Plymouth Grove Primary School

Opened in 1906, this imposing red brick school sits on the south side of Plymouth Grove West.   In 2009 it isn't technically a Longsight School because it now lies inside the Ardwick District.  However, to those who lived in Longsight prior to the 1960s, it will always be a Longsight school.


In July of 2016 I was in Longsight and I went for a walk along Plymouth Grove.  What I discovered was a new building sitting in what had been the school's playground. 

In September of 2016, the building I was looking at, which was clearly still in a construction phase, was to be Plymouth Grove Primary School.  This was confirmed by looking at the school's Twitter feed.

The "" website explained in 2015 that, "... Morgan Sindall Investments and investment partner Equitix have reached financial close on the north west, Priority Schools Building Programme batch.  This is the third PF2 batch of schools to close and has a capital value of £110m.  Under the deal Morgan Sindallís construction arm will now start work on five secondary schools and seven primary schools which will benefit 8,150 pupils."  Plymouth Grove Primary School, Manchester is one of those schools.  Below are some images I took on July 29 of 2016.


When I visited again in 2017 the old building was wrapped in scaffolding and in the midst of refurbishment.


Here are some images of the new school.


- The Old School -

In the 1950's the road was lined with huge trees that carpeted the pavement ankle deep in leaves. In a side-road between the school and Stockport Road, horse chestnut trees provided the treasured conkers which every autumn provided hours of competition at playtime at the school.

1. Plymouth Grove School  2. Longsight Police Station  3. Plymouth Grove 
4. Hathersage Road  5. Little Sisters of the Poor  6. Plymouth Grove West 
7. Stockport Road  8. Grindlow Street   

The three-storeyed building housed the Infants on the ground floor, the Junior and Senior Girls on the second floor and Junior and Senior Boys on the top floor. The playground at the front of the school was separated from the street by a low wall and a wrought iron fence and looked across to the Convent of the Little Sisters of the Poor. At the back of the school a building housed the outdoor toilets which, apart from their obvious use, often became part of a game of "tick" as the pursued would duck in one entrance and out the other to escape the one who was "it". I can attest to this personally because on rainy days large puddles would collect near the entrances and I ignored the warnings of the teacher on duty and raced in and out one day only to end up face down in a puddle.

The image above was donated by Bryan Goodwin

The ground floor had a large hall where every morning we had our assembly. It also saw service as a gymnasium where I remember dancing around the maypole and learning to somersault on coconut mats that were better suited for scouring a toilet bowl than rolling around on. It was here that we had our Traffic Safety Week, when a whole town of shops and roads and zebra crossings was set up and the classes took turns running shops, going shopping and performing police duty for a week or so.

The hall was also the venue for a plays and concerts.

                          in costume © David Boardman

Coronation Event at Plymouth Grove.  Four rather wrinkled members of the Household Cavalry.
My Dad made the armour - bless him

Close by was Mrs. Alberti's office where, on the way out to play, you could stop off and buy a digestive biscuit, cheese biscuits or, if you were really rich, a chocolate-covered biscuit.

One of my memories is from 1952, the Coronation Year -- the teacher unpacking a box and giving each one of us a Coronation Mug which, minus its handle stayed around our house for years, even if it was where my mother kept her false teeth at night. In the afternoon the whole school walked down Stockport Road to one of the picture houses, I think it was the Kings, to see the news reel of the Coronation.

At the age of 8, if I remember correctly, boys and girls were segregated into different parts of the school. The girls used the playground on the Stockport Road side and that half of the front playground. They entered the school on the Stockport Road end and went up the stone staircase to the second floor into a world that was off limits to boys.

The boys played on the Plymouth Grove side and that half of the front playground. They had their own entrance and took the staircase to their own world on the top floor where Mr. Howarth was the headmaster and "Pop" Walker was the pipe-smoking legend who got everyone ready for the 11+.

