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Wigan Grammar Schools   Views: 84751
Wigan Grammar School, early 60s.   Comments: 1224
Photo: B. Taylor   Item #: 485  
Wigan Grammar School, early 60s.
  Wigan Grammar School, early 60s.

Back Row: Graham Parr, Geof Brown; Jonty Johnson

2nd Row: Monty Mason, Tony Worswick, Wally Rudd; Dicky Garswood, J.G. Worthington.

3rd Row: Nigel Smith, John Davies, Frank Critchley, Eric Worthington.

4th Row: Geof Ashurst, B. Taylor, Harry Holding, Colin Knowles.

Front Row: Cliff Higham, Willie Ashton, Fred Bamber, David Pyke, Joe Fairhurst, Norm Melling.

 [<< Back] 1224 user comment(s) below:-  [Leave a comment]

Comments by T. Rimmer, 11th April 2007  
Amend above: 2nd row not Monty but Fred Mason. 3rd row not Nigel but Noel Smith. Not Frank but Stephen Critchley, not Eric but Derek Worthington. 4th row not Geof Ashurst, Geof Ashton, not Harry but James Holding. Front row not Joe Hill but Cliff Higham, not Willie Ashton but Bill Ashurst, not Fred Bamber but Cliff Higham.

Comments by kath byrne, 17th April 2007  

Comments by cliff H, 5th August 2007  
lets have another go, fromt row is l/r
Joe Hill, bill Ashurst, cliff higham, david pyke, Joe fairhurst and Norm Melling. ' in vino veritas '

Comments by Bernard Dowdall (curly), 9th August 2007  dante_109@hotmail.co.uk 
If youre wondering where I am ..? I was in hospital having been burned by fireworks.. I wasnt Whacking it!

Comments by G. Brown, 8th September 2007  
No Bernard I wasn't wondering. As you can see I tend to sit on the fence.

Comments by Fred Bamber, 12th September 2007  
If you are wondering where I am ........ I did wack it.

Comments by Dave Morris, 13th September 2007  
If you wondering were I was - you lead a pretty sad life.

Comments by I. Whitaker, 17th September 2007  
If your wondering were I was, I wasn't that daft to do the xcountry.

Comments by Sid Fly, 20th September 2007  
The guy in the background behind Johnson is Cooper the woodwork teacher.

Comments by Jeff Smith, 26th September 2007  
Is that Frank Cartwright with his head down.

Comments by Fred Mason, 24th November 2007  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
What good memories you all have. It's really good to see the old friends again. Wonder where everyone travelled to during these 40 odd years. I lived in Canada for 25 of them.

Comments by Elmerb, 27th November 2007  
If you are wondering were I was - so am I. Probably having a drag on a woody in the club house.

Comments by C. Evans, 10th December 2007  
If your wonering where I was, I got my mam to write me a sicky.

Comments by jim holding, 21st December 2007  jimholding@hotmail.co.uk 
just to round off name changes,,it wer brian and not wally rudd,,,,recently met up with,norm m,joe f,cliff h and dave ridout and we agreed to re-run the course soon ,,any one else interested,,,here,s a chance for all you who missed it first time round to make ammends,,,got to go now,,think my medication is overdue,,,,,dave morris,, read my corner shops review,,,,

Comments by CLIFF H, 3rd January 2008  
Well, bless my soul is that the real Tommy Rimmer, hows u goin, last time I heard you was prospectin in the Klondyke,nice to hear ur still siftin, good luck.

Comments by Chaz, 9th January 2008  
Hi Jim. Are you the lad we called Jaz? I was lucky I was "Excused Action Chaz" no silly games for me. I bet Cliff H. is still the same happy go lucky Jack the Lad - what?

Comments by jim holding, 9th January 2008  jimholding@hotmail.co.uk 
hi chaz,,,yes thats me ,,the one and the same,,,cliff not changed a great deal,,neither has norm melling,dave rideout ot joe fairhurst,,,,just all got older thats all,,there,s talk about somekind of reunion this year,,was talking to joe just prior to christmas,,and he was gonna talk with "curly" bout trying to set something up,,,just keep looking on here and will keep you updated,,good to hear from you,,,,

Comments by Raz, 15th January 2008  
Well I remember Jaz and Chaz and to stretch a point - Baz. I also rember dear old gaz. But do you remember me....

Comments by Knowlesy, 15th January 2008  
If your wondering where Dixie Dean was, so am I.

Comments by S. Critchley, 16th January 2008  
Re: Jim Holdings comments. Curly is the one and only Bernard Dowdall ex of St Marys and Goose Green.

Comments by D. mORRIS, 16th January 2008  
I want to know where Elmer is and Mick Heaton, his mate Neville, Chris Evans and Fred Bamber. Someone above said that 3rd from left on front row is Bamber but it is not. They are similar but that is definitely Cliff Higham. And far as Cliff Higham is concerned and as far as I know Tommy Rimmer is not in Canada – its Terry Rimmer.

Comments by Knowlsey, 19th January 2008  
Think I know "Raz". Roy Coates who worked for Gorners Mercedes in Ashton and frequents the Pear Tree in Frog Lane. Raz isn't on this photo.

Comments by Knowlsey, 19th January 2008  
Look on "Some shops that no longer exist but people may remember" on this site under "Stuff/ Memories". Fred Bamber make a comment. He must live in Durham now.

Comments by jim holding, 26th January 2008  jimholding@hotmail.co.uk 
hey up chaps,,,knowlsey,,,yes raz not on photo but then again he not in our class,,,hi steven,,long time no see,,yes know about curly,,we been havin some e-mail wind up with him an joe f and cliff h,,over a "pete" dowdall,,but thanks for your comments,,,do ever hear anything of the sherrington twins,john and david,or indeed any of the pupils of st catherines as was,,see my comments ref Ist schools on this site,,,,and david morris,,what ever happen to david prescott of kirkless st,,ever hear about him

Comments by Bloggs, 2nd February 2008  
Neh then – yoh men. Cornt see a few on this photo. Where’s Graham Tutton, John Riley, Mick Heaton, Neville, Dave Flemming, Chris Evans, Tony Dean and Elmer. Not seen Sherrington twins for 20 years. Dave was a social worker in London and John a builder living in Darlington Street. Cliff Higham was a mate of the Sherries – ask him.

Comments by Knowlesy, 4th February 2008  
Are you "Bloggs" Cartwright and if so, is that you with your head down?

Comments by Cheta Brown, 10th February 2008  
There were a lot of bad lads in this lot stopped me from getting my degree and becoming a professor. I remember a chalk fight in Taylor's class the French teacher. It looked like it had just snowed with the amount of chalk on the floor. There were the twin terrors Cliff Higham and Dixie Dean and the very naughty Ian Whitaker, to name but few. Then there was the big wooden spoon James Holding.

Comments by cliff, 15th February 2008  
Cheta ! Jas wasnt a wooden spoon, nice quiet lad but luved a laugh. Whats a 'wooden Spoon' aside from the obvious, he,ll get you at break!

Comments by jim holding, 16th February 2008  jimholding@hotmail.co.uk 
Hurragh and three cheers there for young higham in his support of the truth,,,,It must be said that as a young sprog back in the halcyon days of school ,Cheta was possibley the quietest person in the class,,,hmm with perhaps the exception of Fred Bamber and low and behold 50 yrs later he opens his mouth has the audacity to lambast a goodly chap(namely oneself)describing him as a "wooden Spoon",what next ,,,you obviously getting me mixed up with(and heaven forbid the mistake)with that bounder Joe Fairhurst,,,though I cant see the resemblance,,,perhaps Cheta a visit to "specsavers" is long overdue,,
Serioulsy though chaps much mention of old pals,,but one puzzle,,,,Neville,,always referred to when old comrades get to gether,,but what was his christin name,,,william or billy springs to mind,,,,any offers,,
Cliff is there going to be "another reunion on the 23rd April as last year,,if so chaps it would be good to see some old faces,,,,,

Comments by Routh, 20th February 2008  
As I recall there were no angels in that motley crew because they wouldn’t have been there to begin with. All had one thing in common they were bone idle. The outlaws. Mr. W was public enemy no. 1. The Jesse James of the outfit. Followed closely by the terrible twins of anarchy, tying tin cans and just married posters to teachers cars. I recall Holding & Ashurst the bookies, Holding (the bets) and Ashurst the enforcer.

Comments by Knowlsey, 21st February 2008  
Hey Routh who you calling motley. Holding, Ashurst,Dowdall, Higham, Dean, Pyke etc. Bit dodgy, Jack the lads granted but I won't have you calling em motley. I don't care what folk say about em. I thought they were Ok.

Comments by Bloggs, 22nd February 2008  
Ey up - yoh men. Me thinks Jim Holding doth protest too much.

Comments by Routh, 22nd February 2008  
Are there any teachers out there, alive and kicking, who are still compus mentus (if ever they were - I hear you say), who taught this merry band of blaggers. Surely there must be one of the younger ones out there: Sid Makinson, Albert Wright, Brian Holt maybe. What do you think?

Comments by Sqeek, 23rd February 2008  
I remember Jim Holding those days. Bit of a Teddy Boy. Had a crop cross between an Elvis quif and a Tony Curtis. Jim liked his drainpipe keks, big soled shoes and white sox. Never mind Jim, sometimes you just can't win.Even if you were a bit of a bad lad those days, what counts is how you are now. Keep your pecker up. Drop in St Catherines church sometime and reaquaint yourself with the good book. Keep joyful. We are all Gods sunbeams.

Comments by jim holding, 23rd February 2008  jimholding@hotmail.co.uk 
Hey Knowlesy,,thanks again for standing up for the lads,,motley crew we might have been but wouldnt have spent my school days with any other bunch,,,,though I do feel a tinge of regret that I might have played apart in Cheta Brown not fulfilling his potential and loseing out on a Nobel Peace Prize,,,sorry Cheta,,,good point though Routh are any of the younger teachers still about,,wonder has Sid still got his motorbike,,,hmmm and finally Squeak,,,what can I say other than all I got left is the "white socks"and a headfull of memorises and still trying to keep my pecker up as you say,,,,,,If ever there was a "Cockramism" to describe the motley crew i think it would go"I don,t know where they threw em all up,,,,but I know where they all landed",,,,,,Rock On Boys,,,,,,ps Squeak you probably right

Comments by Miss P. Maskell, 24th February 2008  
Wigan World is a wonderful site. I read everything and it brings back great memories. I see Bernard Dowdall has contributed to this page. I remember Bernard as a young man. I must confess to admiring him from afar. I have read about is charity work on this site. Collecting for the poor kids of St Mary’s in bad weather in Greenough St when he was a little lad. I admire people who do things out of the goodness of their heart. What better can you do in life? I read from a comment by Blue Moon in the memories section that Bernard trains horses in Newbury. I remember he worked as a booky with Wally Mills so he obviously has worked his way up in the horse racing world. He is probably very wealthy now and will have forgotten me. But he was a good lad and I’m happy that he’s done well in life.

Comments by C. Cubbin, 28th February 2008  
Bernard Dowdall training horses in Newbury? More like backing horses in Newtown. Don’t want to seem harsh Miss Maskell but I think this Blue Moon character is taking the pistachio. I saw Monsieur Dowdall recently in the Lady Bose Lyon pub in Beech Hill.

Comments by Archy Aspinall, 28th February 2008  
Right on Cubbers. Bernard Dowdall was the steward at Beech Hill Labour Club. Last time I saw him he was watering the horse.

Comments by Percy "Clogger" Kellog, 29th February 2008  
Your having a laugh. Bernard Dowdall was never the steward at Beech Hill Labour Club. He was the concert secretary.

Comments by Bloggs, 29th February 2008  
Hey what about this then. One minute Bernard Dowdall is training race horses in Newbury and next minute he's a concert secretary in Beech Hill Labour Club. Next thing we hear he'll be cleaning the ablutions. You gotta laugh - race horse trainer to s... shifter in the blink of an eye.

Comments by jim holding, 1st March 2008  jimholding@hotmail.co.uk 
Hmmm,,seems to me there are a "Lot of Wannabees" trying to accociate themselves with this so called motley crew,,so what ,,Curly never made it to the newmarket downs,,,might onle got as far as hindley market,,,and certainly wasnst in the "now iconic cross country pic" but he was one of us ,,for 5 glorous years,,,,Blue Moon work your magic for the reunion,,,is at the Brocket again on the 23rd,,,what about it joe,,and the rest of you,,would be good to see more old faces....

Comments by P. Maskell, 6th March 2008  
Doesn't matter what Bernard does for a living I'm cool with that. He's such a lovely kind hearted chap he can't go wrong with me. Must get down to the Lady Bose Lyon for Sunday lunch. I may be fortunate enough to catch a glimpse of Bernard. Jim Holding, I am very impressed with your loyalty to your class mates. Both you and your friend "Cliff" above, have stood up for your friends. You must have been a very close and happy group of young people. I am impressed.

Comments by F. Heaton, 13th March 2008  
I think I know James Holding if its the same lad who went to St. Catherines. But he was more my younger sisters age.

Comments by Peeping Tom, 14th March 2008  
These were a great bunch of lads. Lots of us were in the fishing club. We`all had nick names. The called me Jesus because I could make my float walk on the water. There was Bill "gut bottom" Ashurst, the next best to me, who always got his tackle snagged. Dave "Maggots Morris, James "tosser" Holding because he could cast out furthest. and Bernard "short rod" Dowdall who preferred a short extension.y

Comments by jim holding, 15th March 2008  jimholding@hotmail.co.uk 
yes f.heaton,(frank?),it is I ,one and the same jim holding who indeed attended st catherines,,,you must forgive me,but you have me at a disadvantage,,,,(not many can say that) lol ,,,

Comments by jim holding, 15th March 2008  jimholding@hotmail.co.uk 
Hi Tom(Hagar?),,,yes remenber the fishing club,,,teacher name of Taylor (EAT) who used to take us for frenchand not sure if RE teacher name of Wright was involved as well,,,know both Cockkie and Dick Downing both keen fishermen,coarse and game repectivley,Well remember the "Wigan Schools Matches" at held in canal at Redrock,,,cant remeber catching owt in any of them,,, have rediscovered fishing in the last 18 months through going with my 13 yr old grandson,,,it,s all anew language now,,,no gut bottoms or quills in this pc world,,its" hooks to nylon" and"wagglers"and where we fished with maggot ,worms and blood worms,,,it now "boillies,luncheon meats,sweetcorn,prawns and a million other exitoc baits and flavourings,,,but we can be found most saturdays on fisheries in and around district(been today in fact) drowing a maggot or piece of spam,,or whatever,,,them carp will eat eat owt,,,not seen bill ashurst sine we went to isle of man in 1965 come to that not seen moggsy or curly since about then also,,though have been in contact with curly through email along with joe fairhurst and cliff h,,,

Comments by Knowlsey, 16th March 2008  
Hey Tom I remember. When we saw you coming we would say "Look who's coming - Jesus C.....".

Comments by Peeping Tom, 18th March 2008  
Very funny Knowlsey ah ah! So yo are having a re-union Jim. When and where?

Comments by Trencher, 24th March 2008  
I was in the fishing club and recall Gut Bottom Bill a short stocky chap with blond hair. I also remember James The Tosser and Short Rod Dowdall both had dark curly hair but I can't recall Maggots Morris or Peeping Tom. I recall I used to see Short Rod at Scotsmans Flash.

Comments by Knowlsey, 25th March 2008  
If you are wondering why I wasn't in the fidhing club its because I couldn't stand those slippery, smelly, slimy things. And that was just the members!

Comments by Cheta Brown, 25th March 2008  
Good one Knowlsey. If you want to know why Clifford Higham wasn't in the fishing club it was because he had holes in his fishnets. Get in there!

Comments by Routh, 26th March 2008  
Looks like old Chetas getting his own back. If you want to know why Cheta didn't join the fishing club. I heard he got his tackle pinched on the cut bank.

Comments by jim holding, 26th March 2008  jimholding@hotmail.co.uk 
now now boys,,,if you can,t be nice don,t be nasty but have got to agree with routh,,,cheata never said a word in 5 yrs at school and now theres no stopping him,,,,,Do remember going with Curly and his dad to Solwick must have been 1960 ish,,going for the alledged illusive tench,,,,sat ther all day never had a bite,,,but thats another story,,,,Tom,,will let you know of any get re-union,,,still tryin to get summat going,,,anybody any ideas,or thoughts on the case??

Comments by Peeping Tom, 27th March 2008  
Jim, I reckon we should choose a venue somewhere in Wigan and District easy to get to where we can park. We need a day and a time. Say the Bellingham Hotel or the Brocket. Sometime mid-week say Thursday when its not too busy and at a time when those who are still working can easily get there - there may be some who come from a long way - I read on this site that Fred Mason lives in Cumbria. So we will need to give a bit of notice. I guess the guys who write on this site will come. Need to contact a few others. Has anybody got any info on your old class mates? Jim I think you were mates with Dave Morris, Noel Smith, Steve Critchley and Fred Bamber. Have you kept in touch?

Comments by Bernard Dowdall (curly) Not Ernie, 28th March 2008  dante_109@hotmail.co.uk 
Ok lads been dicussing this for a while with Joe Fairhurst ,Cliff ,and Jaz. Joe is crocked at present. Bellingham seems best bet.All those interested..All those on cross country photo plus Wick,Dixie and any other Form fivers in fact any Grammar Schoolers who knew us.Please email me dante_109@hotmail.co.uk or put a message on here or the Greenough St thread.A Thursday in May would be good.Give me time to sort the stables out with my Head Lad.

Comments by PYKEY, 11th April 2008  
I read with some surprise the comment above from dear old Jaz describing JF as a reprobate. Come now James old boy I remember him as a scholar and a gentleman – a diamond geezer you might say. On several occasions I had the privilege of being class Vice Captain to his Captaincy. I remember vividly our actions in trying heroically to curb the excesses of our more boisterous classmates especially just prior to the start of classes. I remember on a number of occasions the whole class getting caned or lesser punishments like detentions because of the actions of the more reckless few. JF and I fortunately kept such occurrences to a minimum by persuading the “James Gang” and others to “take it easy”. At times in moments of great adversity, on one occasion being set upon by the whole class in the Lecture Room. In doing so we offered a degree of protection to our more thoughtful comrades such Cheta, Dave and Fred et al. As Jaz says I would have sooner been in our class rather than any other, characters abounded. Never a dull moment. But one needs to keep a perspective. I spotted Jaz recently in town and he hadn’t changed a lot despite our advancing years. Looking youthful, fit and very sprightly. But we can’t always see inside and perhaps those years of excess in the days when the “James Gang” tyrannised Cheta and others, it took its toll on Jaz’s grey matter. Maybe he’s confusing JF with Wick or Dixie or the Capo Mafioso Wild Bill D’Arcy.

