Schooldays in Bootle

Your place to talk about your Bootle memories
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whitey2
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2011 1:10 pm
Location: Churchtown Southport

Sat Nov 12, 2011 1:03 pm

As a new subscriber I thought I should introduce myself. Dave White, born at 4 Prior Street on February 11th 1947. St Joan of Arc School from 5 years of age to 15.

On my first look at Bootle History Site I was interested to see comments on my old school and thought I would add my two penneth worth and hope I won't be considered contentious or even worse boring.

It's almost 60 years since I started at St.Joans and I remember my first impression was how it resembled Fort Apache. The iron railings and steel, removed to assist the war effort, were replaced by what was probably used railway sleepers fixed vertically.

The first day mother took me, after that I was on my own, returning home for mid-day meal. If I re-call correctly, the head mistress of the infants was Miss Fienan and Miss Draper was one of the teacher (1952).

In the junior school the awful Sister Lucy ruled, with her wimpole hat and block of wood. She was always more concerned with the salvation of our immortal souls than our education, welfare or future prospects. I remember Pop Sickens, the caretaker who would chase us withy his steel ruler, Mr Breen as a good sort and Miss Burns (Maggi) as not so nice.

The priests I can remember were Father O'Neil; Father Danher who was later made up to Canon who was a lovely man and had a great way with children. He moved to Hightown where some of us boys visited him on our bikes; Father Murphy, a tough sort, who occasionally took a pint at The Winifred pub. He used to organise trips for the boys to Ireland, at low cost and could be paid by instalments; Father Brown and Father Foley.

November was the time when the priest came to the school to test our religious knowledge, so many things to remember and quoted parrot fashion.

The area we roamed, when not at school covered many miles, Potters Barn fields for football, North Park, Litherland Park with the chance to see the lift bridge in operation en-route. Down Sandy Lane to the beach where the container Terminal is now. We would play in the bomb craters and the concrete pill box defences, dotted between the sand hills. Does anybody remember the old military vehicles mounted on steel girders to mislead the enemy and all the pyramid tank traps?.

Junior School classes usually had forty or more boys and girls, so keeping order might havebeen as important to the teachers as the education of the pupils. Children who were prepared to work hard could pass the eleven plus and much improve their prospects as my two younger sisters did, going on to Seafield. One a doctor/consultant and one a university lecturer.

Our introduction to the senior school was done in military style. We were made to form lines and stand to attention, thumbs down the crease of our trousers, chest out etc., anybody not complying to the roared commands got a quick punch for encouragement. I wonder if these were formally qualified teachers or ex military personnel.

My least favourite teacher was Mr Fay who seemed to enjoy either caning us boys or using a gym shoe (pump) on the bottom, after showers in the gym with great effect on whoever he thought 'deserved' it. Mr Meadows (Froggie) was another nasty piece of work; so different to Mr Murphy who had a wonderful 'encouraging' vocabulary "I flay the hide of any of you who as much as breathes". Mr Brown seemed a nice caring man.

We were told that at this time Catholic schools did not receive the same financial government support as C of E schools. I wonder how many children in the 50's did not achieve their full potantial due to inadequate or incompetant teachers and over zealous nuns and priests.
All the best
Dave
Ex Prior Street and ex Joan of Arc
PETER CRAIG
Posts: 3769
Joined: Sun Aug 27, 2006 8:24 pm
Location: BOOTLE

Sat Nov 12, 2011 2:05 pm

Welcome to the Bootle forum Dave,
Nice story,
Peter.
..
Mike McC
Posts: 58
Joined: Sat Oct 02, 2010 8:15 pm
Location: Waterloo
Contact:

Sat Nov 12, 2011 4:52 pm

I only went to St Joans as far as the juniors, but I remember most of the teachers named and all the priests. One teacher not mentioned was BTH - Miss Hisley. (Big T*** Hisley). The poor woman had arthritis in both hands.
As for classmates, Dave White, Kenny Baddeley, Mick Murphy, Philip Warburton, Tommy McGregor, Vincent CUmiskey, Denis McCarthy, Eileen Horton, Monica Finnegan, Sheila Gilhooley, Ann Redmond, Mary Banks, Terry Highams are some of the names I remember from Miss Burns class. They were happy days for me, because I then went to St Marys in Crosby and hated every day I was there.
Ex Addison St, and St Joans.
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Maureeng
Posts: 1263
Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2008 12:43 am
Location: Perth. Western Australia.

Sat Nov 12, 2011 10:55 pm

Welcome to the forum Dave. I recognise a lot of the names you mention even though I did'nt go to St.Joans but my husband did and he has often told me about his school days, according to my husband he was one of the good boy's,rarely in trouble, I don't believe that for a minite though,lol. I did meet Father Murphy when he was doing a house call to my future in-laws, when he said "hello" the beer fumes nearly knocked me over, lol. Nice story Dave. :)
Ian Coppinger
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon Mar 08, 2010 7:07 pm

