Toastrack Museum

Reflected Message

Margaret Connolly (nee Pemberton), of Chorlton-cum-Hardy, shares her personal experiences of the Toastrack:

“I attended classes for silversmiths at Hollings College from 1962 (circa) until 1974. This was a further education class and my tutor was Mr Hollings. I learnt a lot from him, and after the class closed went on to get 2 NVQs and City & Guilds at Arden and Partington colleges respectively.

I was at Hollings when Miss Hollings died, and the college was renamed in her memory. My tutor, Mr Hollings, was her brother. As well as jewellery, the class in tandem also had a small class for making shoes by hand. Mr Hollings taught both classes at the same time in the same room – I think he may have brought the shoe class from another college. He was an old-style teacher, a stout man with horn-rimmed glasses, very helpful, kind and knowledgeable. I don’t know much about the shoe class – I was too busy doing my own thing. During my time at Hollings College, Mr Hollings retired and was replaced with Mr Cartwright.

I made lots of friends at Hollings and have many happy memories of my time there.

In 1967 I wrote an article for She magazine, which was published in the November issue. I received £12.50 for this article, and with the money I bought a new fridge.”

Margaret’s article is reproduced from her original copy below:


4 thoughts on “Reflected Message

  1. What a lovely comment about my father John Hollings. When he left Hollings college he then went and taught jewellery and silversmithing at Bury school of art and Bolton art college. He tried to retire two times but kept being asked back as they couldn’t find anyone as good and he finally retired aged 79 years. He had a massive stroke aged 82 and was ill for 12 months before his death. I don’t know if Margaret remembers me and my sister, as we used to go and sit in his office at the back of his class and sometimes wander round the college when we were off school and our mother was working.

  2. That is amazing, worked here for 37 years and this is first mention I have heard of a Mr Hollings – a brother!

    Paula, Dean’s office

  3. My sister and I are very proud to have our family associated with the Hollings faculty, and Tricia my sister has a few pictures of aunty Elsie and my father, which she will post on here but at the moment doesn’t have internet access. We used to model the clothes that were made at the Midland hotel in Manchester. My father used to teach jewellery and silversmithing and shoe making, but also taught a form of health and safety to the other students. My aunt died when I was 12 and my father left the college and we have never been back since, which is a shame as I think there is a plaque there about my aunt. My father and my aunt came from an extremely poor background and both won scholarships to grammar schools and my aunt’s achievements were due to great determination.

  4. It was good to hear news of Mr Hollings’ daughters. I did go to Bury with him for one year but found the travelling too much. I returned to Hollings under Mr Cartwright. I cannot recall seeing any children in the office but I only attended in the evenings and not during children’s holidays. I can remember seeing a key made by Mr Hollings for a Town Hall door, but don’t know which one. It weighed a ton.

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