Photos of Wigan
Photos of Wigan

Wigan Album

Bluecoat School, Wigan


Bluecoat School, Lower Hallgate.
Photo: Arthur Culshaw
Views: 14,765
Item #: 240
Bluecoat School, Lower Hallgate.

Comment by: mr s parr on 4th October 2007 at 21:04

would like to know when school first opened and closed believe my dad went to this school,he was born in1927,so must have been about 1933-34 when he started here

Comment by: E A Swift on 2nd February 2010 at 19:53

In the 1920's the buiding was divided into 2 schools. The boys on the ground floor and the girls upstairs. Mr Rigby was the boys headmaster and Miss Hilton the girls' headmistress. My Mother Gladys Gregory attended the school. was a pupil teacher and then went to college in 1918 and returned to teach in the Girls' school. The school became a primary school in 1932 when All Saints senior school was opened. My Father taught at All Saints Senior Boys School until 1941.

Comment by: dave cockrell on 7th June 2010 at 13:09

I went to the Bluecoat (or National Bluecoat School as it was called) between 1955 and 1962. Mr Yates was Headmaster , with his wife as Deputy Head as I recall. Later a Mr Smith (who lived in Beech hill was a Teacher there as was Mr Headley. Around 1960 the Head was a Mr Clark who came there via all Saints Sec Mod.
The Junior school was the Building shown on this photo and the Infants next door on the corner. (see other photo). The Infants was run by a pair of old spinsters, Miss Chadwick and Miss Faulkner who thought educating children was all about giving them a good slap every day just to keep you in harness !.I remember a very nice teacher called Miss Burrows who lived in Poolstock. The Building was (according to a plaque in stone which used to sit over the front door) re-built following a violent storm, but I can't recall the date.
All the kids there came from the Frog Lane, Gidlow and town centre areas. Mrs Orgills sweet shop was higher up Hallgate on the left just past the Post Office Buiding. I recall Grammar school boys buying "seppie Cigs and smoking them in the alleyway next to the shop.
Cannon Finch was the rector during my time there. He lived in Wigan Hall through the Arch on Frog Lane. The Rectory/Presbytery was the Building on New Market street which is now the Tudor, behind which was the "tin Chapel", which was used as a type of Community Centre for the Parish Church.
The Junior school had five Classrooms downstairs and one upstairs. Upstairs was an assembly Hall with two ckassrooms of it which never seemed to be used except for Dinners. Classes were mixed, but the school had two playgrounds at the rear separated by a wall, with boys in one and girls in the other. The toilets were typical school loos back then, outside with two bits of wood on the porcelain to act as a seat.....very primative, and cold in the middle of winter!
Mr Orgill was the Caretaker (not sure if he was related to the lady with the sweet shop,) for ever stoking coal into the boilers !
The Infants school had a communal yard and there was a small walled garden at the back. God help you if the old bats who ran the place caught you in there retriving your football !!!! Anyone out there went to the school at the same time ?. My classmates were Paul Rigby, John Clarke, Albert Ratcliffe, Phil Mason,Geff Sheppard, Norman Atkinson, Geoff Minchin, Graham Pye, Alan Wilkinson, (sorry if I missed anyone. Some of the Girls were Sandra Taylor, Pauline (?) Jean Highton Margery Green, Susan Brown, Sylvia Sutton, Carole Morley, Carole Entwistle another Pauline and a few others whose names have now gone along with several million other brain cells

Comment by: Roy Fisher on 3rd September 2010 at 15:56

I went to the Bluecoat School in 1936,aged 4,it was just as it has been described. But it did me no harm. Roy.

