 1960s there had been a need for a Heald Green Youth Club. Eventually the field next to the school had been designated for such a building, still leaving fields around it. All this was to change in the 1980s.

 

"In the seventies we referred to that area as Outwood Pond and even had a trip from Bolshaw School with fishing nets. Even now I call the houses over that way the “new houses”. They must have been there forty years!”
- Kim Orton Mannion, Facebook, 2021

"I remember Outwood pond, which is where the houses are. We had school trips from Bolshaw. There was a pond that seemed huge at the time but I was about 8.”

- Kim Shennan, Facebook, 2021

"I remember being chased by those horses. Also when they got out in the night and they were all being led by a shire horse down Queensway. I will never forget it.”
- Sherann Hillman, Facebook, 2021

"I kept saying to my husband, about Marquis Drive, listen it’s muddy. There was a massive pond here and about 30 horses. There is now no pond. That water is somewhere!”

- Kim Shennan, Facebook, 2021

"Mrs. Tombs was head at infants, very Mrs. Thatcher like in looks, and Mr. Howe at juniors. I remember having a jab in the secretary’s office and they had a sweetie jar. Also, the guy who used to visit the juniors with exotic animals. He had lost a finger and an eye. We all used to love the horse field and rope swing. We used to fish there and were devastated when they built the houses.”
- Gareth Bond, Facebook, 2021

"There are houses on it now but in the mid to late 1970s we used to play on what we called the horse field next to Outwood school. There was a large pond and a rope swing tied to a tree so we could swing out over the water.”

- Robin Farthing, Facebook, 2021

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Fig. 14 A Roman coin was discovered on this land that had been Bruckshaw’s. It was in field 477, which had been the barn field behind their farmhouse.
© Frank & Teretta Mitchell / St, James Church Archive
Click On Image To View

 

By the Autumn of 1982, school pupil numbers were falling and it was decided to amalgamate the infants with the juniors. By 1986 Matlock Road had become a private school. Also, eight and a half acres of land, on the corner of Outwood Road and Queensway, was put up for sale. A plan to build a pub on there in 1980 had been fiercely opposed. The council were going to sell the land to keep rates down and there was “obviously no need” for a secondary school in Heald Green. Four acres between the school and this new development were going to be kept for the time being   . This was still planned to be the youth club site, although not for much longer. Two cul de sacs with 110 houses would have access from both Queensway and Outwood Road. This would be Viscount and Marquis Drives.

"We always refer to them as the new houses too. My sister christened them the Sylvanian Family houses as the houses matched her set!”
- Jenny Smith, Facebook, 2021

"Fletcher was the builder for Marquis and Viscount estate, which is sometimes referred to as the Fletcher Estate by us old timers that remember it being built. The youth club was going to be built where Deanwater Close is now but money ran out and Cheshire County Council built a youth club in Handforth instead!”

- Margaret Burns, Facebook, 2021

In the Winter of 1988, a planning application was received to build homes for the elderly or handicapped on land that had been earmarked for the youth club   . Final planning permission was granted in Autumn 1990 for Johnnie Johnson Housing Association to build bungalows and flats and this became Deanwater Court, off Viscount Drive   . Mr. Patrick Draper was now the headteacher and would be followed in the early 1990s by Miss Anne Whitehead. In 1992 the school had been open for 30 years and held celebrations to celebrate the fact. The head of the school’s Parents Teachers Association, Jill O ‘Brien, even baked a cake that looked like the school!
 

19

Outwood Primary 30th Anniversary Cake 1992-01 Jill OBrien.jpg

Fig. 15 30th Birthday Cake
© Jill O'Brien
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Outwood Primary 30th Anniversary Cake 1992-02 Jill OBrien.jpg

Fig. 16 30th Birthday Cake
© Stockport Express
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Stockport Express 2  Weds Sept 10 2003.jpg

Fig. 17 September 10th, 2003
© Stockport Express
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Save Our Schools

Unbelievably the next big story for Outwood School and the village in general, after all the years of over population, was the reduced birth rate and fewer children. This led the Council to think about closing down and amalgamating schools, not just in the village but Stockport as a whole. There was uproar! The Council wanted to close Outwood and send the children mainly to Etchells. The Headteacher was Suzanne Blay.

With thanks to Angela Ashworth and Ken Dawson for the newspaper articles.

