"Park Road shaped young minds to uphold the virtues of self discipline, self sufficiency, determination, fair play and self belief without arrogance."

Phillip Taylor, Former Pupil

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Memories of School

Old Boys and Old Girls of all ages enjoy sharing their memories of School with us, and with their fellow Alumni.  A selection of these stories are noted here.  Memories of the Junior Schools can be found here for Girls' Division, and here for Boys' Division.  

If you would like to share your memories here, please contact the Development Office.  Old Boys and Old Girls also regularly share memories on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram:

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Pamela Adams (former GD Staff, 1962-1973)

Pamela now lives in Tasmania, Australia, and wrote after receiving the Spring 2014 edition of the Old Girls' Newsletter, after recognising herself in a photograph published therein: "The black and white photo of the Staff Room [pictured right] includes me - I am near the bottom looking at the camera. My husband says he would recognise those knees...

John Anderson (1957-1967)

John remembers when, back in 1963, he and six other Sixth Form boys (Andrew Park, John Martins, Nicholas Holding, David Hodgson, Roger Lees and Ted McAvoy) saved up the then massive sum of £60 and bought a 10-ton working steam roller from Bickerstaffe, near Ormskirk. “We drove the roller to School for Speech Day 1966 and were late for assembly...

Joan Bellis (née Healey, 1940-1948)

I entered Bolton School in September 1940, having been awarded a Governors’ Scholarship, from a small Unitarian Primary School in Atherton, where there was an exceptionally talented teacher.  My younger cousin was lucky enough also to have the same teacher, and he too won a scholarship to the Boys' Division two years later.  We travelled by...

Edward Benson (1948-1956)

Edward wrote to us in August 2013, with detailed memories of his time at School.   "I am eternally grateful for the education which I received at Bolton School.  I entered in 1948 with a scholarship from Markland Hill.  It was just three years since the end of WWII.  We were well aware that we had won that war against Germany: we thought we were...

Joan Berry (née Edge, 1933-1939)

When I took in my letter to say that I had won a Governors' Scholarship to Bolton School, my teacher at St Paul’s School, Walkden, shed a tear.  The results of the Scholarship examination for places at Local Education Authority Grammar Schools were sent to school and the Head came in to read the list to the class.  The Arithmetic problem paper had...

Jean K Bowker (née (Boardman, 1940-1948)

In the Summer of 1948, at the end-of-year entertainment by the School Prefects, the following was sung, to the tune of Now is the Hour, a song made popular at the time by Vera Lynn (the Forces’ sweetheart).  I was one of those Prefects, and am featured in the photograph here, with wings and halo attached! Now is the hour, when we must say...

A Douglas Brear (1954-1962)

My enduring memories of Bolton School reflect the fact that from my entry I began to feel ‘like some watcher of the skies, when a new planet swims into his ken’.  REMINISCENCES OF THE GREAT HALL AND THE HEADMASTER I grew up in a terraced house in one of the roads opposite the School, and so had known its sandstone frontage all my life: the...

Jenifer L Broughton (née Barlow, 1953-1959)

Jenifer wrote to School recently with her memories: "I always remember my first day at School: I was elated, and excited at the prospect of being in such a beautiful building.  I skipped and danced down the corridor – only to be reprimanded by a member of staff and told to walk sedately. "Our year was the first to wear the new winter uniform of...

John Denham (1949-1958)

John remembers the following ditty sung to the tune of Frère Jacques: 'It is raining, it is raining, No PT, no PT. Twenty minutes German, twenty minutes German, Woe is me, woe is me.' Old boys remembering the 1950s will instantly recognise the work of Jeff Banks, Head of Modern Languages, who composed many such songs relating to School life....

Barbara Drage (née Jary, 1932- 1945)

Barbara recently shared with us her story and memories of her family and time at Bolton School, including during the war. “We, the Jary family, came to Bolton school in 1928. I came in a washing basket on the back seat of the car. My father, W F Jary, was appointed as Head of Science on the day that I was born. He was planning the science labs in...

Gillian Driver (1954-1964)

Gillian wrote to us in September 2014 with her memories of life in the Girls' Division: "I joined Bolton School at the age of eight in 1954 (the same year as Margaret Higginson).  Prior to joining First Form I had attended a 'dame' school (one teacher, ten pupils between the ages of five and eleven seated round a large table in her front sitting...

