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Photos of Wigan
Photos of Wigan

Wigan Album

Thomas Linacre School


Lancashire Life February 1958
Lancashire Life February 1958
Photo: RON
Views: 3,274
Item #: 5799
Photograph taken from an article about the school that appeared in the February edition of Lancashire Life.

Comment by: Carl Fairclough on 4th April 2008 at 23:27

'Basher' Collins head shining in the background.

Comment by: dk on 5th April 2008 at 18:56

I know nothing of Thomas Linacre school but these pictures are very interesting and this one is extremely impressive. I'd wager that this equipment would not have been out of place in many a machine shop at that time. The lads being taught were very privileged to have had such grounding. It would be a good lesson for all today's educationalists and policy makers to take a long hard look at this and compare it, if comparison is the right word, with the equipment, facilities and kinds of thing that "resistant materials lessons" get done in schools today and then maybe they'll realise where our industry went.
Bit of a rant that - sorry, couldn't keep it in.

Comment by: RON on 6th April 2008 at 21:24

This was only one of the workshops There was another one, and also a woodwork workshop. I regret I didn't make full use of the opportunity I had.

Comment by: John Fazakerley on 29th May 2008 at 12:32

To dk. You're damn right it was impressive, for which we were very fortunate. Agree about the educationalists! As Ron says, there were 2 other metalwork shops (one with a large forge) and a well equiped woodwork shop. (run by Fleming -also tenor in the school concerts and umpired our cricket matches)

Comment by: peter banks on 25th October 2008 at 13:21

Ah the memories Basher" used to live in Westhoughton and some mornings if he saw me standing at the bus stop in the pouring rain he gave me a lift into school, that was the only time I got in on time and wasn't late for assembly.Great teacher but you were always wary he might explode so you didn't push your luck. Don't forget the other workshop on the other side with "jasper" in charge, he could throw a mean punch to the chin if you overstepped the mark, with his ruddy complextion and stocky build I thought he was a terrific master with a great sense of humor.I think that was what T.L.was all about,a great atmosphere and good mates.The first day I arrived and saw all the workshops and engines, chassis etc I knew this was the place for me, and all that practical knowledge i gained has stayed with me through the years, something sadly lacking in todays world (unless your chinese).

Comment by: MICHAEL HEATH on 10th November 2009 at 14:07

This workshop really got me into Engineering which became my career (now retired. My favorite machine were the Harrison lathes, the Boxfords were O.K. but the Harrisons were the best. "Jasper" Mellind was a real craftsman - he would think nothing of firing up the forge and making a special tool for a particular job. I still have a bunsen burner that I Made under his tutelage - and a poker.

Comment by: Graham Taylor on 16th November 2009 at 22:48

A brilliant photo bringing back such wonderful memories.

I was only telling my son the other day about my school being a technical grammar school and the facilities we had in the workshops. I later went on to be an armoured vehicle mechanic in the army thanks to the practical skills learnt at TLS.

I think todays schools have got it all wrong, there are no practical skills taught (apart from using a keyboard) and no apprenticeships to go on to afterwards. I am glad I grew up when I did.

Comment by: Mike Timmins on 8th February 2010 at 13:11

I still have - and use regularly - the toasting fork I made in Jasper's class...

Comment by: Ian McEachern on 23rd January 2011 at 12:02

I endorse all the comments, even the one about not making the most of the facilities. However, Linacre gave me the grounding in engineering which gave me a great working life and the opportunity to travel the world. It was a wonderful broad education and I did eventually value that.

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

Ditto to all the positive remarks above. I am a product of TLS and the memories are powerful and very happy ones. No doubt about it the faculty made our experience what it was, they were indeed a very special team of pedagogues.

Comment by: Jim Heaton on 6th October 2012 at 01:03

I joined TLS from a classical grammar school (best move I made) in1953 when it opened. The Engineering workshop shown was indeed outstanding. It essentially took me into a successful career in Engineering from which i am now retired. Many times have I "fallen-out" promoters and senior educationists who peddle their wares via the so called "Design and Technology" subject, a sort of Blue Peter/Mickey Mouse apology of an approach. Here was taught the basics of real practical mechanical engineering, in addition of course to the associated theory. Messrs Willington and Collins were the drivers.
I have seen such school facilities sold off, pushed into corners covered with dust sheets and used for wood turning. Only now do I detect a sense that maybe this country got it all wrong to decimate so much of our engineering culture and structure; almost certainly too late!
Thank you TLS for giving a very fortunate few such an opportunity and facility.

Comment by: Roy Huxley on 29th December 2012 at 17:45

I,ll throw in my ha'peth about the engineering facilities at the school, they could probably be described as 'second to none' as far as school workshops were concerned, the facilities were my grounding under Jasper Melling for a career in Engineering.

Comment by: Bill Lewis on 1st May 2013 at 09:25

Don't forget the engineering drawing classes either - they tonight me stuff I still use today. I can't remember but I would guess that you could draw something in Engineering Drawing and make it downstairs in the workshops . I still have a sectional drawing of a screw jack that I did.

Comment by: Tom Davies on 26th December 2015 at 20:49

I fully sympathise with all the above comments. As a lifelong professor of engineering I can vouch for the falling standards in practical engineering education shown by school leavers entering university engineering courses. By the way I am the short haired lad being shown how to operate a lathe by Basher! On the left is Alan Cumberbatch and Paul Fearnley facing each other across a machine. The class is probably 2a, circa 1956/7.

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