Comments by jim holding, 12th April 2008  jimholding@hotmail.co.uk 
PT,,believe it or not,,I dont think have seen 90% of the lads since the day I left school,,,which considering wigan isnt all that big of a place,,,have recently met up with JoeF,Cliff higham Big Norm Melling and Dave Ridout last year,,,,but agree with your choice of venues,,sound s good

Pikey,,,why you no stop me in Wigan must ave been on friday afternoon,,as i usually go into town once a month,,if you see me again please do,,,,

Comments by Pikey, 13th April 2008  
I was in a car Jemmy Boy. Must appologise I noticed on a second read you called JF a bounder not a reprobate. Only trying to wind you up owd lad.

Comments by jim holding, 15th April 2008  jimholding@hotmail.co.uk 
pikey,,,reprobate,,,,,bounder is there a difference,,,must englisk wasn,t my strongpoint,,,,,,,come to think of it can,t think what was,,,,such a comment would have Dickie Downing cussing,,,i,ve no doubt,,,,,but no probs..tell you something though,,this site gettin famous,,have hag it mentioned to me that others enjoy all the banter going on in here,,,maybe we get famous late on life,,,,here,s maybe a chance for cheta to get his nobel prize for literature,,or summat,,,,

Comments by SWIFTY, 18th April 2008  
Yeah, I remember you lot 3G. A gang of cheeky young gts. I'll get you when you come out!

Comments by bigd, 19th April 2008  jymkahnna@hotmail.co.uk 
As I remember,Bernard(Curley)Dowdall had great asppirations to be a jockey but all came to grief on day when he went for his dinner to The Savoy Cafe and Chip Emporium opposite the Market Square.He was in the company of Bad Bill Ashurst ,Mean Joe Fairhurst and Crafty Cliff Higham at the time,,,and he lost his heart to one of the waitresses,a somewhat dark,raven haired beauty in her late twenties,may even been early thirties<am sure you will all know the one I mean,,,,,After this it was all down hill,,he would be in there daily,,having "babies yed"chips peas and gravy with two slices of bread and acup of tea,just to catch a glance and perhaps a passing word to this love of his life,not the best diet for an up and coming jockey,,,he was later to wash this down with pints of guiness from the "old Dog" and as such had to make do with being a "bookies runner and look out for the illegal "pitch and toss" games held in the backs behind Duke Street in Goose Green,,Alas all his feelings for this beauty never came to anything as she was already spoken for,,,,,a sad tale I know,,,,,but they say time is a healer,,,,,as sure Bernard well over it,,,,or is he?????

Comments by Pikey, 21st April 2008  
Well Big D I can't figure out which member of the motley crew you are, surely not Dixie, but I recall the Sav. And I vividly remember the serving wench with nice pegs. We would wait until she took an order up stairs and then fight each other to walk up behind her. If I had known Bernards true feelings I just might have let him go before me. He was quite a little tinker wasn't he!

Comments by Knowlsey, 21st April 2008  
Talking about Bad Bill. He loved going around the market traders, the Dell Boys of the time. His favourite was Gypsy Don Petrolango Boswell who sold this stuff he called hedgehog ointment. Cured everything from piles to short sight. All the lads had this green stuff sold in a brown cardboard pill box. I think Dixie put it on his head instead of brillcream. Bad Bill was also facinated by a Cockney spiv called Curly Jay who sold pens he called Jay Bells. He wore an Arthur Daley overcoat and always wore 2 wide flashy ties. Then there was the guy who made omlettes, selling omlette making equipment. Bad Bill would barack the barrow boys until they sent their minders after us or he would drop stink bombs amongst punters who would rapidly clear off. You can just imagine how chaotic it got when Wick joined in.

Comments by Pikey, 22nd April 2008  
Knowlsey I never knew Bernard wanted to be a jockey. I know he wasn’t very tall but he was fairly stout. Cliff would have been a better candidate. In fact the only one I knew who had a clue about what he wanted to do was Elmer. I think he got a job selling cars at Springfield Motors. He always spent the lessons pushing a toy car about on his desk. He bought every version of Z Cars that had been recorded. Talking about Bernard we were once dragged onto the Big Wheel at the fair on the Market Square by Wick. Bernard was screaming blue murder as the wheel went over the top. Wick true to form was lobbing stuff on the passers by below. Don't Big D only Big Norm.

Comments by Knowlsey, 22nd April 2008  
Ne then Pikey. I reckon Big D is either Jaz, Cliff or Bernard himself. Whoever it is he got Bernards address pretty close. He did live near Duke Street. A girl a once knew called Lidya lived near Bernard. Big D uses a lot of commas,,,like Jaz. On the other hand it is just like Craffty Cliff to mislead us. But D could stand for Dowdall. Anyone who solves the mystery wins an elder butty.

Comments by Peeping Tom, 24th April 2008  
Wonder if any of the old teachers read this banter. If you do - drop us a line.

Comments by Joe Boz (Deceased), 25th April 2008  
I'll give you what for you lazy idle loafers - take that - thwack - you mugwumpps - wack! - Yarooh gerroff! Take that - thwack - wack!! crack!! I'll thrash you to an inch of your miserable lives. Lovely woo take that ** great!** RIP.

Comments by Peeping Tom, 28th April 2008  
Who was that chap we called "Sherlock" who was in Form 5 with us. He always wore a jacket with a half belt at the rear just like Sherlock Holmes?

Comments by Trencher, 2nd May 2008  
James Holding. Thought I saw you coming out of the Royal Oak in Standishgate recently. Do you have a walking stick and a bit of a gimp?

Comments by jim holding, 2nd May 2008  jimholding@hotmail.co.uk 
hi trench,would that had a walking stick instead of the zimmer frame but must say it is a racing one ,with drop handlebar s and 10 gears,including one reverse,as for stumbling out of the royal oak,are sure it wasnt the tea rooms in the galleries more like.Bernie any news on the re-union?

Comments by Fred Mason, 2nd May 2008  
Joe Boz is deceased??? Oh no....it can't be. I so look forward to getting my own back I grows up...!!!!

Comments by Paddy Gore's Spectre, 5th May 2008  
Nnhhaaw boys - settle down - or I'll flog you to Kigdom Come. Bend over the desk Whitaker - this will hurt me more than it will you - you'd never tell I'm into SM! "Yarooh! Cripes! Gerroff!"

Comments by Joe Boz, 5th May 2008  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
Ah, boys, boys.
My real name is not Joe Boz. In fact I am not even English. I am a Frenchman....named....

Marquis de Sade

See you around....!!!

Comments by jim holding, 6th May 2008  
Hey Trench,,,,wife wernt too pleased with your description of her,coming out of where ever you say you saw us,must admit I thought it were a bit much misel????????I,ll get you at playtime...lol

Comments by Curly Dowdall, 6th May 2008  dante_109@hotmail.co.uk 
Now then boys..Cliff has suggested we meet in the Brocket on 19th June (which uncannily is mine and Cliffs birthday) dont go daft on the presents.Seems good to me so come on Pykey,Norm,Jaz,Tash,Cheta,Knowlesy,Wick.........Etc. Etc

So please email me or answer on this thread.

Comments by Trencher, 6th May 2008  
Keep taking the tablets Jaz lad. Joe Boz - Paddy Gore - you're frightening me to death. I'm having nightmares - don't tell me -no no - please not the dreaded - Teddy Johnson - arghh!

Comments by Trencher, 7th May 2008  
Hey Jaz, I didn't say I saw you with your wife. The one I saw supporting your arm was probably your younget sister. She had long flaming red hair, quite pretty in a mature sort of way, tall heels, fishnet hosiery with a short pink, low cut, Chiffon dress. She appeared to be stumbling under your weight and you were grabbing her presumably to maintain your balance.

Comments by jim holding, 7th May 2008  jimholding@hotmail.co.uk 
Oh no curly,didn,t realised you and cliff are twins??? its just like in the film starring big arnie and danny devito,, bet the film was a biopic of your lives,,,,wow,,,,,,19th sound good to me,,,come chaps spread the word see what kind of response we can get,,,hey trench that was my kind of woman just how I like em (a little on the trashy side)but that was actually my carer,who was helping back to the home so she could give me my treatment,,,,ok guys lets hear for the 19th then

Comments by cliff, 9th May 2008  cliffhigham2000@yahoo.co.uk 
waw!! plenty goin on in here, its good to see some familiar names, Ok Jaz, I,ll be there, Brocket from 7-30
19th June. Rings a bell that date !! get ur names down, bring your Dad , oh! on the 19th its a special beer night, buy one------get one. Get down there Yawl.

Comments by cliff (bloo), 12th May 2008  cliffhigham2000@yahoo.co.uk 
readin back, Oy! cheeta I represent that remark (as well)
my fish nets was fish nets, you know, you know u put fish in em, like the girls do. behave young man os I,ll grease your Zimmer wheels, so there !!!

Comments by Warrior, 14th May 2008  
I wish that there was a more appropriate photograph to discuss, one containing some proper Grammar School Boys. It irritates me to read about these yobs, drop outs and dunces from the "C" stream. And as for a re-union you will need to make sure that HM will give you all amnesty passes for the same day.

Comments by Cheta, 16th May 2008  
Hey. Don't have a go at my old buddies. I have a right to have a go as I was one of em. But you. These lads were rebels and characters not robotic swots. The world would be a less colourful place without em.

Comments by cliff higham, 16th May 2008  
Well said cheetah

Comments by Curly Dowdall, 19th May 2008  
ooooh!!looks like we'll have to invite Jem Swift and Jemmy Ince as minders.
ps is Miss maskell coming??

Comments by Pikey, 19th May 2008  
Well well. There are names to conjure with, Jem Swift and Jemmy Ince. Does anyone know what happened to these guys?. If you are out there - drop us a line.

Comments by Trencher, 21st May 2008  
Maybe you guys are expecting too much from your reunion. The Grim Reaper may have felt the collar of a number of the crew.

Comments by jim holding, 24th May 2008  
hey cheta,good call against the warriorand so say all of us,curly is miss maskell the mysterious lady from the savoy chippie,form your dark past?,,trench ,sobering thought that ,you have a point.Has anyone any knowledge of past pupils?..I have got a late pass from from the care home to attend the re-union on the 19th,my carer will will pick me up to make sure i get back before lock up,,,so hopefully see a few old faces

Comments by Miss P. Maskell, 1st June 2008  
Bernard. I'm not thr girl I was, but will try to get down. Love PM.

Comments by Archie, 5th June 2008  
So Jaz - have you got many coming to your class re-union?

Comments by jas holding, 9th June 2008  jimholding@hotmail.co.uk 
to tell the truth archie am not to sure how many,been trying to contact a couple ,bill ashurst in particulat but cant seem to find anything,,was last heard of down swan meadow way but cant be certain,if anyone knows ,can you contact me via this site,off to warmer climes hopefully for a few days but will be back for the 19th and going to the Brockett,hope to meet all you fellow contributors there, bye for now,,,,see y,all soon

Comments by cliff H, 13th June 2008  cliffhigham2000@yahoo.co.uk 
I just had an email from Lord Ashton he,ll be in London on the 19th he sends his apologies, I remember Geoff was always late and he only lived 50yds from school, I bet he cringes when he sees his once home , shame its gone to ruin you all know the Park Gate lodge.
I,ll be there I got parole "sentimental leave! for the day.
So yawl get down there no need to stay just drop in buy a round then drop out, oh! and dont go overboard with birthday prezzies for curly and I. take care friends and behave if you still remember how not to.

Comments by cliff H, 13th June 2008  
Hey! you n,er do well,s, take a gander at the Grammar pic 1919, there are plenty look a likes of us, our grandads, I can name a few ok a starter, Steven Critchley front centre and of course a young Joe Boz headmaster.go on, go on try some. SPITTIN IMAGES.

Comments by Jay Bell Pentops, 14th June 2008  
Heres one or two Spitters for you Cliff: Dixie Dean to the left of Steve Critchley – rum lookin card in e.
Ian Wick to his left. Pikey third from left front row – in a world of his own – Pikeys world.
James Holding behind Wick “Hey Wick keep yer ed still I cornt see match”, Jon Riley 3rd from left second row “Eh these holes in yer pocket are not all bad”.
Billy Brown first right second row – “I say chaps where’s my horse gone”.
Noel Smith 2nd from right front row “ B..... H.. –I knew I shoulda gone before we had our picture took”.
Bill Ashurst 1st from right front row “ J.... C..... Noels dropped another”.

Comments by Roy, 17th June 2008  
Well I hope you men are ready for Thursday 19th June at the Brocket. Joe Hill, Cliff, Curly, Jas, Billy Brown, Noel Smith, Norm Melling, Derek Worthington, Geof Hardman, Norm Melling, Tom Hager, Colin Knowles, Dave Morris et al.

Comments by jas holding, 18th June 2008  jimholding@hotmail.co.uk 
see you there roy and who ever else turns up

Comments by jas holding, 18th June 2008  jimholding@hotmail.co.uk 
spittin images,,,hey cliff,how about front row,,3rd from left(as u look at pic,,,bamber snr,next ashurst snr,and 3rd in from left back row,,cheta brown snr

Comments by Jay Bell Pentops, 20th June 2008  
Start again. Spitting Images: Must have had a few last time – brain numb – wots new – got me left mixed up wi me right. Here goes.
Jas’s Bamber – my Critchley - to his right Noel Smith – to his right on the end Bill Ashurst
To Critchleys left – the Rum Card Dixie Dean – to his left Wick: - Jas behind Wick next to Sir (brown nose). Billy “where’s ones horse” Brown first left second row. John (feeling cocky) Riley 3rd right middle row. Pikey 3rd right front row. Dave Ridout left of Sir.
Derek Worthington first right back row. First right front row Fred Mason. Another rum looking cooky Ist from left backrow – first to name him gets a drippin butty!

Comments by cliff H, 22nd June 2008  
curly, extreme left on top row is obviously Donald Alexander Hilton.
His son put the pic on, silly boy.

Comments by Jay Bell Pentops, 23rd June 2008  
Wot do you want with yur drippin Cliff.

Comments by cliff H, 23rd June 2008  
black puddin an custard and a pendletons twicer.

Comments by cliff H, 23rd June 2008  
I win, the the hundreth posting. Lets hope we,re around for 200.

Comments by Fred, 24th June 2008  
Present at reunion: Norm Melling, Geoff Hardman, Billy Brown, Noel Smith, James Holding, Bernard Dowdall, Cliff Higham and Joe Fairhurst.
Apologies received from: John Riley (holidaying in Portugal); Dave Ridout (holidaying in Greece): Geoff Ashton (working in London):Fred Mason (hunting Cumberland sausages in Cumbria):
Disappointing: Joe Hill; Derek Worthington: Tom Hager and Colin Knowles.
Yet to discover: Ian Whitaker (rumoured to be in South Preston or Chorley). Tony Dean (last seen driving a bread van in Marsh Green); Dave Pyke (no sightings); Dave Morris (hunted but not located by Trapper James Holding); Bill Ashurst - rare beast and no recent sightings - proved difficult to lure from lair; Barry Taylor - location remains a mystery; Geoff Brown and Fred Bamber - elusive creatures - no recent sighting.
Report: Norm made an appearance his usual good natured, urbane self. Which could be said of the sociable Cliff and the informative James Holding and interesting Joe Fairhurst.
Geoff, his usual assured and confident self warmly greeted his long lost pal Curly Dowdall with the words, "Who the **** are you". Geoff’s garage "Elmer's Autos" is located at the Ford Garage on New Chorley Road, Horwich. So if you are thinking of changing your car - Geoff will offer you a good deal.
Whilst Noel informed the gang that he is currently playing keyboards in his pop group, who are now at the height of their popularity. The group are now topping the bill at Newtown Working Men's club on Saturday nights. You are encouraged to attend - just to help Noel out with his groupies - they may be in their seventies but they wear something tight.
Billy looking fit and sprightly didn't look a day older than he did at school - 63.
So lets look forward to the next do and try to find the missing faces.

Comments by Knowlsey, 28th June 2008  
Did you take any photos at the do? See if they will let you post them.

Comments by Fred Mason, 28th June 2008  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
Sounds like a good do,lads. I actually turned up but couldn't find a place to park my zimmer. The zimmer parking area was full...I counted at least eight of them, so I had to leave...!!

Comments by cliff Higham, 30th June 2008  
I sent one in Knowsley in the hope they might put
it on although they say they only want old photos not old people.

Comments by Jay Bell Pentops, 30th June 2008  
Hey Fred. Zimmer Frames? Cheeky b..... If your in as good a fettle as the attendees - your doing well. If that photo of you on Friends Re-united is anything to go by - I think you need a major overall. Keep trucking Fred lad.

Comments by cliff (bloo), 1st July 2008  
an straighten that tie boy!

Comments by cliff (bloo), 5th July 2008  
Re-recent reunion if anyone would like a photo mail me
You will be surprised how well the Magnificent Seven look
Sry I couldn,t make the shoot I was behind the camera.

Comments by Fred Mason, 6th July 2008  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
Hey JBP, major overall? Moi?? I just had a tune up and oil change, lube and clean. What more can I do.?

Good pic, Cliff. Hope it can be posted.

Comments by Jay Bell Pentops, 8th July 2008  
Shave off the father xmas Fred! Where's Jas these days? Have Jemmy Ince and Jem Swift nobled him.

Comments by Cheta Brown, 9th July 2008  
I’ve got your number Jesse James Holding. Pretending to be a member of a nice fluffy group. You with your minder “Bloody Bill” Ashurst. The rest of your cut throat crew: Mad Melling, the twins of doom Crafty Cliff and Dodgy Deano not to mention Psycho Wik and Dangerous Dowdall. I’ve marked your cards. Time can’t erase the truth.

Comments by Fred Mason, 10th July 2008  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
Ah, JB,

but it can only be that yer jealous of me youthful looks, me fine manly figure (fat though it may be) and me brains, boyo.

Take care.......

Comments by Jay Bell Pentops, 10th July 2008  
Well Fred I reckon everybody had brains but if you were a form fiver by definition you didn't make much use of em. Anyway if the ladies like you touching em up with that brush on yer chin - you have point - somehow I can't see it. My advice - get on a diet - get down to the gym and pretty soon you'll be giving James Bond a run for his money. Rock on Fred.

Comments by cliff (bloo), 17th July 2008  
Can anybody put a date to this pc, the poster B Taylor says early 60,s I,de say more like 58/59.

Comments by Peeping Tom, 18th July 2008  
Sorry your losing sleep over this Cliff - I'll launch an enquiry.

