Schooldays Remembered

There was that great day in 1968 when the school playground, where the boys from the top two classes played football at lunchtime, was put out of bounds so that the girls could practice net ball. Not a popular move with the boys who decided that a protest in the yard was the required response to exercise their right to be heard. and register their disagreement with the decision. the boys formed lines and linked up by placing their arms round each others shoulders, and occupied the yard by walking backwards and forwards across it shouting “We're on strike!!!!!”

The teacher’s response was to break it up, line all the boys up in 2 columns and effect a mass strapping.

Not pointing any fingers but my recall, which is usually pretty accurate, is that Peter Brady and Steve McBride were significant in the process, leaders of men as we turned St Austin's place into a little corner of Russia for couple of hours.

Remembered by Ian Howarth

The one and only time I was given corporal punishment at school occurred at the old Carr St. school when some old desks were being thrown out. They were placed in a pile at the bottom of the yard and we were warned to stay clear. That very break time a number of us couldn’t resist climbing over them, then admitted this when asked to identify ourselves. (Apparently the teachers had watched us out of the staff room window at the top of the tower) Mrs Oldcorn lined us up at the front of the classroom room and duly administered two rulers on each hand:( Ouch!

Remembered by Christine Cox

I remember when John Cooper and I used to sit right under Mr Pye's nose, and seeing John feel the full weight of Oscar (Mr Pye’s slipper) more than once. In fact once it was me talking and John who got the punishment. Thanks for taking one for the team Coops!

Remembered by Damian Donohue.

Once upon a time boys and girls were taught separately and that was certainly the case when I was at St Augustine’s. In about 1961 the boys’ school was due for demolition as part of Preston’s slum clearance programme. I recall the time we had to say goodbye to the school on St Austin's Road and take up residence in St Ignatius School.

Kids being kids - and being very territorial, this temporary merger wasn’t without its difficulties. We were rather fond of exchanging insults with the resident pupils. Whilst they could be heard chanting, “St Augustine's kids; dirty dustbin lids” we could be heard retorting, “ St Ig's penny figs- two for tuppence halfpenny.”

The head teacher at this time was Mr Lacey and I also recall three teachers: Mrs Noblett, Mr Szarlich plus one whose name escapes me. She kept a jar of sweets on her desk and was once attacked by a very angry pupil, returning to school with her legs bandaged up (of course this was well before children were described as having “anger management issues”)

Remembered by Hewan Ormson.

So, the story about inappropriate nudity goes like this. Stick with it – it does end up as a St. Augustine’s tale.

Around May/June 1966, Tommy Macklin, Paul Best and I, probably influenced by the goings-on of the Swinging Sixties, decided that we needed to indulge in some outrageous behaviour. Eventually, we decided that we would start taking down our shorts and underpants outdoors, obviously as long as there were no adults around to chastise us.

The first trial run went badly. Tommy and I did the deed on the path which runs down to Ashworth Grove from Southern Parade (Cinder Path) but we were spotted by an allotment holder who shouted at us and we had to make a very quick escape.

Finally, we come to how this relates to St. Augustine’s. One afternoon, in Mrs. Malloy’s French class, she announced that we were going to watch a slide show. The curtains were drawn, the lights extinguished and the slides began. Tommy and I decided to turn the dangers of disrobing up a few notches but, having failed on our own first attempt, began to encourage Paul B to lower the trousers under cover of darkness, which he promptly did.

Of course, in a TV programme, the lights would then come back on for some reason – and Mrs. Malloy, concerned that the projector wasn’t working correctly, immediately flicked the light switch! I have rarely seen such a look of panic on anyone’s face as Paul’s as he frantically began to restore himself to a fully clothed state. He did get away with it though due to the distraction of the projector, and the incident was the cause of much amusement at going home time. The project, though, was abandoned as being too risky. Still makes me laugh!

Posted by Ray Savage, 13/8/2015

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