On this page, I am including some interesting information about the Birkenhead Institute after it opened in January, 1889. For information prior to this date, please go to the History page.
The Birkenhead Institute school opened in January, 1889, with 42 pupils, the record of whose names has been unfortunately lost. A photograph of the original staff and scholars has, however, done much to help in identifying them. (Picture can be seen below). It was in the possession of Mrs William Jackson, of Leighton Court, Neston (Daughter of the founder), to whom we are much indebted. Our thanks are akso due to Mr John Band, of Rock Ferry, for his help in the task of identification. He was in 1889 a small boy in the group. The photograph is reproduced as worthy to be placed on record. (Numbered photograph from 1889 is shown below, with names beneath).
The task of organising the work of the new school seems to have been undertaken with zeal by the headmaster and staff, and amongst the first notices to appear on the walls was a set of school-boy maxims, fifteen in all, which were evidently meant to cover the whole range of youthful delinquency. The spirit of our Victorian forbears is breathed in every one of them:
"IDLENESS IS THE FIRST STEP TO ALL UNHAPPINESS".
"ONE THING MASTERED IS BETTER THAN A DOZEN HALF-DONE".
"ACTING A LIE IS WORSE THAN TELLING A LIE".
"A BULLY IS INVARIABLY A COWARD WITH AN EMPTY HEAD".
"AN HONEST BOY MAKES A CONFESSION, A COWARD MAKES AN EXCUSE".
"WHEN A BAD BOY IS POPULAR, THE SCHOOL IS BAD".
There is no record of the number of times these maxims were reproduced in the form of lines by those who failed to live up to them, but doubtless they served their purpose in that direction, and there must have been some who knew them by heart.
For more information about the early days of Birkenhead Institute, please have a look at my site "Whetstonian", which can be found at:-