Michael Farmer (1942-1955)

Michael wrote to us in November 2013, with his 'light-hearted' reminiscences of his thirteen years at the School.  "I consider it a great privilege to have attended Bolton School.  It provided me with not only a very good education but also a memorable mix of friendship, sport, adventure and romance. Old Beech House I don’t think I created a...

Antony P Fisher (1965-1972)

Some Bolton School memories: Of Mr Dawson, taking a Lostock House morning assembly (was it in the Miniature Theatre on Thursday mornings?) in his trademark, decidedly non-spiritual, more sergeant-majorish style announcing 'We have a reader, we have a reading, read it lad'. In the wake of Colin Chambers’ demonstration to the class of the power of...

Ruth Glover (1972-1979)

Ruth recalls an anecdote of her time at Bolton School. I was a pupil of Bolton School and had the opportunity to go on a skiing trip to Andorra.  The route involved travelling through Spain.  As it happened, my mother (also an Old Girl of the School) was attending a Roman Archaeology trip to Spain at the same time.  She thought it would be...

Jonathan Harrison (1979-1990)

Jonathan wrote in April 2014, with his memories of life at Park Road.   "What to remember? Mr James in his ice-cream outfit at school fairs? Calling art teacher Mr Lomax “mum”? The time I cracked my head open scoring a great goal on the playground at lunchtime? Games of pirates in P.E. where we had all the apparatus out and played what was...

Jean Hemingway (née Haslam, 1949-1957)

Jean wrote to us recently of her memories, after reading an article in the Magazine about her old Classics teacher, Mr Fisher. "He joined the staff about the time, I think, that I entered the Sixth Form, and taught me for the two years of A-level Latin.  At that time, Miss Sturrock was Head of Classics, and also the School Librarian. I became...

J Paul Hodgson (1955-1962)

Paul took a tour of School in May 2014, and afterwards wrote to the Development Office with memories of two particularly humorous incidents during his time at School. "It was a great experience to have been educated and reach adulthood (almost) in my time at Bolton School. I enjoyed the lower/middle school “broad-based” compulsory mix of...

William Holden (1933-1940)

In February 2014, Year 13 pupils Isaac Scott and Nathan Brennan interviewed Old Boy William Holden (1933-1940), about his time at School and his service in the RAF during WWII. What did the school curriculum consist of? I remember Mr Poskitt, who was the Headmaster then. He was very keen on P.E. Every day, almost in spite of the weather,...

Malcolm (Danny) Howe (1948-1956)

F R Poskitt ruled the roost from 1933 to 1966 with such force majeure that the boys nicknamed him 'Joe Boss'.  However, his august presence endowed him with gravitas, crowned with a magnificent head of silver hair.  Wednesday 6th February 1952 began as another normal School day, but mid-morning we were all summoned from lessons back to the Hall...

Alan W Knowles (1938-1944)

My first day at my new school was a memorable one.  It began when I set out walking from my home, in the Willows Lane area, with another scholarship boy from Brandwood Street School.  We were talking about our hopes and expectations of life at the new school after the strict discipline of the one we had left, with the cane an ever-present...

Mary Knowles (née Ashworth, 1939-1946)

I had been delighted to be awarded a Local Authority Scholarship to Bolton School, but life at the School as a Third Form pupil was postponed for six weeks during which air-raid shelters were constructed in the Quadrangle.  In the meantime, we were called to a nearby staff house where we were provided with text books and instructions for 'home...

Ivan Leigh (1954-1962)

An enjoyable day at the Grand Reunion in September evoked many memories and a variety of emotions in Ivan.  Here he recalls an event which occurred on the last day of term in the Summer of 1955. As a first year pupil on the last day of my first year in Shell A1 at Bolton School in 1955, I was excited at the prospect of the long summer holiday...

Ronald Lowe (1939-1947)

In the early days of September 1939 little attention was being given to the start of Bolton School’s Autumn term.  On 3rd September the lugubrious voice of Neville Chamberlain, on our little Murphy wireless, had intoned those doom-laden words: ‘No such undertaking has been received, and consequently this country is at war with Germany’.  For a...

Elizabeth Mary Mahoney (née Young, 1936-1946)

Elizabeth, who now lives in Canada, wrote to School in December 2013 with her memories of life in the Girls' Division during the war.   "School dinners, especially in war time, were not very good. The meat in the stews was very gristly. I could eat very little of them, and got home in the afternoons very hungry.  It was always a daunting honour...

