The Prescotian Webzine

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When approached to recall my most memorable times at Prescot School, I was concerned that my memories would be unlike many of you Old Boys - for a start, I am of the wrong gender and probably the youngest Old Prescotian here this evening. But, having thought long and hard, I feel that perhaps things weren't so different after all - perhaps we all tend to think that the school went into a rapid decline once we no longer graced it with our own personal presence !!

I joined Prescot School four Years after my brother Ian and quite a few more behind my uncle, Frank Purslow, whom some of you may remember.

For the two years I was based at Lathum Wing in St Helens Road where the biggest shock was the number of Portakabins that served permanently as classrooms. The sudden responsibilities of a locker key and text books seriously hampered the activities of an active 11 year old and I could never fathom out why the whole form changed classrooms instead of justthe teachers ! The girls' changing rooms for P.E. at Lathum had to be seen to be believed - they consisted of one long, cold static caravan next to the long-jump pit. Of course, the boys were privileged to enjoy tiled floors and hot showers. However, after hearing what they got up to in those showers, I think we girls we re better off outside. A trip to Dent House was compulsory in the First year and very tame it was in comparison with the return visit I paid as a sixth-former. I'm sure every past pupil who had the chance to go to Dent enjoyed it thoroughly. What a shame the facility no longer exists.

Travelling to Park Wing, formerly the Girls' Grammar School. was a frequent occurrence. The exodus every breaktime across Prescot for PE or Art with Mr Jones was often an excuse for an illicit trip to Sullivan's comer shop or to the Cottage Loaf in St Helens Road. Moving over permanently to Park Wing in the Third year was a big change; it was nearer to home for a start and also I was in the same building as my big brother, a fact about which I'm sure he was not overjoyed. The move also signalled the beginning of decision making. I clearly remember sitting in Mr Barlow's office discussing my 0-level options with the intention of doing Needlework as my Craft option and leaving having signed up for a rather male dominated class in Control Technology. It involved a lot of'simple wiring diagrams and the splitting of fingernails on the Meccano.

Sporting memories consist mainly of begging Miss Bridge to allow us to wear tracksuit bottoms during the winter and gloves when plaving netball. I was quite proud to have played successfully for the Senior Hockey XI for a couple of seasons.

I must say that I have probably become a product of the 'equality drive' as my main interests at school became scientific, cultured during the Fourth and Fifth years by the likes of Mr Dempster (Physics), Miss Fraser and Mr Taylor (Biology) and Mr Ikestley (Chemistry). . Mid-term tests were always a favourite, especially with Mr Dempster who had the knack of tuning his questions to the season - yellow Easter chickens rolling down a slope at a certain velocity etc etc.

Throughout my time at the school we were fortunate to have the opportunities to go on numerous Field trips, including a visits to a mining museum, the Lake Distr ict, where I managed to break a leg, and to North Wales where I seem to remember throwing oranges into a fast river and timing their descent downstream - rather frantically, much to the amusement of Mr Rowland.

After O-levels I also went on a school holiday to France to try out my linguistic skills. Of course, it rained the whole time.

The Sixth form is what I remember most vividly. I became a member of a very small community of nineteen students which turned out to be enormous fun. With less supervision and no uniform we felt very gown-up at sixteen and seventeen. Playing cards and loud music featured heavily as did the second Common Room, the Wellington public house. Biology field trips continued with Mr Taylor and most of them involved welly-wearing and sand -dune mountaineering. Who said learning can't be fun '?

The Pensioners' Christmas Party was a big event for Sixth formers. Janet Waring, Head Girl, and myself as Deputy Head Girl greatly enjoyed providing entertainment for Prescot's senior citizens - as much as they did being entertained.

Janet and I were also privileged to be awarded a Travel Scholarship from the Foundation Governors of Prescot School. With this we were able to enjoy a a weeks activity holiday in North Devon. I seem to recall that Janet enjoyed herself more than I due to the violent bruising of my shins received during my emergency evacuation of a cave.

A-levels forced one to be more independent and self-confident. Prescot School was not merely a factory producing university and polytechnic entrants . It was a character-forming establishment providing in the Sixth form the two probably most important years of my life. Now in my final university year, I often look back and am most grateful for those years at Prescot School.

I should like to dedicate this piece to Des Roberts who was my Form Tutor and French teacher for many years and who retired last year - Thanks. Also to Mr Keith Westley who, in being always so approachable, save me confidence in myself sufficient to provide the ambition to excel in all I attempted.


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