Comments by cliff H, 23rd July 2008  
Too late, I,m goin for 1957

Comments by jas holding, 23rd July 2008  jimholding@hotmail.co.uk 
cliff,,,,pic were feb/mar 1958,,,,that taken in our Ist year ,,started sept57,,cross country always run in feb/mar,hence this was 50 year re-union,really would be good to see more turn up next meet,,,how bout it Fred an Cheta,,,,Tash,Pykey,Tom,,,

Comments by Peeping Tom, 24th July 2008  
I'll make it next time Jas. Man but you have a good memory Jas - I hated the X Country so much I've erased it from my memory - pure torture.

Comments by Jay Bell Pentops, 24th July 2008  
Jas we need to put our Shelock hats on and trace some of these beggers. Wanted is Public Enemy No. 1 - Wick. Also Bamber, Dixie and the ones you've named. Name and shame and no exucuses from the likes of Fred, Bill Ashurst, Joe Hill and Derek Wortington. We could use Sleuths Are Us. I heard a rumour that Cliff used to freelance for Sleuths Are Us so come on Gumshoe Higham - lets me having you.

Comments by Fred Mason, 27th July 2008  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
Hey Jas, those dates sound just about right on, and Tom, it was torture. Do you see anyone smiling..!! Yes, Jay B, I would really love to be there next time for a pint with you lads. The distance and the cost is prohibitive right now. Maybe I should move closer to Costa Del Wigan....you have been warned..!! Come on Geoff and all who live close by, it's my round...

Comments by Jay Bell Pentops, 28th July 2008  
Hi Fred. Did you know Dicky Unsworth from the Grammar AKA Udder. Apparently he has a craft shop in Ingleton. You have something in common. Where exactly is your shop?

Comments by Fred Mason, 3rd August 2008  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
Hi Jay B.

Thanks for that info. I seem to remember him and will look him up when I go over Ingleton way. Cannot see anything on the internet. My shop is only on the internet. I don't have a physical shop. Much easier and cheaper this way.
Still think the photo up top is fantastic. Those faces have been in my memory all the years I lived in Canada (25 Yrs)and the others years as well. There is another pic on WW from my infants school, St John's, Pemberton and some of us are talking about a renuion in a year or so for those 'kids' as well. (When we reach 65..!!!) Rock on.!!

Comments by Fred Mason, 3rd August 2008  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
Hey lads,
Feeling low?
Feeling miserable?
Need a laugh?

Then go to:


Some of the pics are low res, sorry.


Comments by cliff H, 3rd August 2008  
nice one fred you did good, Heroes eh? ok why not 5 mile jog wasn,t easy

Comments by Jay Bell Pentops, 4th August 2008  
So Fred. You make pots and sell em on the web. Defeats the point a bit - doesn't it. I thought that "craft shops" and Cumbria were synonymous. You could make your pots and sell em on the web in Okymacocha, Smallville, Kentucky-by-the-Wold couldn't you! How are you going to meet any sexy old tarts playing with your PC in the attic? - in Cumbria?

Comments by Fred Mason, 6th August 2008  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
My workshop is actually in Lower Kybosh by the Sea and my sales manager is Mustapha Leek. Business is booming..!!! My harem is full, so I am mostly knackered....

Comments by Jay Bell Pentops, 7th August 2008  
Hi Fred. What is the address of your website? You should find a job for Cliff. They say he is quite crafty.

Comments by Fred Mason, 7th August 2008  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
Hi Jay B.
Yes, I heard about Cliff...!!!! good lad that he is...!!

Website is www.cumbriancrafts.co.uk.

Just found a craft shop, on the net, in Ingleton called Curlew Crafts. Will drop by one day. Ta.

Comments by cliff H, 7th August 2008  
dont believe all your read fred I never been crafty I,m not clever enough.anyway who,s this JPT hidin behind his stupid name, show urself u nerd of go get life

Comments by Knowlsey, 8th August 2008  
Wow. Old Cliff getting all vitriolic. If senapods can't move Curly then JBP certainly moves Cliff. I agree people using funny names on this site...disgraceful. I think JBP is Cheeta. Uses same words and phrases.

Comments by Trencher, 8th August 2008  
Yeah. Leave Cliff alone JBP or I'll get ya. Cliff -cafty?
You must be joking - he's not clever enough. Clever...he went to Grammar School..yeah..must have passed his eleven plus...I'm confused..

Comments by Peeing Tom, 8th August 2008  
I agree Cliff folks using funny names should be chucked off site.

Comments by cliff, 8th August 2008  
hear we go again someone used my name its happened before disregard those comments jay
someones takin the pistaccio.

Comments by jas holding, 9th August 2008  jimholding@hotmail.co.uk 
now now boys,cut out the bickering,wont do,think of the class,hope all this intrest in the site will stimulate the need to search for the missing faces,curly perhaps you could get some of your "tele mates" frost or poirot to seek em out,instead of playin a priest praps you could be a detective and find em,well its just a thought

Comments by Trencher, 10th August 2008  
The TV should couple Curly up with Mike Parry of Talk Sport Radio in a remake of Jasper Carrots The Detectives. Or remake Etty Wainthrop with Curly in the lead role as Dangerous Dowdall. Dangerous Dowdall Investigates.

Comments by cliff H, 10th August 2008  
just to get the record straight Jaybell is the phantom name snatcher owd Joe he uses more names than the phone directory, he,s in the pic, rock on Joe

Comments by Jay Bell Pentops, 12th August 2008  
So young Clifford, bless his soul, thinks he knows my identity. Think again young sir. Yes gentlemen think back to your school days when Bill Ashurst named someone Jaybell Pentops. Was it Graham Tutton, perhaps John Riley or Bernard Dowdall. Could it have been Derek Worthington. Put on your Sherlock Holmes hats and ponder this for a while before I reveal my true identity. The prize for the first knight who gets it right is a kiss from Guenevere. Since said lady "kicked the bucket" some time ago, this dubious prize defaults to Betty of the Brocket. P.S. I am not, never have been and never will be Ye Phantom Name Nobler of Olde Wigan Towne. So young Clifford, Noble Knight of Form Five you must search for the truth. The truth is.......

Comments by Fred Mason, 12th August 2008  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
...and as summer draws to a close, the great mind at 221 Baker St moves into high gear.... Who is Jaybell Pentops???

Comments by Knowlsey, 12th August 2008  
Poor owd Cliff seems to be gettin a mite techy in his owd age.

Comments by bloomoon, 12th August 2008  
Jay Bell owd lad you let your mask slip on a comment you made on another post on 'memories' only you would know some facts you wrote in there, so there !

Comments by Peeping Tom, 13th August 2008  
Cliff if somebodys put something on the web then all the world knows the facts. I have a vague memory that jaybell was Derek Worms nickname. That’s my first bet. If I am allowed another I’d say Bill Ashurst. P.S. What does Betty of the Brocket look like?

Comments by bloo, 13th August 2008  
peepin Tom joe
we all know Jay bell pentops was curlys nickname it was u who penned it.gerrout of that. Betty brocket? never heard of her another figment of your imagination ,oh! and bring that spade back. large Marge is back.

Comments by jymkahnna, 13th August 2008  
if i remember rightly,the name "jaybell pentops"was accompanied with a little singalong,which was plagurised from a shirt advert on tele at the time ie,"Real Brooke Toplin the shirt you don,t iron"and the original person who was christened with the name "Jaybell Pentops"due to the fact he always had a top pocket full of pens on show in his blazerand that schoolboy was................none other than the now star of tv screen and adverts,Bernard"Curley" Dowdall

Comments by Curly (Soon to be nominated for a DAFTA)Dowdall, 14th August 2008  
Well done Cliff for unmasking The Phantom.Yes.. he named me JBPentops presumably after the famous Curly Jay who used to sell pens on the Market.

Comments by Knowlsey, 14th August 2008  
Curly is part right. But I used to knock about with Billy Ashurst in the lunch break. Billy was a big fan of Curly Jay on the market. It was Billy who named Curly, Jaybell. Jaybells were the name for Curly Jays pens and Billy was fond of litening to the market banter and regularly bought Jaybell pens. I now recall the song too, as Jas says - but not the words.

Comments by Jay Bell Pentops (RIP), 15th August 2008  
Last word. Clifford is barking up the wrong tree. Mark! Mark! - the sound of a dog with a hirshorn lip. I am me as you are you as we are both together. I am Curly. I am Cliff. I am Fred Bamber. I am Cheeta Brown. I am Bloo and Jimkhama - I am you. So lets drink a toast to actor Curly and lets drink a toast to Bloo. Lets drink a toast to toasting and I'm not boasting when I say that I am you?

Comments by cliff (bloo), 17th August 2008  cliffhigham2000@yahoo.co.uk 
scuppered eh? Jay Bell, nevermind owd lad the truth will out and the super slueth hasn,t finished his task .
rock on

Comments by jymkahnna, 18th August 2008  
does anyone recall dave ridotut’s song. I think it was penned by curly in one of his more poetic moments. It was sung to the tune of Maverick and one verse went something like “who is the small fair stranger there…ridout is his name…slicker than wick or highamy…better at the game..(chorus)…grammar school ring your bell…faretheewell joe boswell…ridout is a legend of the school”

Comments by Knowlsey, 18th August 2008  
Does anyone remember there were chants for Cheeta and Bamber and one for Tom that went "Peeping Tom prone to injury".

Comments by jymkahnna, 18th August 2008  
will the real jymkahnna please stand up,yes I for one remember the maverick parody,not suer if curly penned that one,jaybell pentops(RIP) more likely and the cheta chants as well,cheta brown,cheta brown,cheta cheta cheta brown,when sung with full gusto it was enough to raise the hairs on the back of your neck or in the case of joe boswell on the back of his hands (and everywhere else come to that)beware the great undead

Comments by PeepingTom, 19th August 2008  
Riskimg the wtath of the Great Undead (who one day will no doubt get their revenge on us) I recall the Elmer chant. elmer cha, elmer cha, elmer cha cha to a cha cha beat. And the Dixie Dean Weather Again song I think to the tune of the Victory V advert.

Comments by Fred Mason, 25th August 2008  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
I don't know if you lads realise it, but Joe Boz was evicted from the BB House last week for being a sly B--t--d..!!!

No, no, I must be wrong..!!!!! Not our Joseph...

Comments by Peeping Tom, 26th August 2008  
So Fred..Joe Boz still lives........how old does that make him...well a guess if he's Nosferatu it doen't make much difference.

Comments by Fred Mason, 26th August 2008  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
Hi Tom,
I'm afraid Joe Boz lives on forever....through us lot...


Comments by knowlsey, 26th August 2008  
You got a point there Fred lad. Owd Joe lives on in our tortured souls. Think about it ..owd Joe must have been under 65 on that pic yet he looks at least two yeras owder than Cliff on the re-union pic. Scarey or wot!

Comments by Fred Mason, 30th August 2008  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
I had forgotten about our brave GSTW (Grammar School Tiddly Winks) team until I received a photo the other day. Those brave lads. Gearing up in their body armour and helmets to cross the road to make fight with the TTTL (Titan Tiddlywinkers of Thomas Linacre). The Battle of Bull Hey was renowned around the county. Our lads came back all bloodied and bruised BUT with the Tiddlywink Cup..!!!! Heroes, one and all. This photo has been digitally enhanced but there is no mistaking the date it was taken, right after the battle in summer of ..........1347.

Comments by Knowlsey, 31st August 2008  
Fred..wots this about a tiddly winks team pic...I vaguely recall a GS tw team .. I'm sure their was one guy in partic who was famous for it... was it Roscoe or some such name?

Comments by Fred Mason, 31st August 2008  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
Knowlsey, is that you Colin, ol' mate? Send me your e-mail address and I will forward on the digitally enhanced photo and you will see the strength of character of these brave combatants. Someone has been very clever creating this pic.

Comments by Knowlsey, 1st September 2008  
Dont have your address Fred.

Comments by Knowlsey, 1st September 2008  
Sorry Fred I can now see the mailbox above your last comment. Its my age Fred!

Comments by Joe Boz's Alter Ego, 11th September 2008  
Curly. Are you the "Ghost of Joe Boz"?

Comments by Knowlsey, 15th September 2008  
Hey Fred. See what you mean about that photo. Its on page 3. Its a corker.

Comments by Fred Mason, 20th September 2008  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
Hi Colin, It is good innit..!

Does anyone have a date and time for the showing of Father Curly's film on the British Broadcorping Castration?

Comments by Curls, 23rd September 2008  
Fred they are showing the Hovis commercial on Friday before and in between Coronation St.I'm in the Miners strike bit on the front row next to the chap with flat cap..its the longest advert ever made for tv in the u.k.(a small preview is on Youtube titled "Hovis advert featurette")

Comments by Father Curls, 23rd September 2008  
Fred. "Apparitions" will be screened in November - I will let you know the details when I get them. God be with you my son.

Comments by Fred Mason, 26th September 2008  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
To the late Jay Bell P. I went to Ingleton a week or so ago but couldn't find our oppo, Dickie Dolittle in any craft shop. I wonder if he is in the other Ingleton, somewhere in the North East??? Does anyone know?
I will be watching Corry Street tonight, Friday, very closely for a view of Himself, Well done, young Curly lad.

Comments by cliff (bloo), 27th September 2008  
Hey! and guess what? our father curly and strikin miner has gone got himself a part in a FILM!! YES! I dont jest.
'Sherlock Holmes' directed by Guy Richie, bloody hell! what next? I told him get me autoraph of Guys missis.

Comments by JBP (Deceased), 30th September 2008  
Fred - Ingleton - craft shop. I heard from several sources that Richard "Udder" Unsworth has a craft shop. I do know it isnt the one in the main street. I heard this from several sources. Also heard that Albert Wright now lives in that area. I will try to find out for sure and let you know. May be some time. Must get off the site now otherwise I'll be tyranised by the site nazis Dangerous Dowdall and Crafty Cliff but I am them as they are me as we are all together...if you know what I mean. Yours Bloo aka owt you want ... :o).

Comments by Paranoic, 1st October 2008  
":o)" ?

Comments by J. Davies, 1st October 2008  
my old primary school buddy Pykey, the scoundrel, told me about this web thingy, cant get to it myself, rely on the grandaughters help. can see Pykey likes showing off. now see only a couple of faces evry now an then from the phota like Derik Worthington at the rugby and tom ager.

Comments by Fred Mason, 3rd October 2008  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
I reckon that with 2062 views and 170 comments this photo qualifies for a writing award. Reckon someone should write a best selling book using these comments and donate the proceeds to the 'Memory of Joe Boz' or the Brocket Arms Reunion Society..!!

Comments by M. Peet, 7th October 2008  
I have found the banter of you chaps quite facinating and although at the school at the same time I was not in your class. I am impressed how you all seem to have a robust sense of humour which usually indicates a good balanced personally. However you all seem to have treated school with a sense of ribaldry rather than a studious dedication.
From reading the comments on your Brocket pics I see you have a mixed bag of occupations. Geoff a car salesman, Noel a musician, Cliff a window cleaner and Bernard a late developing aspiring actor. You have not needed accademic teaching for these jobs but I have the feeling that it really doesn't matter to you. I was probably a bit quieter and more studious than you lot. However, although I have enjoyed my life the school didn't help much. I wish I had had more fun at school like you guys. I would be interested in your comments. Regards, Mick.

Comments by JBPT, 7th October 2008  
Hi Fred. Dick "Udder" Unsworth has a pottery shop "Ingleton Pottery" and plays in a Blues Band called Bad taste.

Comments by cliff H, 11th October 2008  
All gone quiet in here, I just had an interesting read, I came across my School reports all of them from 1x they brought back a wry smile or two, the first Geography report 'does well to find his way home' cheeky sod.
At the next meet up I,ll bring them, there,s a smirk or 2 in there.

Comments by E. Stevens, 11th October 2008  
M. Peet I dont think Cliff H. is a window cleaner. I read on the Greenough St page that he works at the Bellingham Hotel. Also someone told me that he does a bit of singing and after dinner speaking at the Bellingham.

Comments by Fred Mason, 11th October 2008  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
Thanks, JB,

I will look him up next time I am out that way.

Comments by jas holding, 11th October 2008  
Mick Peet,,,all is not to late,,,just turn up at the next re-union,am sure you,ll be welcomed with open arms meanwhile reveal yoourself on the school foto,s if you on there

Comments by Fred Mason, 12th October 2008  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
Just a query. We had a master who drove in to school in an old battered car. One of our wags said ' He's the Ancient and we are the Loyal'. Does anyone remember this and his name, and who made this comment? This should cause memories to be dredged.
Also, I seem to remember a lad called Geoff Peet (??)who moved to Wigan and Grammar School part way through the year and whose father was the chief fire officer of Wigan.

Comments by M. Peet, 13th October 2008  
James - 1962: 2nd row from front. 3rd right.

Comments by Oliver tarquin Dowdall, 13th October 2008  
I want to make it abundantly and crystal clear that I am in no way related or otherwise know or have anything what so ever to do with Bernard Dowdall.

Comments by Peeping Tom, 13th October 2008  
Fred...school teacher "Pulford" ... comments by "Ian Whitaker". Do I win a cocnut?

Comments by Fred Mason, 13th October 2008  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
Hey, Tom,

I really don't remember but it sounds good to me...on both counts. I'll mail your coconut and a free goldfish...well done.

Comments by Peeping Tom, 21st October 2008  
Ne then yoe men. When's next get together? Freddy boy are you going to make it next time? Where is Wick these days?

Comments by Routh, 21st October 2008  
********** Their Finest Moments **********
Bernard: “Whats your name boy”, Frankie Balmer.
“Sir…Gargle”, Bernard.
“Have you been knighted lad”, Frankie Balmer.***
Pikey: Play Julius Ceasar. Act 2. Scene 2.: fog in streets.
“What are you laughing at Pike”, Holt.
“It were a real pey sooper Sir”, Pikey. ***
Dave: “Ridout – what is pyrites”, Pulford.
“Johny Kidds backing group”, Dave. ***
Wick: on leaving class room to go to toilet.
Re-opens door after leaving: “Tis to a far, far better place I go”, Wick. ***
Chemistry lab: “Whitaker – does acid turn litmus blue or red?”, Pulford.
“Yes Sir”, Wick. ***
Bernard: On entering a class room, immediately after another class.
“Smells like a brothel in here”. Cocky stood behind door!

