Spirit of Birkenhead Institute

The History and Heritage of Birkenhead Institute


Birkenhead Institute

Posted by birkenheadinstitute on November 17, 2008 at 4:39 AM

Welcome, and please feel free to add your thoughts and comments here. Please ensure that all comments do not give unnecessary or extremely adverse opinions to anyone or anything. Offensive comments will be removed.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts, and the email address for any of your memories or photographs is :-

[email protected]


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Reply Dave Forshaw
1:07 PM on December 7, 2008 
An excellent site. Brought back some fond memories of the school, staff and fellow pupils. I look forward to the updates. <br> Dave Forshaw (No. 4441) <br> (1955 - 62)
Reply Paul McLean
6:23 AM on December 31, 2008 
Great to see this site, especially the old photographs. It has brought back many fond memories of what was a really great school. Just wishing I had appreciated it more at the time.
Reply Neil Perriam
5:37 PM on February 14, 2009 
Just stumbled upon the site this evening and have thoroughly enjoyed reminiscing on old times as I scanned through some of the photographs and stories relating to the fine old school. I still live on the Wirral and can confirm that during my time at the school, 1972-78, there were 6 houses:- Cohen (white), Stitt(green) Atkin (purple), Tate (red), Davies (orange/brown) and Westminster (blue). I still have my Tie (Atkin), 6th Form tie, and prefect badge. Thank you for creating this site.
Reply norman jones
7:57 AM on March 10, 2009 
just found this site . It's amazing how the mists of time soften ones memories. By and Large I had a good time and had some great friends . <br>I went to a reunion in the town hall many years ago,but there didn't seem to be many there from my year. <br>If Dave Jones the art master reads this site thank you for being a human being and one of the best teachers I have ever had. <br>I was there from 1962-1968
Reply John Riding
8:04 AM on March 12, 2009 
It is great to see that some of the memories are being preserved here. I was only at BI from 1961 to 1963/4 but what a steep learning curve I encountered! I recognise some old mates from the published photos but I wonder if anyone has any from '61 thorugh to '64?The school had some great teachers and without doubt my favourite was Dave Jones....Art was the only subject I excelled in!"Jackie"Phipps was the most feared. His usual line was "Sit down and shut up!"whilst deftly shutting the door with his foot.If you did not bring in your homework or did not write legibly you got the ruler across the hand!!.....does anyone know where Mr Phipps is now?
Reply Hal Darlington
8:20 AM on March 22, 2009 
I remember walking into B.I. for the first time in 1961 with trepidation. It seemed such a large and daunting building after my modern junior school. I would like to say that out of all of the staff I remember Dave Jones (Art teacher) as the best teacher there. He always had good things to say about your work and it was from his love of Art that I still paint and draw.
Reply janet edge
8:35 AM on March 26, 2009 
I came across this site yesterday March 25th and I was delighted to see the memories and photos of this old school. My late father Edward Noel Edge attended B I from around 1933 or 1934 (after attending Mersey Park) until 1940 (according to his school certificate) because he went down to Oswestry when most of Birkenhead schools evacuated in 1939 and mentioned this to me when we often dorve through this town. When I looked on his school record a couple of years ago I found out that his father also briefly taught at the school because the appointment was noted down. His name was Frederick Joseph Edge who was a Housecraft teacher, which I think is a posh name for woodwork because he had previously taught at technical schools and the college in Liverpool and Birkenhead. I don't have all the details with me at the moment but I think he entered the school aroounf 1944 but I also think that he had serious health problems towards the end of the war with his heart so he may not have been there for long and he died in 1948. <br> <br>Edward was known as Ted to the family and I presume friends and he and his sister Marjorie lived with his Uncle George and Aunty Nancy (Rogerson) after their mother died. Another family connection is William Henry Heaps also known as Harry who attended B I between 1929 to 1940 as he was a little bit older than my dad. Unfortunately he also died a few years ago but I wonder if there are ex-pupils from this era who may remember them and the famous Norman Thelwell who attended B I during this period of the 1930's. I also would to know the exact date of the second lot of pupil photos donated by Mrs Jones because as far as I can tell I cannot see Dad on them but we do not have any photos of him when he was young so it does not help. However if these photos were taken say around 1934 or 1935 he may not be on them because I do not know if it of the whole school. Hope you can help and thanks for creating this site keep updating if you can.