Sun Nov 13, 2011 1:46 am

Hi Dave and welcome to the site. It was interesting to read your memories with such lucidity particularly with your retention of names of your most feared and most admired of your "carers" during your years at St Joans. I was brought up of the opposite persuasion as a Proddy dog at St.Mary's primary just a little way along Derby Road from you and yet light years in terms of locality , or so it seemed at the time.
My memories of St.Mary's is one of great fondness for the teaching staff and my fellow classmates , the comparisons between the two enviroments and the opportunities for advancing to a higher education were severely limited , for one reason or another. and it is to the great credit of the individuals who did succeed , though low in number, from each of our seperate schools that we can now look back and reflect .I am of a similar age to yourself and still to this day wonder why whenever we played St Joans Primary Football team we always lost heavily. 6 1 or 7 2 was it the fear of your carers , divine intervention or were we just plain rubbish at footie lol Dave your message has evoked so many memories and that is at the very core of the success of this wonderful site. Ian Coppinger
Eddy Lloyd
Posts: 4095
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2008 4:04 pm
Location: Waterloo

Sun Nov 13, 2011 9:07 am

Hi Dave welcome to the forum. I remember almost all of the teachers you mentioned. Mr Breen being my favourite in Junior School and Mr Murphy who smoked Captain full strength and coughed all through playtime. There was no messing about with him he was hard but fair and he got the best out of our footy team. Lots of good memories and a few bad ones, I just wished I'd paid more attention. :D
Last edited by Eddy Lloyd on Wed Oct 30, 2019 4:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
john james ingham
Posts: 584
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 5:36 pm
Location: bootle by the docks

Sun Nov 13, 2011 11:59 am

hello butch my old friend how are you doing. john.
born bank rd off strand rd.
Sheelagh Tequila
Posts: 1981
Joined: Sat Apr 03, 2010 11:17 pm
Location: Formby

Sun Nov 13, 2011 12:47 pm

Hello Dave and welcome, I also went to St. Joans juniors and did 1 yr in the seniors before we were sent to St.James. Very similar memories as you with one difference, I really liked Maggie Burns although scared of her I always thought she was fair, Father Danher and his coin tricks and his jumping rabbit made from a hanky :D ........ and then the she devil :evil: ...... Sister Lucy....

Enjoy the site Dave

Sheelagh
bernie johno
Posts: 3226
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2010 8:12 am

Sun Nov 13, 2011 2:06 pm

sister lucy what ever happened to her did she go to heaven i doubt it :evil: :evil: :D :D :wink:
hood st ,norton st, spenser st ,
Sheelagh Tequila
Posts: 1981
Joined: Sat Apr 03, 2010 11:17 pm
Location: Formby

Sun Nov 13, 2011 2:15 pm

No Bernie,, :twisted: Beelzebub :twisted: had her ear marked,,her stick could keep the flames of hell going for months.

Sheelagh :wink:
PRITCH
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Sep 01, 2019 2:58 pm

Sun Sep 01, 2019 3:15 pm

Hi,
Does anyone on bear remember my mum, her name is Mary ‘Cathy’ Sandys (now Pritchard). She was born in 1940 and her Dad was a Docker. She lived in Bibby’s Lane and went to St Joans.
Got Dementia now but still alive. Brother is a Nicky and sister was Teresa.
Best,
Pritch
bob. b
Posts: 4903
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 1:04 pm

Sun Sep 01, 2019 7:11 pm

Well Dave welcome to the site
This is a fantastic site
Fantastic people from all over the world
Dave, did you play football for your school mate sorry Dave you did mention you played?
Regards Bobby
bob. b
Posts: 4903
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 1:04 pm

Sun Sep 01, 2019 7:29 pm

Dave you mention potters barn has a young lad l would watch many a great player from Canal st playing there my big brother would take me.
We were the only two who played football in our family he should have made it and played for greater teams,
Regards Booby
nicolas
Posts: 230
Joined: Mon Nov 04, 2013 8:10 am

Sun Sep 01, 2019 7:32 pm

bob. b wrote:Dave you mention potters barn has a young lad l would watch many a great player from Canal st playing there my big brother would take me.
We were the only two who played football in our family he should have made it and played for greater teams,
Regards Booby
Look at the date!
nicolas
Posts: 230
Joined: Mon Nov 04, 2013 8:10 am

Mon Sep 02, 2019 10:11 pm

PRITCH wrote:Hi,
Does anyone on bear remember my mum, her name is Mary ‘Cathy’ Sandys (now Pritchard). She was born in 1940 and her Dad was a Docker. She lived in Bibby’s Lane and went to St Joans.
Got Dementia now but still alive. Brother is a Nicky and sister was Teresa.
Best,
Pritch
Yes I remember your Mum Catherine, I was a friend of Nick - I've sent you a Private message!
PRITCH
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Sep 01, 2019 2:58 pm

Tue Sep 03, 2019 8:55 pm

Struggling to send a response on here.
tpbrady
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Oct 29, 2019 2:42 pm

Wed Oct 30, 2019 2:33 pm

Hi Dave,your observations about life in Fort Apache were both humorous and enlightening. I reall enjoyed your post. I had a similar experience to you at St Eizabeth of Hungary RC in Litherland. Wow,those nuns were fierce. I then went on to St Marys, Crosby where the Christian Brothers were worse and,incredibly, I ended up teaching in a Jesuit Grammar School ,where every other J was a psychopath,the ones in between being saints. There is no half way in The Society of Jesus. It's funny but,for me,Linacre Lane was a dividing line. For us in Litherland who dare not cross that road,over there was where Bootle really started. Our side ,though nominally Bootle from The Pacific and Johnson's Dye Works onwards up to Linacre Lane, was really still civilized Litherland !!
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