Comments by Trencher, 22nd October 2008  
Curly Dowdall. I think your career in the limelight would be augmented by using a stage name. Bernard Dowdall? Good name - yes – but not easily remembered. Maurice Micklewhite changed his name to Michael Caine – and look what happened to him.
So what shall we call you? If you are butch like Arnie or Jean Claude we could call you Rock Steadfast. If you intend to take more of the mincing, Quentin Crisp type parts we can call you Percival Rogers. If you intend taking comedy parts – maybe Bernie Ferrets (bit of your cheeky chappy Lancy origins there). However, if you don’t mind me saying so – you are knocking on a bit – so maybe something a bit raffish and debonair – a bit 1930ish – something like Raffles – lets say “Truffles”. One name - easily remembered. Imagine the Coronation Street credits – Locale Curate…played by Truffles. It has a good sound. So from me – Truffles it is. Come on everyone – have a try at helping Curly to find an appropriate stage name. Come on – lets be having you.

Comments by Fred Mason, 25th October 2008  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
I know.!! I've got it, by jove...

Maurice Micklewhite ..!!

Comments by I. Pearce, 27th October 2008  
I think B. Dowdalls stage name should be Bernie Parry after Ken Parry. Then when the agents want a camp northern actor..Bernies your man. It will help if they think that Ken Parry is Bernies dad.

Comments by Bernards Agent, 27th October 2008  
I would like to thank all Bernard Dowdalls fans and supporters especially during recent weeks. As a reward we can remind you that he appears on ITV in November in the thriller "Apparitions". You can also see him future major productions, such as, Guy Ritchies Sherlock Holmes. On your behalf I wish Bernard continued succes and add that we are very honoured to do so.

Comments by Curly (Soon to be nominated for a DAFTA)Dowdall, 28th October 2008  
Note to my agent:Get it right ..its BBC 1 not ITV.Ps you are sacked.
I,m filming in Manchester on Thurs 30th Sherlock Holmes.
Playing a Lord in House of Lords scene.Frock coat and waistcoat..very smart.No thanks to you Mr Ex-Agent .will say hello to Guy and Robert Downey for you.Will post some photos if I can. Lord Curly of Goose Green.

Comments by Frank Healy, 29th October 2008  
Hi Curly. Whereabouts in Manchester? :o)

Comments by Routh, 30th October 2008  
We must have been psychic at school. We called Bernard a Lord. The Lord of the Flies because he always had them open. He used to say he had forgotten - well that was his story.

Comments by J. Blackburn, 1st November 2008  
Sqeek = have you converted James yet? jon.

Comments by jas holding, 2nd November 2008  jimholding@hotmail.co.uk 
curly,,,dont tell me you were the one arrested in possesion of a knife,,with intent to harm to guy ritchie??,,guess we need sherlock to find that out,,again the answer will probably be"elementry my dear watson",,and all them times when dickie downing said you were a waste of space,,,who was english teacher after dd,who arranged for us to go to what in now "Winstanley College""Upholland grammar"?? to watch "Julius Ceasar" used to go on about what was probably the most famous "soliloquy" of all time????...any clues anyone

Comments by jas holding, 2nd November 2008  jimholding@hotmail.co.uk 
ps...jon are you on commision from sqeek?

Comments by Curly Dowdall, 3rd November 2008  
Hi Frank..We were filming in Manchester Town Hall.They built a great set for the House Of Lords scene.Ps Jas wouldnt harm Mr Ritchie he is a lovely man.Treated us very well.I'm in liverpool for 3 days middle of this month filming some docks scenes.Will try to get some pics of the Manchester one on soon.

Comments by JB, 3rd November 2008  
Jas. Just find it amusing. No offence Sqeek. Jon.

Comments by Baz Taylor, 3rd November 2008  
Hi Guysa. What! Bonza! Cheta, Jaz, Uncle Tom hager an all. Yeah Great! Cliff H, Knowlsey Pikey and Curly. Freddy the Mason. Great man. Seen picture great y'all look bonza - in the pink. keep rockin dudes!

Comments by Sqeek, 4th November 2008  
Jon no offence taken. The word is faith. I have faith. I will shepherd the lost sheep back in the fold. I have faith that one day James will return to the fold.

Comments by Trencher, 4th November 2008  
Never seen Bill Ashurst smile on any of the photos on this site. Was he an unhappy chap? What do his mates say?

Comments by cliff H, 4th November 2008  
if Tash was unhappy young critchley must have been a walkin corpse.
an Hey! this is the 200th posting in here, cheers 'ye Old Boys' keep on goin, god loves the stayers.

Comments by JDH, 5th November 2008  
99 to go

Comments by Trencher, 5th November 2008  
Routh you were right Cliff H. did get the 200th. Did Bill Ashurst have any mates? Maybe that was why he was always depressed.

Comments by Knowlsey, 5th November 2008  
Trench. I think Jas Holding and Curly were Bill Ashursts main mates.

Comments by Cheta Brown, 6th November 2008  
Bill Ashurst was a member of James Holdings gang of Teddy Boys of which Curly Dowdall and Norm Melling were members. On the periphery were another pigeon pair of Teds, Cliff Higham and Tony Dean who helped Holdings gang out when they were busy.

Comments by Knowlsey, 6th November 2008  
Bit harsh that Cheta lad, a bit harsh. Norm wasn't a ted, a byker maybe but not a ted. He was a good lad - no harm in him. Granted he knocked about with Jas's gang. As I recall there were several groups. Dave Ridout, Ian Whitaker and Derek Worm. Then there was Elmer, Peeping Tom and Pykey. Mick Heaton, Neville and Fred Mason. The arty ones Graham Tutton and John Riley. The quiet ones Barry Taylor, Joe Fairhurst, Dave Morris, Cheta and Fred Bamber. Then loners like Dave Flemming, Noel Smith and Joe Hill.

Comments by Routh, 7th November 2008  
Dont forget "sepia man" Knowlsey. He never said anything. He wore a check jacket with an half belt. I dont think any of us knew name. We called him Sherlock.

Comments by Peeping Tom, 8th November 2008  
You mean a tweed jacket Routh a la Sherlock Holmes. He sat the front on his tod but I dont know his real name.

Comments by Lanky Entertanes, 8th November 2008  
*********** BREAKING NEWS ***********
Bernard Dowdall famous Wigan actor who recently senationally publicly sacked his agent has reputedly turned down a pantomine role in Puff in Boots. He feared type casting, after starring as Bottom in Midsummer Nights Dream he was offered the part of the rear end of the pantomine horse.

Comments by Lanky Entertanes, 8th November 2008  
************* WATCH THIS SPACE **************
A treat for all his fans and admirers, reknowned Wigan thespian Bernard "Curly" Dowdall stars in "Apparitions" on BBC TV this coming Thursday. I will be giving my critique on the quality of his performance. Maude Boyler.

Comments by jas holding, 8th November 2008  jimholding@hotmail.co.uk 
jb...no probs,,,must say i find squeeks comments intriguing not sure of the man behind the nom-de-plume,,,may turn up one sunday morning to find out who he is,,,,,

got to say spent weeks hol in isle of man with bill ashurst in early 60,s,63 i think had good time,,but not seen him a great lot since then,,dont think seen him since 66,,,sure would like to meet up again if anyone knows of his werea bouts

Comments by Archie, 9th November 2008  
Saw Bill Ashurst painting a door in Swan Meadow Road some time ago. Could well live there.

Comments by Knowlsey, 9th November 2008  
I recall "sepia man" that Routh mentions. I know what he means. Does anyone recall that film "How I won the War" with John Lennon starring. There were two soldiers one shaded bwown and one shaded blue. They did nowt - just hung around. Sepia Man did that - does anyone remember his name?

Comments by Phyz Heaton, 19th November 2008  
Does anyone know if James Holding came from The Birket Bank area. My mam always used to say, when we saw him in the street, "that little chap was born on the same day as you".

Comments by O. Destin, 20th November 2008  
Phyz. I'm sure James Holding went to St Catherines school so chances are he did come from that area. Ozzy.

Comments by Fred Mason, 21st November 2008  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
Luv the comments on 'ere...good bunch o' lads....
From another century... I guess...so long ago.....Phew....

Saw Apparitions, t'other day....absolutely awsome...not seen our Curly yet?? Scary stuff though....but not as scary as wot they dun to me....

Take a look.....Watch out on a full moon, you lot...I am 'ere...!!!


Comments by Sqeek, 23rd November 2008  
Yes Phyz. James did come from that area and went to St Catherines School. James I will let you know the St Catherines Christmas service times in due course. Look forward to seeing you.

Comments by Mary Taylor, 26th November 2008  
I was at St Marys same time as Curly Dowdall.

Comments by jas holding, 30th November 2008  jimholding@hotmail.co.uk 
hi phyz,,,yes did go to St Catherines,,used to live at 259 darligton st east,,,house at the bus stop,next to bibby,s office,which is as near to" Birky Bank" as you can get,,in fact was born there,,shared a back yard with Turners which was last house in "birky Bank"....Brian who i grew up with sadly and tragicly passed away couple years ago now,,

remember ozzy(was it John) from St Cats,,,not sure about yourself..whereabouts did you live?

Bless you squeek,,,you nothin if not persistant,,,ref the christmas services,,,do remeber singing a verse of "We three Kings"solo in school carol services,along with Allan Finch and think it was David Sherrington singing the other two

Comments by O. Destin, 1st December 2008  
If I am not mistaken the Sherrington twins also lived in Darlington St East.

Comments by Jem Curry, 4th December 2008  
A merry xmas to all you jolly young fellows.

Comments by Routh, 5th December 2008  
I have noticed that Cliff has not been contributing to the site of late and co-incidentally most of the others - does this mean Cliff has multiple identities and he is indeed - what we all thought - the Phantom Name Nabber of Old Wigan Town.

Comments by jas holding, 6th December 2008  jimholding@hotmail.co.uk 
od,,,your quite correct,sherrington s did live in "darly st", not sure if it was 222,,but it was opposite "the blind shop",,,,my other good friend Ronald Northall,who went to st cats and was a year above us at WGS,,live slightly across from them...sadly again he no longer with us,

routh,,,ref cliff and all his alterego,s has been finally caught up with and deported to the colonies,,,,he be back end of january,he probably out tryin to catch a "roo"

Comments by D. Worthington, 8th December 2008  
Happy Xmas to all my old pals on here, James Holding, Bernard Dowdall and Cliff Higham. Are you have a pre-Xmas drink - if so where and when?

Comments by O. Bamber, 8th December 2008  
OOH! James you do look handsome on your Brocket photo. I see you kept yoyurself in good fettle! Are your old pals Stephen Critchley and David Morris in the same fettle as your self?

Comments by O. Destin, 10th December 2008  
Lived in Bolton St James - off Scholes - Platt Lane ran past the bottom of the street.

Comments by J. McCarthy, 10th December 2008  
Hi Sqeek. See you've taken that reprobate James in hand. Well done. Better you than me. Have you got the christmas service dates yet?

Comments by Knowlsey, 11th December 2008  
I thoght this was a Grammar School site. Its become Jas Holding old school friends site.

Comments by Peeping Tom, 15th December 2008  
Knowlsey I will be in the Brocket about 8 ish next Thursday night. Your welcome to join me. Hey Cheta why dont you get along. A bit of Xmas fun will cheer you up.

Comments by Monica S., 15th December 2008  
Mary Taylor you say you were at St Marys same time as Bernard. Well I kissed Bernard in the bushes at St Marys.

Comments by Cheta Brown, 16th December 2008  
Tom. I'll try to make it.

Comments by Knowlsey, 16th December 2008  
Me too.

Comments by Archie, 17th December 2008  
I'll bet Curly kissed you in the bush too Monica.

Comments by Frank Healy, 17th December 2008  
Hi Knowlsey. I hope your "me too" was in reply to Cheta and not Monica :o)

Comments by Fred Mason, 17th December 2008  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
All the boys were kissed....whenever we scored a goal, of course...ooooooops...

Have a drink for me lads, I'll see you sometime next year...all the best to all at Christmas and a prosperous new year.

Comments by Knowlsey, 17th December 2008  
Nice one Frank - no I've kissed the Blarney Stone though,,,

Comments by Bill Nev, 18th December 2008  
The do - 8pm Brocket Thursday 18th December. Reet will make it if I can.

Comments by Peeping Tom, 19th December 2008  
Wow lads,,great night,,smashing to you all again, the two Geoffs, Knowlsey and Joe Hill. Can't recall that ladies name though who was looking for Bernard but she was very smart. Mind you I'd had a few by then. I thought for the price the food was good. Must do it again sometime. Hope more will come. Merry Chrissy everyone.

Comments by Cheta Brown, 20th December 2008  
Tom - the womans name who wanted to talk to Curly Dowdall was either Pam or Pat. I was hoping to meet James Holding to settle our differences - either sharing a pint and shaking hands or a bout of fiticuffs on the veranda.

Comments by Knowlsey, 20th December 2008  
Bit harsh that Cheta. I do hope its "tongue in cheek". Jas is probably like the rest of us these days more sugar puffs than fisticuffs. Probably all in your mind Cheta. Live and let live. Lifes too short. Anyway we want to attract folk to these gigs not frighten em off.

Comments by Peeping Tom, 21st December 2008  
Well said knowlsey ,, behave yourself Cheta or you'll get the red card.

Comments by Sqeek, 22nd December 2008  
Hi James. Not forgotten you. Get down to St Catherines any time Christmas morning or even come on Christmas Eve midnight. Bring along your wee manni. This Berfnard chap who is on the telly. It will give him a little humility. Not a bad thing in show business. It keeps the feet on the ground. See you soon. Seasonal gteetings to you and all your friends.

Comments by T.S., 24th December 2008  
Happy Xmas good old sexy James Holding. Thelma ***

Comments by Curly Dowdall (Bernard), 28th December 2008  
Sorry lads ..missed the Brocket on 18th .have been laid up in bed with chest infection for a couple of weeks.
Did you miss me in Apparitions? i was in last two episodes .The last was jumping over a pew when Cherie Lunghi was on fire and Michael was trying to shoot the Pope. We spent two days on that one.
The latest was Sherlock Holmes and I did two scenes with Robert Downey (he shook my hand and tried to get me some extra days work ..what a guy!!
Sorry for rambling thats where I got the Flu on the docks at Liverpool .
Please let me know when we can meet up again.

Comments by Fred Mason, 28th December 2008  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
Sorry to miss the Brocket also, Curly, but when you live in God's country, it's hard to leave, (the cost of petrol is also a factor). I recorded the last episode of Apparitions, it is awsome. Nobody jumps over a pew like our Bernard. I will put a screen shot on here when I get around to it (I've got one on order, a round twoit, that is). Best wishes for a very happy new year to all. Gee, lads it's 2009 and the pic was in 1957. We are still here. God bless us all. May we all meet up again soon.

Comments by Pykey, 29th December 2008  
Pykey know how to spell. Happy New Year everybody - keep dodging the box.

Comments by Pykey, 29th December 2008  
The above seems to have lost a bit in translation. I said watch it Fred - don't call Curly a twoit. And for a Grammar Grub your spelling not up to scratch.

Comments by Knowlswy, 29th December 2008  
Fred - I didn't realise you live in Platt Waz.

Comments by Squeek, 30th December 2008  
Hi James, did not see you at Christmas. Sorry if I missed you. If you did not pluck up the courage then let us aim for an Easter redemtion. Let us make it a New Year resolution to see you born again. Best wishes to all over the New Year.

Comments by Peeping Tom, 1st January 2009  
Fred why dont you stay with one of your old classmates over night i.e. the ones still living in Wigan such as Cliff Higham and Curly Dowdall. If they have no room at the inn you can always stay at the Brocket or Bellingham. There may be a cheaper option in Dicconson St. Try the B&B pages on the Web.

Comments by John Batty, 1st January 2009  
The names on the photo are wrong. The one named as Fred Bamber I think is Cliff Higham. They did have a similar apperance but I knew Fred quite well and he definitely isnt on this photo.

Comments by Alan Swain, 3rd January 2009  
Elsewhere on this site I read James Holdings account of the escapades in Wigan town centre of James and his pals, especially their exploits in Harolds cafe in Millgate. Since I discovered this site its seems like a mixture of local history and the Dandy and Beano. I looked forward in my school days to going home for dinner and reading the comics. Whilst my own classmates were quite sedate James and his pals remind me of the Bash Street Kids. Mischevious rebels. I can just imagine James in a black and red hooped jumper. Keep up the good work chaps this site is my new Dandy and Beano.

Comments by jas holding, 3rd January 2009  jimholding@hotmail.co.uk 
hi john,,,,,ref your comments,,,mugshots verification where cleared up in early comments but do you know the present whereabouts or what happen to Fred Bamber,am sure others would like to know

Comments by jas holding, 3rd January 2009  jimholding@hotmail.co.uk 
must apologise most profusely for not attending the brockett in dec,,,,,but was otherwise engaged,,,but will look to organise summat later on in year.
john,glad you like the site,there are lots of memories still be dragged out(good and bad) as more people add theirs I,m sure

Comments by jas holding, 3rd January 2009  jimholding@hotmail.co.uk 
O BambeR,,,last time I heard you had married guy out of our year Tom Kelly and emigrated to deepest Cheshire,,last time I seen you was when you served me with my £25 allowance in foreign currency july 1966 in nat west bank top of king st,,,see st catherines school site for other comments regarding others classmates,,,

John Mccarthy,,,,you also get a mention as you in some of pics,,,,,hows your sister Marjorie,,,,,

Squeak ..bless you,,you also get a mention on same site pics,,,,,

John O,,,remember you to,,,

Knowlsey,,,gotta to be a bit of give and take on these site,,,lol,,,keep your pecker up mi boy,,,,

finally may I wish A Happy New Year to All Our Readers

Comments by jas holding, 3rd January 2009  jim 
Soz Alain Swain,,the comment ref John was for you (he sez squirming with embarresment)think thats how you spell,,,,hope dickie downing the old english teacher is not marking this,,,

Comments by B. Taylor, 5th January 2009  
You asked earlier who taught us English after Downing. It was Holt. Dicky had us fine tuned in clause analysis. One games afternoon when the weather forced us to stay in, all three classes had to sit in the Lecture Room. Dicky took the session.
He tested us all on clause analysis and the worst class - that was us came top. Dicky deliberately took us because he wanted to knock us into shape. And he didn't do a bad job.
Holt changed our syllabus when he came claiming we were not accademic enough for the current syllabus. The new syllabus was supposed to be more practical - e.g. describing test tubes etc. It knocked us all back because we had spent years doing things "Dickys Way".
At the mocks I had one of the highest marks in Eng. Lit but failed both Lit and Lang in the exams.
Admittedly, like most I wasnt exactly an ideal student doing just enough to keep me out of trouble but not succeeding.
I enjoyed Dicky's lessons even though he was a tyrant. He had a sense of humour, all be it weird.
I later passed Eng. Lang after leaving the Grammar and going to Wigan Tech. You sorted out your own exams and syllabuses.
Such is life - what could of been.

