Memories of Bennerley School

Bennerley School is bulldozed
Bennerley School is bulldozed

A former teacher at Bennerley School has shared fond memories of her time there.

The majority of the former school has been bulldozed to the ground in the last few days.

Bennerley School demolishon

Bennerley School demolishon

Linda Holmes taught in A block for more than 20 years - from 1980 to 2002 - and said they were some of the best years of her life.

She said: “I started there at the age of 22 with many people telling me that it was one of the most difficult schools to start teaching at in the whole of Derbyshire. I never found this to be the case, the staff made me welcome from day one and the pupils were tremendous. Many of them became life-long friends when I met them in their future careers.

“A block saw many transformations during my teaching career including a fantastic hanging library which was created in the roof area. The great advantage of this old building was that it was lovely and warm in winter and cool in Summer, it never suffered from many of the problems associated with new builds.

“I look back at my time at Bennerley with great fondness. Starting as Miss French, then Mrs Kurpios and leaving as Mrs Holmes.

Bennerley School demolishon

Bennerley School demolishon

“Bennerley set many pupils on a course of discovery that has seen them settling all over the world.

“What causes me much sadness is that Cotmanhay needed a great school like Bennerley, it was a community hub and demolishing it is one of Derbyshire County Council’s biggest mistakes.”

Former caretaker, Brian Meakin, of Cotmanhay, worked at Bennerley School between 1970 and 1993. He said: “I remember there used to be an underground boiler room which was so hot, it was worse than going down the pit.”

Many people have been sharing their memories on a Facebook page called Bennerley School Forever, with some recalling some spooky experiences at the school.

Ashley Ellery wrote: “Fourteen years of my life spent in an incredible institute which served its community well, proud to have been a Bennerley student and teacher. Proud to have taught with so many dedicated teachers and proud to have taught so many talented children.”

Some of the buildings will remain and are the base for groups and companies such as radio station Erewash Sound, who are in the former media block.

The main block, off Bennerley Avenue, will this year become home to the Breadsall Pupil Referral Unit.

Any remaining empty buildings will be sold off.