www.Poundswick .org.uk

The South Manchester Demolition Men

South Manchester High School (formerly Brownley Green Secondary) was built in the 1930s as one of Wythenshawe's original schools. Its cosy design was similar to other local schools of the same vintage, such as Haveley Hey and Benchill Junior. It comprised two sets of single-storey classrooms, each set arranged round three sides of of a rectangle, with a grass area in the centre. The main assemby hall (with a stage), dining area and offices occupied one of the shorter sides of each rectangle, adjacent to Woodhouse Lane. Glass-roofed verandahs on the insides of the rectangles provided intercommunication between areas. Originally these verandahs were, other than their roofs, open to the elements and so a visit to the toilet or a move to another classroom involved braving the cold and wet. Later, the verandahs were covered in, providing a little more comfort.

When the comprehensive era arrived in 1967, Brownley Green Secondary became South Wythenshawe High School (Upper School). The former Moss Nook Secondary, situated at the eastern end of Portway, became the Lower School. Further building work then took place at Brownley Green; a modern multi-storey teaching block was built on Woodhouse Lane and a two-storey gymnasium was built at the back of the school, prominently visible from Brownley Road. Moss Nook, a relatively new school in a pleasant location and with an exceptionally good playing field, was demolished in 1981 and its site turned into a rather grim housing development. Moss Nook's pupils moved to Brownley Green and the combined school was re-named South Manchester High School. In later years South Manchester gained a reputation for specialism in Technology training and was known as Manchester's new Technology School.

Eventually, falling student numbers and the declining state of the buildings prompted the LEA to combine South Manchester with Poundswick. The South Manchester site closed at the end of the summer term 1999.


The site lay boarded up, forlorn and abandoned until May 2001 when the demolition men, Messrs P. McGuinness and Co. Ltd., moved in to finish it off.

The photographs below were mostly taken in June 2001 and show demolition well under way. I have deliberately left the photos uncaptioned; if you knew the place, you will recognise what they show. Try not to weep.


GONE! - The view from Brownley Road,
September 2001.


Found amongst the rubble. Never to be awarded again.

To end this rather depressing page on a more up-beat note, former Poundswick and South Manchester pupils who previously attended Crossacres Infants School will be pleased to learn that this school is still very much alive and well. It opened in 1951 and recently celebrated its Golden Jubilee with a party for its pupils and staff. What's more, it is still called Crossacres Infants School. The same name for 50 years. What a novel idea!

Post Script:
Since I first posted this page, a former pupil of South Wythenshawe High School, Andrew Holden, has started a website for former Brownley Green (in all its incarnations) pupils and staff. It is at: