|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.
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.
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
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
(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
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.
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
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
'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
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
|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!
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
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