Comment by: Christine Banks on 4th December 2010 at 19:48

I went to this school when Mr.Clark was headmaster.I remember cleaning our shoes by rubbing then on the back of our socks as every morning in assembly he used to parade up and down inspecting our shoes ..God help you if yours were dirty.His shoes had more of a shine than any army boots!When I was in the last year of junior school He used to send me and my friend Susan Atherton out at lunch times to buy him a "nice fresh salad roll and a vanilla slice.Don't think that would be allowed now but we loved going out to the shops and the dinner ladies would keep our dinners hot for us.I also remember a teacher in second year called Mr Evans and he made sure we knew ALL our times tables back to front and I'm so grateful as I can still multipy and add up in my head .Ah those were the days I had a great time at that school.

Comment by: j ainsworth on 24th July 2011 at 17:49

this photo is the bluecoat junior school and the one on the corner of hallgate was the infants school . i attended both of these schools in the 1940s

Comment by: lorraine wildinh (nee Hewitt) on 13th September 2011 at 19:06

I remember starting school at blue coats with my friend Julie leonard in 1959 i remember our blue and white dresses, and one of the teachers was Miss Brown and her dad owned brown's shoe shop on frog lane, what a great school it was i stayed at blue coats school until after our 11+ and then went to deanary high school.

Comment by: Sandra Aspinall was Broxton on 22nd January 2012 at 02:03

I also attended that school starting at the nursery in 1948.Miss Burrows (Betty) was a relative. Dave Cockrell you are spot on with what you recall. The building that is now the Tudor was the sisters home. (Yes we had sisters) The rectory was through the arch. My friend Priscilla Bennett lived there and her father was the Rector of Wigan.

Comment by: Peter Francis Clarke on 19th June 2012 at 22:14

I also went to the Blue coat scchool 1944-48
Are you June Broxton related to the clarke family.

Comment by: pamela thorpe on 23rd December 2012 at 22:59

i went to bluecoat school, started in 1965 my sister angela and brother jefferey also went, brilliant school

Comment by: Alan on 10th February 2013 at 05:46

I went to this school 1972/73 - 78 Mr clark was the headmaster, a strict bugger he was, and Miss Brown, who is still going strong today and was a great teacher and gave me a love of History.

Comment by: sheila fouracre on 26th February 2013 at 12:28

In 1953 I walked to school from Upper St Stephen street and home at lunchtimes.Mr Yates was the head teacher at the Junior school.Teachers in those days were much stricter but Mr Yates was also very kind teacher .He also taught country dancing which I loved!.Friends in class I can remember -Christine Fairclough,Arthur Tolley,Bobby Savage,Eileen Prudence,Sonia Walls- If anyone can remember more teachers and students or has any photographs from that time it would be interesting to see them.Thanks Sheila.

Comment by: Janet Garland on 11th July 2013 at 07:36

I went to the school in 1958 as it was the overflow classes for the 1st year at Wigan Girls' High School.

Comment by: alan barlow on 9th October 2013 at 10:47

my father went to the school, he was born in 1907, he lived in wallgate, is name thomas william barlow ,dont no much history of it

Comment by: Sue Stanbury (nee Houghton) on 14th March 2014 at 21:49

I was at the Bluecoat from 1962 infants and juniors until I left to go to Wigan Girls High School. I remember Miss Chadwick and Miss Faulkner and also Mr Clark head of juniors. I also remember Mrs Lynn, a juniors teacher, her husband was rector or vicar? Some classmates were Christine Wood, Susan Brown, Gillian Brighton, Tony Fowler, Mark Roberts, Phillip Hawthorne, Keith Rollins(?) David and Kathryn Moore - twins! Karen Donolan, Helen Pickering.

