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Cowley horror stories

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Yes,  local government reorganisation, remember it well.  That's not why I left though, I had my daughter in 1974!  Yes, I remember most of those names.  Linda Bate!  So she married Alan Cropper in the end.  The one thing that sticks in my mind about little Beryl was one day the TC said to her "Have you seen yourself lately from the back, Beryl?" and quick as a flash she replied "Have you seen yourself from the front?"  


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Sad tale though.

I was her boss in water dept.Eric Hughes had gone go BEs and Tom Rimmer replaced him.

I moved to Warrington but still met people .I only found out much later. That Linda had died .As you know from past she was a bubbly girl,and yes she DID EVENTUALLY GET MARRIED.I only found much later that Linda had probs over going out and had become very thin.I didn't want to pry but just wanted to remember as I knew her,

Barry got married and had a young girl.Again sadly he died very young.

Ken Ince died but Hilda is still around.

Ray Wright another one passed away.

Ive retired but still keep bobbing into old colleagues.

Metoo!the front view for both Cath and Beryl!Beauty and quick response !  

How did you end up in Spain.

Must admit some of us were tempted to go to Kenya,NewZealand and Zimbabwe! local gov setup needs.even with the big payback it didn't tempt me!


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On 12/02/2005 at 18:51, familyman said:

Anyone remember Little Eb the physics teacher. For the life of me I cant remember his name

Cliff Frodsham

added 7 minutes later
On 28/07/2005 at 18:24, ozziew said:


'Flash' was still there in the 60s and didn't change a bit! I was never much good at Latin but some things you could never forget such as the difference between active and passive. He took great delight in instrucing anybody who got it wrong with two slaps across the head, the first accompanied by the commentary "I hit you -active" and the second, "you are hit - passive". Were those the good old days? I wonder.

Flash Clifton was a bully and sadistic bastard.  I recall him banging a boy's head against the desk to the rhythm of amo amas amat as Clifton spoke the words.  Later, when I was in the 6th form and made a prefect, he called me to his office and told me I'd have been made a prefect over his dead body if he'd had the choice.  Good for motivation, eh?  I believe he was totally unfit to be a teacher.

added 36 minutes later
On 26/06/2013 at 12:38, John Oakes said:

To Non sibi sed omnibus---been trying to reply to your text for ages--could not access the reporter website but have now succeeded via facebook.Ha modern technology..

What happened to Flash Clifton?Did he become head?if so what a travesty--should have been jailed for child abuse and today certainly would be.A monster who haunted my dreams as a child.

.a true sadist.

Yet there were many truly dedicated teachers at Cowley who gave this working class lad the keys to the kingdom and the chance to help others find the same route.

I name a few----Dicky Lang--an ace guy

Jack landless

Frank Rimmer

Alistair Boyd


Mr Wright himself.

Roy Hordley

Mike Holland

Toby Tough--a real guy

Mr Drake

Mr Spencer-my first form master in 3 alpha


Little Ebb

Mr Fairhurst -he retired after my first year

Spud Powell--also retired

Dan Roddan


Soooo long ago now.


On a visit when at college Mr. Wright said that I was the only boy who ever put the chair on the middle of the mat when I was to be caned--which he did often. We had a good laugh at it but at the time of the canings I did NOT find it so. LOL

A fair man and I have always had the deepest respect and affection for him.

I remember each of these teachers, some really good men who changed lives for the better, Ray French in particular whether you played rugby or not.  'Don' Lang was another excellent teacher of English.  Dan Roddan was a hoot and a delightful man, who was 'obsessed' with the book '1066 and All That'.  Ray French later told me that Dan had built a device to detect speed traps as early as the 60s.  'Kong' Morley was a bully and sadistic bastard, and I think the school breathed a metaphorical sigh of relief when he died suddenly.  I later heard rumours of suspected paedophelia but can't confirm that.  Clifton was another bully and sadist, unfit to be a teacher.  Walter Wright once caned me - the first stroke hit my backside like a lightning bolt, and hell it hurt!  I stood up, and Walter tapped me on the shoulder with his cane and said, "Down, boy, we haven't quite finished."  I got two more 'whacks' then made sure I never again got caught when misbehaving.  I still liked and respected Walter, however.  Cliff 'Little Ebb' Frodsham was a keen supporter of the rugby and turned up faithfully for every First XV home game.  He was once guest of honour at an Old Boys dinner and brought down the house with a magnificent speech.  Overall, they were wonderful days, and I recall us translating the school motto, Non sibi sed omnibus, as Not on a bike but on a bus.

added 47 minutes later
On 22/03/2017 at 20:23, fsforber said:

I was there 1957-62. Was in Romans so assembly position was behind Celts on left side of the hall. I had the misfortune of having to stand behind Ray French when I started and he would be in upper sixth form. He was a giant and I saw nothing except his back for my first year. My number was 3208.

Spent a while working in Kong's tuck shop when it was in the pavilion and that probably accounts for my weight problem. haha

Was on the ill-fated Grasmere camp in 1960 when poor John Skelton drowned. I recall that Kong had to go off to possibly Lancaster to make a report. During his absence we sneaked into his room ( yes he had a room whilst we slept on the floor ) and pinched his white pumps which were his weapons of choice. We threw them into the river and cheered as they floated away. Needless to say he wasn't amused.

Etruscans, 4552 (Where did that come from?)  I started at Cowley in 1961 and thereafter loved the place, other than Kong and Clifton who were bullies and sadists.  Ray French was huge in more ways than one - he gave me a very hard time but deservedly and never gave up on me.  In fact when I first became a teacher and asked Ray for help and advice he said, "Never ever give up on a lad even after he's left school."

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Just something i forgot.

Memories of names sadly fade.

i was interested in chemy as was a mate who lived in Parr just past the entry to gaskell park.

One day we thought up a good idea . We cycled to widnes to supplier.We were able to buy magnesium ribbon,sulphur etc.We then sold in school. mag at so much an inch.sulphur was by weight.

We used to play footie,splits with a penknife,trying to hit cricket ball into quad as we used nets.i got done by kong for letting off stink bomb in area where he had a tuck shop in bottom corridor.  


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On 12/02/2005 at 18:51, familyman said:

Anyone remember Little Eb the physics teacher. For the life of me I cant remember his name

Would this be T C Frodsham- WE knew him better as Nez?

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On 14/02/2005 at 15:34, Alan said:

That Dan Rodden was a real character. We once got him talking about his time piloting Mosquitoes in the war. He was the one who first told me about intercepting V1s and tilting their wing with the wing of the Mozzie to de-stabilise them and get them to crash into the Channel

I last met 'Dan' over 20 years ago, when walking along Higher  Lane from my home in KIngs Moss I introduced myself an d he pretended he remembered me, which was unlikely as he hadn't seen me for 60 years. He was a genuine chap as well as being a character. I once heard a story when he first went to Cowley and went to the Staff Room for the break, he was asked or told b y a senior member of staff to make the tea, to which he responded 'Why are you f *** ng paralysed.

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We used to nip into the Masters Common Room.

One master had just celebrated coming back from France with a crate of excellent plonk.

Sadly he dropped a bottle on parquet floor and the surface started to bubble.

No one took his offer up of a quick drink.


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