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Photos of Wigan
Photos of Wigan

Wigan Album

John Rigby Grammar School, Orrell


1st Year 1962
1st Year 1962
Photo: Alan Wright
Views: 9,327
Item #: 17890
I can't remember many of these names, so if anyone can fill in any gaps!
Back Row [L to R] ?, Nick Warren, ?, Dave Joyce, Steve Donnelly, ?, ?, John Green, Mr McMahon [Black Dan!].
2nd Row from Back [L to R] John Norris, Bernard Farrimond, ?, ?, Tony Dewhurst, Chris Gutteridge, Arthur Fairclough, ?, Michael Murphy.
3rd Row [L to R] Philip Higginson, Frank gallagher, ?, ?, ?, ?, Alan Wright.
Front Row [L to R] ?, Robert Snape, ?, Alan Boland, Michael Murnan, Nick Hanley.

My apologies to all those whose names I couldn't remember. It's old age!

Comment by: bernard farrimond on 8th June 2011 at 23:27

great photo alan. i never seem to have any from school . i think the lad next to you is phil liptrot but cant place any other my memory is as bad

Comment by: Peter Young on 18th June 2011 at 20:09

Front row extreme left is Davidf Naylot, I tihnk. Third along is Brendan Boulton.

Comment by: Peter Young on 19th June 2011 at 16:01

On second thoughts front row extreme left is David Harvey

Comment by: John Norris on 28th March 2012 at 20:38

Back row left is Lesley Taylor. On your left is Wooly Denver. Happy days?

Comment by: stevek on 30th June 2012 at 02:52

2nd row from back, 2nd from right, is David Kellie

Comment by: Chris Rothwell on 10th January 2013 at 18:29

Alan. Yoe seem to have forgotten all of us from Chorley !!!

Back Row: LT,NW,Stephen Walker, DJ,SD,?, Raymond Jeske,JG, McMahon.
2nd Row: JN,BF,Alan Holt, Alex McErlain, TD,CG,AF,David Kelly,MM.
PH,FG,Chris Rothwell, David Ainsworth, Ken Green, Michael Denver, AW.
Front: Nick Harvey,RS, Brendan Boulton, AB,MM,NH.
Hope you keep up the writing Alan.
Best wishes to all Chris Rothwell!!

Comment by: Alan Wright on 31st January 2013 at 19:11

Hi Chris! Good to hear from you. And thanks for putting forgotten names to familiar faces. I hope you're keeping well? Amazing to think that it's almost 51 years since that photo was taken. Remember the chess club at lunchtimes on rainy winter days?

Comment by: Chris Rothwell on 24th March 2013 at 17:05

Alan. I can't remember playing chess but I have still got the little, travel chess set I had then. What I can remember is playing handball in the gym, using the benches for goals. I can also remember Black Dan reading to us. "White Fang", "Three Men In A Boat" and " Christmas Carol" if I remember correctly. The whole class keeping quiet. Sometimes it only seems like yesterday and at other times as though it never happened !!!! Regards Chris

Comment by: Alan Wright on 28th March 2013 at 16:22

I also remember one occasion when Brother Ambrose came into our classroom when Black Dan was taking us for English. Naturally we all stood up and remained silent while Brother Ambrose addressed us. He said, 'If there are any boys in here who catch the bus to Leigh will they answer yes or no?' Quick as a flash, Michael Murphy responded with, 'Yes or no, Brother.' Stupid question, suicidal answer!

Comment by: Michael Murphy on 11th September 2013 at 13:42

Alan, you've got that story wrong (and I corrected you on it last time I saw you which was at the Leigh East new clubhouse official opening 5?/6? Christmases ago).

The incident happened when we were in 3A and our formroom was the big balance room, top floor. It was Sheppard the chemy teacher who came in and said "Is this 3A? Answer yes or no". I was standing right next to him and I said "Yes or no sir". At that he wanged me full force across the face, both sides, then grabbed me by the hair and shoved me down the room. As I was walking to my desk he kicked me up the a*** then (and this was the worst bit as it was so unexpected) banjoed me across the ear from behind, which would have floored me but for falling against a desk.

Turns out he had had a free lesson but our next teacher was away so he had to fill in - obviously he was slightly miffed!

To this day I regret that I did not stand up to the bloke and give him some back. I think about it often.

Comment by: Michael Murphy on 11th September 2013 at 20:28

Incidentally, Chris you've named every single face on that photo except for one ? I know him - 3rd from right on back row is Stephen Wilson, a Leigh lad like my goodself.

Comment by: Terry Clarkson on 11th February 2015 at 21:56

I can remember shepherd hitting Mick {Hooker}lyonns in the hall at dinner time and mick wiped the floor with him happy days

Comment by: Colin Howe on 11th June 2019 at 22:10

I started the Grammar School in '65 from the Prep School. It seems Mr Shepherd failed to learn from his experiences. I witnessed a (big) 4th former being shoved and poked by Shepherd just outside the dinner hall by the school seretary's window. The lad finally punched him under the chin so hard, he lifted Shepherd off his feet and over a waste bin. We were told later by a "friendly" teacher that Brother O'Halloran was going to strap him but the lad said "...come near me with that and I'll shove it up your arse" so he just expelled him there and then and told him to get off the premises. We would have given him a hero's send off if we'd known at the time.