Comment by: j ainsworth on 2nd May 2014 at 22:34

yes peter f clarke i was june broxton i am related to the Clarke family. My dad,s mother was the sister of uncle billy clarke and she Clara clarke died at 30 after the birth of her 4th child Mary x

Comment by: Derek Rudd on 17th July 2014 at 19:27

I went to Bluecoat from 1975 -1979 and have fond memories from attending this little school. We only lived on frog lane, number 37 and so it was only up the road from us although it appeared a long away when your a kid. I remember going up in the classes every year and some of the people also. Playing in the front yard and going out of the front gates when used to go home. When I moved to the juniors we had assembly in the hall upstairs that had iron radiators, we said the lords prayer afterwards. I can remember looking out of the windows and seeing the terraced houses demolished on Richmond street house by house (which is now the Royal Mail car park and opposite car park). Then we moved temporarily at number 14 while the house my parents bought in Higher Ince was going through. Mrs Orgile lived next door but I never knew if she had a shop on Hallgate, there was a shop on the end of the row and I remember my mum bought me a caramac once on the way to school. At the other end of the row across the school was a tiled gable end and thought it was strange to see the only one in the area and so that's why it has stuck in my mind. my class friends from what I can recall were Stephen Penman, Tracy Whittle, Antony ?, Simon Penk? Macavoy, ? Aincough, and some I can picture but can't remember their names. I can also remember Mr Clarke Mrs Speakman and the dreaded mrs Brown that gave me the ruler at the back of the legs (awowch that hurt)'and out of the room I might add' but on the whole happy memories of my child hood that I still have a reminiscence every time I travel around that area.

Comment by: Tracy Smith (Whittle) on 10th August 2014 at 14:35

I started blue coat school in 1974. my brother showed me the comment from Derek Rudd and told me to read it and i couldn't believe i was mentioned!! I love my time at the school and have happy memories. I also remember having assembly in the hall upstairs. i also went into hospital when i was 8 and got letters and get well cards off all the class. When i returned i couldn't go to assembly as i had to hop everywhere, as i wasn;t given crutches. I used to live on woodhouse land and my dad still lives there, so everytime i visit my dad i remember school fondly.

Comment by: Peter Clark Francis on 10th August 2014 at 17:07

June Broxton,my father was Peter Clark Born 1888 from Aspull .he had several brothers and sisters. I remember ,Alice, Johnny and Walter.,are you descendant from the same Clarks. regards Peter
My email address is peter. francis240@ntlworld .com if you would like to contact me

Comment by: wigan liz on 23rd August 2014 at 13:42

I went to this school after passing the 11 plus at St Stephens. The High School was bursting at the seams so we went there with the promise that we would be the first to go to the new high school (Whitley) when it was built.
We actually only used Whitley as a place to sit our A levels.
I remeber being marched down to the then All Saints for our lunch. I can also remember on the first day that the teacher in charge ok overseeing our lunch, stopped us all eating, saying she had never seen such uncouth girls! Mrs Chisnall was my lovely form teacher.

Comment by: june ainsworth on 9th October 2014 at 23:26

hi peter i am definately related to you down the Clark line, as a girl i used to visit aunt alice, uncle walter, uncle jack.they lived on bolton rd in the house next to the archway and jack used to keep chickens round the back.Their parents were john edward and amelia clark. they were the parents of my grandmother clara who died at the age of 30 in chilbirth with my dad,s youngest sister mary. peter clark was clara,s brother i think, there were so many siblings that i have lost count.

Comment by: j ainsworth on 10th October 2014 at 12:10

Clara married James Broxton in 1909 and had 4 children, alice, williiam {my dad}tom and mary.clara died in 1916 and is buried in st elizabeth,s churchyard .

Comment by: Peter Francis on 10th October 2014 at 23:51

June I am very happy we have made contact. It's the first contact I have had with my fathers family for 60 years.
Perhaps we can discus via emails . I have carried out limited research on Ancestry .com ,perhaps we can have a discussion via e mail.
My email is . Peter.francis 240 @ntlworld .com .
Please send me a message. I'm

Comment by: June Ainsworth (nee Broxton) on 11th October 2014 at 18:46

Peter F Clark - Your e-mail address is coming up as not valid, I have tried to contact you. Can you e-mail me?

Comment by: Peter Clark Francis on 16th October 2014 at 22:46

June , I have sent you 2 mail address's and still I have not had a reply from you. I wonder if you have a problem with your system.