Images from April 2014


Pictures from Days Gone By

The Thirties

May Day 1938

Dancing around the May Pole - May Day 1939 - Before the World changed forever.
Photograph contributed by Hilda Davis (Turner) and Alma Morton (Turner)

The Babies 1936/37

June 1936 - "The Babies"
Image donated by Hilda Davis (Turner) - Hilda is the fourth from the right in the front row.

Coronation 1937

Coronation Year 1937
Teacher on the left - Miss Parker (later Parker-Gee) - Headmistress on the right - Miss Prentice (later Mrs. Alberti) Image donated by Hilda Davis (Turner) - second on the right in the front row.


May Day 1938
The lady behind the sailors is Miss Holt, the teacher. Image donated by Hilda Davis (Turner)


Class 1 - 1939
Teacher: Mrs. Saunders - The class includes Joan Topping, June Ray, Albert Archer and Doris Denton.
Image donated by Hilda Davis (Turner)


The Forties

Circa: 1946
Picture generously donated by Trevor and Pat Little

Circa: 1946
photograph generously donated by Bryan Goodwin
1946 and our first school photo after the War..I think we were celebrating Victory Day..Mrs Alberti..her neice Linda(back row 3rd from left?)my pal Carl Burgess next to her..Jill ? the first girl I the the school play! It worried me what the girl I really had a "crush" on, Norma Goodfellow(5th from left 2nd Row would think of me!)...thats me back row 3rd from the Right..and Mrs Hindley was the Teacher. Happy days!

Girls' Class © Keith
Picture contributed by Keith Taylor

1947 - Pat (Butterworth) Little's Class

1947 Class ©
                              Trevor & Pat Little
1947 - Kathy Butterworth's Class


The Fifties

Circa: 1950
This photograph was generously donated by Bryan Goodwin
Avril Goodwin is at the far right on the 4th row.
Other students include Billy Savile, Irene Dale, Malcom Waterhouse, Barbara Shepherd, Jimmy Latham

Circa: 1951
Picture generously donated by Trevor and Pat Little

1948 Class © Terry
Circa: 1955

Photograph generously donated by Susan Burrows
A school assembly in 1957.
1st row Linda Holt,
2nd June and Gail Glasgow [twins], Pat Dodd, Moyra Haigh, Elain Carrington,
3rd Patsy Harrison, Susan Burrows, Christine Starky, Carol Dexter.

Photograph generously donated by Susan Burrows
A class in the 1950s.
Front right to left Susan Burrows, Moyra Haigh.
Back row Pat Stevens, Lynda Livsey, Pauline Miller.
Far right 2nd table Billy Downing.

Mr. Hardy's Class circa: 1957 (Mr. Hardy right, Mr. Howarth center) 

1959 Class © Terry

1958 - Photograph generously donated by John Bullock
John is third from the right on the second row from the front.
The teacher is Mr. Hardy and the Head Teacher Mr. Greenhalch

1959 - Photograph generously donated by John Bullock
John is fourth from the left on the second row from the front.
The teacher is Mr. Hardy and the Head Teacher Mr. Greenhalch

Circa: 1959
Back Row:
4th from left Yvonne Penny
Third Row: 3rd from left John Shorthose, 2nd from right Anthony Heeney
On the Mats: 2nd from right Irvine Mann
photograph generously donated by John Shorthose

Circa: 1959
This photograph was generously donated by Terry Stirling.

Her brother Larry Pilkington is 4th from the left on the third row.

Circa 1959
This photograph was generously donated by Terry Stirling.

Her sister Lyn is second from the right on the second row from the back.
Also on that row second from the left is Susan Thelwell.
In the middle row 3rd and 4th from the right are twins Tom and John Doodson.

Circa: 1950
This photograph was generously donated by Alma Turner

"The school adopted a ship during the war and the crew used to write to the pupils. There were four school houses in the Girl's Department of Plymouth Grove: Barrie, Derby, Elgar and Shaftesbury and each year the house with the most points received the Henley cup from Captain Henley. Miss Gronno was the Headmistress." (Notice that the same cup is shown in the photograph below)

Circa: 1959
This photograph was generously donated by Terry Stirling (Pilkington)

Terry is the shorter of the two girls standing on the right.
Helen Storey (blonde) is at the back left with Ann Greenough in front of her.
Janice Williams is 3rd from right on the floor.