Comment by: Robert Snape on 7th June 2020 at 22:13

I think it's David [not Nick] Harvey on the far left of the first row next to me. He lived in Whelley (not sure if that's the correct spelling, being a Chorley boy) and we were good friends. I remember had a bigger chemistry set at home than the entire Chemistry lab at school!!

Comment by: Dave Joyce on 15th August 2020 at 10:38

Just read a book written by Paul Bagshaw entitled The Diary of a Southport Man, a must read for anyone who went to John Rigby in the 60s and even more so for those who were in his form from 2C till 5C. Reading the book prompted me to look on line for more photos, the very first one on the search was this photo. I remembered most names and still have the dents in my head where Black Dan hit me with his ruler. I stayed in contact with Ray Jeszke but unfortunately he died last year. Hope everyone else is. Great memories

Comment by: Mick Lyons on 11th November 2021 at 18:13

Hi Mike terry and cColin
Yes. Remember the incident well it was in late September1966 Shepard had been bullying lads for years slapping their faces and ears booting them on the floor dragging them round banging their heads into desks he would have been jailed today , Yes I flattened him in the dinner hall , 5 minutes later Colin is what you seen he approached me outside the Secretary,s office along with Bagshaw almond finch an Frank Balmer in the background he started again thinking he had the odds stacked in his favour and I dropped him again the others just froze like the cowards they were , Shepard was nothing but a nasty sadistic cowardly bully and so were some of the other teachers, Brther hall Oran said to me I can’t fight what if you turn on me I said but your not a bully so that’s not going to happen is it ? He said go and have your dinner and go home he didn’t have to expell me I was a guest of HMP a few days later
Some of the teachers at that school were pretty pathetic individuals and deviants I’ve made a good living most of my life stopping bullying and I hope you all have had good lives too
God Bless
Mick Hooker Lyons

Comment by: Tony Birchall on 6th September 2022 at 14:16

I started their in 1961 - I was in 1A and if I remember correctly Alan Almond was my form master that year. But reading about the incident involving Shepherd in 1966 (I left in July of that year - thank God!) reminded me of the bullying. Shepherd was a sadist as were Brothers Gleeson and Ambrose. Bagshaw and Finch were harmless, Almond was soft but brutal at times. I remember a time when I answered back to Frank Balmer and he shouted at me and told me to report to him at lunchtime. I never did and he never mentioned it again! But his bark was worse than his bite unlike some of the others. and he did at least have a sense of humour. But it was Brother Gleeson who put the fear of god into me - to this day I carry a welt on my right hand where his over zealous use of the strap scarred me for life. And on the outside whemn I met him at Wigan games and I was with my dad he was as nice as pie and my parents couldn't understand what the fuss was about. I hated school and it has no fond memories for me (but I would have loved to see Shephard being floored)

Comment by: BRENDAN JOHN BOULTON on 31st March 2023 at 16:11

Just found this site & I remember most of the above, nice to read & see the photo,

Comment by: Colin Howe on 5th March 2024 at 17:45

Just re-visiting this page and reading the comments.
There were a few funny moments. We had a lady we nicknamed 'Grindle' for History. I can't remember her real name but she was quite a good teacher, who never hit anyone and I enjoyed her lessons. I was sat at the front with Brian Ormerod and her desk was immediately in front of us. All of a sudden she let out the longest fart I've ever heard. It started as a low whistle, gradually gathered momentum and reached a crescendo with an enormous raspberry.
Brian and I were red-faced and shaking trying not to laugh while Grindle looked daggers at us but she didn't say anything because it would have identified her as the culprit!

On another occasion during the annual Garden Party when I was still at the Prep. School, the Headmaster, Brother Ambrose, drank himself into a stupor. I didn't witness it but my shocked parents told me he'd made a speech thanking everyone for attending. My Dad said Ambrose was hanging on to the microphone stand, trying to support himself but his speech became more and more slurred until eventually he fell forward off the stage and landed with a crash in front of the astonished parents.
Shortly after this incident he left the school and Brother O'Halloran took over as Headmaster.

The Headmaster at the Prep. School was a vicious swine called Brother Kelly. Years later when I was working for the NCB as a Mining Surveyor, I was talking to Chris and Dave Baybutt about the Brothers. For some reason I couldn't understand, Chris had invited Brother Kelly and some other Christian Brothers to his house for dinner and the Brothers had got as drunk as skunks. Kelly had been the "appointed driver" but was as drunk as the rest of them and he reversed into a tree as he left the premises while the rest of the Brothers whooped and cheered - talk about Father Ted!
Brian Ormerod met Kelly on the ferry to Ireland and he bought Brian drinks all the way across the Irish Sea. Personally, I wouldn't have accepted anything from that sadistic bar steward.

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