Marilyn remembers happy schooldays in Sheffield (except the cross-country!)

The old Holt House, one of two mansions that became part of Grange Grammar School
The old Holt House, one of two mansions that became part of Grange Grammar School
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A Retro reader is hoping that other former pupils of Grange Grammar School in Millhouses will come forward with memories.

Marilyn Dance emailed to say: “I was delighted to read the article published in The Star about Abbeydale Girls Grammar School which my sister had sent me.
“Although I did not attend that school, but Grange Grammar from 1962 to 69, I have fond memories of the site that housed all three schools.
“I wish I could say the same of the cross country runs that took us past Abbeydale Girls’ and the various playing fields etc on the frequent ‘character-building’ activities encouraged by our PE staff.
“I was wondering if you knew of any similar information , or sources of information regarding Grange Grammar School please?
“I have tried over the years to find photographs etc but to no real conclusion. My trip to the site years ago saw a very sad and forlorn Holt House in a state of decay and all evidence of other buildings gone.
“I realise that you are very busy but any starting point would be greatly appreciated.
“By the way…keep up the interesting articles.”
Marilyn’s email address is mazzadance@btinternet.com.
We’d also love to hear from you here at Retro about your memories of any of the schools, or indeed any old Sheffield schools. If you’d like to share old photographs, that would be even better.
Just email julia.armstrong@thestar.co.uk or click on the link
Back to Grange Grammar: the old school site on Abbeydale Road was originally Abbeydale Grange, once the home of JP Wilson Mappin, according to the Picture Sheffield history website.
It says that the school opened in September 1938, temporarily at Eastern Avenue, before it transferred to the same site as Abbeydale Grammar boys’ and girls’ schools and Holt House primary school in September 1947.
The history of the school site is fairly confusing, as the old schools were replaced by Abbeydale Grange comprehensive school, which closed in 2010 after a long fight to save it. The boys‘ grammar school was a replacement for Nether Edge Grammar School and Hurlfield preceded the girls’ grammar school.
The excellent website of ex-boys’ grammar school pupil Chris Hobbs (www.chrishobbs.com) explains that Holt House and Grange House were two mansions that formed part of Grange Grammar School, which lay adjacent to the Boys’ Grammar School on Abbeydale Road Millhouses. Abbeydale Grange appears to be a later addition by one of Holt House’s first owners, John Rodgers, he said.
According to Chris: “In 1918 Holt House was bought from the Firth family by Sheffield Education Committee to house Abbeydale Girls Secondary School, later to become Abbeydale Grammar School. The school was housed here until the new school was built in 1939.
“The Grange then became part of Hurfield Girls Grammar School, sharing a building with the Arbourthorne Central Junior School.
“As its numbers grew it took over the Grange, Holt House and a wooden hall.
“In 1947 additional prefabricated buildings were added to the Holt House estate and the whole of Hurfield Grammar School was amalgamated on the site. The gym and the assembly hall were added five years later in 1952.
“In September 1954 the school’s name was changed to the Grange Grammar School and it remained that way until it joined Abbeydale Boys Grammar School and Abbeydale Girls Grammar School to become Abbeydale Grange.”

Abbeydale Grange, which went on to become a school

Abbeydale Grange, which went on to become a school

Christmas cake decorating

Christmas cake decorating

Gardening on the curriculum

Gardening on the curriculum

Some character-forming exercise!

Some character-forming exercise!