Mapperley Village

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My Memories of Mapperley School
Tony Treseder, Head Teacher 1981 - 1989

My memories of Mapperley School for such an excellent and worthwhile project.
I have had a look at the website you have  created and must congratulate you on a most interesting start - I now have it on my favourites and shall look forward to seeing its development.

 
Tony Treseder - Head teacher 1981 - 1989
It has been 22 years since I moved on from the school and 30 since I first started at Mapperley! 

I was appointed to the headship of the school in 1981 and began work at the start of the Summer Term. It was the end of April, my first headship and I remember it quite clearly as on the second day it started to snow quite heavily and I had to make my first 'major decision' of being a head - do I send the children home early and do I close the school the following day?– Oh dear, decisions, decisions!!

The school had been in limbo for a couple of terms or so before my appointment - after the death of the head
Mrs Lois Lowe the school was run by an acting head, Vanessa Warrington. During this period I know that the Local Authority looked at the possibility of closing the school. However, the appointment was eventually made and so I began.


 

The other staff at that time were:-

  • Audrey Farnsworth (teacher)
  • Jean Marsden (secretary - about 4 hours per week clerical assistance)
  • Mollie Skinner (serving lunches)
  • Kath Ogden (Midday Superviser)
  • Sheila Tooley (Welfare Assistant)
  • Sylvia Shooter (Caretaker/cleaner)

Sylvia's husband Arthur was also a governor of the school. Other Governors I remember at that time were, of course, Bill Skinner and Pat Gould and I think maybe Joan Law was also a governor at that time. Being a Church Controlled school the local vicar was also a governor, I cannot remember who that was at the time of my appointment but later it was Ted Lyons. The other Governor who sticks in my mind was John Moorley - he and all the others (both mentioned and not remembered) were extremely supportive of me, of the school and of its place in the village community - and though I have worked as a head at 2 other schools and with their governing bodies, some of whose individual members were excellent, I haven't known such a good, focussed and well- intentioned group as those at Mapperley.

There were, of course, several changes over this time both to the staff and the building. Audrey Farnsworth was very ill with a brain tumour and off school for a long time and though she returned to school, she eventually decided to retire following the unexpected and sudden death of her husband. During this time I was ably helped out and supported by Joan Law who not only filled in for many absences but eventually taught part-time with the Junior children. Christine Richards also acted as a supply teacher for the infant class during Audrey's illness and was eventually appointed to the school as an assistant teacher. There were other people and events which I will add at a later date as they come to mind. 

There were lots of times which remain in my memory such as:- Arbor Day (a rather tenuous link with Canada and maple trees) - held each November and usually great fun. Sports Days on the village football field - had an interesting slope, I seem to recall which led to some unusual races (I'm not sure health and safety regulations would allow its use now!!). Working with the rangers in Shipley Park - who always provided great educational support to the school - a book of the children's favourite walks, along with tree, wild flower, bird and fish recognition pictures and descriptions was produced one year and sold at the Park's visitors' centre. There was an amazing fund raising event held one summer term in which I think most of the village was involved - much of it supported by Betty and Brian at the pub. I believe about £1000 was raised, which at that time and for such a small school was an incredible amount.

Note: (Tony, I too remember this well as I think I was a school governor at the time and knew that you wanted to expand your library. Having been involved in many fund raising events before I decided to organise a fund raising day and the pub supported me well with this as did the entire village really. You are right, £1000 was raised. I also still have a signed thank you scroll signed by all the school children at the time. Elaine Sarson)

There were, of course, the annual Christmas and end of year concerts held in the church (where, incidentally it comes to mind, our PE lessons took place!) - these were usually very enjoyable events of which I still have the videos 

One rather embarrassing occasion I recall was not long after I had started at the school - I had arrived at school on very cold morning, fairly early, to find that the outside toilets were completely frozen over. I set to work with hot water, a jemmy and a hammer dressed in an anorak, balaclava and wearing a pair of pink marigold rubber gloves. Whilst busy I heard someone calling out to see if anyone was around and calling my name. As I turned the corner of the school building I scared the living daylights out the visitor who must of thought he was about to be attacked by an armed lunatic in fancy dress - it was Derbyshire's Director of Education who had decided to call in on his way to Matlock! I'm not sure if it's a direct link but he took early retirement soon after!
 
I remained at the school until the end of 1989 when I moved onto my 2nd headship at Loscoe. I have to say my time at Mapperley was one of the happiest times of my working life - it was hard work both running a school (despite it being small) and teaching the full range of junior children in a single class - but very rewarding and a time in which I learnt much that I was later able to put into practice elsewhere.

I hope this may be of some use, Elaine and wish you every success with the project.

Tony Treseder


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