Pictures: '˜Old girls' ready to celebrate centenary of their school

Abbeydale Girls' Grammar originally started up in an old residence and a new building was damaged in the Sheffield Blitz of December 1940

Friday, 13th April 2018, 2:02 pm
Updated Friday, 13th April 2018, 2:06 pm
Abbeydale Girls Grammar School, purpose built 1938-40. It later became Bannerdale Centre and is now demolished

Former pupils of Abbeydale Girls’ Grammar School are having a special get-together this year to mark the centenary of the school’s foundation.

What was then Abbeydale Secondary School for Girls was opened with 120 pupils on November 4, 1918 in the former residence known as Abbeydale Grange.

The school’s history mirrors the story of education in Sheffield and of Sheffield’s involvement in the two world wars.

In 1940 the school was renamed Abbeydale Girls’ Grammar School and pupils began to move to a new, purpose-built, building close by.

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Sadly, the brand new building was severely damaged by a ‘direct hit’ during the Sheffield Blitz of December 12-13, 1940.

The whole school at last moved into their new home in 1941.

Abbeydale Girls Grammar School continued to develop and by the 1960s had more than 800 pupils.

Other grammar schools were established nearby: Grange Girls’ Grammar in 1947 and Abbeydale Boys’ Grammar in 1958.

In 1969 all three schools were combined to form Abbeydale Grange Comprehensive School, itself now closed.

The 1940 building, remembered with pride and affection by many former pupils, has recently been demolished to make way for housing.

‘Old girls’ and staff of Abbeydale Girls’ Grammar have been meeting regularly over the years.

Former headmistress, Miss Mary Durrant, who died last year at the age of 101, attended the meetings until she moved to a residential home in Evesham, close to her family.

She continued to treasure her photographs, cards and other souvenirs of her time at the school and these, with other memorabilia, will be on display at the centenary lunch, together with a large machine-embroidered picture of the school which Miss Durrant may have received as a retirement gift. It is not signed, and we would love to know who made it with such skill and accuracy.

The Abbeydale Old Girls are holding a centenary buffet lunch on Friday, May 11 at Abbeydale Sports Club and would love to hear from former pupils who would like to join in the celebration.

Advance booking by May 5 is essential.

For further details, please email, text or phone 0788 4426130, or call a landline, 0114 239 2192.

Telegraph readers who would like to share their own memories or photographs of Abbeydale Girls Grammar School are also invited to get in touch.

* Frances Soar was an Abbeydale Girls’ Grammar School pupil from 1962 to 1969.

* In last week’s Telegraph Heritage feature on Reading Sheffield and the launch of a new book, Before the Public Library, a badly-worded sentence seemed to suggest that Mary Grover co-wrote a chapter in the book with Sue Roe and Loveday Herridge.

We are happy to point out that the authors of the chapter in the book were, in fact, Sue Roe and Loveday Herridge.

Apologies for any confusion.