The Prescotian Webzine

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It was Christmas-time 1980, on a return visit to Merseyside, when I heard to my horror that Prescot Grammar School had been the target of an arson attack. I resolved to visit the scene of devastation. Only the old woodwork room and the dining room had survived the fire, together with a small portion of what had been Form 3A classroom in my day and the cloakrooms opposite. Most of the rest had gone, leaving the vague outline of the quadrangle where I remembered summer morning mnnidhl inn in the fresh sunshine. I felt desolate but angry.

What could be done to restore the situation? It came to me in a flash. If we could not recreate the buildings, at least we could try to recreate the society. I contacted the secretary at Prescot School, encouraged by Headmaster Peter Barlow. Soon, the 1940 records ware open in front of me. Joe Reuse, Taffy Roberts, Titch Farrell, Bill Fawcett........ all the names of my Form Va form-mates flooded the memory. I could see their faces as clear as daylight, and almost hear their voices.

Equipped with a list of names, I approached the Prescot & St Helens Reporter and the Liverpool Echo to announce that I wished to get in touch with the members of my 1940 School Certificate class, some twenty-five boys in all, with a view to organising a Reunion. The response was prompt and magnificent. long before Easter, 22 of the 25 had responded and we met at the Old Vicarage Hotel, Whiston on 25 April, 1980. What an evening of nostalgia! What memories and experiences were fondly and amusingly recalled - once we had recognised each other! When I first entered the bar, I thought it was full of commercial travellers. Then, gradually, one by one, the pennies dropped! "Nay, Jem, how goes it ?", "Crikey, there's a lot more of you!", came out. Eager handshakes and warn back-slappings were followed by endless reminiscing. We drank well, we dined well and resolved that we should meet again, probably in 12 or 18 months time.

Before the next Reunion, I had welcome and exciting news of the addresses of Fred Stevenson and Geoffrey Dixon who joined us for the 1981 meeting. I had also extended the age range a little to include some slightly older (pre-1940) and younger (post-1940) Old Boys who had surfaced in the meantime via the bush telegraph. Cecil Pickavance took pity on me, frantically collecting subscriptions after the meal was over, and offered to help with the organisation. He has done so, ably, ever since.

Subsequently, we have met every 18 months and, latterly, every 12 . months. Unfortunately, Fred Stevenson died in 1987, but Geoffrey and Masie Dixon and, additionally, Jack Smith and Margaret, Charles Middlehurst, Peter Barlow and Carroll have become our regular guests. Memorable speeches, some reported in this publication, have been given. The intention is to include others in successive issues. They will provide, in their own way, chronicles of the Prescotian past.

Attendances at the reunions have now reached 125: Old Prescotians who wish to do so bring along their ladies. Significantly, we had several younger Prescotians attending from the 1960s and 70s. The next Reunion, our ninth, is scheduled for 28th September, 1990 at the Statham Lodge Hotel, Lymm near Warringtion and will be attended by three members of the last VIth Form (1987) of Prescot School. This is a healthy sign for the future.

The OLD PRESCOTIAN SOCIETY has truly arisen, like Phoenix, from the ashes. Long may it prosper ('Floreat Presootia', Ed.) but please that its future lies in the hands of each and every one of us. FUTURAM CIVITATEM INQUIRIMUS', "We seek after a State to come".


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