Reply Dave Gregory
4:05 AM on March 28, 2009 
A great site, and a great idea Phil. Well done! Memories flooding back. Some good, some bad. I was at B.I. from 1963 to 1970. That was the final year of Whetstone Lane. I heard nothing at the time, of plans to demolish the old school, and I was devastated when I saw it was no longer there. I thought it would have been a listed building. I'm sure it should have been. I agree totally with previous posters that Dave Jones was , by a distance, the best teacher, acheiving success by way of encouragement rather than punishment. Dave, who still lives in Prenton, did some marvellous pen and ink drawings of the old school, and the playing field entrance, at Ingleborough Road. It might be worth you contacting him for contributions to this site.
Reply Paul McLean
6:53 AM on April 2, 2009 
Just been looking at some of the old school photographs, in particular the 1968 group picture sent in by Mike Worthy. After much searching I managed to pick myself in one of the back rows. I also noticed "Big Bill Edgar" in the front row. Even after all these years I still remember him screaming at me on the rugby pitch "pick up the ball and tackle Shirley". Fond memories indeed.
Reply Paul McLean
9:36 AM on April 7, 2009 
I attended BI in the late sixties when it was situated at Whetstone Lane. I recall that most of the teachers were men. However, reminiscing the other day I seem to recall being taught by two women. One was a French teacher who taught me in first year, 1965? The second, Mrs Kendrick I think her name was taught Biology in my second year, 1966? I remember that she caused quite a stir amongst a class of pre-pubescent boys whose only exposure to the female gender was probably our mothers and firtive glances at the girls from Holt Hill Convent. Can anyone else remember either of these two ladies?
Reply Alan Jones
3:16 PM on April 13, 2009 
I have been made aware of this web-site from details in The Wirral Champion. <br> <br>I attended The B.I. from 1950-1955 and have many photographs of Rugby/Cricket teams during this period plus one complete School Photograph for year 1953. <br> <br>If they are any use to you then I will gladly loan them to you. <br> <br>Regards, Alan Jones
3:23 PM on May 9, 2009 
Enjoyed travelling around site, I too thought that Whetstone Lanebuilding might have been preserved but that is not the way of Wirral Council then or now.When I returned to Birkenhead the school was semi demolished,so on the excuse of looking for the site foreman I had a very very last look in side the building. I collected two square pieces of sandstone from the upper moulding at the front of the school. <br> <br>I also attended the last B.I.Old Boys reunion for the first time last year. <br> <br>Tony Slee ( Stitt) 1966-1971.
Reply lee hughes
12:09 PM on May 27, 2009 
i will always remember my first day at bi in the eighties ,those rumers about the hom machine and the shrubs that you got pushed down at the very first day you were there and the fights you used to get into i also remember a teacher called taffy evans we were all very nasty to him in the end i think he had a nervous breakdown if i could see him now i would say im very sorry
Reply Alan Jones
3:56 PM on May 31, 2009 
I have just seen a copy of the photographs that I have loaned you on The Pupils page for the period 1950-1955. <br> <br>They have come out excellently. Well done.
Reply Stephen Saunders
10:00 AM on June 18, 2009 
Pupil from 1979-1982 <br> <br>Most memorable teacher has got to be Mr Malcolm who I owe my current career and good quality of life to. I remember every bit of Physics you ever taught me and went on to get a physics degree. I am know one of HM Nuclear health & Safety Inspectors and regulate the UK nuclear industry. Not bad for someone who you considered lazy and not fulfilling his potential. <br> <br>I still live on the Wirral and my parents still live a couple of hundred metres from the Tollemache Road site. <br> <br>My memories:- <br> <br>Having moved down from a school in Scotland as a 14 year old I was taken to meet the deputy head one Mr Malcolm. I was met by this towering figure in a black gown and grey slick backed hair. (Apologies but you reminded me of the keyboard player from SPARKS). <br> <br>The conversation went something like this. <br> <br>so you want to do physics ? <br> <br>er yes Sir. <br> <br>What is Newtons 1st Law ? <br> <br>I nervously responded. Was this a test I had to pass to come to the school or at least do physics <br> <br>Good. What is his 2nd Law ? <br> <br>Again I answered. <br> <br>Now what is his 3rd Law ? <br> <br>I was now getting cocky and he knew it. <br> <br>Right then what is