History of Hunmanby Hall



These were encouraged, depending on the availability of classes or tutorial rooms being available. A girls-school, so needlework and embroidery were top of the list. Common rooms were available from Forms 1 to Upper 6. Sewing and needlework occupied many pupils. The art room attracted many with paint, pencil and brush to create artistic pieces, often creating their own ideas. Birthday and Christmas cards were drawn and coloured and abstract work that could be painted framed and given as gifts. The cookery room was available in free time for those interested in baking many dishes, cakes and other edible items.

Outdoor activities in free time saw the tennis courts, and table tennis popular with the girls. No-one was permitted to walk outside the grounds during free time. Members of the choir could walk down to join the local Chapel choir during choir rehearsals. Small numbers of pupils enjoyed riding in Filey during Saturday afternoons. Many pupils were keen on photography with beautiful groups of people and scenery ‘shot’. The annual photographic round-up was held in January and February. The head girl collected photographs from pupils to put into one album for the headmistress (F.A.H) on her birthday on the 6th March. It was the duty of the head girl to visit the study on this day and give to the “Birthday girl” at coffee time the album. You may realise that having so many birthdays over the years there were many, many photo albums. These today are in the O.G.A. chairman’s hands to take to branch meetings.


Teaching “cleanliness is next to godliness” was the belief throughout our school. The bath list for each dormitory was hung on the bathroom door. Three times per week and only a medical excuse saw you exempt. We all had cold baths before breakfast, a tradition led by the Headmistress! We were scrupulously clean from the word go. Sea bathing was considered to be good for one and that was included in the programme for the summer term. Off went juniors, middle and seniors carried to Filey by the famous “Scott’s bus.” The routine carried out with each group, walking in crocodile from the bus to the bathing tents. Two girls in each, rapidly undressing, standing outside the tent in our costumes to be checked and then scamper down the beach into the sea. We had 25 minutes allowed and we had quite a job drying and putting on our clothes to dash back up the beach for the bus before the next group came to repeat the process. Were we clean? Housemistresses duties involved them not only making sure we had washed our ears and back of neck they also took bedtime duties. With the baths taken according to rotas, nail cutting, hair brushing and the like before finally turning out the lights at bedtime.

Other duties involved overseeing the tidiness of all our cubicles. Bedspreads on straight and no more than two items on the bed i.e. a cuddly toy and a night dress case. Beginning and end of term they oversaw the packing and unpacking of our various clothes and checked the inventories. Night-time, we were supposed to get off the sleep, there was some late supervision in the wings but we know of reading by torch light under the bedclothes was done by many. We had listed bible readings for every dormitory which had to be read silently as we stood outside our cubicle. Each dormitory had a steward and an assistant, namely 6th formers who were responsible for their girls. If a fire drill was staged as a rehearsal they had to cope with all their sleepy children in the dormitory. The dorm stewards had a lot to cope with. Home sickness, illness, clothing repairs etc- we remember them with great affection.


Being a rather ‘young’ school we had to climb a few ladders in various spheres. Games and sport were some of them. We had to aim for excellence in tennis, netball, cricket and lacrosse. We had to put together excellent players in teams to compete against other schools. We also staged Manor Matches in all these sports. Our regular opponents were Queen Margarets School in Scarborough (now in Escrick) Bridlington High School, Harrogate College, Belmont, Skelfield and some from further a field. Pupils with their aims set on winning brought great credit to our school. Some pupils good at cricket were elected to play for the school cricket team in Canada and each summer term saw tennis teams playing in the Aberdare cup held in London. Our sports clothes consisted of short tennis dresses, white pumps and blazers in the summer. Navy shorts, red socks and striped scarves with coats saw us at the matches with game staff. These members of staff were from PE colleges at Bedford, Dartford and I.M. Moat in Liverpool and Chelsea - all very popular with us but with heavy timetables. Organised games every day with rules and staff in control were for every pupil.

The extra subject chosen and paid for by parents was riding. Such a popular pastime saw pupils of all ages riding in Filey. Told frequently by our headmistress horse riding was one of the best forms of exercise for the body. Owning her own pony she often rode in the park. The first animal was a brown animal, then a skewbald named Toby. I did enjoy riding him from time to time.

Manor team competitions were staged in all events. Those mentioned earlier and equestrian teams. Manor teams wore appropriate coloured sashes when competing. From early beginnings, this outdoor activity produced Cynthia Black (nee Hayden) who is known nationally for her breeding of Hackney ponies and competing internationally in carriage driving. The Hurstwood stud in Gloucestershire was the achievement of our one time pupil. Becoming president of the Hackney Horse Society, the National Pony Society, the British Driving association, the coaching club and official of the F.E.I. judge. Her MBA was given in honour of all her work over the year for the HORSE. From riding on the beach in Filey and in green fields nearby we had tuition from the early days from grooms of the David Burr Riding School, Filey. On its closure, at Brookland Riding Academy in Hunmanby. Later pupils were taught at Snainton near Scarborough.

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