It was a privilege to visit Cheadle Hulme School in early September, as guests at their Heritage Day. The experience was shared with my father, who is the son of a former Foundationer of the School when it was known as the Manchester Warehouseman and Clerks’ Orphan Schools. Allan Arthur Bell attended the school in the first decade of the 1900s alongside his sister Dorothy and brother Douglas. My cousin joined us a second grandson of Arthur Bell.
The pupils, staff, friends and wider community produced an excellent and well balanced commemoration of the history of their school, especially during the period of World War One. The day started with a production introducing some characters of the school during the war period. This included the portrayal of a number of girls and boys familiar to my research and definitely associates of my grandad, great uncle and aunt. A long term research question was also answered when the production introduced the Ashworth sisters and their brother. My father confirmed the ongoing friendship with Mr Ashworth as he and Arthur Bell’s other children had always purchased sports equipment at Ashworth’s sports outfitters of Stockport when they were children. Arthur Bell was employed as a clerk in a sport outfitters in 1911 and it’s quite possible the young men worked together.
We were subsequently taken on a tour of the grounds and buildings. Highlights were the dormitory where Grandad will have slept as a boy and the indoor pool where he learned to swim. This led to his life saving award from the Humane Society of the Hundred of Salford, but also a possible explanation for subsequent generations passion for aquatic sport (missing my dad!).
A general display was provided showing the full heritage of the school. This includes the first ‘whole school’ photo in 1906/07 – including grandad and his brother or sister. The gems then kept being presented commemorating the pupils and staff during the war. The impact on the community and use of the school as a Hospital was also provided. Ultimately I had to accept my cousin and father were less enthusiastic to read every ounce of detail – more interested in eating sponge cake in the dining hall! This did provide the chance to pick up a copy of Melanie Richardson’s excellent book ‘Heads and Tales’, which provides further gems on the 150 year school history.
I hope Charlotte Dover and other members of the school community record all of Charlotte’s hard work. She has done a wonderful job and it was delightful to see that I had been able assist with one or two bits and bobs.
Congratulations to Cheadle Hulme School for their successful Heritage Day. (no marking of my spelling or grammar thanks)
For a start a gallery of some photographs are below for identified connections of the school with the Manchester Regiment, please see Manchester Warehouseman and Clerks Orphans’ School – Manchester Regiment