Login   |   Register   |   
Photos of Wigan
Photos of Wigan

Wigan Album

Thomas Linacre School


W.S. Brace
W.S. Brace
Photo: RON
Views: 3,555
Item #: 5787
You didn't mess with this man... Feared and admired by everyone who attended the school. It's only in later life that you appreciate people who played a major part in your formative years.

Comment by: T. Berry on 4th April 2008 at 16:23

I know!!! I got six of the best off him for setting off a fire extinguisher. (How stupid was that?)

Comment by: Dave Marsh on 4th April 2008 at 16:59

As a head master he was as good as it gets.I can still see him gliding into assembly,gown flowing behind him and over 500 boys falling silent.We were priveleged to have him.

Comment by: Dave Marsh on 5th April 2008 at 11:01

T.Berry,you must remember the small gathering outside the heads office on a Friday morning.I remember my last Friday visit for a detention.I as given the title "It is better to travel hopefully than to arrive" as a punishment essay.

Comment by: RON on 5th April 2008 at 12:48

I was a 'regular' in detention.... Up to the third form you were given a 4 page essay. Usually on "GOOD MANNERS" after that it was 6 pages. I don't know if Bill Brace ever read them? but I always wrote one page and then repeated it for the other pages.<g>
I had done the essay by 4 o'clock during various Friday lessons and the hour spent in detention was when I did my homework. I didn't mind detention as it gave me a chance to do my weekend homework, or part of it. As I usually left it until Sunday night. (Something, which was hanging over you like the sword of Damacles all over the weekend). I really should have done it Friday night or Saturday morning, like the good boys.....

Comment by: Trevor Berry on 6th April 2008 at 14:42

Hello, Ron & Dave. I would like to be able to say otherwise but I'm afraid I was a 'regular' in the Friday afternoon club. My weekends rarely commenced at 4pm on a Friday and when I glanced around at my fellow ne'er-do-wells and amateur comedians in Obersturmbannfuhrer Gelling's classroom, there was a sense of 'belonging'. When I had the misfortune to acquire him as my German teacher in the fifth form, going into that room was like going home. Happy Days!!!

Comment by: Bill Whelan on 22nd June 2008 at 01:43

Not a bad head for a Jehovha's Winess and a sadist. I always felt sorry for Miss Higham his inoffensive and put on secretary.

Comment by: Roy Huxley on 17th December 2008 at 17:37

You were very lucky Trevor to only have encountered Gelling in the 5th year,I started at TLS Sept'53, first intake having had about 10wks summer hols due to the late finish of the building.Gelling's German was my first ever lesson there!!!I detested the man from day one,therefore my worst subject.Art master Tricky Hilton was my first form master[loved the bloke]funnily enough my favourite subject!I too started many weekends an hour later than I should have.

Comment by: Graham (Eggy) Barton on 31st May 2009 at 10:00

Mr Gelling was my very first Form Master when I joined the school in September 1958. Tough and fearsome as he was - I can still remember many of the things he said. I agree you didn't mess with Mr Brace - but you didn't mess with Mr Gelling either!

Comment by: MICHAEL HEATH on 27th November 2009 at 22:38

I have painful memories of his use of the cane,we used to wait outside his office awaiting our sentence and would count the "whacks" applied to the unfortunate that was inside. Mr Bullock put me in detention 3 times in succession one week - this must be a record. The result was inevitable & painful!

Comment by: Graham Fee on 28th September 2010 at 15:28

This man was brilliant. He was running a Technical School yet once a week he sat down with the whole school for a (usually live) music recital. This introduction was a major influence on development of my subsequent life long interest in orchestral music and, subsequently, opera. In addition, Bill Brace was very innovative in devising the weekly career talks for the whole school. After 5-7 years at TLS no pupil could say they didn't know what sort of jobs were out there for them.

Comment by: Clive Marflow on 24th May 2011 at 19:26

I was at Linacre 1960 to 67 (I think) and remember Brace well - better still his cane. I must have been a naughty child. I remember taking the detention book up with me to English (Enoch Shaw) as I hadn't done the homework and knew a detention was looming. As someone has poimted out, that was 4 pages and the homework would have been 10! I remember well the combining with the WGS. I stayed on for a "special year" as my job only started in 1968. There's more to tell but much is fading!

Comment by: David Simm on 18th March 2012 at 15:05

I too have good memories of Linacre and Bill Brace, for me the highlight was when he personally went round the entire school forcing boys to attend the school play. "A Streetcar Names Desire", he came into our metalwork/engineering class and asked everyone individually what their excuse was for not buying the ticket, all of which he scoffed at and insisted they attend, when he got to me and asked "why aren't you" I replied "I saw it on TV a weeks or so ago and thought it was junk, so if professional actors can't please me, what hope do schoolkids have?" Brace said in front of the class; "You're excused for your honesty."
I had been into his office a few times, for the most part I had a great deal of respect for him, I never had a detention all through school, probably by not breaking the 11th commandment "Thou shalt not get caught" although I did get a half page essay once on "Perambulation" from deputy head, for knocking him over while running through the quarter deck chasing one of my class mates.

Comment by: Ken Walmsley on 13th October 2012 at 21:41

Trevor, just read about your 6 strokes from Billy Brace.
I was in the corridor when you set off the the extinguisher. I think it was the Physics class. I was in the same form as you. If I remember correctly you had red hair. Hope you have recovered from the whacking.

Comment by: Malcolm Ryding on 25th April 2013 at 19:18


Came across this brilliant article by William S Brace. It is an enthralling read for any old boy.

Comment by: Len Dissado on 30th May 2013 at 15:19

The head was tough but fair, just stick to the rules. It was his initiative to arrange after hours clubs for any group that wanted one. Does no-one remember the afternoon off that he gave the whole school to watch Frankie Worrell play club cricket on the next door ground.
People calling Mr.Brace a sadist should remember Physics teacher Mr.Martindale, with his hair twisting and swinging on the hands placed on neighbouring benches, not to mention the flying chalk and blackboard duster.

Comment by: RON HUNT on 30th May 2013 at 17:02

Hi Leonard you wont remember me but I remember you. Yoe were a couple of years ahead of me You lived in the Maghull area of Liverpool didn't you? I know you traveled to school on the train. Oddly enough, I knew you were a clever guy and last year I looked you up on Google to find out how your career had progressed. WOW.. I'm proud to say I went to the same school as Leonard Dissado. Are you still in Leicester

Comment by: Dave Marsh on 30th May 2013 at 19:47

I always had the highest regard for Bill Brace.The rules at Linacre were not rocket science.Stick to the simple rules and life was good.Thanks for your personal words of wisdom that I have never forgotten,Mr.Brace.

Comment by: Len Dissado on 3rd June 2013 at 15:26

Hi Ron. I am still at Leicester and still doing stuff at the uni. Unfortunately I chucked away a lot of stuff (photos, school mags etc) when my mum died. I still have a few things though, so I will see if I can put something on the site.

Leave a comment?

* Enter the 5 digit code to the right of the input box. Don't worry if you make a mistake, you will get another chance. Your comments won't be lost.