When I think back to my years at Junior School, I realise that this is when I discovered my hunger for learning, my determination to excel, and the importance of integrity and respect for others.
Dr Arno Kitts, Managing Director, UK Institutional Business, BlackRock
Though I finished up getting a lot of education, I think it is the time I spent at the Junior School in Park Road that was the most formative and is still the most clearly etched in my mind. Learning Latin, being read classic books, long jump on the levels, choral performances…. For a boy from my background all of this was completely new, and somehow amazing. At that age you are wide open to experience and, if you are very lucky, you will find yourself in a privileged place like Park Road at just that moment. The air we breathed in Park Road must have been particularly clear. It certainly seems so now.
Professor Chris Higson, Accounting, London Business School
Park Road Juniors was, I admit, slightly scary at first. It was, I suppose, my initiation into serious academic thought, the prime monument to which was the mighty sandstone bulk of the senior school to which we were all nervously heading. But the headmaster, Bernard Harrison, was a benign, silver-haired fatherly figure. I'll never forget him driving me to hospital in his mechanically dubious Morris when I sprained by wrist in gym. Indeed, the teachers as a whole combined seriousness and helpful amiability in equal measure, just what I, in my later years, would ask of any teacher. The best thing I can say of the school was that it worked. It embedded in me habits of reading and thinking as well as an enduring curiosity about just about everything. It provided, in the highest sense of the phrase, a liberal education.
Bryan Appleyard, Award-winning journalist and author
On reflection …… Park Road shaped young minds to uphold the virtues of self discipline, self sufficiency, determination, fair play and self belief without arrogance. We knew we were receiving a sound academic grounding even though we had no other experience to compare it with. The teachers cared. Those teachers who ensured good discipline and adherence to house rules were the same ones who, in times of uncertainty, willingly offered a listening ear and encouragement to us seven and eight year olds at no cost.
Bolton School has never aspired to mediocrity. Upon leaving School in 1968 to read Metallurgy at university and develop a career as a Chartered Engineer I took with me a strong sense of values and a desire to see fair play at all times. Unfortunately the world of business and commerce often provides a stage upon which other less noble agendas are played out, challenging one’s integrity and values. More than once I found myself drawing on personal reserves woven into my make up by both my schooling and my parents. Values developed and honed at Bolton Senior School and closely guarded throughout my life clearly had their roots cultivated at Park Road. How fortunate we were.
Fond memories and happy days.
Phillip Taylor, Metallurgist and Chartered Engineer with British Steel
Mrs Roberts was a bundle of energy and enthusiasm standing behind the piano, leading us in the songs from the BBC Music Makers series. I remember standing in the hall as a whole class of boys and having to learn to play the violin at the age of seven. What a saint she must have been to put up with that! Then there were trips to music festivals where we expected to win first prize, and more often than not we did. Singing John Rutter’s ‘Nativity Carol’ at every carol service, and learning to sing harmonies and in parts for the first time.
Now in my early 40s, a teacher of music at the largest primary school in Cumbria, and a worship leader in a Cumbrian church, it has become obvious that my early years at Park Road definitely inspired the musician in me.
My other passion over most of my lifetime has been reading. Mr H M Harrison finished each day with a story. I can’t remember other teachers reading to us, but I can remember listening to “Herbert” reading ‘Three Men in a Boat’, ‘The Little Grey Men’, and many other stories. As soon as I had heard them, I wanted to visit the library and read them for myself.
So my memories of Park Road are of many times and people, but over thirty years later my love of music and reading were most definitely inspired and started there. Now my own children have inherited the same passions and, I hope, I am inspiring generations of children in Barrow-in-Furness to be as musical as ark Road inspired me to be.
However, no violins in whole classes for me!
Jonathan Harrison, music teacher