memories of my time at Prescot Grammar, 1964-69
were largely brought back to me by visiting your
website. As in "A la recherché pertemps
perdu" it acted as a catalyst to release
long forgotten memories. However the taste was
more of spotted dick than a madelaine.
As I looked at the
lists and photos the names and associations came
flooding back of my happy time at the school.
are some of my random memories to give a flavour
of school life in the 60,s from my perspective.
What may be
of wider interest is the means of punishment
administered which has now sadly disappeared,
although I believe certain ex schoolboys keep the
"Beak" for instance had a habit of
hitting you over the head with the soft side of
the duster, not painful but hell to remove. I
think this reflected his gentle nature.
had the sole of a tuff boot which he used with
relish , selecting a boy from the offending row
making a noise.
One time he
called out a boy who was suffering emotionally
and he ran off out of the school never to be seen
again or at least I didn't see him again.
the new craft teacher at that time had
pattercake, which was to gently but repetitively
beat your backside with a dowling rod till you
thought it was on fire.
this subject was the nude female statue in the
art room based on anyone in particular?
these punishments didn?t do me any lasting harm
but the odd schoolboy did suffer.
lunchtime we would listen to grace in Latin or
that's what I think it was , Benedict
dominie nos et , etc. Our year was one of the
last to be taught Latin which was dropped along
with many other traditions.
boys would sit at the bottom of the dining tables
and as you progressed through the years you
advanced up the table. As a newt I would have to
recite some German precisely, for the head of the
table, before he would dish out the grub which
was excellent especially the puddings.
in the fifth I became head of a table and
have to admit to eating 20 roasties one lunchtime
and still played footie afterwards.
One day a
particularly fat boy sat down and I gave him a
small portion to help with his dieting.
Unfortunately he took this out to Spud Heyward
who came back and swapped our dinners around.
Fortunately I'd seen what was coming and off
loaded some grub to my mate.
finishing no lower than fifth in any class one
year, the house master, who didn't take me for
any subject, wrote a stinker of a comment on my
report. I decided to amend this more favourably
but this was spotted and I was whacked by Weekes
the headmaster, who was a good man and didn't lay
it on too hard (unlike Dixon).
funny was that the housemaster (Stoddart) in his
eagerness to show my crime tripped over a
painters trestle and the whole report was covered
report had subject remarks such as "I
will comment when he does it." This related
to p.e which I would only do if it was pirates. I
usually wrote out sick notes and supplied these
for other mates. "Stephen has a head cold
and sore shins and it would be prudent if he was
not subjected to strenuous exercise."
whacked so many times in the headmaster's study
that I felt I had a season ticket and
should just turn up for the hell of it. I used to
chat away to the school secretary like old
friends. They certainly were the swinging
l was flattened by a rugby league player with
metal studs who simply ran over me, leaving the
stud marks. Hardwick was refereeing and when the
opportunity came did the same back to the lad and
then sent him off for ruining the game.
local café (not Maisies) we would put raisers
under the pin ball and achieve enormous scores
and on beating say 200000 score you got 200 fags.
Eventually this was achieved and the fags dished
out. These were smoked up the jiggers of
Prescot with our gang of misfits.
one class the rather large "Victor
Ludorum" holder started to strangle me with
my own tie for some reason. I was so embarrassed
that I tried to butt him but being so short and
he that tall, I fell well short. The fight
progressed into the classroom and I must have
thrown a hundred punches but virtually none
connected whilst shipping god knows how many. By
this time we had progressed from the door to the
back of the class and he had me in a head lock
and I was attached to more of his delicate parts.
We agreed to stop. My eye was cut and blackened
and when Des Roberts came in and enquired about
it I told him I'd been hit in the eye with a
cricket ball. This seemed to put me in good stead
with the other classmates.
had an old green van that appeared to be held
together by a rope. He was quite absent minded
and some boys took to swapping desks behind his
back, to confuse him further (not me I would
add). Surprisingly he was a good tennis player,
as observed when I was ball boy with Windle when
we were on detention. He was playing Des Roberts
and the standard of play was excellent.
sporadically played for the school football team
which depended on the teacher running the team
but they favoured boys whose parents
turned up to watch, which is natural. One teacher
remarked that they needed one ball for me and one
ball for the rest of the team, which was probably
game of one year was against Holt Grammar and we
beat them 11-1. I scored a hat trick and dribbled
one through from the kick off right up to their
goal, I hit a terrible shot but fortunately it
bobbled and went over the goalies despairing
dive. The single spectator was jumping up and
down, the only witness, Jug Ears.
remember going to the police ground in Mather
Avenue to see the great team of the early sixties
play and win in the finals and am surprised more
of them didn't end up as professionals.
(the World Cup started that week and River Deep
Mountain high was number 1), we went to Seefeld
in Austria with the school. Hiking up a mountain
it started to rain, the rather attractive tour
rep invited me under her large coat, I declined
but Dave Charnley asked if he could take
her up on the offer to which she replied in
French "piss off!"
in France I found out that my French lessons
proved virtually useless in communicating. After
a week of Salami we stopped on the way back and
ate the café out of chips. We bought a crate of
beer but were spotted and had to take it back.
Someone threw a boy's silver cufflinks, given to
him by his father, out of the window, only to be
found after much tears and searching. Someone
shoplifted keyrings as momentos and on getting
back to the hotel there was a police car, so he
thought they'd come for him, which we encouraged
but as it turned out they were looking for a lost
schoolboy. Most of the day was spent running
after a roommate who wouldn't take his turn
carrying the packed lunches.
England won the world cup, what a year!!
the whacking, the bullying, the intense academic
pressure, I thoroughly enjoyed every day and feel
it has led to a well adjusted upbringing which I
intend to write about fully once I have completed
my present course of treatment/rehabilitation.
like to thank my friends Steve Waite, Paul
Windle, Paul Curran, Phil Kelly, Brian Melia,
Spencer, O, Brien, Metcalfe, etc apologies if
I've missed anyone out.