Comments by Fred Mason, 6th January 2009  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
Thanks for that, Tom. Sounds like a good idea. I actually have just bought an old campervan which I intend to use to visit Wigan in the warmer weather. Perhaps the landlord of the Brocket will et me park up at the back of the building for the night, so I can stagger back after a few pints..!!!!!!!!!

Platt Waz? Colin, this place is beautiful but not as beautiful as Platt Bridge, naturally.!!
Does anyone know if this true..?

THOSE Wiganers………

A Catholic Priest, an Indian Doctor, a rich Chinese businessman and an Wiganer were waiting one morning for a particularly slow group of golfers in front of them.
The Wiganer fumed, 'What's with those blokes? We must have been waiting for fifteen minutes!'
The Indian Doctor chimed in, 'I don't know, but I've never seen such poor golf!'
The Chinese businessman called out 'Move it, time is money'
The Catholic Priest said, 'Here comes George the greenkeeper. Let's have a word with him.'

'Hello, George' Said the Catholic Priest. 'What's wrong with that group ahead of us? They're rather slow, aren't they?'
George the greenkeeper replied, 'Oh, yes. That's a group of blind fire fighters. They lost their sight saving our clubhouse from a fire last year, so we always let them play for free any time.'

The group fell silent for a moment.
The Catholic Priest said, 'That's so sad. I think I will say a special prayer for them tonight.'
The Indian Doctor said, 'Good idea. I'm going to contact my ophthalmologist colleague and see if there's anything he can do for them.'
The Chinese Businessman replied, 'I think I'll donate £50,000 to the fire-fighters in honour of these brave souls.'
The Wiganer said, 'Why the f….k can't they play at night?'

and so say we all...... amen...

Comments by Knowlsey, 10th January 2009  
Fred, now that you have sorted out your logistics for travelling to Wigan for thr nrxt re-union I must ask you to consider your appearance.
Beards notoriously intimidate children and those of a sensitive disposition.
Bernard or Ber-nard, as I understand he now prefers to be called. has become a thespian, and such people are known to be rather hyper-sensitive. Ber-nard I understand has taken to wearing cravats and silk smoking jackets whilst sporting a cigarette holder. He also now refers to everyone as "lovey".
So Fred I would implore you to shave off the Captain Birdseye and hence not to upset the distinguished but sensitive Ber-nard.

Comments by Fred Mason, 10th January 2009  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
No probs, Colin , oud lad, The beard has long since been made into a rug..!!! Besides I wouldn't ever upset a thespian...especially our Ber-nard, toff that he now is...!!

Comments by Roscoe, 11th January 2009  
What do you call James Holding, Bernard Dowdall and Knowlsey in a field.............a thicket.

Comments by Fred Mason, 15th January 2009  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
Since WW Album is for old photos only, our Ber-nard has emigrated across to that wonderful artist's blog site, Leonardo de Masoni. His Apparitions photo's may be viewed by all us loveys at 'fredmason' blog under Wigan Grammar School photo album, but, 'alf a mo'...Our lad's been posessed by a wee divil...time for Father Jacob to return for one last exorcism...nice cigarette holder, Ber-nard...

Comments by Frank Healy, 15th January 2009  
Hi Fred. Doesn't the "old" refer to the people in the photos? :o)

Comments by Fred Mason, 15th January 2009  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
Nice one Frank. Yes, of course it does and we all qualify, do we not?

A short video of Ber-nard running from a burning woman can be seen at

Comments by Frank Healy, 15th January 2009  
Hi Fred. Alas, yes.

Comments by Fred Mason, 18th January 2009  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
Oh dear,

Michael's been at it again....


Comments by Trencher, 19th January 2009  
Hi Fred - who is Michael - I thought halloween is in October!
Mate of mine says he bumped into your Bern-nard in his smoking jacket and asked him about Apparitions.
He claimed Bern-nard replied "Dear boy I prefer to speak of future challenges rather than past triumphs".
I ask you - wot cont do abowt that!

Comments by Archie, 19th January 2009  
I used to be Bernard Dowdall but I didnt like the lobbies so I packed it in.

Comments by Trencher, 20th January 2009  
I had a dog called Bernard. Loved that dog...it was a Saint.

Comments by G. Brown, 20th January 2009  
I had a curry called Bernard.

Comments by Fred Mason, 21st January 2009  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
Hi Trencher,

Michael was the bad guy in Apparitions (No,no, not Bernard!!!...MICHAEL....!!!)...Michael was the one who went up on a wire and tried to shoot the 'Papa'. Our Bernard would not hurt a fly..just catch them in his mouth..so it's been said...(Sorry, Bernard..)

Comments by Peeping Tom, 21st January 2009  
You are a one Fred ,,,,,, but I'm sure Curly loves you.

Comments by Knowlsey, 22nd January 2009  
Enemy in the camp. A little bird told me that Frank Healy is really a Linacre Lout.

Comments by Fred Mason, 22nd January 2009  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
Hiya Tom,

Yup, your right, I'm sure Curly is a gent who loves everyone, but I am so far away, I can say anything and get away with it....hmmmm

However, Ber-nard can still put a curse on me, should he so desire... a fellow once put a curse on me which lasted for almost 30 years. Horrible, it were. Back in 1964 I had words with this chappie when all of sudden he lifted his hand and placed this curse on me.... he said..."I now pronounce you...."

Comments by Peeping Tom, 22nd January 2009  
But did you love her at the time Fred ...did you worship the gtound she walked upon..did she make every day Spring time for you,,,did she,,,

Comments by Frank Healy, 23rd January 2009  
Hi Knowlsey. Where in the world did you get that one from?:o) I'm having a job typing this: seriously, can't stop laughing. Should I take umbrage I ask myself? :o) It was certainly one out of the blue. :o)

Comments by Knowlsey, 23rd January 2009  
So where are you on the pics then Frank.

Comments by Fred Mason, 25th January 2009  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
Has anyone seen Alexander?

Alexander is Ber-nards cousin. He wears the very same smoking jacket and cravat but is better looking than our Ber-nard....ooops... You may find him on 'comparethe meerkats.com in an advert on tv...

Time to go and hide....

Comments by Frank Healy, 26th January 2009  
Hi Knowlsey. Linacre Lout? I should sue somebody for defamation of character on the Linacre part :o) If you click on the 1962 school photo you'll easily find me; I'm the handsome one :o)

Comments by Knowlsey, 26th January 2009  
And I thought James Holding was the handsome one, Bernard Dowdall the talented one, Cliff Higham the cerebral one and Cheta the one with the bad attitude
Shows how much I know. So your the small fat guy with glasses then?

Comments by cliff H, 28th January 2009  
G,day old boys, yup just back from OZ glad y,all still here talkin jibberish I,ve been had some lessons in the jibber language for 2 months, they cant hold a candle to us.
good to back in dear old Blighty cept for the brrrrrrrrrr
I,ll catch up on the gossip, silly boys.

Comments by Peeping Tom, 28th January 2009  
Nowt wrong with Jibberish Cliff. I was top in Jiberish at WGS. Passed the GCE and now have a doctorate. Couldnt have done it without the likes of Holt, Pobs, Makinson and Pulford etc.
In fact I struggled just to beat Trapper Fred Mason and I get the impression that Frank Healey is a pretty accomplished Jibberitan.

Comments by cliff H, 29th January 2009  
ok ok tom the peeker I failed Eng lang I couldn,t spell
gibarish, I know now so I,m takin it again.
keep breathin y'all an keep on talkin gibberish we soon will be and think we,re sane.

Comments by Fred Mason, 29th January 2009  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
Welcome back,Cliff,lad,

We can all, now, look forward to some intelligent gibberish again...!!!


Comments by Frank Healy, 30th January 2009  
Hi Knowlsey, I've been without Internet access for a few days so I haven't been able to continue my defence against these scurrilous rumours :o) Well! Here goes, come what may.

1962 pic-1: 4th row from front, 7th from right (Pugsley Parr?8th from right) looking as though I'm on another planet as per usual.

1958 pic(1)- I shouldn't really admit to this one but as you look at the photo I'm just behind and to Frankie Balmer's right (Yes, the one with the outrageous quiff). I seem to be at peace with the world, and not trembling, so I must have been completely unaware that Frankie was in front of me: to say that, around that period, he scared the living daylights out of me would an understatement.

Strangely, I remember the 1958 photo being taken but not the 1962 one.

Thereby, I rest my defence :o)

PS- A "very iffy" defence? Bill Brown will vouch for me (I think):o)

Comments by Fred Mason, 30th January 2009  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
Frank, lad, you are definitely one us, not a Linacre Lout after all, but do you know what that entails...? Tread carefully...my mate, our lads are a special bunch, led by that famous star, Ber-nard, of Apparitions fame... Do you really want be known as Grammar School lout?
Hope the spelling is alright, young Pikey....!!!

Comments by Knowlsey, 31st January 2009  
OK Frank,,big quif,,behind Frankie..You are reinstated ,, a genuine Grammar Grub. Wait till I see that little bird ,, I'll shoot her,,well not really. By the way Frankie was one of the best ,, bark worse than his bite.

Comments by Brian Atherton, 31st January 2009  
No wonder people have such I high regard for Bernard Dowdall. I remember it like it was yesterday.
I was being bullied by this older boy in the school yard – his name is Ian. He may be a nice chap now so I wont give you his last name.
“No!”, cried Bernard. “No, stop that bullying. You should be setting a good example to younger boys, not bullying them”. The bully slinked away shouting curses and blasphemies at us, which I can’t repeat on this page.
The bully, Ian, was waiting for me at the school gate but Bernard walked out with me, out of his way and up to the bus stop in the centre of town and saw me safely on the bus.
“I’m not scared of him”, shouted the bully but he did nothing except shout more obscenities at us.
What a man! Bernard coolly ticked him off for his bad language.
I’ll never forget Bernard, you are a legend.

Comments by Frank Healy, 2nd February 2009  
Thanks chaps. Do I want to be known as a Grammar School Lout? Yes please :o) I agree with you Knowlsey about Frankie: from about the third year on, found him to be a pretty decent bloke.

I would love to know who the mischievous "little bird" is :o) :o)

Comments by Fred Mason, 2nd February 2009  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
Wasn't there a lad in our class called 'Bird' or 'Seed' or sumat?

Comments by cliff H, 2nd February 2009  
I recall the name Fred but don,t think he was in our class,Seed was his surname I think, ok ok ok too much thinkin in there I think, think I leave it.

Comments by Frank Healy, 3rd February 2009  
There was a Brian Seed but I suspect him not,FRED MASON :o)

Comments by Les Jones, 3rd February 2009  
Hi Brian. Yes Bernard was the best. When the big lads were doling out the milk at break under the cloisters it was often difficult getting your bottle. The big lads used to keep it to themselves. Bernard would always make sure that I received my bottle. Good on you son.

Comments by B, Taylor, 3rd February 2009  
Wots the betting old Cliff gets the 300th comment.

Comments by Fred Mason, 4th February 2009  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
Good one, BT, This is number 294...make way for our Cliff..

Comments by Bill Nev, 4th February 2009  
Do you lads plan to have a reunion this year? If so when and where? The lad on the Xcountry named Dicky Garswood. Was his name Dicky? It doesn't ring a bell.

Comments by Fred Mason, 4th February 2009  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
An American decided to write a book about famous churches around the world.
So he bought a plane ticket and took a trip to Orlando, thinking that he would start by working his way across the USA from South to North.
On his first day he was inside a church taking photographs when he noticed a golden telephone mounted on the wall with a sign that read '$10,000 per call'.
The American, being intrigued, asked a priest who was strolling by what the telephone was used for.
The priest replied that it was a direct line to heaven and that for $10,000 you could talk to God.
The American thanked the priest and went along his way.
Next stop was in Atlanta. There, at a very large cathedral, he saw the same looking golden telephone with the same sign under it. He wondered if this was the same kind of telephone he saw in Orlando and he asked a nearby nun what its purpose was.
She told him that it was a direct line to heaven and that for $10,000 he could talk to God.
'O.K., thank you' said the American.
He then travelled all across America, Europe, England, Japan, Australia ,
In every church he saw the same looking golden telephone with the same 'US$10,000 per call' sign under it.
The American decided to travel to Lancashire to see if Lancastrians had the same phone.
He arrived in Wigan and again, in the first church he entered, Wigan Parish Church, there was the same looking golden telephone,but this time the sign under it read '20 pence per call.'
The American was surprised so he asked the minister about the sign. 'Father, I've travelled all over the world and I've seen this same Golden telephone in many churches. I'm told that it is a direct line to Heaven, but in all of them the price was US$10,000 per call.
Why is it so cheap here?' The minister smiled and answered, 'You're in Wigan now, son - it's a local call'.

Comments by Knowlsey, 4th February 2009  
I admire the sentiment Fred. Knowlsey, Frogg Lane, Wigan.

Comments by Trencher, 4th February 2009  
Knowlsey. Fred, they say heaven is where you find it. At the gym today she smiled at me for the first time. "It sure feels like heaven to me".

Comments by JDH, 5th February 2009  
Unbearable excitement

Comments by Knowlsey, 5th February 2009  
JDH? That James D. Holding? Anyway 300th Cliff! Yah di dah di dah di!

Comments by Fred Mason, 6th February 2009  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
You are a boundah, sir, for stealing our Cliffy's spot at 300. Just to inform you that the French Foreign Legion are presently recruiting..!!!!

Nice one though, Colin.!! I am still laughing..

Comments by jas holding, 7th February 2009  
knowlsey,,,,JDH,,not me ,bill nev,it were richard garswood in our day,would like to think there another reunion this year,,,

Comments by Knowlsey, 8th February 2009  
Cheers Jas. Who is this mysterious JDH then? I don't recall Joe Hill having a middle name. Any ideas anybody?

Comments by cliff h, 12th February 2009  
DANG NABIT!!!!! darn missed it, I,ll get 400 god willin.

Comments by Fred Mason, 16th February 2009  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
The only JDH that I remember was John Richard Head, but 'e were a Linacre Lout...weren't 'e?

Comments by Peeping Tom, 17th February 2009  
Don't forget the next get together on St Georges Day at the Brocket. God Save the Queen.

Comments by Knowlsey, 18th February 2009  
Trapper Fred has no excuses now Tom. If he sets out with his dog sled tomorrow. He will just about make it in time.

Comments by Fred Mason, 18th February 2009  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
Reminder to myself: Must buy dog food immediately.

See you there lads...

Comments by Trencher, 20th February 2009  
Keep to the roads lad. Beware the moon.

Comments by D. Destin, 20th February 2009  
Jim Holding. Didnt one or both of the Sheri twins do a bit of Morris Dancing at one time? Where are they now?

Comments by Fred Mason, 21st February 2009  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
Hey Cliff, lad,

Only 89 to go until number 400 for you. (Reserved..!! for you..) Are we going to bet on a date for this to happen, chaps? I say after St Georges day. hmmmm...May 15th !! poss..

Comments by Trencher, 23rd February 2009  
Trapper Fred. It depends on Cliff, Jas and to a lesser extent Bern-nard. If they start - there is no stopping - until they have one of their "turns".

Comments by Fred Mason, 25th February 2009  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
Hey, Bernard lad..oh, when does tha appear in't Sherlock 'omes episodes on't telly? I hope ah 'aven't missed thi.

Thee tek care, mate.

Comments by Fred Mason, 25th February 2009  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
Hey, Trencher, lad,

Thanks for the advice...about the moon...but the only blood sucking creature that I know was divorced by me many years ago...yak. Boy, am I looking forward to meeting up with normal people again...

Hmmmmm...the mind boggles...gotta go and feed the sled dogs....up, up and away...

Comments by Trencher, 27th February 2009  
Good idea for you Trapper lad. Tie the sled dogs directly to your zimmer. Save you some space. Can't wait to see you skimming down the hard shoulder o0n the Big 6. Beard flowing in the wind. Grizzly Adams eat your heart out.

Comments by Knowlsey, 1st March 2009  
Hi Peepers. So next reunion is on St Grorgies day at the Brocket. That is 23rd April.

Comments by Fred Mason, 3rd March 2009  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
American names and dates:?

Question: If actress, Tuesday Weld married actor Frederick March III, would she be known as Tuesday March 3rd???????

Comments by Peeping Tom, 4th March 2009  
No but they would call you a plagiarist Freddy owd lad, "Newspaper article from: The Independent - London; 11/27/2002; MILES KINGTON ; Wordsmith, Oh, the old joke about Fredric March III. Surely you know it. Dr Wordsmith...Tuesday Weld be called if she married Fredric March III?" Naughty boy Trapper - Mr Boswell - 6 of the best for the lad.

Comments by By T Crin, 6th March 2009  
Tha should write fot telly. Keep banter goin!!!

Comments by Trencher, 6th March 2009  
Here we go again with these noms de plume. Reveal yourself you coward.

Comments by Knowlsey, 8th March 2009  
Hi Trench. I think the nom de plume is probably probably Trapper Fred.

Comments by jasholding, 8th March 2009  
ddestin,,,wuldnt know if they were involved with morris or any other kind of dancing for that matter,,,,with regard to there wereabouts,have asked self same question to few people,thoughts seem to be john left town but is back now david not heard owt about,,would like to know about them and afew other old school friends from st catherines...I know this not right place for it,,but see st catherines section,,,soz to others,,

Comments by E. Rudd, 9th March 2009  
David did some Scottish Country dancing in his late teens. Don.t know where he went with that but there could be some truth in one or both twins doing Morris dancing. Think Jon is still knocking about, seen him once in Beech Hill. David I think is in London.

Comments by By T Crin, 10th March 2009  
"Nom de plume"? reet posh that!!

Comments by Knowlsey, 10th March 2009  
Yes Mr Crin and unless you tell us your ID we will name you as Trapper Fred Mason.

Comments by By T Crin, 10th March 2009  
"Brutum fulmen!" as we'd say int awd days. I ad nowt fot do wi tha class. I wuz just tooting on tinternet at wigin and thought thas had got some reet gud banter goin. Am only a young un next to you lot.

Comments by Fred Mason, 10th March 2009  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
Colin and Trench, ould mates, 'By Crin'....t'aint moi.!!
I did know his cuz though, 'By T. Eck'
...a good strong Yorkshire lad, e' were...
By Crin's banter is reet good though, init? He could be one of us....so Mr Crin....please come clean....now!!!
or I'll set me sled dogs on yer..

Comments by Lanky Entertanez, 10th March 2009  
************ LANKY ENTERTANEZ === REVIEW === Actor: Bernard Dowdall in Apparitions by Maude Boyler *************

Apologies for the delay but I have been filling in for a colleague at the Cannes Film Festival.

