Once there was a school – from May 16th 1898, there was a school.
One of many Manchester School Board schools built in an imposing functional, triple storied style, they often seemed several times too big, for the infants which they contained.
With one thousand five hundred pupils, it was dubbed the largest school in Lancashire.
Nestled in a tight corner formed by the Lanky Cut and the train line below, surrounded by the huddled masses, in their manifold terraced homes.
Once home to cheeky monkey, soon to be Monkee Davy Jones.
His runaway, overnight fame made his humble Gorton home a mecca for adoring fans.
The school’s interior was a mix of wide open halls and closeted classrooms.
Archive photographs from the Manchester Local Image Collection
Eventually the school bell rang for the last time, and a newer brighter home was found for the little learners.
Lights were turned off and the doors of Varna Street were closed.
But not for the last time, a new use was found for this recently listed building.
Having lost their city centre base Rogue Studios were offered the site by the local authority, and in double quick time they have created a home for artists, a community resource and project space, which will continue to prosper for years to come.
Many thanks to Ms. Jenny Steele Rogue artist for my guided tour.
8 thoughts on “Varna Street – Rogue Studios Manchester”
My husband Joe, and I taught at Varna Street for a number of years. I now work out of Hot Bed Press as a printmaker.
Are you having an Open Day anytime soon. We would love to come and visit and see what you’ve done with the place.
I’ll let you know as soon as there is any events – thanks Caroline, Steve.
This was my school all my school life, infants right up to senior school. Davy Jones was 2 years senior to me.
Like you Keith my school days were at Varna. David Jones was in my class. We grew up together. Lived round corner from me. I’m still in touch with his sisters
Hi, I was a pupil at Varna Street until 1958 , I always wondered what happened to the ship in the glass case of a banana boat that was presented to the school
That was as Tilapa one of elders and fyffes bababa boats. I left Varna Street in 1959 and went to sea my friend was Charlie green.
I was a pupil at Varna street school from 1956 till 1966 it was a great school happy days.
My 3 siblings and I were Varna Street pupils between 1952 and 1969. Great school. Mr and Mrs Montague were legends