Maghull – My old school is changing fast

I was at Maghull High, previous names Ormonde Drive Secondary Modern & Ormonde High, from 1969 to 1975 and recall the multi-storey block which you can just about see in the background (almost covered by the tree) of the photo of the new building being constructed. That was in the days when disability was hardly a consideration – the block was built with no lift!

I also recall the old Woodend Primary School (which was on the same site) and which I attended for my last two terms of junior school (I’d moved from Rochdale) before going to the high school across the playing field. Sadly, Woodend Primary School closed some years back despite huge efforts by campaigners, with my old friend Andrew Blackburn being just one of them. Indeed, I recall us delivering leaflets in the locality trying to persuade parents to send their youngsters to the ‘hidden’ school. By hidden I mean that it could not be seen from any road as it was tucked away behind houses on Ormonde Drive and Liverpool Road South and its secluded location may well have contributed to its demise. But then in an odd twist it rose from the ashes to become the 6th Form block of Maghull High.

Teachers? I recall the head of Woodend a Mr Hadaway and a teacher Mrs Hughes. From Maghull High I recall teachers Jack Petty (what a lovely man), Ken Livesey, Annabella Cowel, Ray (Rog) Jeffreys, Miss Rimmer, Mr Grindrod (red faced and nearly always shouting I recall)…

Kids I recall? Just one from Woodend and I only recall his nick-name ‘Trolley’ – I wonder who he is? At Maghull High I recall many fellow pupils – Tony (Tad) Jarrett – died @1990, Pete Roberts, Jenny Webb, Russell (Fod) Foderingham, Andrew Beattie – died 1999, Phil Keeling (now Watterson), Keith Connor, Mike Ashley, David Johnstone, Gill Bryers, Alan Latham, Paul Gardner…………. and many others.

And all these memories came flooding back as a consequence of my stopping on a cycle ride along the Cheshire Lines Path/Trans Pennine Trail to photo my old school being rebuilt.

9 thoughts on “Maghull – My old school is changing fast

  1. Mike Harvey says:

    I remember Mr Petty and basket weaving, Mr Grindrod always nipping out of the porta-cabin for a smoke as well as the other teachers for PE and English. A garage that housed pupils arriving for school on their push bikes, a future councillor for one.

  2. Frank says:

    I went to Woodend Primary school Between 1968–70 and remember it being A really liberating friendly school compared to my previous school at Hudson primary, A real tribute to the Philosophy of the headmaster Mr Hadaway.

    Then went to Ormonde Drive between 19 70–75. It would be interesting to see the new developments. It is strange to reflect that the tower block in those days was considered so modern perhaps in comparison with the rest of the school. Mr Ibbotson was the acting headmaster when I started, it was rumoured that the previous headmaster (Mr Ormishire?) collected teapots and had started to refer to the pupils as teapots! Probably one of those urban myths. I recall that Mr Grinnrod Was nicknamed Burster blood vessel due to pulsating veins in his forehead when he was angry. I think Mr Petty was everyone’s favourite for handycrafts and history. Ken Livesey seemed infamous for his cane which he named Excalibur and used quite a lot for forgotten the towels at PE! The mud on the cross country runs was so deep, it was like quicksand, I am surprised any of us survived! In fact, we should set up a survivors group after all the experiences at Ormonde Drive!

    • Paul Lemon says:

      Oh God those cross country runs. In the middle of winter. Freezing cold in shorts and a thin top running across the council tip at the back of the school fields, seagulls scattering everywhere. Once I got a lift off a bin lorry back to school. Mr Livesey wasn’t fooled though.

      • Yes I hated those runs too Paul, they always seemed to be on the coldest of days and the smell from the tip! Are you in touch with anyone from back then? Do you remember Phil Keeling? He changed his name to Watterson ans I bump into him now an again. Andrew Beattie and Tad Jarret have both died and I’ve lost touch with the others I knew back in the old days.

  3. Paul Lemon says:

    Mr Petty used to build amazing tableaux out of polystyrene at Christmas. Whole villages with dwarves hammering away at anvils. There was a working cable car one year and a conveyer belt with dwarves carrying presents up a slope. They were underneath the stairs in the main foyer. I remember Mr Jeffries with his amazing comb over. He introduced me to the magic of Tolkien. I can still hear him talking like Gollum. Miss Rimmer was my favourite English teacher. Mr Livesey was the sports teacher. We never got on. I was a total wimp at sports.

    My fellow pupils were Alan ? also known as ‘dent’ due to an odd cavity in his chest. Paul Gardener, David Jones. Russell Foderingham I remember from Primary School, Davenhill in Aintree. David Beatie renowned for his tight trousers! I distinctly remember walking out the gate on that very last day thinking what am I going to do with my life? Nearly fifty years later I still don’t really know the answer.

  4. Mark Lawler says:

    I am often accused of being too nostalgic but I enjoy reflecting on days of old. I must go and have a look at the new building etc. I was at ormonde between 1977 and 1983 but recognise a few of the names you both mention ? Not unless it’s just coincidental maybe. I remember when we started there, the 5th form boys could wear a blue jumper and the sixth form I think wore red. However when we reached those years the blue jumper had gone and 6th form attire was now a black jumper. The 6th form block was covered in upvc if I remember which was quite modern. Mr Jefferies was my favourite teacher – sadly no longer with us.

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