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The 1960's and Onwards

Steve Salway (Shirley Boys School 1961-1963) has sent in his copy of the 1963 issue of the school magazine ‘Top Level’; he remembers receiving a prize of 5 shillings from Mr Wheeler for designing the front cover. The magazine contained articles on the school trips to London Airport, including a boat trip on the Thames, to London and to Summer School at Lee-on-Solent. He also sent in the Girls’ School magazine.


We heard from Mary Jarvis (nee Mary Hook) who was at Shirley School from 1962-1969. She has sent in her memories of the school School Memories-MJarvis.pdf and remembers a swimming pool being put up in the playground in the summer (!) and the Queen’s visit to Southampton Common.

Jill Bagley (nee Jill Mawer) brought two photos to the Centenary Summer Fair; the first showed her presenting a cheque to the Red Cross Resident following the Skopje earthquake disaster. Skopje is in Macedonia (was Yugoslavia) and the 1963 earthquake destroyed 80% of the city. The second showed her brother Guy Mawer in school uniform on the school roof 1958. Guy was the Head Boy at Shirley School, going on to be Head Boy at King Edwards. They are included here School Memories-JBagley.pdf. She remembers the words to the chorus of the school song!

“Onward Shirley Onwards
Swell we the chorus
Long may it echo
All else above
May we throughout the years before us
Cherish forever the school we love.”

Lisa Thomas (nee Lisa Gregory) 1964-1972, sent in her school memories, together with pictures, including the following school photo (undated) School Memories-LThomas.pdf.  She was the first group of girls to join the Boys School in 1967 and remembers being in the school choir with Mr Spratley and winning the schools choir prize at the Central Hall.

Paul Howard wrote in to say:

“When I was at Shirley Junior School in the late 1960s, I went on a school trip with Mr Spratley to the Lake District. This was my first experience of hill walking and I seem to remember walking in some pretty awful conditions. However, I was hooked and we went on many family holidays to the Lakes, and I've continued hill walking ever since.”

Sandra Denton (nee Sandra Bassil) was at Shirley Junior/Middle School from 1967-1971. She brought in a photo of the performance of Firebird at Bellemoor School and remembers:

“The headteacher for most of that time was Mr Wheeler who was succeeded by Mr Barratt. I was the first year not to take the 11 plus and stay on at Shirley for an extra year.

Teachers I remember are: Mrs Smith, Deputy Head Mr Deadman, Mr Hunt and Mr Spratley.

 My most vivid memories are of our choirs. The boys won many competitions, I seem to remember the girls’ choir usually coming 2nd (we thought it was because Mr Spratley sang whilst conducting!) We performed what we thought at the time were quite forward items: Daniel Man Jazz, Jonah and West Side Story being just a few. Our Christmas Carol concert was held at the Isaac Watts Church. I was in the descant of the choir and we wore choristers’ robes!

I clearly remember Mr Spratley’s leaving assembly (he went to a Deputy position in Harefield) when he wrote and we sang ' At Old Shirley Middle School'.

I also remember being struck with a slipper when I had misbehaved!!!”

Karen Hurley (nee Karen Boucher) wrote in to say:

“I attended Shirley infants school from 1968 to 1974 approximately (was born in 1963). Teachers were Mrs Brindle, Mr Noyce, Mr Wiffin, and a Mrs Vardy.

Can remember corrugated semi-circular hut type buildings in the playground, and then a larger flat roof hut built later at the other end.

We played French skipping, white horses, two ball and the boys played bulldog.”

Penny Rawlins (nee Penny Payne) writes in to share some of her memories about her time at the Infants and Junior School. She started at the Infants in 1969 and remembers the annexes in Bellemoor Rd and also her friends leaving the school when Wordsworth opened. In the Junior School she remembers school trips to Bridport and to St Marys Bay in Kent. She was a member of the choir and remembers a production of “The Red Sea Jazz” with the drama club, run by Miss Humby and Mr Batson.  Her son also went to Shirley School, taught by Mr Brogan.

