Blackbrook St Mary's at Blackbrook Road > Chain Lane - Schools List, St Helens Connect
Blackbrook St Mary's RC Junior School - Blackbrook Road > Chain Lane

Members who attended this school (hover pointer to show years):

beegee, church mouse, cumbriakid, Hugh Wareing, Julie Gibbons, philsutton, septicpeg, St.HelensMan,


0 posts
Wed, 15 Jun 2011, 19:12.

I went there from 1962 to 1966. I was in Mrs Gaskell's class, then Mrs Taylor, then Mrs Blackhall and finally Miss Davin. I enjoyed my year 1963/64 in Mrs Taylor's class but not the other years. I thought Miss Davin and her good friend the headmaster Mr Hankinson were a pair of bullies.

church mouse

60 posts
Thu, 4 Aug 2011, 20:22.

Mrs Wilson was a teacher in the infants school (we went to sleep in the afternoon on camp beds) she was terrifying....Remember Miss Davin, also terrifying..we had gas mantles for lighting and a big coke fire in the class room. We had a lovely teacher in the juniors but she went to live in California!!! Didn't learn much, spent a lot of time learning the catechism and going to church.


9 posts
Wed, 13 Nov 2013, 23:56.

The site of the old school is completely contained within the car park walls - the walls are actually the remnants of the tall walls surrounding the school. There were big wooden double gates and steps up to the entrance door I seem to recall. The two playgrounds were on different levels with a 'bullying' space inbetween. I can still smell the ink being poured into the wells of the ancient desks. Just outside the walls tucked under the trees next to Blackbrook Farm was a sort of Nissan hut affair occupied by Miss Davin who seemed severe but had a heart of gold. She gave me my first dictionary as if it was a pot of gold - which it was- a blue Oxford dictionary with the boards falling off - had it for years afterwards. Seem to remember her continuously smoking Woodbines at the front of the class - drawing very deeply and lighting the next one from the last one. A good teacher surrounded by a fug of cigarette smoke and illuminated by shafts of sunlight. The jovial headmaster, Mr Miller - (similar to John Betjeman), I think he dropped dead- followed within a day or two by his son - very sad.. We used to sneak into Blackbrook farm stables next to the hut to feed goodies to a gentle old horse (Dobbin?) that was housed there. Blackbrook farm was always a place of mystery - never saw the farmer or anything happening there -just very mysterious and quiet but not scary
Much of Chain Lane was a red shale road then with white swinging gates of a railway crossing (free ride) and a signal box crossing closing the lane off to allow the trains to run up what is now Renfrew Avenue - sweeping close to the Blackbrook canal basin, where barges were once loaded, and then on to Laffack and Carr Mill station. The trains ran through mounds of waste shale heaps produced by the mines which were capped only with wooden beams and very easily moved metal sheets. Stones seemed to drop for ever! I don't know how long the area's mines had been abandoned by the 1960's but it was a fantastic (never thought of as dangerous) playground. There was a change of mood when a young girl (Horton I think) disappeared and was found murdered (by someone called Furey) and dumped in the wet fields near Laffak Farm -that event seemed to mark the end of that innocent era for us.


4 posts
Thu, 14 Nov 2013, 23:25.

After the infants school with miss Mc Garry,and writing with chalk on blackboards,it was a big change to write with pen and ink ,a pen with a changeable nib and ink from a ink pot set into the small wooden desk top.
First teacher was Mr Heneberry ,if you made an ink blot as you were writing he would grab you by the cheek or ear and pull you to the front of the class and give you two of the best with his cane stick,some lads would numb their hands beforehand ,but he would turn them over and hit you on the back of the hands,others would put a book down the back of their pants if the were expecting to be bent over.
Other than that he was a good teacher.
We used to get a bottle of milk every day ,and extra,s if you were lucky.
Next year teacher was Mr Atherton (owd athy)as he would be called,he was a maths teacher,as he would walk forward between the desks wringing his hands,the lads would slide over away from him ,he would be looking at your book and if he saw something he didn,t like he would swipe out and slap the back of your head.
If he was sitting at his desk and say you were talking to somebody he would either throw a piece of chalk at you or throw the wooden board duster at the wall behind you.and tell you to get on with your work.
His cane was thin but was curved over like a walking stick ,it was this shape because the last straight one was poked through a knot hole in the floor,by one of the boys and lost,incidentally one of the lads brought a grass snake into his class and that disappeared down a knot hole.
To test you on your times tables we had to line up in turn and then sit in front of the headmaster Mr Hennessey .He was a gentleman.
Every now and the we had to see the nurse(nitty nora the bug explorer)to check for nitts.
After school meals we used to enjoy the fishing at the canal and bird nesting in the woods.and a couple of bad winters skating on the ice on the canal ,I remember going through the ice on one occasion.
Other teachers were Mr Henegan who was very good but firm,and Mr Fairhurst
He started taking us for boxing and wrestling in the dinner hall ,I can remember getting a bloody nose on one occasion.
The dinner hall had rows of tables and benches to sit on ,they were always good meals,I recall on one occasion the teacher blew his whistle at at one of the boys and Mrs Young who was serving the meals jumped and flirted a sausage up in the air ,everybody roared with laughter.
last couple of years at school was at the newly opened St Anselms.


11 posts
Sat, 13 Sep 2014, 22:42.

When I whent to Blackbrook St Marys in 1954 it was nothing but gas lit coke fumed hell hole the teachers where nothing but bullies who used to cane you at the drop of a hat.
I came from Holy Cross Juniors at the time that was a modern school can you imagine what it was like when I turned up at the Dickensian Dive called Blackbrook. Exnooker.

Schools List

See all schools comments

Please log in to add comments or to add yourself to a school.

St Helens Connect 2001 - 2018

Back to top