Comment by: Dale traskowski on 3rd January 2015 at 00:04

My younger sister and I ,Dale and dawn traskowski attended this school from 1971 to 1977,my favourite school ever,we only lived at 14 frog lane so had only to pass about 8 houses to get to school,I was always late,I remember the teachers,year 4 was Mrs Speakman,year 5 was Mrs Shaw and year 6 was Mrs Brown,she was very strict,but did amazing drawings on the blackboard which I always tried to copy, morning assembly was always led by mr Clark the headmaster upstairs,that was also were we had our dinner,I always remember sitting cross legged for hours on end watching princess Ann getting married on a big old television,some of my friends I can remember are Carl Finney,David Hayes,Paul Worthington,Darren greenacre,Paul Rudd Jamie Wyatt,Gary Browitt,some of the girls were Beverley Connolly and her friend Jane and dorothy shaw

Comment by: Stephen Crook on 6th January 2015 at 10:24

Yes i went to blue coat in the 70`s
i remember getting my head stuck in the railings inside the playground and the fire brigade came to rescue me (the good old days).

Comment by: Chris Rigby on 19th February 2015 at 17:24

I went to Bluecoat school 1974-76
Dad was landlord at New Star pub on Wallgate

Comment by: Tony Broxton on 16th March 2015 at 14:41

Hello June Ainsworth,
Just read your comments on "Broxton " family which answered many of my questions re-their history. No doubt you will not remember me but I attended Blue Coat 1954-58 and with it the "compulsory " attendance of their Sunday. For a while you were my "Sunday School Teacher" (with a much envied white prayer book !!! / It would seem that we had the same grandfather and we are, if there is such a term, half-cousins. I did read your sister Sandra's comments but was unable to contact her with my many unanswered questions. Once again, many thanks

Comment by: rita nee worthington barnes on 26th March 2015 at 15:48

i obviously remember the bluecoat infant school yet i went to st thomas another old building demolished'i thnk tony you may have e mailed me regards to william broxton mp/jp in the picture with tony blair i stated i thought he was my mums uncle however after working all this out on a email bk to elaine broxton?did you get this?i also made a further comment under billys picture take a look at a broxton family pics and uncle and aunt and gr father gran mother and a photo of street party with in 46 in albert st higher ince were broxtons came from my aunt alice nee broxton was my mums twin there is info with pics n im sure my uncle robert broxton had a step daughter named june he had a son robert and a daughter their mum was named may really its quite confusing isnt it the families were so large and none lived a long life i have in fact found 4 members burial sites in ince and westwood please take a look at these photos albeit old but reasonable state my e mail is i might be right r wrong with my assumptions nice to know thanks

Comment by: rita nee worthington barnes on 26th March 2015 at 16:12

well it seems june nee broxton and sandra nee broxton you are sisters and we have tony broxton these same names of our ancestors keep poping up in conversation my gr father was thomas broxton as far as ive worked out, if im correct?is james was thomas younger brother really odd that both had large familys lost wives young in childbirth and both had children by the names of william thomas james robert in my gr dads case there were other children alice ellen twins /doris emigrated to usa married yank, james first died age 17mths then james the second hes still living in ipswich only one left 90yrs old alomost was born 26 also the eldest william died of tb consumption early twenties has did mum in childbirth of her 11th pregnancy n only 42/43 yrs old they lived in bridgewater st higher ince there seems too many coincidences not to be some links ps i did recieve ur email tony i would respect replies thanks for ur trouble

Comment by: Bob savage on 3rd May 2015 at 20:34

Sorry for delay Sheila. Only just discovered "Wigan World". Othe members of our class included :- Christopher Ball, John Berry, Sandra Blake, Sheila Burgess, Robert Fishwick, David Riley, David Austin, Jean Ashley, the Pedder twins, Stanley Gore, Ronnie Lyon, Pauline ? (Rather tall girl), Susan Bibby. Will sleep on it and see if I can remember any more. Mrs Yates was the ogre of the school in Junior 4. Mr. Hedley in junior 2 was the best! I walked to school from Delph Street everyday. No worries. Then you would meet up with others on the way. I do not think they would have 54 in a class like we had ,in schools today!

Comment by: Bob Savage on 4th May 2015 at 09:28

Slept on it! It is Pauline Brooks and Barbara Bibby (sorry for errors). Plus David Walsh, Brian Yates, Billy Roberts, Catherine Middleton (not a royal), Anne Bentham. Still many missing. Over sixty years since we entered the infants! Mrs Davenport the dinner lady was lovely in the infants. She used to measure our height on the buttons of her overall! Will keep thinking bob.

Comment by: Bob Savage on 7th May 2015 at 21:15

I have squeezed every last ounce from my brain. Richard Hill, William Banks, Colin Dewhurst and Marcia Leyland. Sorry to those I have forgotten!
Anyone else remember any others ?

Comment by: nephro on 29th July 2015 at 15:34

I went to this school between 1945-1951, firstly the infants school then the junior school. The infants school head was Miss Atherton and the teachers were Miss Faulkner, Miss Smith who became Mrs MGee,Miss Chadwick, and Mrs Yates, who later transferred to next door with her husband Charlie.
Charlie was headmaster with Miss Barrow, Mr Headley & Miss Docker as teachers of the junior school.

Comment by: nephro on 29th July 2015 at 15:56

Just to recap some of my fellow pupils were:-Ann Sanderson ,Ruth Gaskell, Beryl Anderton, Jaqui Wilkinson,Doreen Cleater,Betty Atherton,Edna Pie,Allen Bennett,Bob Winstanly,Bob Kelly,Ken Halliwell ( TUPPER),Brian Barrow,just to mention a few.

Comment by: nephro on 29th July 2015 at 19:10

Elsie Occleshaw, Margery Yates,Rosalind Bailey,John Kearsely,Jennifer Halliwell,Dorothy Wright,Barbara Chisnall,Etc It would be nice to hear from any of these people if they are still around, though they will be in their late 70's

Comment by: Paul jones on 5th October 2016 at 21:07

I went to blue coat in 1974 to ??? I have great memories of the place my class included Jason priestly ,Stephen orme ,Andy smith ,George ?? Stephen crook ,penky ,Tracy whittle

Comment by: Brian B on 17th November 2016 at 14:14

Hi Nephro, a bit late I know but John Dennet and Brian Barrow are still going strong (Nov 2016). Sad to say that Jaqui Wilkinson passed away a few years ago, she lived a few houses away from me in Blackrod.

Comment by: dorothy clarke on 6th February 2017 at 00:47

hello Christine Banks. Did you work at the wigan telephone Exchange? if so, how are you? and hope you are well.

Comment by: Sandra Aspinall nee Broxton on 11th September 2017 at 23:43

Tony Broxton. Only just seen your comments. Was your dad Eric & your mother Dolly who lived on Page field Street

Comment by: Frank kay on 4th February 2018 at 21:51

Played football for team any one else out there played when I was there !

Comment by: Karon stevenson(nee donelan) on 6th March 2018 at 16:42

Seeing this picture took me right back! I’m mentioned by Sue stanbury (nee Houghton). I went from 1962 and on to wigan girls high school. I remember the layout in my head so vividly, especially the maypole in the infant school.
Also remember all those names, Memories of all saints church too , where I was confirmed and later married ,( a grammar school lad ( Andrew stevenson) whose parents still attend that church. My first born was also christened there although I lived in South Wales then1986. I used to go to brownies on Friday night at Tudor house and walk there with tony Fowler’s mum, they lived on park rd . My wedding reception was at Tudor house. The very reverend Malcolm Forrest married us.

Comment by: Lynn Bradshaw on 19th August 2018 at 08:52

I went to the infants school in 1965 and then onto the junior school leaving in 1971 for the Deanery High School. I remember being caned several times by the headmaster Mr Clarke for running down the stairs. I have always had fond memories of Miss Brown who taught me a love of history, reading and writing. I still remember some of the stories we read and still have my Post Office information booklet from a project we did. My dad, Harold Bradshaw, knew Mr Brown and we had our shoes repaired in his shop. Happy memories.

