Stand Grammar School

Church Lane, Whitefield, Manchester
Demolished 2001 AD

History of the school

Some interesting material has come into my possession and  I think it is worth showcasing it  on a purpose-built History page.  In time,  much more material will appear here (that is, as much as you all send me!) but even though this page is far from finished, it is at least started.  Therefore I shall waste no  more time. Publish and be damned! - Arthur Wellesley,  1st Duke of Wellington.

If anyone has any material of historical interest, do send it!


Some Masters and Scholars  (Adobe Acrobat PDF format, 20 MBytes)  by William Hewitson, with a preface by George Longman, dating from 1915.

Stand Grammar School - a 20th century history  (Adobe Acrobat PDF format) - Originally presented as the after-dinner (or pre-toast) speech at the 2006 Old Standians' Dinner, this original work by Dr Geoffrey Barnes  covers the  birth of  The School as we knew it,  the start of the Old Standians' Association and all the headmasters of the 20th Century.    



Some postcards have recently come into my possession, courtesy of  Sue Hazard, great granddaughter of  J. R. Ragdale.  Other material in the assortment received from Sue Hazard was a collection  of  photos of North Manchester School  and  a copy of the school magazine, 1938, reporting the death of their headmaster,  A. W. Dennis.  
Homework Question - Does  anyone know of the former North Manchester School? Does it still exist in any form? If someone could  be found to accept this material I'll pass it on.


The school, brand spanking new aerial view
The school, brand spanking new The school, brand spanking new


Also received was a book entitled 'Memorials of Stand Chapel', by R Travers Herford, published in 1893. As Stand Chapel was linked to the School in its earliest  days, I  read through it searching for anything of interest. There was very little regarding the school as such, but there was an anecdote that caught my eye...

'I close this chapter with an anecdote which, though its date cannot be precisely determined, serves to show that intellectual acuteness was not wanting in the Stand congregation in the old days any more than it is now. A certain minister was preaching as a supply, and at the afternoon service he repeated his sermon of the morning.  At the conclusion of the service, a young lady went up to him and remarked, "Mr. ——, do you know you have preached the same sermon both in the morning and in the afternoon?"  To which he replied, "My dear, that is what I always do; but you are the first person who ever found it out ! "'


Also of interest is a quote from the book here. Apparently, during the foundation stone laying ceremony, two groups almost came to blows over who had the right to lay the stone...

'We are now in the position to embody some interesting information which relates to the actual building of the Church.  The diary of an old parishioner informs us, that  on June 21st, 1822, Robert Astley dug a "Trial Hole," 13 feet deep, to test the ground on which the future structure was to be built.  A few weeks later, preparations had been made for laying the First Stone, a ceremony which, according to all accounts, was interrupted by an exciting and amusing incident.  On August 3rd, 1822, the Clergy and Gentlemen who officiated in the ceremony, assembled at the Besses-o'th'-Barn Tavern at twelve o'clock, from which place they moved in procession to the site of the intended Church at half-past one.  It seems that the Freemasons were strong in numbers at that time, and they also claimed the right of laying the foundation stone.  In full costume, headed by a band, a body of them marched boldly down upon the site.   The workmen were drawn up and resistance was prepared, but the brethren of the craft seeing this, came to a parley, and agreed to postpone their own rites until the real ceremony was over.

It began with the singing of the old version of the Hundredth Psalm, "All people that on earth do dwell." A triangle and suitable apparatus being in readiness, together with a glass case for the coins.'

All Saints, Stand





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Author: Martyn Arnold

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