The Prescotian Webzine


The Great Slide

Looking back now in old age, it was probably the harsh winter of 1947 that encouraged its creation….The Great Slide. … stretching from the entrance gates of PGS and careering down in a seductive curve to the old wooden building situated to one side of the main school at the bottom….

Gleaming. Cold. Wide. Dangerous. And irresistible. Running down towards the top of it and launching yourself on to it was like jumping down the side of Mount Everest…or the vastness of the Russian steppes….or a glacier at the South Pole.

Some boys could only summon up the courage to slide conventionally… facing forwards, upright….others crouched down in the “diddy-man” posture… some lads who would no doubt go on to win the Victoria Cross, went down doing diddy-man, backwards…..

For days, possibly even weeks, the slide remained in place… every morning we arrived at school expecting to find it turned to slush by some jobs-worth teacher or caretaker. But every day it was always there.. frozen to new and improbable levels of hazard in the night and once more looking untrodden…. Waiting for us.


For the days the Great Slide remained in place in the playground of Prescot Grammar School schoolboy reputations were made for ever by acts of icy recklessness … and also lost by the swotty boys who walked down past it, gingerly, averting their eyes, into school.

Health and Safety? We’d never heard of it. And neither clearly had the school authorities. Happy days of dangerous delights, they were. Could never happen today.

Peter Harrison. ( later transferred to the more sober confines of Holt High School, Liverpool, 1948)

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