www.Poundswick .org.uk

Jim's Jottings

Once in a while things come to mind that I think might be of interest to Old Poundswickians but which don't have an obvious "home" on the site so I thought I would try an Editors Notes type-of-page, and here it is.

The Statue - new information - and your help needed

The Statue page has been on the site for a while but much of its information has been from various hazy memories and I've been uneasy about its accuracy for some time. Recently I had the good fortune to be contacted by the Senior Lecturer in History at Manchester Metropolitan University, Terry Wyke, who is preparing a book about public sculpture in Manchester. We have been able to pool and cross-check information about the statue and Terry has been able to clear up some areas of doubt. For example, we can now be certain that the sculptor was Austin Wright, and not Mitzi Cunliffe, as stated on the original Statue page.

However, one area that remains problematical is the question of when the statue was dismantled and its remains moved to Kinsey's Cottage. We know (again, from a number of hazy memories) that this was late 1977 or early 1978. There must, of course, be hundreds of Old Poundswickians who were around when the statue was taken down. Can anyone remember exactly when this was?

There's also uncertainty about when the statue was put in place; it seems likely that it wasn't in position when the school opened in 1956; see the Statue page for details.

Dinner Tickets

A number of people have e-mailed me with memories of dinner tickets but there seems to be considerable disagreement about what colour they were, what they looked like and how much they cost. Has anybody still got one to help us settle this?

Dave Crozier (1963-70) is certain that they were always green during his time at Poundswick and that they were initially 9d, then 1/- and then 1/3 per day.

Alan Coates (1960-67) has e-mailed: If my memory serves me right, the dinner tickets were a blueish-purple colour and cost the princely sum of one shilling during my time at Poundswick.

John Wray (1980-85) seems to remember that during his era there were two colours of tickets; greeny-brown ones for pupils who paid for their tickets and a different colour for those who had free school meals.

David Cunningham (1984-89) tells us: I can quite vividly remember that in my time at Poundswick they were a light green colour. For what it's worth, I also remember them being light green back in the late fifties and the price was 9d per meal, i.e. 3/9 per week. David recalls that by the late 1980s the price had gone up to 45p (nine shillings) per day. There's inflation for you!

Stuart Yearsley (1957-62) has already demonstrated an uncanny ability to remember things from his youth with remarkable precision!  He's now sent us (in February 2013) his recollection of the dinner ticket as it was in his early days at Poundswick.  It looks more expensive than others seem to remember them!  Has anyone else got any  thoughts about its veracity?

House Wines

Now here's a bit of nonsense, but it might be quite fun. I thought it would be nice to revive a bit of the old House competitiveness and the challenge is to find an appropriate wine label for each House.

Here's my contribution. So you rogues in Dalton, Joule and Peel had better get sorting through your cellars and see what you can come up with. I'm trusting you to be honest - genuine wine labels only please, no Photoshop magic! I'll put up the labels in the order they come in. Wonder who'll be last; bet it will be Joule (again!)

Well, it's been a longish wait but, perhaps predictably, Dalton (traditionally close second to Rylands) have now come up with their contribution, thanks to Dennis Preston (1963-70).

I'm anticipating a contribution from Peel in time to toast the Queen's Golden Jubilee and one from Joule in time to celebrate the 200th anniversary of his birth, in 2018.

Rumour has it that a Rylands man is about to submit a label for Peel. If this sad occurrence were to come to pass, it would, of course, mean Rylands scoring double points and Peel scoring minus!


And here we have it! A Peel wine label supplied by Dave Kennerley (1959-66), a member of Rylands House.

Scores so far on this competition are therefore:
Rylands: 2 points
Dalton: 1 point
Joule: 0 points
Peel: -1 point

I must remind members of Joule House that James Prescott Joule was the son of a Salford Brewer. Surely, therefore, there must be a Joule label out there somewhere!

Footnote, June 2003: This competition has now been running for over a year. Is anyone from Joule House still alive?


'nuther footnote, September 2003: Nobody from Joule House has yet claimed to be alive let alone submitted a wine label, but there are clearly plenty of vultures from Dalton hovering in the shadows. Dennis Preston (1963-70), always on the lookout for a means of earning a quick point for his house, has sent in this label in the hopes that I will offer him a point for it, thereby enabling Dalton to pull level with Rylands at two points each. Nice try, Dennis, but it's really stretching the imagination a bit, don't you think? How about half a point? That would make the current scores:

Rylands: 2 points
Dalton: 1.5 points
Peel: -1point
Joule: 0 points


I think I could settle for that. Unless, Dennis, you can come up with a proper Joule label, in which case I'd be only too happy to give you the extra half point, particularly if you send me a bottle or two in the post, just to prove that they are genuine!
Now here's a thing! TEN YEARS have passed (it's now 2013) since the last post on this subject, and yes there IS someone still alive from Joule House!  His name is Robert Dick, a student at Poundswick from 1965 to 1970.  And he's sent us a pretty impressive label!

As you can see, it's not a wine label, it's a beer label, but Robert asserts: "it's the finest stuff, from Joule's brewery in Staffordshire; well good enough for us ex-Joule House bods - no posh wines for us!"  
Well, that sounds appropriate enough to me, and I'm only too happy to award Joule House a full point for it.