Bernard Dowdall is undoubtably a major actor of our time. His brooding screen presence reminds one of the early Brando. However Bernard didn’t have the benefit of the Stanislavski System of method acting and rather has honed his talents in the hard school of northern life. Bernard as Olivier might have remarked doesn’t need “method” to act. He played the part of a priest in Apparitions to perfection. The looks of horror and hopelessness in his face as the fire erupted was classical. The way he stumbled over the pew like a geriatric priest was truly remarkable. Truly we are witnessing the birth of a star. Will Bernard continue his career on the small and big screen. Will he challenge the standards set by Olivier and Richardson on stage. Time will tell. The world of acting is truly Bernards oyster.

Comments by C. Glass, 19th March 2009  
For all Bernard Dowdall fans there is a pic of him when he was a young choir boy on the St Marys page, although John Riley calls him Edward Dowdall.

Comments by Raz, 26th March 2009  
Does anyone fancy a get together of the scripture union?

Comments by Knowlsey, 27th March 2009  
Sorry Raz - count me out. I read on this site that James Holding was a member of the Scripture Union. Maybe Cheta and Trapper Fred Mason may also join you. Can't recall there be a supping club but if there was one, let me know and I'll come to that one.

Comments by T. Malone, 27th March 2009  
Good old Curly Dowdall.

Comments by Fred Mason, 4th April 2009  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
Supping club, eh, Colin,?...well, if there isn't one, let's start one.!!

Comments by J. Ince, 9th April 2009  
Rum card Bernard Dowdall.

Comments by B. Mulqueeny., 10th April 2009  
My mother remembers Bernard Dowdall from when he used to do a milk round on her street. She always said I had a look of Bernard but I hadn't seen him until I saw the photo taken at the Brocket. I suppose I do look a bit like him. Bernard Mull.

Comments by Fred Mason, 15th April 2009  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
Hey, B. Mulqueeny,

Does this mean that Bernards father was possibly a milkman also? The mind boggles..!!

Comments by B. Mulqueeny, 17th April 2009  
Fred I dont know what bernard Ds dad did. I'm too busy trying to find my old man. Bernard.

Comments by Fred Mason, 22nd April 2009  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
Bernard, Good for you.

Many years ago, I applied to join the police force but was rejected. You see, they found out my parents were married. !!!!!!!!!!!

ooh ah....

Comments by Fred Mason, 29th April 2009  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
Hey, chaps,

Was there a reunion on the 23rd? If so, I'm sorry I missed it. My dog sled (campervan) failed it's M.O.T. and is going to cost hundreds and hundreds of beaver pelts (pounds sterling, even) to get it back on the snow and ice. See you one day though. You have been warned...!!!

Comments by Jay Bell Pentops, 30th April 2009  
I don't know about a reunion but the banters got boring of late. Bring back Jay Bell Pentops.

Comments by Fred Mason, 1st May 2009  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
I hee'rd as Jay Bell Pentops were deceased. If not, then he be loik Freddy Kruger and has many lives. Bring 'im on. !!!!

We'll fettle 'im, reet enough.

Comments by Betty Tute, 10th May 2009  
Thank you, thank you, thank you Bernard Dowdall. You are my saviour. You are a saint and a legend. Les Wlding suggested that you couldn't be moved with Senapods. Some kind soul suggested you use Ortisan cubes. I have had trouble with my bowels for years. I tried Ortisan cubes and now I feel top o' the world. Never better. Thanks Bernard thanks. Keep taking the tablets.

Comments by Knowlsey, 11th May 2009  
Must try these Ortisan cubes meself if that good.

Comments by cliff, 11th May 2009  
Iv,e tried them but they keep fallin out, stupid rip off Tesco pharmacy but the girl was sweet she gave me a demonstration, really nice girl I took her out for dinner last friday night and she showed me again, sweet girl with a crazy name 'Frenzy' don,t ask me why, must have crazy parents. rock on!

Comments by J. Ince, 17th May 2009  
Thas a weird dude all reet Cliff.

Comments by Pikey, 21st May 2009  
Hey Bernard, you want to get Ortisan to put your boat race on the packet. You must have done wonders for digestive systems in Wigan. Tell your agents to get their fingers out and get you some sponsorship cash.

Comments by Letty Windass, 27th May 2009  
Bernard I wanr to use Ortisan cubes cos me guts give me awful gyp. Can you assure me they dont have long term problems.

Comments by Fred Mason, 29th May 2009  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
.....Jay Bell Pentops...!!!..Your turn,.....

Comments by Jay Bell Pentops, 1st June 2009  
Didnt know you cared Fred.
Lets all have our next get together up near your gaff in Cumbria. Any good pubs? Good ale? Buxom Barmaids? We'll get a Cherabang up. What sayest thou oh Fred of the Northlands?

Comments by J.H., 2nd June 2009  
I'll second that JBP.

Comments by Fred Mason, 4th June 2009  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
I sayest, 'Thou art most welcome, lads'. The pubs are quaint (oh no, that's the buxom bar maids..!!), the beer is GOOD, it's Jennings who make a good range, the Cumberland sausage is good too as is the steak and ale pie, fish and chips, etc. My dog sled is STILL in for repairs after MOT failure but I do intend to get down to Wigan soon.

If you lot do come up here I'll have build some more igloos for ye all...bring yer own woolies....

Comments by BD, 14th June 2009  
Yes Letty I use the cubes and have no problems but you need to be prepared for a quick dash the morning after.
PS no truth in rumour I get advertising fees.
Yes Fred we must have a trip to the land of the Cumbers.
Get in touch with Cliff who will organise the trip. Make sure we get the busty bar maids preferably resplendant in fishnets. James they are not the sort you put your chub in.

Comments by CH, 16th June 2009  
All right then Fred, All the lads together, And steady as we go, I know that we can make it, Get a van and take it, Up to the land of sausages and snow.

Comments by BD, 16th June 2009  
Bring it on Cliff lad. Just tell me the date & time, pick up place and cost. Rock on Cliff lad.

Comments by Knowlsey, 17th June 2009  
Woh! Hold on yo men. Unless your wiser than me - yu don't know yet where Fred the Great hsngs up his snow shoes yet.

Comments by BD, 18th June 2009  
Knowlset lad. Cliff & Fred are big mates.

Comments by cliff h, 18th June 2009  
BD OWD LAD, seems you dont know much bout me,I can,t arrange a bunch of flowers you can be in charge,I heard your a whizz, a 12 seater might be big enough.

Comments by Fred Bell Laptops, 18th June 2009  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
.......and don't forget to wear your muk-luks, men...

har de har... (JBP's distant cousin..)

Comments by Fred Bell Laptops (JBP Cuz), 18th June 2009  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
Yes, it's me, it's me.....

Colin, owd mate,

Finding my pad is easy...just travel north until you find a pole...then turn right and ski half a mile. I am in the third igloo on the right....


Comments by Peeping Tom, 19th June 2009  
Can't wait Fred. Home you got them Cumber bangers sizzling when we get there. We'll bring our own balm cakes.

Comments by The Oracle, 19th June 2009  
Ladies & Gentlemen be upstanding for Clifford Higham and his wee buddy Bernard Duddy. Yes friends Clifford and Bernard are 21 again today. They share the same birthday.
Congratulations come from friends: Fred Mason, Bill Brown, Elma Hardman, Noel Smith, Tom Hager, Dave Ridout, Derek Worthington, Joe Hill, Joe Fairhurst, David Pyke and Norman Melling. For anyone who wishes to buy Cliff and Curly a drink please meat them in the Brocket Hotel tomorrow eveing 20th June in the Brocket Hotel.
Clifford and Bernard were born on the same day at the same time in the same hospital. Co-incidentally their families shared the same milkman Clifford Bernard Jones. 80 year old Clifford remembers visiting the hospital on that day and describing the two young fellows as cheeky and chirpy and looking so alike they culd have been brothers. So lets raise a glass to these two wonderful personalities. You wont see their likes again.

Comments by The Oracle, 20th June 2009  
++++++++++ Reflections on the Jay Bell Phenomena ++++++++++
Legend has it that the name was invented by Bill Ashurst based on his fascination with the market trader “Curly Jay”. Local history records that Curly Jay, resplendent in an Arthur Daley type camel coat and wearing two “Arthur English” ties, was a cockney barrow boy who worked Wigan market selling pens.
Another version has it that the name came from James Holding, giving the name to a school mate who used to sport a large collection of pens in his top pocket.
The name, “Jay Bell Pentops”, it appears, has been regularly used by several people writing on this site as a nom de plume. The latest being Fred “Trapper” Mason. Whatever the origins of the name, one thing remains certain, it was a name proudly worn by the one and only, philanthropist, raconteur, racing tipster and actor, the incomparable Bernard Dowdall.

Comments by Victoria, 20th June 2009  
My mother Marion Collier told me so much about little Bernard, standing on the bridge over the Douglas river in Greenough Street, collecting for poor kids, in freezing weather. Looking like a little cherub with his rosy cheeks and curly hair. I found reading the Oracle's story of the origins of Bernards nick name quite facinating. Jay Bell Pentops is such a magical, bubbly, expressive name that from what mum tells me, suits Bernard to a tee. Bernard should use it as his stage name. I am sure it would enhance his acting career.

Comments by jas holding, 20th June 2009  
who need to "ask jeeves" when we have the all knowing "Oracle",,you indeed right about the pens,,and the very man BD was indeed the boy who had them all in the top pocket of his blazer..
I wouldn,t claim to have come up with "nom de plume" no pun intended(or should that be "pen",,,,
That should be accredited to the man of a thousand identies Joe Fairhurst,,,

would have liked to have joined you in drink,,maybe at a later date,,,

BD,,ref the "fishnets",you obviously not seen the size of my chub

Comments by The Oracle, 21st June 2009  
Yes James, thank you for those wry comments. James Holding is a regular contributor to this site and his "witty banter" is an invaluable source of quality entertainment. Long may he reign.

Comments by The Oracle, 21st June 2009  
The “inmates” that comprised Form 5 can be described as a mixed bunch of misfits, but misfits, at least in this case, seemed to have come in pairs.
Not least of these were the Famous Freds, Bamber and Mason. Perhaps their contribution to the class ethos was their sardonic observation of their piers. Closely followed by the erudite pairing of Geoff Brown and Bernard Dowdall united in their love of poetry and the arts in general. Perhaps it was the rich tapestry that was the Form 5 landscape where the seeds of thespianism took root for the young Bernard.
Comments on the subject are appreciated.

Comments by The Oracle, 21st June 2009  
Yes, they came in pairs in those doomed days of Form 5. The happy go lucky and the imaginative, John Riley and Graham Tutton. John who went on to become a commercial artist whilst Graham entered the Guinness Book of Records breaking the Roller Coaster record. Then there was the pairing of James Holding and David Morris, James the irrepressible Morcambe of the pair to David's straight man, Wise. The deep thinking, dynamic duo that was Cliff Higham and Tony Dean, courteous and considerate, often deep is studious concentration over the chess board. Ashurst and Knowles, Heaton and Neville, yes the list goes on. Perhaps, the ethos of the form reached it's most demonstrable statement in the persona of Whitaker and Ridout. The infamous Whitaker, the rebel, the Public Enemy, the legend and Ridout his able counterpart, lover of pop music and master of witticism. Yes this was truly a class that embroidered a tapestry of intricate variety and colourful landscape.

Comments by BD, 22nd June 2009  
Fred, Cliff, have you set a date yet for this Cumbria trip?

Comments by J. Ince, 22nd June 2009  
rum jockey bernard dowdall

Comments by B. Taylor, 24th June 2009  
My comments on Oracles pairs are..I recall at one point Biil Ashurst was very pally with Chris Evans who left and I think moved to Congleton. I think Billy then knocked about with James Holding...I think they ran a "bookies".
Geoff Brown I think usually sat with Fred Bamber whilst I had vague memory that Fred Mason and Cliff Higham were bosom buddies. Not sure about Ian Whitaker .. can't remember his mates .. remember him more as a one man riot.

Comments by Trencher, 25th June 2009  
I used to see James Holding & Cliff Higham in the Scripture Union I think they were Bible Thumpers.

Comments by S. Critchley, 25th June 2009  
James wasnt a bible thumper, at least not as a boy. Maybe Cliff Higham , dunno...

Comments by Fred Mason, 27th June 2009  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
The only other bible thumper that I can remember, besides myself was Fred Bamber but the teachers name was Albert Wright, was it not? Our English master. I did enjoy the Scripture Union, there was something peaceful and profound about it.

I wonder if we have lost something due to the demise of religion over the years....but then, religion always seemed to be the cause of provacation, n'est pa.

C'est la vie.

Bon soir, mes amis,

Etienne, nice to hear from you,

Of course I am a Wiganer....true blue...Lactics forever...****

Comments by Sqeek, 28th June 2009  
Ah Steven. Alas you are right. James seems to have strayed from the fold somewhat in his latter years. However, where there is life there is hope. One hopes that James will indeed see the light before he finally shuffles off this mortal coil. Let us all not fail to give him encouragement.

Comments by S. Critchley, 28th June 2009  
"Shuffled off this mortal coil", is an interesting phrase. Although most of us think of this phrase as used by Shakespeare in his tradegy, Hamlet, it originally is sourced from Greek mythology. The length of our life is metaphorically the length of thread that is coiled on a spool, a metaphor related to the ancient Greek mythological figures of the Fates. As we live, the thread is unwound from the coil by the shuttle of the loom of time.

Comments by Peeping Tom, 28th June 2009  
Fred, if you want peace yu should try yga...the mind type....meditation. Find yurself a good guru wh will look after you.

Comments by Trencher, 29th June 2009  
I recall seeing Jim Holding with his head in the good book - in the library - in the corridor - so he probably was a bit of a bible thumper in his young days. But now he is an old fogey he may well return to the fold as you put it Sqeek. Even an arch unbeliever like Bob Dylan became "reborn". There's hope for owd Jem yet.

Comments by CH, 30th June 2009  
thanks for that steve,,,,,I can sleep soundly now!

Comments by cliff H, 30th June 2009  
was a bit rich naming our school 'The Lineker Centre' no ,no ,no, 'Joe Boz centre' would have been more appropiate,what say you chaps.

Comments by Trencher, 1st July 2009  
How about the Bernard Building after the great Thespian?

Comments by H. Riley, 2nd July 2009  
I used to think that Freddy Mason was a real dishy lad when he was at the Grammar School then I saw that photo of them all in front of the Brocket Hotel. I thought Oh God thats Fred at the front with Geoff Hardman, scruffy beard and jeans then I read the comments and realised it was somebody else. Hope you haven't got fat and grown a beard Fred. The bloke at the front looks like Del Boys uncle.

Comments by Fred Mason, 3rd July 2009  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
Hiya H.Riley,

If that's you Harriet then thank you for the kind remarks and yes. I am still a dishy lad (modest too..!!) although I am also fat, but working on it. I always thought you were a pretty young lady at school and was scared to ask you for a date BUT, however I also think that this H.Riley may be a non de plume of perhaps a roughneck Grammar Grub or Linacre Lout who is jealous of my new cousin, Cliff, and wishes he was as intelligent and good looking as Cliff and the rest of us.

Comments by cliff, 3rd July 2009  
now then cousin !!, behave urself or I,ll tell aunt maggie.

Comments by A. McKnight, 4th July 2009  
I thought James Holding was dishy.

Comments by Knowlsey, 5th July 2009  
Well, well, well ,, Trapper and Cliff are cousins ,, never knew that ,, then again a few comments on this site have referred to similarities ,, next thing folks will be telling us that Jim Holding and Curly Dowdall are half brothers.

Comments by Peeping Tom, 5th July 2009  
I was in the garden primimg my pump when the heavens opened. I had prepared to spend all day in the garden --- thought what can I do now. Bright idea - check out Wigan World .... not been on for a while. So I did '' and what do I find .. all the women chasing Fred Mason and Jim Holding. Don't know what they got but wish I had some.

Comments by Knowlsey, 5th July 2009  
Peepers old boy, there are two kinds of men in this world. There are those who prime their pumps and those who prime the ladies. Apparently Fred and Jim fall in the latter category whilst, sadly, you fall into the former.

Comments by cliff, 5th July 2009  
not aunt maggie Fred, cousin maggie,
crazy !! I might be your dad

Comments by Rudd, 6th July 2009  
Fred Mason & James Holding!

Disgusting behaviour.

Comments by cliff H, 6th July 2009  
Yes folks is been confirmed young Fred and I are first cousins we have kin folk we both know now, it was another cousin who wandered on this school mayem natter who in formed us of this, well I never !!!

Comments by Peeping Tom, 7th July 2009  
Congratulations Fred & Cliff in find each other after all these years. This calls for a toast, I'llhave jam on mine.

Comments by jymkahnna,, 7th July 2009  
theres gettin on for 5000 hits on this photo - must be doin somethin right.

Comments by JDH, 7th July 2009  
Approaching 400 comments. It's getting exciting again.

Comments by Fred Mason, 7th July 2009  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
Yes, lads, it's true. Cliff and I suddenly find that our uncle is one and the same man. My cousins in Atherton are also Cliff's cousins. Amazing, after all those years at WGS and now, years later...wow. Looking forward to getting down to Wigan again soon. My chuckwagon is now back on the trail.

Tom, Colin, et al beware...the drinks are on.....???

Comments by cliff, 7th July 2009  
MY cousin Fred

Comments by JBPT, 8th July 2009  
Isnt it uncanny how some of the contributors to the site have pointed out the similarities between Trapper Fred and Cliff Bloo before this information was revealed. PS will Cliff Bloo get the 500?

Comments by Trencher, 8th July 2009  
if you look a few comments up on 2nd July H. Riley says that on the Brocket photo she mistook the scruffy bloke with beard and jeans for Fred Mason ,, when in fact it was Cliff Higham,,,
if you look on next page at Fred Masons picture .. Vera Potter says she thought the pic was Cliff Higham,,, weird in it!

Comments by Peeping Tom, 8th July 2009  
JBPT I think you mean will Cliff get the 400th.

Comments by JBPT, 9th July 2009  
yeseree..Peepers .. it will be one o' them good old boys..hill billy cousins .. trapper fred & bubba higham.

Comments by cliff h, 9th July 2009  
looks like I got it, thanks cuz,
did I get the 200th, cant remember, never thought we would make it 400, well done boys,beers on me.

Comments by Trapper Fred, 10th July 2009  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
Well done, Bubba..!!

