The Prescotian Webzine

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Green Jim Taylor (36-42) takes a long view ahead...

THE 5OOth. ANNIVERSARY Of PRESCOT GRAMMAR SCHOOL

The powerful 'greenhouse' sun rose early on Founders Day morning 2044 A.D. At least the days ol early October would afford some respite from the sub-tropical summer just past. Such summers had become frequent since the global warming that began hack in the 198os and the rise in sea level whith followed it. A beautiful autumn day was in the offing to crown no less than the 500th anniversary of the founding of Prescot Grammar School, first established in 1544 towards the end of the reign of King Henry VIII and now enjoying reconstruction following its temporary stage as a comprehensive sdiool in the late twentieth century. It all began with the reconstitution ol Penrith Grammar School back in early March 1993. It had since happened domino-stylee up and down the country.

Later. that Founder's Day morning, a very special service of thanksgiving was held in Prescot Parish Church in the Royal Presence of King William V, symbolising the fact that Prescot Grammar School is one of the few schools remaining in England which has enjoyed royal patronage from its very beginning.

In the afternoon a computerised Founders's Day-style football match was held which the Omegas won by a record of 24,678 goals.

In the evening the 63rd Annual Reunion of Old Prescotians, both ladies and gentlemen, held in St George's Hall, I.iverpool attracted a record attendance of more than 2000 persons including guests. Following a time-honoured tradition dating back to the 11th reunion of 1992, the seating arrangements adopted were according to age groups. A small gaggle of octogenarians and a few nonogarians were allocated to an inconspicuous corner table. They talked of things past, recalling the temporary demise of the late twentieth century Grammar School but not its communities, and savoured happy memories of the glories of reunion nights at the Statham Lodge Hotel. This worthy building was now alas submerged following the rise in sea level as the Mersey Valley had become an arm of the Irish Sea. Prescot Hill, however, had survived, overlooking the mosaic of small lakes and islands beyond which lay the large elongated Southport lake, a vast natural body defining the south-eastern edge of the city and belittling its minute man-made twentieth century fore-runner. The early days of the city of Southport had long since been recorded by that eminent historian, little recognised by his contemporaries, Francis Bailey. The city itself, surviving on its own island, no longer searching for the sea but artificially protected from its destructive incursions by massive, adjustable Dutch-type dykes. The tremendous cost of their construction and maintenance has heen amply justified by the city's round-the-year revenue not only as a continental resort ol unequalled tropical splendour but also as the European mecca for water sports and recreation.


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