So I am pleased, at long last, a mere eleven years after the competition started, to declare the final result.  No further entries will be accepted!

Rylands:  2 points
Dalton:  1.5 points
Joule:  1 point
Peel:  -1 point

Very satisfactory!  I'll drink to that!


Long-serving Poundswickians

I had an e-mail recently from Dave Keefe (1971-79) which prompts me to ask the question Who was the longest-serving Poundswickian? In the case of staff, this is an easy question to answer; the record goes to Mrs. Pat Adams who joined the office staff in the late 60s and worked at Poundswick (and then Parklands) until 2007.  Pat therefore worked on the Poundswick site for longer than anyone else and served Poundswick for over 30 of its 43 years.

The longest-serving pupil might be more difficult to find. I guess many people, like myself, must have done an extra year in the sixth form, thereby spending eight years at Poundswick. However, Dave's friend Liam Ainsworth did the extra year (getting two As and a B in his "A" levels) and then applied to go to Liverpool Medical School in 1979. They hadn't got a place for him that year and so he stayed on yet another year and used it to study (and pass) "A" level maths, going to Liverpool in 1980. He was thus at Poundswick for nine years from 1971. Can anyone claim longer residence?

Goodbye Poundswick Roundabout!

I'm saddened to have to report that the bureaucratic vandals are on the pillage again, presumably with the intention of lining a few pockets along the way. When Barry Parker and his colleagues put forward their plan for the Garden City of Wythenshawe in the late 1920s, their primary tenet was that it should include open spaces and natural woodland; they regarded these as essential ingredients of proper living space. Since then their vision has been progressively sacrificed on the altar of financial gain. The desecration of their testament continues to this very day; one of the few remaining open spaces in the ancient hamlet of Poundswick is due to be laid to concrete.

The plan is to redevelop the area between the Forum Centre car park and the eastern boundary of Poundswick school. The verges along Poundswick Lane adjacent to the car park, which contain the last of the original Poundswick Lane trees, and the whole of the wooded roundabout, will disappear. The Simonsway / Poundswick Lane junction will become a simple T-junction and the "reclaimed" land will be "redeveloped at a later date". For those interested, you can click here to see a copy of the plan; it makes depressing reading.

During March 2002 a public display appeared on the concourse at the Wythenshawe Forum to publicise plans for redeveloping the Town Centre.

Here's an artist's impression of the view across Leningrad Square when the project is complete. Note in particular the new Metrolink station.
The Metro line will run along Ainley Road and forms part of a loop which will connect the Town Centre with the Airport, Wythenshawe Hospital and the City Centre via Barlow Moor Road and Trafford Bar. The Forum Centre buildings are to be extensively refurbished and modernised, inside and out, at an apparent cost of a staggering 20M. It is hard to see where this sort of money could be spent, particularly when one of the stated "improvements" is to close the Forum Theatre itself. The display included leaflets and a portfolio of sketches, maps and artist's impressions which revealed on one of its pages that the "future development" planned for the Poundswick roundabout is, in fact, to build a Police Station on it. Subsequent investigation revealed that local residents have been circulated with a letter from Peter Babb, Head of Planning at Manchester City Council in which he notifies them of "revised plans for the erection of a part single / part 2-storey sub-divisional police headquarters, totalling 2248 square metres of floorspace, creation of new vehicular access points off Poundswick Lane and Simonsway and provision of 88 car parking spaces." So now we know. Poundswick will certainly be uglier when they've done their worst. Let's hope that it will also be safer.

During July 2002 the Forum Centre was taken over for use by the Commonwealth Games; you may even have seen it on T.V! Colourful marquees were erected on Leningrad Square and flags flew from all the lamp-posts down Simonsway and on Poundswick Lane; it all looked unusually jolly for Wythenshawe. The roundabout was duly converted to the expected T-junction and the ugly works tidied up. The old trees on the roundabout were granted a stay of execution until work on the Police Headquarters started in 2003.

On visit to Wythenshawe in 2002 I was able to enter a competition to choose a new name for Leningrad Square (what a nonsense this name was!) The organisers of the competition pointed out that even the Russians no longer call what was Leningrad Leningrad. I duly offered the obvious name, which you will have no difficulty guessing: Poundswick Square. I pointed out that the land on which the Civic Centre is built has been called Poundswick for nearly 800 years, so why don't we continue to call it this?!   In the event, the 'competition' came to nought, and nine years on (in 2011) the old Leningrad Square remains un-named, but I always refer to it as Poundswick Square!

Here's a view of "Leningrad" Square taken in June 2003. The square is enclosed by contractors fences and the whole of the Forum Centre, with the exception of the Library, is closed. I took this photo standing on the huge sawn-off stump of one of Poundswick Lane's old oak trees. Never mind, they can plant a new one; it shouldn't take more than a few hundred years to grow.

The 2002 plan to extend the Metrolink to Wythenshawe (and beyond) was eventually shelved due to lack of funds, and 'Poundswick Square' remained officially un-named until until its final demise in 2012.  The Metrolink plan has been reinstated and huge swathes of Wythenshawe are being dug up to make way for it.  My local friend Ernie and I are hoping to live long enough to take a ride on it one day, but for the time being 'Poundswick Square' looks much like did in 2003, with the diggers back on the job.