Archimede's Principle ? <br> <br>I had to concede defeat. <br> <br>Well I'll soon make sure you remember it. <br> <br>I then had three years of Physics with Mr Malcom where he pushed me and cajoled me into doing my best, but he knew I could do better and he wasn't shy of letting me know that. He even threw me out of his class for yawning having warned me first. <br> <br>One of his favourite lines I've never forgotton resulted from his critism of crossword clues:- <br> <br>"Stress is the the cause of stain they are not the same" <br> <br>It is a pity that all teachers are not like he was, maybe kids would behave better, respect authority and learn more. I wish I could thank you in person as you certainly had a beneficial influence on me. <br> <br>Many Thanks for your perserverence. <br> <br>Stephen Saunders <br>
Reply Jim Giddins
10:39 AM on June 18, 2009 
Hi, Good to see that the old school is being kept alive..I attended BI from 1975-81 at Tollemache Road. I have some great memories of the now housing estate!. <br>The teachers I remember had some great personalities, I remember 'Nogger' and his famous slipper in the latin classes. I still remember amo, amas, amat etc..even though I dropped the class!!! Dave Jones and KD - Keith Davis the famous Art duo. We had some great times in the 6th form Art rooms and also Mrs Davis, great teachers who directed myself along the creative path. The metal work teacher, Platty, who got me through my A level metalwork, I still remember the smell of the drilling machine and the blow torches! I still have my beaten copper bowls and etched Rush logo! I am sure I remember he used to bring an old Classic bike in or was fixing one!! Who remember's the sport teachers Jock and Balco, Crocker, and the Welsh teacher whoes name I can't remember, sorry if you read this. I believe Balco passed on a few years back, loved his Rugby at the Instonians. Do you remember Steve WIlko - who terrorised anybody who took Geography and who you could hear, half way across Bidston Hill when you got on his wrong side. I have good memories of him on a Swiss school coach holiday and Pat. Both helped save the life of student, who had had passed out! Do you know who you are! That still sticks in my mind after all these years. I didn't/couldn't participate in any sport until later on I my time at BI for medical reasons!. Played for Wirral county and remember Jock setting up a Liverpool scout to come and see me play! had a nightmare of game and bang went my chance to play with Keegan and Toshack! <br>The lads I remember I still see..Steve Chan..Tim Mallion, Peter Shil, Kevin and Darren Nixon. Names I will add names to jog your memories - Barry Dixon - Dicko, Billy Bailes, Mark Lilford, Dave Chappel, Lucas, Mark - Chimp, Peter Kolorkortronie - Great rugby player, Glen and Geoff Sutton, Galloway - great footie player as was Phil Nugent..! There is many more faces of teachers as well as friends made, swirling round in my head, that I can't put a name to, I apologies now, but they have embedded themselves in my memory for the reason, that they played a part in my early years. <br>I hope this is read and it brings back some memories of your own. <br>Again many thanks to all who galvanised my early years. <br>Regards <br>Giddo...
Reply Jim Giddins
10:53 AM on June 18, 2009 
<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/jimmediaart/ <br> <br>From " target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://www.flickr.com/photos/jimmediaart/ <br> <br>From </a>the Art classes in the Prefab units? at Tollemache Road with KD and Dave Jones.. <br> <br>This is just a link for those who have moved away from the Wirral with work or families. These are my own photo's on Flickr, that cover much of Wirral and across the Mersey. <br>Thanks <br>Jim <br> <br>
Reply anonymous
1:17 PM on June 18, 2009 
[Paul Lomax (lommy) pupil 1952 to 1958 <br>I remember well our form master Mr.L.Malcolm who ruled us with a firm but fair hand, who made us stay behind to remove jelly cubes from the form room ceiling.I remember Mr. Malcolm collapsing in front of the class and our resident Teddy Boy (Joey Morgan) tearing open Mr. Malcolm's shirt to enable him to breathe easier.
Reply alan halligan
6:38 AM on June 20, 2009 
Hi just to say that I was a pupil from 1961-66, have a photo of me accepting athletics trophy in 1962 from one of the old boys with Mr Webb and Mr Malcolm in the background
Reply Dave Lee
9:55 AM on June 30, 2009 
1945 - 1950 [Tate] <br>Your site has brought fond memories. <br>The teachers - 'Biddy' Harris-Dept Head <br> 'Spider ' Webb - French / German <br> 'Tiger' Lewis - Rugby <br> 'Bertie' Bloor -Maths <br> 'Froggy' Allen- Form Master <br> 'Jake' Allison- Geography <br> 'Bummey' Jones- Chemistry <br> 'Dickey' Richards - Physics <br> 'Jerry' Hall - English <br>Happy Days <br>I have two old boys ties one with visors and one without visors both from about 1950 .