History of Hunmanby Hall
ANCIENT AND MODERN
It can well be said that the schools evacuation did disrupt routines established pre-1939. Returning to the premises from West Yorkshire and Cumbria, much had to be done to erase all traces of the military units that were at our school during the war. Much joinery and carpentry was needed. Surfaces damaged by army boots and heavy plant etc were just some necessary repairs. The staff of the school had to be enlarged owing to the extra number of pupils now on the role. We gained pupils from the areas mentioned. Nearly 380 girls saw for two terms all the junior and staff housed at a hotel at Primrose Valley. Some older girls and staff had ’dips’ in the village. Quite a new arrangement.
The enlargement of the staff numbers saw much younger graduates coming into teaching. Some of the original staff were nearing their retirement - so Modern Times were ahead of us - never forgetting the ’Family Feeling’ we had as a school. Soon a change of Headmistress faced us all and the Post War Years changes again. In keeping with the world outside school, things were changing and the things which we knew about - you need no longer wear a hat for church! The girls had more freedom to walk into the village to make purchases in the shops. Pupils could go home at visiting weekends and stay overnight - not done previously.
There were Saturday night ballroom dances with visiting ’boy’ pupils from Scarborough College and later Woodhouse Grove. We noticed changes in timetables and food, some of which was supplied ’frozen’. Not quite the same as matron’s home made. New uniforms appeared and less fuss was made about wearing UNIFORM shoes!
An increase in nursing staff came as the numbers to cope with were larger. Another observation - two of the PE staff newly appointed had such a modern way of teaching. They even assisted in their free time if teams were practising in free time for Manor matches in all games. The gymnasium saw the introduction of balancing bars and exercise mats. Teams were still taking part in all sports against other schools. Little did we know that soon a full sized netball pitch was to appear in a new Sports Hall - courtesy of donations and organisations with qualified people - as a farewell gift in the name of our third Headmistress.
Today and before the school closed this hall saw indoor games and sports, gymnastics, badminton etc. for all the pupils. Now known as Hunmanby Leisure and Sports Hall it has a thriving number of participants, with shower and changing rooms, car park and soft drinks bar and a weekly programme of tutorial classes for the under 5’s, over 50’s and those others who care to exercise. The present owners of the Sports Complex and the Parkland have, to many peoples delight, constructed a 9 hole (perhaps 18 hole, by now) golf link for all to come and play. A well thought out piece of modern development on what was our school grounds. With the renovations of the premises it is a pleasure to tell you that both sets of gates have had some repairs and repainting and can be seen on the entrances today. The West Gate has been widened - therefore the gates stay open, being rather smaller than the new entrance. They too bear the four manor crests on them.
For years to come - we hope we shall have a cake for every O.G. Reunion. The 70th year event held back at the school, saw the trained home economics members who make the cakes now - for the most part - can be recommended for their skills in making and decorating them. One celebration that lacked GATES - was the entrance to the schools lavish bungalow - built at Hunmanby Gap - courtesy of one of the governors from Otley, some years ago. The steep incline and uncertainty of the terrain at the Gap - just did not make a decorative or special pair of gates or practical thing to attempt! In closing - another Gateway has appeared in the West wall and nearby the Green Gate for the use of the new residents at the Hall.
From the start we learnt that the Headmistress was not in favour of speech days at all. We learnt at our Manor Meetings how we were coming along in our learning and physical abilities and were awarded grades or marks for our achievements. It wasn’t until the third headmistress took over that speech days were started. Arranged as part of a visiting weekend for the parents, these very formal occasions took place in the Spa Hall, Bridlington and Queen Street Chapel in Scarborough. Formal clothing to the fore, the Headmistress giving the opening remarks and a V.I.P spoke prior to present our prizes.
One by one the pupils name and subject were read out and the girl or girls concerned walked to the platform to receive either certificate or cup. The cups accrued by the school were over the years gifts from parents. Each bearing the event for which it was meant and the donors name and date e.g. The Manor Riding Cup or the Tennis Cup donated by Mr. & Mrs. Briggs. The team trophy for netball etc. Awards - framed and with names and inscriptions were awarded to the girl/s concerned at the appropriate place in the school- Assembly Hall, Old Hall, Dining Hall and the tennis courts or cricket fields and netball pitches. All the pupil certificates for elocution, pianoforte, singing, cookery and the like were handed by the Head or eminent person to the pupil or group concerned at various times of the term - in a Town or Public Hall with the entire school transported to the location by coach.
THE FLOURISHING SCHOOL - POST WAR
Numbers were well up and progress in many spheres, the premises being well cared for - domestic staff, foreman and gardeners, all making the premises fresh, clean and up to standard. Extensions were planned for the sixth for, improving their study on the North Wall - enlargement of the place known as ‘COS’. In addition a wing block was planned nearby on the same west side of the school Assembly Hall. The construction of these new premises was kept in time with the old wings - the red brick and oblong windows, grey/green roof. Earlier I mentioned the pageant known as the Saga of Hunmanby. It was written and created around the many and varied historical facts and happenings at Hunmanby by the one time Chairman of our Governors. The new building or wing was duly given his name - and included on the second floor a suite of rooms designed for the sole use of Home Economics - sewing and cooking - again given the name of our dear member - WILLIE. At this stage of our schools life everyone had a lot to be thankful for.
The new buildings added to the facilities available - a needlework room with modern facilities of every kind - sewing machines, materials, a library of instruction manuals and lots more space to work in, not sitting round cookery room tables on wooden stools. There was room in the Blakeston Wing to hang pupils artwork and stage commemorative exhibition when needed. An official opening ceremony brought an eminent O.G. back to her school for the ceremony. The outdoor facilities saw four new hard courts build on the east side of the park. The matches, be they Manor ones or against other school teams would see us in high chairs on all six of our tennis courts.
To swim or learn to in the sea at Filey Bay was no longer continued. Classes instead took tuition from our staff who escorted them and the staff in the South Bay Outdoor Swimming Pool in Scarborough. In the science scene, many more pupils were encouraged to go out on expeditions. To the local hedgerows and farms (with permission) to search for birds, plants and foliage, to write about and study. At the Gap, marine life and the famous fossil filled cliffs were another interest. Often crabs and jellyfish were washed ashore to take a look at, make a drawing of or take a sample back to the lab. Trees features throughout or life at Hunmanby. Who could fail to notice the extreme beauty of those planted around our park centuries ago. There were regular tree planting in the far parkland, forms taking part in the ceremonies each tree carefully fenced round to allow it to be safe and grow to maturity. Sycamores and ash were preferred though one large oak stands today, duly planted to replace one that blew down quite near to the cricket pavilion.