Memories of Queen Elizabeth Girls Grammar School

By Margaret Woodhead nee Cowan

Memories of Queen Elizabeth Girls Grammar School

I won a scholarship to the school in 1938. I travelled to Mansfield from Edwinstowe on the Ebor bus, a double decker. Upstairs were boys and girls from all three grammar schools. The school extension was just opened and we wore ‘ward’ shoes to protect the floors. I took sandwiches for lunch and paid 6d a week to sit in the dining room, use the cutlery and get a glass of water.

The Second World War

When war broke out the government decided to give all children school meals when rationing started to ensure they got a balanced diet. Soon we shared the school with one in danger from bombing. We studied in the morning and had games in the afternoon. For the February half term, when Mansfield had ploughed up their flower beds we planted potatoes. An elderly man gave us a bucket of potatoes and told us to “…take a step and drop one, take a step and drop one…”  When we were in the fifth form I volunteered to go harvesting for the war effort. We went to a school in Lutterworth where we slept on palliases in the school hall. We were assigned in twos to farms and stoked corn, and then we were given a pitch fork to load them on to the hay carts drawn by horses.

Because my Mother always kept me a dinner for when I got home after having had a school dinner I put on weight and was 11 stone at 15.

Near the end of the fifth form our careers advice consisted of a talk by the Head on teaching, a talk by the Matron on nursing and a talk by the Librarian. These were the choices for those without money to go to University. I chose teaching because my Mother had told everyone after I received the scholarship “…Margaret is going to be a teacher…” I suppose I was brainwashed but I think it was probably the best choice. I am still giving talks on the History of Edwinstowe. 

Photo:School Harvest Camp 1943

School Harvest Camp 1943

This page was added on 28/07/2010.
Comments about this page

I was at QUEGGS between 1971 and 1976 and my brother David Tuckwell was at QUEGS Boys School two years earlier We lived at Croft Avenue, Mansfield as kids. I now live in New Zealand. I have fond memories of the school which I believe has now gone, memories of Mrs Batty headmistress, Mrs Baker dinner lady. The hall was amazing, we held a Bay City Rollers concert and we all went mad. One incident was of five naughty girls who pushed the dinner lady into the Quad pond - Carol Tuckwell, Deb Vincent, Jayne Leatherland, Theresa Purseglove and Maxine Turner - we were aged fourteen (love u girls) - Sorry Mrs Baker.

By Carol Martin nee Tuckwell
On 20/03/2013

I was at Queggs from 1965 - 72 along with friends Sandra Hadfield, Jean Harrison, Maureen Tunney who remain close friends of mine. I remember Cedars and Elmfield, Miss Batty, Mrs Kent, Miss Oldham, Mr Maw, Mr Pepper, Miss Starmer, Mrs Thomas (geog), Miss Fever, Mrs Moffatt, Miss Williamson, Miss Starmer, Miss Rawson, Mrs Birkett, Mr Plant and Dr Duckmanton to name a few. Other friends I've lost touch with were Elaine Stanbury, Liz Vickers, Gill Unwin.

By Angie Peppard nee Turner
On 11/05/2015

I was at QEGGS 1964-1968. I recognise the names above. A few years ago I was on election duty at Garibaldi School where I met Maureen Tunney who was headmistress. 

By Aileen Sochon nee Bennett
On 20/03/2016

I was at Qeggs from 1965-70. I have very many happy memories of the school from being a first year in Cedars. I remember Mrs Bonsall playing the piano in the school hall, the wonderful school song, the school houses- Greyhound,Falcon, Roses, Dragon,the Standing Salt. Playing tennis after taking exams-there must have been at least 12 tennis courts! The covered way leading to the dining room. The fabulous library. Trying to learn to play the cello! The school rules,one of which we weren't allowed to wear long white socks! Doing my needlework in Elmfield. All the science labs particularly the Biology labs with specimen jars,the source of endless fascination.I remember all the teachers listed above as well as Mr Bell, Miss Germany,Mr Newton, Mr Fawcett. People I remember-Cherry Dugan,Linda Kirkham,Susan Green,Susan Abell,Lesley Green,Angela Turner,Sandra Hadfield,Gillian Unwin,Jane Ceney,Vivienne Webster,Linda Fowler,Maureen Tunney,Helen Southwell. Happy days!

By Irene Watson nee Dennett
On 03/08/2017