Ann Weeks (Shirley School 1969-1971) came to the Centenary Celebration Evening and brought along some of her school work and her school reports, included here School Memories-AWeeks.pdf. Her reports show a much wider range of subjects compared to the early 1960s: namely, Mathematics (Arithmetic, Mechanical, Applied), English (Reading, Composition, Handwriting, Usage, Spelling), History, Nature Study, Science, French, Art, Craftwork.

Betty Robinson has written in to say that her 3 children, Christine Robinson (born 1955), Peter Robinson (born 1962) and Brian Robinson (born 1965) all attended Shirley school. She has sent in several photos School Memories-BRobinson.pdf and remembers:

“One of my strong memories is of the camaraderie of we "mums" who pushed our prams back & forth to the Infants school four times a day to take & fetch our children who were often so tired they joined their younger siblings in the pram so they could hitch a ride home!”


Sheila Henderson (nee Sheila Crossley) sent in a photograph taken at Shirley Middle School as part of a project on Village Life in around 1971.

She remembers that the participants are (L-R):
Malcolm?            Robert Beard   Sheila Crossley   Julian Jones   Peter Robinson (a Private Investigator!)

Julian Jones in Sheila’s photo was at Shirley School from 1968-1975 and has also contacted us.

“While in the infants I think it was Miss Parsons had a dark blond hair colour. Anyway, I was sent to her class to get something. Upon arriving at the classroom and knocking and going in, there was a teacher there in shocking red hair but no Miss Parsons.

I said "I've got a message for Miss Parsons.”

 Scarlet haired woman: "yes what it is"

 Me: "do you know where she is?"

 Scarlet hair lady: (Pulling up front of wig to reveal mousy brown hair) "it's me, what is the message"

I wonder now if Miss Parsons is Lady Gaga .”

Ian Wilson (1973-1980) sent in a CD with photos from the school trip to France and of the Middle School play performed at Hill College. His sister Suzanne Wilson was at the school after him; here is her class photo, dated 1982.

Josephine Schuppe started at Shirley First School in 1975. She remembers that there were 2 large annexes in Bellemoor Road before the current flats were built and wooden huts in the junior playground. She attended Shirley Middle School in the 1980s. The school uniform comprised a dark green v-neck jumper and a grey skirt. She remembers the following teachers: Mrs Masterson, Mr Batchelor, Mr Leverett (who use to throw chalk and blackboard rubbers at his pupils!), Mr Spencer (P.E. teacher), Mrs Garside (Sports teacher). She particularly remembers Mr Carsons :

“I can remember Mr Carsons taking small groups of children in his 2CV Citroen to the Sport Centre for sports events. He was also a very good illustrator and would send the class illustrated cards.  Mr Carsons was a dedicated man - he introduced Early Work - Comprising of various written tasks. This improved my handwriting enormously. Mr Carsons taught at the School for a short time as he moved on to Lymington, he certainly achieved the very best from his pupils.  Looking back through my old text books, I feel honoured that I was taught by such a dedicated teacher.”

Josephine remembers sports day at Hill College (the former Girls Grammar School, now Taunton’s College) and the school trips to Fairthorne Manor, Stubbington Centre and to the HMS Victory. She has put together some extracts from her exercise books, here School Memories-JSchuppe.pdf.

Nicola Jones (nee Nicola Chapman) was at Shirley School from 1974-1981, and used to live in 37 Wilton Rd before it was demolished. Nicola has given us her memories of the school School Memories-NJones.pdf, together with photos from various school trips, including a week’s trip to France, sleeping in the school hall of a French school, and visiting Rouen and the Bayeux Tapestry, and experimenting with French food. She also went to Wales, sleeping in a guest house near the sea and visiting a slate mine and going up Snowdon. The most amazing trip in her final year at Shirley School was a week’s skiing trip to Bulgaria!

Teresa Willis (nee Theresa Symons) was a pupil of Shirley Juniors from Sept 1975 until July 1979 and currently has a child in year 4. She remembers the following teachers:

“1st yr : Miss Ward who married and became Mrs Hayter, 2nd yr : Mr Havard, 3rd yr : Miss Warwick 4th yr : Mr Bell and Mrs Marchant. Mr Barrett was Headmaster and Mrs Smith was Deputy Head.”