The image above was generously donated by Susan (Mercer) Rigg
the teacher is Mrs. Ferguson 
Back Row
Adrienne Betts, Susan Mercer, ?, Helen Hargreaves, Madonna Kashem, Jennifer Parker, Lesley Birch, Lynn Bradwell
Fourth Row
?, Eileen Walpole, ?, ?, Christine Shield, Pat Wood, Barbara Balderson, Shirley, Susan Schofield
Third Row
Farthest right - Johnny Habershaw
Second Row
Jean Southern, Linda Rennie, Carol, Janice Dilnutt, Leslie Grice, Angela Banks, ?, Pat Nicholson, Lynn
Front Row
5th from left Raymond Griffiths

The image above was generously donated by Susan (Mercer) Rigg 
Back Row L-R
4th from the left Helen Hargreaves
Fourth Row L-R
?, ?, Tommy Lloyd, ?, Paul Walpole, Johnny Habershaw,?, ?, Stuart Wilkinson
Third Row L-R
?, ?, Madonna Kashem, ?, Lilian Michelowich, Susan Curran, ?, Susan Mercer
Second Row L-R
?, Barbara Balderson, ?, ?, Pat Woods, Leslie Brice, ?, Susan Schofield, Pat Nicholson
Front Row L-R
7th from left Raymond Griffiths

Circa: 1959 - 1960 - The photograph above was generously donated by Gordon Mitchell
Back Row: Left to Right
Stephen Clark, ?, Elaine Heathcote, Margaret, ?, ?, ?, ?, Norman(Wright?)

Third Row: Left to Right
Gordon Mitchell, Philip, John, Larry Pilkington, David Young, John Muir, Eddie Briggs, Will Smith, Chris Wilson, Kim (Horn?)

Second Row: Lft to Right
Hilary (Gibson?), ?, Wendy, Linda, Joyce, ?,?, Kay (Mullen?) ?

Front Row: Left to Right
Paul (Bullock?), ?, Barry Wood, ?, 


The Sixties

Circa: 1961
Back Row: 1st Left Thomas Day, 3rd left Ian Shaw, far right Anthony Heeney
Middle Row: 4th from left John Shorthose
Front Row: 2nd left Andrew Watt, 7th left Ian Hubble, far right Irvin Mann
On the Mats: 2nd left Louis Johnston, Ian Hoyle
Teachers: Mrs Watkin and Mr Greenall
photograph generously donated by John Shorthose

Jane (Johnson) wrote to say that the Louis Johnson in the picture above is her Uncle Louis and she adds that, "... the lad stood on the far right, back row, I think is my dad, Tommy Johnston (b1948)."   She added that, "... there was also another 2 brothers Eric (b1940) and Denis (b1950) who I think may be on some of the other photos. I'm wondering if anyone can remember them.  I'm attaching a picture of my dad on his beloved Triumph Trophy, it was taken around 1965 in Longsight (somewhere!) I'm afraid I don't know who his friend on the back is, perhaps if you put it on your site, someone may recognise themselves."

 Circa 1962
The photograph above was generously donated by Leah Edge (nee Dixon)


The Seventies

Plymouth Grove Football Team
In the main hall (upstairs) - summer 1977.
Top Row L to R: Phillip Panchoo, Tony Buckari, Mr Vale, Zibbie Khan, Arif Hussain,
Bottom Row L to R: Imran Khan, Brian Lynch, Mohammed Zavid, Phillip Heathcoat, Jimmy Deacon.

The photograph above was generously donated by Arif Hussain

Junior 3 and 4 students at school summer camp in Ludworth - 1977

L to R: Darren Noble, Mark Dooley, Tony Buckari, Saeed Ashiq,?, Pat Paraira, Shirley Gail, ?,?, Marie ?, ?, Zibbie Khan, David Mcauley, Imran Khan, Arif Hussain, ?.

The photograph above was generously donated by Arif Hussain