The Prescotian Webzine

A Brief History of Boy's School Woodwork
First references to the teaching of woodwork come from 1924 when the school movet to the spacious site on St. Helens Road accommodated in newly built wooden buildings which were supposed to be temporary!

During thirties and forties, the woodwork masters were Mr. C.Fennell and Mr.R.C.Aberdein, respectively, with the workshops being based somewhere in the main building.

Sometime after 1949, according to the Prescotian Magazine of that year, the former dining rooms were to be refurbished as the woodwork area [shown by red spot].

  In the mid sixties, with the opening of the new extension, woodwork teaching moved into their new groundfloor pemises [green spot]. By now the main teacher, Mr. C.J.Davies. He was occasionally supported by Mr. W.Gornall when he was not teaching PE and games. [Pictured, Messrs. Davies and Gornall]. On Mr.Davies' retirement, Mr. Charles Freestone was appointed to pick up the baton for developing woodwork at the St.Helens road site.

These purpose built metalwork and woodwork workshops but they remained until 1978 when it was the victim of an arson attack by a disturbed former pupil.

Your Woodworking Memories
On the site for Prescot school I can not seem to find any mention of Cecil Davies other wise known as "Woffle". He always had a pipe in his mouth, loved cricket, no one could understand what he said,hense the name, and made cups of tea in his wood work rooms. Oh by the way he lived in Cecil Drive in Eccleston. I know he died around about '87. [Craig Hudson]
The only woodwork teacher called Davies I recall was C J Davies who was known as "Splinter" to us and taught on the St. Helens Road site duribg the '70s. [Ian Lawrenson]
Wasn't he also known as "Sorta Business", which he seemed to mutter under his breath from time to time? [Dave Tilley]
He gave me a "very good work" during the 2nd year according to my report book but I can't remember him at all. We had Willy Gornall for woodwork as well and made such exciting things as a pencil case and a putter for indoor golf. Sadly things didn't improve and I'm useless at DIY these days although I did manage to make a nestbox for the garden a couple of years back to impress my daughter! [Anon]
At school I was a woodwork specialist and saw the life a woodwork teacher had. He seemed to be drinking lots of tea, walking around a lot and enjoying himself, and (smiling wryly) it seemed like a good job to me. That mainly attracted me to the job. but the subject obviously did as well. [Colin Howard ]
In Woodwork, I honestly couldn’t understand a word that Mr. Davies, alias Splinter, said, and I dropped the subject as soon as options came in. I’m still a crap home handyman, is it any wonder? [Paul Gerrard]
Enter Charles Middlehurst Esq. His hands are behind his back grasping the handle of his small, battered, brown case, recently repaired for the umpteenth time by the woodwork class. [Ken Holt]
Charlie Fennell, woodwork teacher, "If you hold the chisel like this, it is impossible to cut yourself.... Run for the First Aid box, someone!" [David Perkins, 1934 to 1943]
In the three years I had woodwork classes, the only item I ever made was a pencil case! I know those that went on to do ‘O’ level woodwork were making things like coffee tables and sideboards. I seemed to remember dropping woodwork and art after the third year for Latin!
[John Burt]

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