 

Stockport Express Weds Sept 10 2003.jpg

Fig. 18 September 10th, 2003
© Stockport Express
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Manchester Evening News Mon Sept 22 2003.jpg

Fig. 19 September 22nd 2003
© Manchester Evening News
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Stockport Express Weds Oct 29 2003.jpg

Fig. 20 October 29th, 2003
© Stockport Express
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Stockport Express Weds Jan 21 2004.jpg

Fig. 21  January 21st, 2004
© Stockport Express
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"Teacher Mrs. Moss used to double as a dentist with the children’s wobbly teeth. Her dad was a Beefeater from the Tower of London and he used to come to school in his uniform!”
- Julie Godsell, Facebook, 2023

Further Improvements

Prior to all this upheaval in the late 1990s, Outwood had started to provide its services to Special Educational Needs children, along with provision for their support workers. Although the fabric of the building remained the same, it had moved with the times both inside and outside. After Mrs. Blay came Paul Cunningham as their next headteacher and he continued to improve the school, on the basis of a village community school. Indeed, many children went to there because he was the Head there, such was his reputation. His deputy Jenni Maude has since become the Headteacher herself and the school continues to move forward for children of all ages and abilities.

My old adventure playground area now has state of the art facilities for their nursery provision. The school has been fenced off appropriately to safeguard the children and boasts an amphitheatre for outdoor learning. Every inch of the corridors is given over to more learning and library areas. The playground, no longer just a concrete space, has areas for playing and socialising in. For SEN children there is now a brand new sensory pod.

 

Early years outside play area Feb 2023 R Gough.jpg

Fig. 22 The Early Years outside space area Feb 2023
© R Gough
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Nursery Feb 2023 R Gough.jpg

Fig. 22 Nursery Feb 2023
© R Gough
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Amphitheatre Nov 2022 H Morgan.jpg

Fig. 22 Ampitheatre Feb 2023
© R Gough
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Playground area Jan 2023 R Gough.jpg

Fig. 22 Playground Area Feb 2023
© R Gough
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Sensory pod Feb 2023 R Gough.jpg

Fig. 24 Sensory Pod Feb 2023
© R Gough
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Nursery 2 Feb 2023 R Gough.jpg

Fig. 23 The Nursery Feb 2023
© R Gough
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Corridor library Feb 2023 R Gough.jpg

Fig. 23 Corridor Library Feb 2023
© R Gough
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More playground Feb 2023 R Gough.jpg

Fig. 23 Playground Area Feb 2023
© R Gough
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Outside play area feb 2023 R Gough.jpg

Fig. 23 Playground Area Feb 2023
© R Gough
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FB20230722-01 Outwood.jpg

Fig. 25 60th Anniversary Celebrations 22/7/2023
© Outwood Primary
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In 2022 the school was going to celebrate its 60th anniversary but unfortunately, the event coincided with Queen Elizabeth’s death and was delayed.

On July 22nd 2023, it's full steam ahead to celebrate the achievements of this wonderful school. I am sure that their fantastic steel band will be playing for us all.

Thank you to everyone who has helped with their comments on our
Heritage Facebook page. Personal memories are just wonderful resources for articles. My grateful thanks also to Outwood’s teacher, Rachel Hilton/Gough, for her time and photos.

Bibliography

  1. Williams, K & Williams, JT (1998), Long Lane Cheadle Remembered. pp. 49 & 51

  2. Williams, K & Williams, JT (1998), Long Lane Cheadle Remembered. pp. 18

  3. Williams, K & Williams, JT (1998), Long Lane Cheadle Remembered. pp. 31&32

  4. Williams, K & Williams, JT (1998), Long Lane Cheadle Remembered. pp. 22

  5. The Editor, October 1962. Your Child’s Education. Contact Magazine 1(1). pp 5 & 6

  6. The Editor, February 1963.Your Child’s Education. Contact Magazine 1(2). pp 17, 18 & 19

  7. K.Husband Esq., September 1963. Outwood County Primary School. Contact Magazine 1(4). pp 6

  8. The Editor, September 1964. Editorial/Your Child’s Education. Contact Magazine 2(3). pp 2 & 3

  9. The Editor, September 1966. Any questions meeting. Contact Magazine 4(3). pp 4

  10. The Editor, December 1966. Your Child’s Education. Contact Magazine 4(4). pp 7

  11. The Editor, September 1967. Heald Green Jottings. Contact Magazine 5(3). pp 7

  12. The Editor, AGM February 1968. Annual report of committee for the year 1967. pp 3

  13. J H Edwards, June 1968. Educational Provision in Heald Green. Contact Magazine 20.pp9-12

  14. The Editor, December 1968. Whither Heald Green. Contact Magazine 22. pp 7 & 8

  15. The Editor. Summer 1971. Heald Green and Long Lane Jottings. Contact Magazine 32. pp. 9

  16. The Editor. Spring 1972. Comments. Contact Magazine 35. Pp 6

  17. The Editor. Autumn 1982. Sale of Land. Contact Magazine 77.pp 8 And Primary School Reorganisation. pp.6 & 7

  18. The Editor. Winter 1988. Councillor’s report jottings. Contact Magazine 100.pp.3

  19. The Editor. Autumn 1990. Councillor’s report, Contact Magazine 106.pp.5
     

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