|The St.Helens Road
site of the old Prescot Grammar School and
latterly Prescot School was the subject of a
pre-meditated arson attack in early 1978. The
attack took place in the early hours of the
morning and the perpetrator, an ex-pupil Derek
Melia was subsequently imprisoned for his deed.
There were in fact two fires to see off most of
the 'temporary' buildings erected in 1924.
The first fire
destroyed all the classrooms from between the
library and approximately Room 12, including
science and language labs. The block containing
the sixth form centre and the old outside toilets
survived, as did the 1960's development around
the Spencer Briggs Hall. It seems that in the
second fire in July 1978 destroyed the gymnasium
area, the central quad and the Staff Room. In the
first fire all the fantastic school pictures
outside the library were lost forever. [See Glyn Phillips' photos of the
site in the early nineties].
'portakabins' were erected prior to the full move
to the Knowsley Park Lane site soon after.
Apparently, even the staff had to make do with
life in one of these 'huts'. Even when the two
sites were amalgamated on Knowsley Park lane's
site, there was very little new building except
for the VIth Form Centre built on the field at
Park Wing and the inevitable portakabins on the
There is a
belief that the arson attack was a stroke of good
fortune for the Local Education Authority as it
was a time of falling roles and conservative
government encouragement to sell off school
fields to property developers for housing needs!