Nick Mavroidakis attended Shirley School from 1986 to 1990 and has great memories of his time at school including being awarded the Sports Cup on his final day.

Sarah Stoten visited the Centenary Summer Fair and filled in a Memory Form School Memories-SStoten.pdf; she was at Shirley School from 1986-1993. She recalls having one computer per class and sitting in corridor as a punishment. Trips included Marwell Zoo and the Common and she remembers the end of year discos. Sarah played recorder and the flute and sang in various concerts. She also remembers her classroom being in the huts across the road.

Kelly-Jo Peters, whose two sons are currently in the Infant and Junior Schools, attended Shirley Middle School from 1987 to 1991. She writes enthusiastically about the role of the music teaching at the school, including cello lessons with Miss Hunting, school orchestra with Mr Noyce, choir and Mrs Tricklebank’s recorder group, leading to winning the school music cup and playing lead cello in the Southampton Youth Orchestra. With a degree in Music and a PGCE in Secondary Education, Kelly-Jo is now in her 11th year of teaching music at schools including Bristol Cathedral School, Taunton’s College, Bellemoor, Upper Shirley High and, currently, to pupils with moderate and severe learning needs at Great Oaks School in Southampton.

Liz Bailey was a member of staff when the school celebrated its 75th anniversary in 1987. She remembers the building of the new classroom extension and the whole school including staff dressing in Victorian costume for the anniversary. She is still in contact with Janet Clarkeson, the former Head teacher Kathy Plant and Jane Devadason.

Gill Waring wrote to say that she remembers being in Yr 6 for the 75th anniversary and says:

“I still have the celebration mug we could buy... To celebrate 75 years the whole school had a Fayre, we all dressed up, had stalls and crafts and games from 1911. We learnt songs and dances to perform - I can still remember them! It was a lovely summer’s evening after school and I remember being so excited!”

Phil Grant now teaches at Bartley CE Junior School but from 1982 to 1986 he was a pupil at Shirley Middle School. He has sent in his memories School Memories-PGrant.pdf, together with his school reports. He had heard about the centenary celebrations from his old class teacher Mrs Sheila Humby who retired as Deputy Head in 1994.



His early memories of the school are quite daunting!

“My first memory of what was then Shirley County Middle School is of the huge massive, almost skyscraper like Edwardian building. It appeared to dominate the corner of Wilton and Bellemoor Roads!

September 1982 saw me in Miss Sheila Humby’s class (1H). She had a formidable reputation. We children were all terrified of the rumours which spread about, that if you were naughty in Miss Humby’s class, she would dangle you out of the window! Yes we believed such rumours to be true!”

He also remembers the school trips fondly:

“Trips to the Weald and Downland museum with classes 1H and 1G (Mrs. Garside’s class) gave me a love of old buildings, and returning to the museum , with friends and their children in March 2012, brought the place and our time there with SMS back! The Kennet and Avon Canal via Highclere Castle (ITV’s Downton Abbey), Corfe Castle and Maiden Castle were two visits we went on whilst in Class 2N. The residential visit to France when in 3P (Mrs. Parson’s class) was amazing, staying in what we thought was a French chateau and visiting the D-Day beaches and seeing the famous Bayeux Tapestry!”

Hazel Soffe’s (nee Hazel Couzens) first teaching job was at Shirley Junior School from 1994-1997 and remembers her colleagues:  Peter Clark, Polly Garside, Mary Warwick, Vicky Webb, Mike Brogan, Jenny Scott.

Emily Boxall was at Shirley School from 1995-2002; she filled in a Memory Form at the Centenary Summer Fair School Memories-EBoxall.pdf. She lists her teachers (Mr Brogan was the headmaster) and remembers going to the Annex for music. She also remembers an adventure playground being built and using the wet weather hut. Emily recalls going to ‘old’ school hall for lunch from the hatch and school discos.

Hannah Parker is now studying medicine at Barts and the London Med School and attended Shirley Infant and Junior Schools from 1997-2004. She says:

“I always remember Mr Brogan saying when the Titanic went down, Shirley Junior School went up!”