Comments by The Oracle, 11th July 2009  
I was spending a pleasant day at Rivington, gazing across the lakes and musing on times past when I met an old school friend. Lets call him Bill. Bill reminisced about his old friend James Holding.
Let Bill recount the story.
Walking down Scholes one day with James I spotted a pound note on the pavement by the old tobacconist shop. “Lets drop it off at the Police Station in town”, said I.
“I have a better idea” said James. James always had good ideas. Consequently, at James’s bidding we went to the Princess Cinema to watch Desire in the Dust and bought a bag of grapes for good measure, as neither of us had any tea.
As we sat in the dark I said to James, “Bad idea, we can’t see the bad grapes”. “Not to worry”, said James, “I have the answer – you see, you nibble them first”. With that James nibbled a grape, declared it bad and tossed it away.
Unfortunately, such was James’s luck, the grape hit a punter squarely behind the head. James’s luck got worse as every grape he tossed away seemed to find some ones head.
Not surprisingly there was a little disruption in the cinema resulting in a delegation from the management. James’s pleas of innocent did not prevail and we were invited to leave the cinema.
I was disappointed, as not only did we miss the end of “Desire” but there was now only one cinema left where we were welcome, the Ritz, which was expensive and didn’t show the cheap x-rated films we so loved. I had hoped that not visiting the cinema with Ian Whitaker would mean we could watch the film in peace. Still James was a rather rum character and we did have a lot amusement.
I do hope that Bills story brings back fond memories. The Oracle.

Comments by Monica Stone, 12th July 2009  
Jim Holding is Fred Bamber related to Olga Bamber?

Comments by jon wood, 15th July 2009  
an owd school mate was tellin me Curly Dowdall went for an audition with telly. he said they were all having a bit of a meal after and Curly was tryin to talk posh.
A bloke sez to Curly what do think of the food..
Curly sez ,, oh those french fries were exquisite ,, I could have eyten a ponfull.

Comments by Miss P. Maskell, 17th July 2009  
Hi Bernie love. Not been around much lately. Been keeping track of your acting exploits on the site. Sorry I missed your last reunion, maybe I'll make the next. They wont let me put my photo on this site so I will put it on Friends U, unless you enclose your email address. Catch you soon. Ciao love.

Comments by Cliff H., 18th July 2009  
oh, Hello lads, how you doin?
sorry, I've not been on for a while. I bought dewdrops £1 a bag beltin,market hall, memories keep on comin when I eat them there dewdrops.
How did you get on with that lady who contacted you fred.

Comments by cliff bloo, 20th July 2009  
oohh! misses nooo! behave ,, hi cuz Fred ,, hows Carlsle - ooh no misses behave ,, your makin up yer own jokes.
have a dew drop, beltin ,, ohh! no , misses they're all mine ,, all mine I say..
Oy!!! behave! Jaybell, I'm the handsome guy in the sweater and dont I look cute.
Now listen up you crazy guys, I,m emigratin, germany? naa ! they speak German, OZ naa! they cant speak english G,DAY is all you get, I,m stayin put, in the Millstone with Large Marge, reet!
marge is lovely barmaid in the Millstone she always greets with a gorgeous smile, nice girl, oh and she,s not large and her name is not Marge, maybe she,s taller than us (who,s not) an large, rhymes with Marge, go pay her a visit.

Comments by Jay Bell Pentops, 20th July 2009  
Stick to the day job Cliff!

Comments by Peeping Tom, 21st July 2009  
Keep taking the tablets Bubba lad.

Comments by Knowlsey, 21st July 2009  
I was reading the famous Wiganers bit n this site...and, no mention of Bernard Dowdall....a scandal or what!

Comments by Roy Pendlebury, 21st July 2009  
Do you guys remember those Kiplings or was it Kiplin? We used assemble in the morning in these groups instead of classes. Never knew what they were about, probably some hare brained idea of Ashley-Smiths. They had a mixture of lads from all years.
Well do you remember when they had this idea of mentors. The younger lads would be looked after by older lads, probably another of Ashleys daft ideas.
Anyway, my mentor was James Holding. He was great. Persuaded me to join the scripture union, fishing club and chess club, kept me on the straight and narrow. Good on you mate.
I was reminded when I read the story, by The Oracle about James and the grapes in the cinema.
So I was a bit surprised when I read someone saying he was this villain, Jesse James Holding and Holding the Cash or whatever. I always found him a gentleman with a good sense of humour. Yes he was a bit of a ted, quif, white socks and drains, but he was a good ted.
Ride on James lad. Liked the bit abut the grapes, had a bit of a chuckle.

Comments by Frank Healy, 22nd July 2009  
It's sad I know but I've still got my WGS reports. The later ones mention Kipling Master: possibly introduced about 1960.

Comments by Knowlsey, 22nd July 2009  
So Frank - whats the story on Kipling? Owt to do with Rudyard?

Comments by bubba higham, 23rd July 2009  
woowah, woohoo, Bernard is now a father one of them church ones, congrats Berny,,an race horse trainer in Newbury
hi cuz fred ,, have dew drop, beltin £1 Wigan market …Now Tom behave, no need for that, have a pint with Large Marge ..she’s not large .. just Marge .. no not Marge … oh please yourself misses just go to millstone..have one on me..
Knowlsey,, go home. Lets have another re-union, beltin,, Brocket,, beltin idea Jas, get Norm, Elmer the dodgy car salesman, Noel the musician, and of course Jaybell tryin to make it big on the siver screen and Billy the Godfather oh! and not forgettin me the duckin an diving spiv. sqeek! stop squawkin and quit. Leave Jas alone .. . hic, ,, drinkin,, I’m rambling again. Have a dew drop everybody, beltin,,

Comments by Trapper Fred, 24th July 2009  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
Great comments, lads. Sorry I can't get down to meet up with y'all in July but mid August is looking good. I am bringing my girlfriend to meet my family around town so I hope you will all treat her with the courtesy of a Grammar Grub. Either way she knows all about y'all already. I will be visiting my cuz's, Margaret and Peter Higham and guess what..my old and fav cuz, bubba also. Beware the moon, beware the trapper.

Comments by cliff h, 27th July 2009  
join the club Frank,I still have all my reports.

Comments by Cheta Brown, 29th July 2009  
Cliff was known as Seldom at school as one of his reports read "Seldom pays attention".

Comments by Tips, 30th July 2009  
Bringing in the sheaves, bringing in the sheaves,
We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves

Sing up Holding you reprobate, I can’t hear you:
Clap your hands, stand up man, show some pride in yourself, give up your slothful ways.

Bringing in the sheaves, bringing in the sheaves,
We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves.

I’ll teach you good for nothings to lead a better life and to follow the true path:

Sowing in the noontide and the dewy eve;
Waiting for the harvest, and the time of reaping,
We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves.

Comments by cliff h, 30th July 2009  
I have just dug out my old school reports
1st year Geog "does well to find his way home"

Comments by Trapper Fred, 31st July 2009  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
Well, in that case, young Cliff, you'd better put your trust in the pilot when returning from Der Fatherland.

Comments by Tips, 31st July 2009  
Admit it Jas. I had you going then. You thought I was another preacher Sqeek didnt you? Just joshing Jas old son knew you always had a good sense of humour. Chin up old son!

Comments by Fred Mason, 31st July 2009  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 

Are you the one and only P.G.Tips? or JGW perhaps?

Comments by Tips, 1st August 2009  
Admit it Jas. Had you going for a bit. You thought you had another preacher Sqeek on your hands. Just joshing Jas lad know you have a good sense of humour.

Comments by jas holding, 1st August 2009  jimholding@hotmail.co.uk 
Boys..what can i say,,trapper let us know when you about, be great to meet up and have chat,bring your cousin along,,
bubba when you back from where you been,,
see steven c finnally appeared on sight,,where you been spouting all that prose on on hand and then decrying me down onthe other,,,
right on roy,,come along yoursel to the do,,would like to meet up again,,,,
squeak,,am really tryin mi best to live the good life ,dont give up on me yet,,,,
Tips,,is that yourself JG,,,,,where the deveil are you hese days,,last time I saw you was on Wallgate Station,,you where waiting for Liverpool train,always think about you when I go in bellingham,,tell people,,lad i used to know used to live here,,was his house,,fond memories
Oracle,,,what can I say,,,you have a habit of twisting the truth,,but I get good laff,,,

Boys have said before and I,ll say it again"I dont know where they threw the up,,,,,but I know where they all landed,and that sums up the "cross country class"years in Wigan grammar

Comments by S. Critchley, 2nd August 2009  
I have been unable to ascertain the origin of "kipling". Initially I thought it may have been a public school idea but I can find no information about it. Perhaps one of our other readers can throw some light on the subject. I would be very interested to know.

Comments by Baz Taylor, 3rd August 2009  
I want to hear from Derek Worm, Dave Ridout and Ian Whitaker. Sick of hearing from James Holding, Fred Mason and Knowlsey. Where are Chris Evans, Jonty Johnson and Mogsy Morris. Tired of hearing from Peeping Tom and Bernard Bl--dy Dowdall, Cliff Higham etc etc etc. Come on Fred Bamber, Noel Smith, Joe Hill, Bill Ashurst, Elmer Hardman, Norm Melling where are you when you needed.

Comments by Fred Mason, 3rd August 2009  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
Hey, Baz,

Only the lively one are alive, my mate......

Comments by Fred Mason, 3rd August 2009  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
Think about it, Ol'e mate

Comments by Jaybell Pentops, 4th August 2009  
Bang on Fred. Thas not wrong owd lad. And the Lord said come forth but Jas actually came fifth and won a Fartn'pen. Yeah one of Curly Jay's off the market. Try your weight now friends. I'm goibg dool ally like Cliff ... have a dew drop, beltin, market hall ... £1.

Comments by S. Critchley, 4th August 2009  
Would you say that Jay Bell is Bernard's "pen name"?

Comments by Knowlsey, 5th August 2009  
Thas a berrel o' laughs Ste owd lad, tha must o' had us i stiches at schoo.

Comments by Peter Ridout, 5th August 2009  
Mr Oracle. Have you any more stories like James and the Grapes. It tickled us.

Comments by vincent garbutt, 15th August 2009  
way hay dowdall your a canny mon. me guts were playin up sumthin shokin mon. me qak could do nothin mon. wife moved me to the spare bed and then the spare room mon, I mean I stunk high evenas mon. then I stunled on your website. I tried them there ortisun tabs you use Dowdall mon. me guts work a treet now mon. cant thank you enough dowdall mon. away the lads dowdall mon.

Comments by j. ince, 17th August 2009  
rum jockey dowdall

Comments by Dotty, 19th August 2009  
Trapper Fred may have not been a rummun then -- but he's a rum old soak now!

Comments by The Oracle, 20th August 2009  
Peter, are you related to Dave Ridout. If so, say hello on behalf of all his friends who contribute to this site and encourage him to join in. Sadly, although I do have some memories of James I have none as funny as “James and the Grapes” as you put. I am reliant on others passing on the memories. I do however have a story about another of the “Bash Street Kids” which I will relate below:

Comments by Pykey, 20th August 2009  
Hello everyone. How are y'all good buddies. See old Curly is still in the headlines and Cliff Higham still causing mayhem. Should get more time shortly and be able to come and visit. Are you keeping out of trouble Jimmy - not still staggering out of the rubberdub with floozies on the arm! And Bubba & Trapper cousins? What next!

Comments by The Oracle, 20th August 2009  
This tale was passed on, once again, by a shy contributor who wishes to be known as “Bill”. Bill tells the story as follows:
One day a group of us misfits were walking through the little arcade. Bob Rudd, the weigh man must have gone for his dinner in the café. Ian Whitaker seeing his empty seat, sat on it and tried to imitate Bob. In a high nasal tone he was crying, over and over again “Try your weight now friends”.
Meanwhile, Dave Ridout and Cliff Higham were perusing Spic & Span and Health & Efficiency on Smiths newspaper stall. Bernard Dowdall was ambling about aimlessly.
A large, fearsome gentleman approached Bernard and asked him in a thick Scottish accent “Where are the YOORINALS please”.
“What” said Bernard. “The Yoorinals, please”, replied the gentleman. “What”, repeated Bernard. Once again the gentleman said, “The yoorinals please”, by which time it was obvious he was getting desperate.
Bernard turned to his mates and said, “Hey, you men, do you know what this mon’s talking about”.
With that the large, fearsome gent, grabbed Bernard by the lapels, lifting Bernard off the floor, shaking him and cried, “The b---dy p--- stones. I’ll shake the b—dy s--- out of you”.
Bernard didn’t really speak again for the rest of the day.

Comments by jas holding, 22nd August 2009  
Pete Ridout,,,dont encourage "the oracle",,,,,just on the "grapes story" it wasn,t the the Princess Cinema" it was "The Empire" which was up thy Wiend,,,call me pedantic if you like ,,,,am surprised the "Oracle"hasn,t told the story of "the cop and a kick in the pants",,hmm some story teller,,

yes pete let us know if you any relation to Dave,,,

baz,,stop your moanin,,,we all trying to get in touch with the guys you mention,get a grip lad and try a be a bit more creative

steve ,,,surprised you not know what a "kipling" was about,,acording to the explanation from our "Kipling Teacher" Robin Cooper,,it was a title for a mixed group,across age groups,so we 1st formers up to 6th in ours in the woodwork room,,it was done by "house " if i remember rightly...but I wouldnt swear to that

Comments by Peter Ridout, 24th August 2009  
Hi James, your spot on, thanks for your comments.
Oracle liked the story of Bernard and the Scotsman, although my sympathies lie with the Scotsman. I can understand his frustration.
I have never met Bernard but have seen the photo of him dressed at a preist. I have this image of him being lifted in the air and shaken like a rag doll. Bet you guys never let him forget.
Oracle keep the stories coming.
PS Dave is PCless.

Comments by Knowlsey, 25th August 2009  
Peter why dont you put Daves comments on.

Comments by The Oracle, 25th August 2009  
Back in those optimistic days the world was changing. New music, new fashion, new cultures. Chinese restaurants appeared on the streets of Wigan.
One of the first was located in Bon Marche's arcade.
When first it opened the lads would visit during the school lunch period, largely because they had discovered a scam.
The Chinese management were offering free soup and sweet in the lunch period providing you bought a meal.
An English lady was waiting on at the time. If you ordered a plate of chips from her you also got your free soup and sweet.
Further the lads would sit on the nearest table to the pop crates. A couple of bottles would be ordered and several glasses. When the waitress disappeared the pop would be quickly supped, the empties popped in the crates and replaced with an equivalent number of full ones.
When the management discovered the scam they banned the lads.
This then is the background that Bill supplied to his story below:

Comments by Bill, 25th August 2009  
When we were banned from the Chinese restaurant in Bon Marche’s arcade, the Bash Street kids decided to seek a degree of recompense. Now the main switch to the restaurant was by the restaurant door at the bottom of the stairs. For several afternoons on passing one of the lads would flick the main switch to the off position.
The Chinese obviously got sick of this and informed the police. On the final occasion James nipped through the restaurant door and flicked the switch. He was seen by a Chinese waiter who was hiding on the landing.
When the lads saw James emerge, like a bat out of hell, closely followed by a cleaver wielding Chinese waiter the lads scarpered tout suite towards Standishgate only to be met by two coppers coming the other way. So turning they fled towards the market square only to be confronted by several Chinese waiters and another copper. All escaped except James and Dave Ridout who were cornered.
One of the waiters pointed at James and said, “It was him”. However, quick thinking James, pointed at Dave and said “It was him”.
The copper lunged at Dave whilst James side stepped the copper and legged it.
I understand Dave received a good kicking and a warning that if it happened again he would have his collar felt. {Bills story was relayed by The Oracle}

Comments by Knowlsey, 26th August 2009  
Very good Bill/Oracle. Your not Bill Ashurst by any chance? I seem to remember there was a lot of trouble between the teddy boys and the Chinese restaurants those days. Vague memory of somebody being hit with a cleaver. I guess James was a lucky boy.

Comments by S. Critchley, 26th August 2009  
James I remember the Kipins but what is the origin. Was it dreamed up by Mr Cooper or was it a public school thing or something else?

Comments by Tips, 30th August 2009  
Yes Knowlsey, James was indeed a very lucky boy.
I remember at the time the New Way coffee bar was owned by Asians. They had trouble with the local teds.
I vaguely recall an incident with a hatchet which made the local newspapers.
I was in the New Way one day after school when one of Wigan’s Yed Teds opened the door and shouted abuse at the management. The ted was well known in Wigan but I can’t recall his name, probably just as well. It was a bit scary for a while but eventually the ted went on his way.

Comments by jas holding, 30th August 2009  
Tips,,,ref my e-mail 1st august,,what and where are you these days,,,still..in Wigan ???

Tsk tsk Oracle,,thats not the "Copper and the kick in the pants" story I was thinking of,,but that fo another day,
Whats latest with"Freds camper",,is it running,wailing mot,waiting petrol,,whatever,,when you coming down ??
Will try an find origin of kipling steven,,,,are you still in wigan,,,or gathurst area

Comments by jas holding, 30th August 2009  
Steve,,,,In the days of the Raj,,rudyard kiplings stories ,poems,writings whatever , where based around the sense of solidarity with which a given group is capable of achieving,,,,,particularly his "army ones",,,,
Being as Robin Cooper was a great poetry man it wouldn,t surprise in the least if he were not the man to come forward wth this "collective name"Kipling" as a new scheme to instill this in to WGS abandoning the normal "form" grading and introduce the "cross house group"where you had a mix from 1st -6th form,,,ie a "Kipling" to instill that same sense of solidarity" He would have had a good ally in head Ashley-Smith who I think was a forward thinker in his time.....
any way thats my theory and I,m sticking to it,,,

Comments by Knowlsey, 31st August 2009  
I thought Kiplins were crap. Didnt like Cooper either posh plonker.

Comments by Fred Mason, 31st August 2009  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
Yes, Jas, the camper has finally been repaired after the disasterous MOT but it swallowed my bank account, whole, on the way. I am now out hunting beaver (not a bad sport) to get their little pelts to trade and become prosperous again.

I look forward to meeting up with y'all again soon.

Comments by Trendcher, 31st August 2009  
Anyone - these ortisan tabs that Bernard Dowdall goes on about - are they any good. I've seen them in the supermarket and they are a bit expensive. A lot of these herbal remedies are rubbish.

Comments by Peeping Tom, 1st September 2009  
Trench owd lad. Next door neighbour say the ortisan tablets do work so Curly Dowdall aint wrong. Apparently they are made from compressed fruit.
Fellas searched th'internet for kiplin/g - googled public schools - cant find owt.
So Jas may be right in that it was a daft idea by that dipstick Cooper.

Comments by jimkhana, 2nd September 2009  
beware the moon trapper lad...keep off the moors!

Comments by Jesse Lee, 3rd September 2009  
Bernard Dowdall works for the Wigan & Leigh Housing Board. He was the Estate Inspector I had to see when I wanted an inspection at Top Lock.

Comments by G. Brown, 3rd September 2009  
I understand that Dowdall started work as an apprentice to the weigh man in the little arcade after leaving school.