Comment by: Julie Halliwell-Pollock on 20th January 2019 at 23:10

My dad went to this school, William Halliwell would have also gone by shorter name of Billy Halliwell he was born in 1942 so would have been there 1946 to about 1951, does anyone remember him ? .

Comment by: Neil Bromilow on 27th January 2019 at 11:16

Infants and juniors 1956 to 1963 that's the approximate time I was at The Bluecoat. David Cockerels account is very true.David was probably a couple of years older than me. Girls first I remember Christine Aspey,Heather Fisher, Joan Hopson,Margeret Walls,Linda Fouracre, Christine Callaghan and Glynis ?
Boys were Malcolm Seddon,John Oliver,Colin Litherland,Fred Pugh.Mr Smith was our p.e.teacher ex raf lovely man came from Beech Hill. He took us for football. Our football pitch was gallaghers rec a cinder pitch yes CINDERS at the bottom of Prescott street where all the scrapyards are now. It also had the bonus of terrible smells from the bone works.
I'm sure the lady in charge of dinners was Mrs Mather lovely lady. The food would arrive in huge aluminium pots from the central cook house. Tapioca pudding smashing. Hope this is good information. Cheers Neil

Comment by: Dorothy Heaton, nee Lowe on 7th September 2019 at 17:07

I went to the Bluecoat school from 1951/55.Two girls names that spring too to mind are Anne Barton, her parents had a pub at the end off King St and Catharine Rainbow whose parents also had a pub near the Princess Cinema(cant remember what it was called)I remember in 1953 for the Coronation we all received a Coronation mug with a bag of Santas boiled sweets inside.Happy Days.I Live in Yorkshire now but i remember those days with fond affection.

Comment by: alfie mumford on 17th September 2019 at 20:47

i know it's a long shot,but in the 1940's my Brother and Sister went to the blue coat school their sir name was mumford,they lived in Wilcock street

Comment by: Paul Fowler on 27th June 2020 at 17:00

I left in 1965 having attended Infants and Junior. Passed 11+ and went to Wigan Grammar School. My brother Tony followed me. My mum was Brown Owl in the Brownies. Would love to share tales with anyone who knew us. Lots of memories

Comment by: Frank kay on 22nd September 2020 at 10:17

I played football for the team on Gallagher pitch around 1957 to 64 imagine footballers playing on that pitch

Comment by: Chris mason on 23rd January 2021 at 20:07

My mum is Barbara Chisnall. She attended the Bluecoat between 1945 - 1950. She remembers the names of some of the people on here. Happy memories.

Comment by: Brian B on 17th March 2021 at 19:12

Hi Chris, is this the Barbara Chisnall that lived in Kendal Street?

Comment by: Christy Taylor nee Christine Seddon on 29th April 2021 at 17:03

I attended the National Bluecoat School from 1954 until 1961, anybody there at that time? I would love to hear from you.
I now retired living in Portugal having spent almost all of my working life in the United States, as a university professor.

Comment by: Diane rudd on 5th September 2021 at 00:10

I went to blue coat in the 70's, and lived at 14 frog lane. Mrs Orgill lived next door and she used to have a district nurse come to see her and she used to bring us all toffee. Great school and good old days.

Comment by: Tony Broxton on 19th November 2021 at 15:57

Hi Bryan B. the surname Brady? If so we played together on a killer centre-half, me a non- scoring centre forward.

Comment by: Brian B on 27th November 2021 at 20:08

Sorry Tony my football skills end at the telly controler!!!!!!!!

Comment by: Diane rudd on 23rd June 2022 at 23:32

Dale traskowski, you may remember all my brothers and sister, Paul, Stephen, Derek and julie? Fond memories of that little school! ????

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