Eva Marshall (née Leach, 1949-1953)

Old Girl Eva shares with us several distinct memories of her time at School, of headmistresses, teacher gossip, cats, dogs and earthworms! "The whole School used to line up outside Miss Varley's room at the end of term, and she would shake each pupil by the hand and speak to them by name - quite a feat of memory.  The tradition was discontinued,...

Chrissy McCann (Former GD Staff)

Chrissy, having recently retired, shares her fond memories of Bolton School and how it has changed throughout her time here. “My first memory is of the Great Hall as I walked through it towards my interview, a bit awe-inspiring.  Then the girls: bright, eager and intelligent, a joy to teach.  Then colleagues – a better bunch of mismatched...

Marjorie McCormick (née Hough, 1950-1956)

Marjorie recalls how one of the traditions of the Girl's Division began ... In September 1953 Miss Slynn (a member of the Halle Choir) was appointed Head of Music.  She decided that the first verse of the Carol Once in Royal David's City, which opened the Girls' Division Annual Carol Service, would be sung as an unaccompanied solo.  As a soloist...

Geoff Ogden (1950-1960)

Geoff donated three photographs to the School Archive in March 2012, which show Bolton School boys participating in football and cricket at both a regional and national level. "The England U18 football team that played Scotland in a secondary schools' international was made up of grammar school and public school boys selected from the annual...

Derek Robinson (1939-1946)

Derek recently wrote to us with his memories of growing up in Bolton and School during the war.   "It was walking home up Devonshire Road and Ivy Road with the load of books in my new leather school satchel and past my old primary school that it really occurred to me what it meant when my mother bought the Bolton Evening News one day that...

Rev Christopher Hughes Smith (1939-1948)

Christopher remembers a much-loved teacher in the Boys’ Division, Mrs Emma Saxelby. I had not been taught by her during my early years in the A-forms, but of course knew who she was.  When I was in 5A, walking along the corridor one day, she sidled up to me and said, 'You are going to do Modern Languages after School Certificate, aren't you?'  It...

Marion Smith (née Grundy, 1931-1945)

Marion was unable to attend the recent 1940s and 1950s Afternoon Tea, and sent her  apologies along with her memories of School: "I was at Bolton School for my entire schooldays, starting at Beech House at five and leaving in 1945 after three years in the Sixth Form. "I remember the clock in the entrance hall at Beech House (standing under it...

Malcolm Stevens (1946-1957)

Malcolm sent us his reminsicences of life at Park Road in January 2014 "Because I missed a large portion of the 1946-1947 school year because of illness, I was always behind the main academic front. My progress was stuttering at best and, because of a mischievous tendency, often found myself standing ‘under the clock’ after school when the head,...

Phillip Taylor (1957-1968)

Phillip, a retired Engineer, wrote to School in March 2014 with his memories of life at Park Road. "'Have you heard yet?'  'Have you heard yet?'  The playground of St. Andrew infants' school at Four Lane Ends echoed to this cry in the summer of 1957 from those who had taken the examination for Bolton School Juniors. I was fearful of what my...

Eileen Turner (née Milner, 1951-1958)

Memories of Seven Years at Bolton School I was a pupil at Bolton School (Girls' Division) from 1951-1958.  To gain a place at Bolton in those days one had to take an entrance examination and, if successful in that, there was an interview with the Head Mistress, Miss Varley, and also one with Miss Ford (English).  This second interview involved...

Gordon Walker (1950-1964)

Prompted by a feature in the Autumn 2014 edition of The Bugle, Gordon has shared his memories of Sergeant Hickey at Park Road: Sgt William Hickey had a profound and lasting influence on me.  Having been through the rigours of Beech House, I arrived at Park Road believing I know everything about the system.  At seven years old I felt superior to...

Stephen Wallen (1958-1968)

In response to the request in the Autumn Bugle for memories of Sergeants, Stephen has sent in his on Sergeant Hickey: Most people will remember Sergeant Hickey as a shaved-headed, scary person who sold Blue Ribbon biscuits at morning break.  I also remember him that way, but it is him that I have to thank for introducing me to the drinking of...

Kathleen Ward (née Waddington, GD 1953-1960)

Kathleen wrote to us in October 2013, having attended the May Serenade in the Girls' Division earlier that year, with her memories of 'saving the plates'. "My memories go back to the Summer Term of 1960, and my turn to serve visitors to the School at Top Table. "As I approached Miss Higginson's side with the plates, the unthinkable happened; I...