R.Edwards Letters (up to the 17th of June)
Sent: Tuesday, May 10, 2011 5:05 PM
I stumbled across your website after doing a Google search, and pursued this connection after perusing the Wikipedia entry for a while.
Let me introduce myself. I am Robert Edwards, a former pupil (1951-56). Some brief facts, as follows. I was born and raised in Anfield on March 21, 1940.
My first form master was Mr. Cyril Woodward, who also taught English to the 3A class, followed by Mr. Herbert Ellis, Mr. Falconer, and Mr. John Gawler. I was a keen soccer player, and played in the same team as Brian Labone, who went on to do great things in that endeavour, as you doubtless know. After GCE year, in the lower sixth, I left the Collegiate and went to work at English Electric.
While at English Electric I obtained a Higher National Certificate from (then) Liverpool College of Advanced Technology (1960) and went on to successfully write the examinations for membership in the Institution of Electrical Engineers. In 1962 I moved to Gravesend, Kent to work for Associated Electrical Industries. Both English Electric and AEI were acquired by the General Electric group in the mid 1960's. In November, 1964, I emigrated to Canada, took up Canadian citizenship, and still live here in my home on the Atlantic Ocean in Nova Scotia. I had a rewarding career as an electrical engineer, starting in Montreal, and ending in Toronto. While pursuing my career in Toronto, I obtained a Masters Degree in Management Sciences from the University of Waterloo, Ontario.
I noted that you were interested in adding information to your stockpile, and I would like to do so, in particular regarding notable old boys, and experiences of school camp. The Wikipedia site, I thought, was derelict in not listing the name of Tommy Farrell in its list of famous old boys. Farrell was a track athlete, representing the British track and field team on many occasions, and was their captain several times at important international events. He left the Collegiate in the spring of 1951, the same year that I first attended, and graduated from Loughborough College. I had a special interest in Tommy Farrell because he was for a while my Sunday school teacher at Donaldson Street Sunday School in Anfield. While there, upon learning that I was to attend the Collegiate, he took it upon himself to meet my parents and give some useful advice in my making the transition from Granton Road Primary School.
I attended school camp twice in Glen Wyllin, I.O.M., in 1954 and 1955, which was next door to the village of Kirkmichael. Although I do not have any photographs of this era, I do have some memories of songs round the camp-fire, swigging cocoa, swimming in the bitterly cold water of the Irish Sea, peeling huge quantities of potatoes (and eating them!), doorsteps of white bread smeared with copious quantities of jam, playing soccer against a team of local boys, playing tennis on the local courts, cycling to Ramsey and Laxey for fun, and climbing to the summit of Snaefell on the annual camp walk. I remember being supervised by Mr. Mansell and Mr. White (chemistry), with Mr. Ellis also participating.
I have never been particularly nostalgic, but that is changing in my retirement years! Sometimes I wish that I could renew the contacts with some of my old school chums, and swap yarns regarding our life experiences. Perhaps you have a list of members that you could forward, or that I could access, with your permission. I would be delighted to join the Old Boys Association.
Thank you for your letter.
We are always pleased to publish letters, such as yours, (from an overseas COB) on our web site, in the hope that some of our other old boys (from all round the world) may like to make contact with you.You certainly have an excellent memory of your time, at the school and do sound as tho' you enjoyed it.
We are also pleased to say that you also seem ot have "a lot of ink in your typewriter" :-) :-) :-)
Your request for a "List of Members" has been forwarded, to our Secretary - We are not sure if this is viable, due to possible Spamming etc. - If individual COBs contact us, we would do our usual thing, and forward the details to you.
Did you play for any of the COB Football teams ?
Tommy Farrell always seemed to have a smile on his face and was certainly a good runner at school. However, he seemed to favour playing Rugby :-(
Maybe someone who knew Tommy in his more famous days, might like to write in, to Wikipedia, and make a correction to their list.
In the 1940s, Mr. Mansell seemed to have a nickname of "Mobe" (no idea why) - was this the case, in your days ?
We did hope to have complete sections on the School Camps and also The Evacuation - This hasn't materialied; Maybe this contribution, from you, might trigger off some other memories from others.
As far as membership is concerned, there is a link that you can click on, to obtain a printout of our Membership Application Form. To use this, simply click on here and print out.
BTW - We would be interested in knowing what words you used in your Google Search.
From: Robert Edwards (1951 to 1956)
First of all, let me thank you for responding to my first letter to you, and your gracious reply is very welcome.
I have done a search on Google which was very intriguing to me, as some former pupils had left comments there, and I knew two of the contributors very well. Amazingly, they are both living in Australia.
One of them was Roy Carroll, who started in the same class on the same day as I did. We were friendly, but not close friends. I remember that he was a keen soccer and rugger player, possibly under the influence of our first form master, Cyril Woodward, whereas I mostly kicked the round ball for fun, (enjoying the break) with the oval ball mostly in form seven-a-side.
The other contributor was Jim Turner, who was a very good friend of mine. We both attended Granton Road Primary School, Jim one year ahead of myself, so I knew him actually before my fifth birthday. In the Collegiate years we were both in the same school soccer team for long periods, particularly in the 1954 Junior team, which lost at Anfield 1-0 to Holt High School (I think) in the Junior Shield. I returned to Anfield with the juniors in a winning cause the following season; Jim was too old, and was turning out for the first eleven most times that year. One of our chums in that team was Brian Labone, who went on to glory with Everton and England, incidentally. Jim and I socialised after leaving Collegiate, interrupted by his national service call up, until around 1961, or thereabouts. I remember that he had an interest in teaching, and was exploring the option of a teacher training college. I think that he had Australia in mind from the time that he left the army. If you have any information concerning names and addresses of old boys who would be open to being contacted, please let me know.
I have had sporadic interactions with old boys over the years, which perhaps I could record and post on your site, if this would be welcome.
Thank you once again for your help.
Hi Robert (or is it "Bob" ?)(I apologise, if the answer's NO)
I passed your email on to several members of the Council and the Vice Chairman was of the opinion that some of the items in WIKI, about our school, did contain some errors - If you want to contact him, in this regard, then go to the Admin Page, on the site, and click on "Annual Dinner". He is the man who does a lot of interfacing between the Association and the Liverpool Records Office and also does all the work of organising our Annual Dinner.
While we are on the subject, if you are thinking of visiting "The Pool", I might suggest that you consider the third week in October (poor weather, I know) and attend the Annual Dinner. You could meet up with some old chums :-)
BTW - There may well have been an awful lot of Edwards's in the school, during your time, and very often, first names were not used. Did you have a nick-name that might stir some memories ?
From: Robert Edwards (1951 to 1956)
Please consider this a post-script to my previous e-mailing to you. I omitted one or two points that you had raised.
Indeed, Mr. Mansell was known as "Mobe", or "Mobie" when he taught our class. As in your case, I have no idea how he came by this nick-name. Schoolboys are very inclined to assign nick-names rather quickly, of course, and almost every master who taught us had one. Mr. Mansell taught us Latin and Greek, I think in Rem A. In 3A Mr. Falconer taught us Latin (and he was nick-named "The Falcon", in rather uninventive fashion), and in 4A Mr. Evans (whom we called "Ben", although I doubt that it was his name) was our first Greek master, and carried on with the Latin, as well. In our GCE year our form master, Mr. Gawler (John), was the one to guide us to our classics destiny, and he did a very good job. We were an unruly lot at times, and we must have driven our masters to distraction. I remember that Mr. Mansell was recovering from a bad heart episode, and his way of dealing with excessive boisterousness in class was to sit there quietly until the din subsided. Then he usually wrote the names on the blackboard of the miscreants, and wrote the type of detention punishment we were to receive! Some of us were slow learners, as I recollect. Although he had a serious demeanour I suspect that he actually did like his pupils. He was one of the more "take charge" teachers at school camp, with able assistance from Mr. White (chemistry), Mr. Ashcroft, and Mr. Hewitt. I remember that Mr. Ellis (Herbert) dropped in for a few days, accompanied by his Swedish fiancée, whose exotic presence left many of the boys tongue-tied.
Mr. Ellis was an excellent teacher, and got the best out of the boys with sympathy and firm counsel, rather than the authoritarian hand preferred by some others. He was consequently well-liked by the boys, who took French from him. He also took charge of the Under-13 soccer team. In our year with him on the soccer field, Mr. Ellis took a little deviation from the strict regimen of other Liverpool area grammar schools as opponents one Saturday morning at Leyfield Road. On the preceding Friday, Mr. Ellis told us that our opponents next day was to be another school (whose name I forget) from Toxteth, to our great puzzlement. We had been rigorously instilled with the virtues of fair play, respect for your opponent, and honesty. During the match, we indignantly complained to Mr. Ellis about the lack of ethical behaviour of our opponents, holding, diving, and clogging being amongst the vices of our opponents. We confronted Mr. Ellis at our next coaching episode, and inundated him with our complaints of our opponents. Mr. Ellis gave us no sympathy, to our great surprise, despite the other boys' transgressions that were so clear to us. Only much later did I get to appreciate how Mr. Ellis taught us one of life's early lessons. Clearly the purpose of the match was not the winning, but the gaining of useful experience.
Another soccer episode comes to mind, while I have "ink in the typewriter", as you kindly put it. In my third year, I missed a match with the school team due to illness, and found that some new kid from the 13-plus influx who had taken my place had scored a hat-trick. My friend, Billy Gerald, teased me, suggesting that I would not be able to regain my place in the side. Well, our coach (I think it was Mr. Ashcroft) found a place for both of us, moving the newcomer, Brian Labone, to the midfield!
Thank you for the chance to post these recollections. I should mention that I wrote down many anecdotes for the record of my earlier life on the urgings of my adult Canadian children, starting about 10 years ago. I have about 23 of these, ranging from a couple of pages up to about 10. Only a few of them are actually about school.
Very good to hear from you, again. More like you, would be very welcome :-)
We've taken the liberty of emphasising the names that you mention, by using a bold font. We hope that these names will trigger off some similiar recollections from other COBs.
We certainly look forward to reading more of the Anecdotes that you mention. Did you include any photos in them ?
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