Comments by Curly, 3rd September 2009  
The man with the weighing machine was Bob Rudd (could be Wrudd). I once went racing with him when I worked for Joe Kennedy, Wigans finest bookie whose office was in the Wiend. Bob used to shout "Try your weight now friends"..A smashing man as was Syd Smith the newsagent in the Little Arcade.

Comments by Routh, 4th September 2009  
Curly I thought you started work in Isherwoods shoe shop in Greenough Street after leaving school.

Comments by Curly, 4th September 2009  
I have quite a few recollections of jim isherwood. When I was a lad at St Mary's school I went to my grandmothers for my dinner each day in Scholes,
One day I was returning to school walking down Greenough St where he had his shoe shop. As I was walking by, Jim asked me to stop and admire a portrait of Tommy Steele (with two heads)and the next day the picture appeared in the Daily Mirror with the caption "Artist unveils portrait of pop sensation Tommy Steele ,young admirer amazed". I was amazed .. it was me.
Years later I was working in Joe Kennedy's bookies where Isherwood was a regular visitor. He liked a bet on the horses and more often than not when it came time to settle up he invariably paid his debts by way of a painting. I dread to think of how many of his works ended up being a nice comfy resting place for Joe's two Siamese cats.
A couple of years ago I came across a signed copy of Sir Gerald Nabarro's autobiography dedicated to Jim and Lily ,and guess what was inside....a couple of sketches and a photograph of one of his paintings in Venice I think. Eureka!

Comments by Peeping Tom, 4th September 2009  
Trapper Fred. I've been hunting beaver most of my life. let me know if you need any tips.

Comments by Cliff H., 4th September 2009  
I was born just off Greenough St,as a kid I remember my mother taking me to Isherwoods for my shoes and the MAN himself serving us,he seemed an old man to me then,30yrs on,he,s living up the road from me,we used to stop and chat as we passed each other on the lane, NO! he didn,t remember me but I did, him.

Comments by Fred Mason, 5th September 2009  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
Thanks for that Peeping Tom, but I seem to do alright. I always make sure that I take my long gun with me.

Comments by Peepers, 6th September 2009  
Spot on Trapper lad. I think short ones are for pussies. If your after real big beaver you need a long weapon.

Comments by Fred Mason, 10th September 2009  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
Yes, my son. Even the lads at the Grammar School at Longhampton are envious of the lads at the Grammar School at Wigan.

Comments by me, 12th September 2009  
Fred, where is Longhamton?

Comments by Fred Mason, 12th September 2009  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
Hello me,

Longhampton is, of course, a bit further than Littlehampton.

Comments by cliff h, 14th September 2009  
Ah, right Fred gotchya, thanks I know the place.
Oh, bye the way, I wonder why Joe Fairhurst don,t comment on here, strange? I,ve seen him a few times walkin up Wigan Lane with a 6 pint wobble, he,s seen better times, he,s a trooper, poor lad he will wobble on when we,re gone, good old Joe

Comments by S. Dainty, 15th September 2009  
Mr, Cliff H. I think Joe was probably ill when you saw him "wobbling". I read his obiturary in the Observer. God bless.

Comments by Fred Mason, 15th September 2009  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
Hey chaps,

Approaching 500..! Must be a record for WW. Are we saving this for our Count Higham of Transylvigan again, or does someone else deserve the 'onour.? Perhaps the Estimable Ber-Nard, or Honourable Peepers, or Knowledgeable Knowlsley, or...Noel, Jim or Joe, Norm, Tips, Etienne,Pykey, Baz...or....

Comments by curly dowdall, 15th September 2009  
Sorry not been on for a while lads.Our Carlisle trip fell at the last but not to worry i have access to Countdown tickets so Count higham and Sir J fairhurst will join me soon.My last foray into tv was a couple of weeks ago with Bobby Ball in Britains fattest Man,with Timothy Spall.written by Caroline aherne.On ITV soon 90 min one off v.funny.

Comments by S. Critchley, 16th September 2009  
There is no Longhampton in the UK. Fred may be referring to the USA. There is, of course, a Littlehampton in West Sussex. A very nice part of the country.

Comments by Pykey, 16th September 2009  
Curly. I thought Isherwoods name was Lawrence?

Comments by Bernard, 16th September 2009  
Steve,,thanks for that ,, I'll sleep easier tonight.

Comments by Cliff Bloo, 16th September 2009  
I remmber a David Pyke who frequented Greenough St and Lewis,s cafe, I seem to remember he had a fixed wheel bike, if you had the toe straps on and had to stop sudden,oops! can,t get your feet out,down you went sideways, no elbow pads or helmets,crunch !!..........beltin days. Clif Higham doesn,t work in the Brocket Pub,its his watering hole. Blue

Comments by Doreen Davies, 16th September 2009  
Cliff H. & S. Dainty. You have the wrong man. Joe Fairhurst on this photo is my cousin. I was talking to him last Sunday at Wrightington Country Club and he was fit and in good health.

Comments by Knowlsey, 16th September 2009  
Who is this Bloo ,, Cliff Bloo ,, Bluemoon et al. Are they Cliff Higham?

Comments by D. Morris, 16th September 2009  
I was in the same class at St Catherines school as Steven Critchley and Jim Holding and the Sherrington Twins.

Comments by Trencher, 16th September 2009  
Knowlsey I have always thought that antyhing to do with Blue is Cliff Higham.

Comments by Sleuths Are Us, 16th September 2009  
Just sidetracking the memories for a mo some of the recent postings have been hazzarding a guess as to the identity of Bloomoon. Our Company, newly located in your wonderful town, will, free of charge,endeavour to find his real identity. Obviously, reading through the postings we have ample enough evidence to start up on. If we don,t come up with a positive result within 7 days, we will donate our regular fee to a local charity. please watch this space and all will out, if deceased, it will be by kind permission of his family. With thanks C H Moon..MD

Comments by Trapper Fred, 16th September 2009  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
Seriously chaps. there is only one sleuth that can 'seek 'em out' and that's our Ber-nard..complete with deerstalker and magnifying glass. (don't forget the pipe..)

Comments by Miss P. Maskell, 16th September 2009  pmaskell@bleesky.com 
Bernard dearest, I am so delighted that you are doing well in your show business career. Keep it up darling.

Comments by Routh, 17th September 2009  
Bernard ,, saw you in Beech Hill recently. Thought you looked like you had put on a lot of timber. I suppose this acting lark is not all glamour. So you have plumped up for this fat man role. Well watch the owd ticker Bernard - no use being famous and brown bread.

Comments by R. Hudson, 18th September 2009  
I was visiting Wigan recently and was in the car with my wife. We stopped at the lights at Walkden Ave/ Mesnes Road. I saw Clifford Higham turning on to Mesnes Road from Walkden. I know that chap I said to my wife he was in a higher year at Wigan Grammar.
The wife couldnt beleive it. He only looks 40 ish said the wife and he's still pretty cute. Puts you to shame. I don't know him that well I said and got out of there before she asked me to stop. I would have clipped her round the luggs but she would have bashed me up. Coward that I am.

Comments by cliff, 18th September 2009  cluffhigham2000@yahoo.co.uk 
Hi boys, I was just wonderin why Joe Fairhurst post a comment or two in here, he is still around, I saw him couple weeks back he looks ok . a bit portly but he had on his joggin gear and on his way to Haigh Hall, he wasn,t jogging when I saw him, maybe he just pretends, anyway strange he doesn,t comment in here.

Comments by Pete Derbyshire, 19th September 2009  
Cliff Higham was in my Kipling at Wigan Grammar. Smashing lad.

Comments by J. Ince, 19th September 2009  
Salt o the earth Cliff Higham.

Comments by Bernard, 19th September 2009  
I was in the same class as John Riley and Bill Ashurst at St Marys School.

Comments by Elmer, 20th September 2009  
I was in the same class as Graham Tutton at St Andrews.

Comments by Pykey, 22nd September 2009  
John Davies and Tony Worswick were my classmates at St Johns.

Comments by Noel, 23rd September 2009  
I was at St Thomas's with Tommy Rimmer.

Comments by Fred Mason, 23rd September 2009  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
Only eight more to go until 500. Who will claim it?
The tension strains.......!!!!!!!

Comments by JDH, 24th September 2009  
Cut it out Fred, you've stolen my lines (well, almost)

Comments by harold potter, 25th September 2009  
I went to bed with Fanny Green from Greenough street.

Comments by M. Vose, 25th September 2009  
Harold, are you Vera Potters brother.

Comments by Frances Green, 25th September 2009  
In your dreams Potter. No chance. You are a creep Potter. Even if it was true a gentleman would never say it, let alone in public. Creep!

Comments by The Real Harold Potter, 25th September 2009  
Frances. It wasn't me. It was some creep using my name. You know me, I would never say anything like that.
Come on you coward .. own up.

Comments by Knowlsey, 26th September 2009  
Who is this Harold Potter? Dont recall him in Form 5. I notice he has commented on page 3 under Cliff Highams photo. Claims to be a friend of Cliffs. Thing is .. is it the real Harold Potter or a charlatan.

Comments by jim holding, 26th September 2009  
mogsy...and steven critchley,,,,where are you both,,not seen either of you since adam were a lad,,,,reveal your selves...and your where abouts

Comments by jim holding, 26th September 2009  
bye the bye,,,,,"david morris" must have a touch of the Alzhiemers,,,ref St Catherines,,,,,,the true "mogsey" went to Rose Bridge Junior School,,,,and lived in Kirkless Street

Comments by jim holding, 26th September 2009  
Just to confirm what Doreen Davies says,"Joe Fairhurst is alive and well have seen and spoken to him recently,

ps ref to take up someones comment about him not contributing on here,,,,,,,"you just don,t now where to look".....bet bloo can tell you,,,jsut where he is,,,

Comments by cliff (bloo) higham, 26th September 2009  
Congratulations James, you are the 500th poster in this long running Grammar School Old boys 'BLOG'
filled with fond memories of days of yore and the wit and the joyful banter, may it never end for 'THE GOOD OLD TOWN OF WIGAN THAT WE LOVE SO WELL'

Comments by Fred Mason, 27th September 2009  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
Right on, Bubba,

Only 497 more until 1000. I wonder what comments they will carry.?

Comments by Fred Mason, 27th September 2009  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
Geoff Brown, you say you sit on the fence, old mate. Step down for a while and drop us a line. I met a lass in Suffolk, many years ago who said she was Christine and your cousin.

Comments by jas holding, 27th September 2009  
Thanks Cliff,,
Cos Wigan is a grand old town,,,the romans knew it well,,,yer am sure page will keeping to a 1000 and beyond cos of the very nature of the page its self,,,,,rock an roll on

Comments by Peter Ridout, 28th September 2009  
James may I congratulate you on the 500th posting. I hope there are many more as I enjoy reading about the escapades of the "Bash Sreet Kids". I especially like to read about you on the Oracle. I hope there is a lot moe to come.

Comments by Knowlsey, 28th September 2009  
Have you seen that pic of scouts on page 3. Who is Jimkana? He talked a lot of nonsense about Rivi being left to Scowsers. God forbid.

Comments by Trencher, 30th September 2009  
Knowlsey when I see a nom de plume like jimkana on this page I always think Cliff Higham.

Comments by Knowlsey, 30th September 2009  
Trench lad. Normally I would agree with you but Cliff Highams comments are normally off the wall. Unless he's doing a crafty double bluff and writing sense then I think the jimkana is Jim Holding. Jimkana has the same style. I also think JDH is Jim Holding.

Comments by Sylvie, 30th September 2009  
T recall a Fred Mason at St John's C of E School in Pemberton. He was a very handsome young lad.

Comments by S. Bass, 30th September 2009  
I agree with Jas Holding. I saw j.fairhurst in Brocket, looking fit & in good health. That dogs too big for Cliff Higham it was dragging him into the road.

Comments by Cliff H, 1st October 2009  cliffhigham2000@yahoo.co.uk 
Saw Sam in town last week, he clocked me and nodded an give his wry smile, he must be readin all this stuff, fame at last, nice chap

Comments by Fred Mason, 1st October 2009  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
Greetings one and all,

Today is the day that the 'Save Wigan' campaign goes live. Join now an let your voice be heard. It's only a tenner a year. Tell all your friends, family and colleagues. The more the merrier and help save what's left of the real Wigan. Go to www.savewigan.co.uk for more info.

Comments by Peeping Tom, 1st October 2009  
Send me a tenner and you can join my club. The Save Cumbria Club. Imagine for a tenner a year you can me a memeber of my club, and me - I'll be laughing all the way to the South of France. Join now - you know it makes sense.

Comments by Fred Mason, 2nd October 2009  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
Ah, Tom lad,

This is a genuine campaign, started by Brian of Wigan World. It is sincerely to stop the destruction of our home town (what's left of it) SUPPORT US NOW. It's your town. !! Check out the web site.

Comments by Bloo, 3rd October 2009  
I recall seeing a film about Brian ,, I thought he copped it at the end ,, ah well a guess that was just a film ,, Brian lives folks and is about to save Wigan ,, tomorrow the Universe ,, Flash Brian .. please yourself .. I thought it fab ,, have a dew drop ,, beltin ,, quid from the market hall ,, rock n ,, come Wigan ,, give it Billy ,, please yourself.

Comments by Fred Mason, 3rd October 2009  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
Hey bloo,

I know that film, it is called the Life of SuperBrian, and he does not save the world but does save the Wigan. And of course, being a good guy, he lives on at the end to make a sequel (or six). Well, who else is going to do it?

Comments by Curls, 5th October 2009  
Now what have we got to save in Wigan .. hmm .. now there is that cathedral ,, the Shakespearean Theatre. Oh! yes and there is that quaint block of 14th century cottages decked out in flowers. And not to forget the Roman Coliseum, the beautiful 19th century museum with its glass domed roof and the renaissance fountains in the centre of town with the medieval wishing well.
Face it Freddy boy - Wigan is a dump and always has been and until people face the truth it will never get any better.
There is nothing wrong with Wigan a team of steam rollers can't cure.

Comments by S, Critchley, 6th October 2009  
I think Curly has a point. The only famous structure that Wigan has is Wigan Pier and that isn't known for its aesthetic attributes. Most Wiganers have never seen it and consider it a joke. To most none Wiganers I have met it is a mythical concept. Apart from the Pier there is nothing else.`

Comments by Brian, 6th October 2009  brian@wiganworld.co.uk 
What about Winstanley Hall? Haigh Hall? Old Town Hall?

Comments by Gwendoline, 6th October 2009  
Sylvie, Fred may have been good loking as a schoolboy but at his age he's now probably an old gray wrinkly, paunchy, hairy nose & ears, unsteady in his pins and incontinent. "pass the bedpan nursy" - ugh!

Comments by Fred Mason, 6th October 2009  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
Sylvie, Gwendoline, IF you really exist...look at my blog..you will see that I am the most handsomest man about town...!!!!!!

SAVE WIGAN...there is a whole town out there to still save, including Brian's pointers. Let's be positive and join the group. Only we can do it.

Comments by The Oracle, 6th October 2009  
I was having a pleasant morning recently, sat in the coffee shop in the Galleries, reading the morning paper. An old school friend joined me and we swapped memories of the old town.
About half way, walking down Market Street, there was a street on the right the name of which neither of us could remember. When you turned right it led to the big and little arcades on the right and the old Market Hall on the left.
That reminds me of a story said Bernard ... my colleague wished to be known by the alias “Bernard”. Why don’t you write about it I said to Bernard. Bernard recited the story to me but asked me to publish the story on his behalf. So let Bernard tell it in his own words:

Comments by The Oracle - for Bernard, 6th October 2009  
I was fond of chocolate ice lollies when at school. There was a shop in Market Street near the corner that led to the Market Hall.
It was after school and I was relishing my lolly when I witnessed the event.
Now Bill Ashurst and Jim Holding had a habit of shouting to workmen, such as navvies: “Well it’s a living”. If the workmen looked like being offended, they would have it away on their toes.
Now there was a window cleaner cleaning the first floor windows just around the corner from the lolly shop. As Bill and Jim approached the ladder, Jim shouted up to the window cleaner, “Well it’s a living”.
The window cleaner reacted angrily descending his ladder. James took flight. But Bill who’s mind was elsewhere was caught by surprise. Bill legged it but too late.
The window cleaner’s mate was heading down Market Street. Anticipating the situation he made a grab for Jim, but Jim niftily side stepped the attempted grab and escaped.
Bill was less fortunate and ran into the arms of the window cleaner’s mate who commenced to batter Bill about the head. By this time the window cleaner had caught up and booted Bill up the backside.
Poor old Bill was in a state. James on the other hand was yards away on the opposite side of the road grinning with relief.
You had to laugh … James was nothing if not street wise. (Alias Bernard).

Comments by Conservationist Trapper, 7th October 2009  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
SAVE EARTH - It's the only planet with chocolate.

SAVE WIGAN - It's the only town with Uncle Joe's, Mint Balls...!!

Comments by Peeping Tom, 7th October 2009  
Trapper old boy: answer me these questions:
1. What exactly are you trying to save?
2. What are who are you saving it for?
3. What will you do with the tenners you are demanding?
4. How can you change anything in Wigan without changing the councillors and having a unanimously supported agenda?
5. Are you going to organise marches?
6. Are you ging to lobby parliament?
None of what you have said so far makes any sense.
I would sooner give my tenner to the Hospice.
There are much better and more urgent needs e.g. making sure that care homes look after old people better; driving drug dealers off the estates; protecting vulnerable people from thugs; making sure Wigan Hospital treat out patients better, like having a queuing system you can see on an electronic board so the nurses don't keep pushing their mates in before you.
I could go on! Get real Trapper, get a worthy cause!

Comments by Fred Mason, 7th October 2009  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
Right on, Tom, 'ould lad.

I completely agree with the second half of your post. Let's get the drug dealers, thugs and those out of town and support the elderly (we might be there one day..!!). I will join you and I will give you a tenner and all the support I can muster.

Comments by The Real Mogsi, 7th October 2009  
Trapper lad you must be stark raving if you think this tight lot will give you a tenner - you asked about just the tightest in the class. Cliff Higham wouldn't give you a dew drop if you were starving, Dowdall wouldn't give a hungry tramp a stale kipper and Jemmy Holding is as tight as a bull fighters underpants. As for Scritch he used to keep his purse chained to his belt with a combination lock on it.
You've more chance of finding a virgin in Platt Bridge, Trapper me owd marrow. And listen you motley crew I wouldn't be seen dead in St Catherines school, I'm a Rose Bridge lad.

Comments by S. Critchley, 8th October 2009  
For every comment there are approx nine more who read it!

Comments by C. Taylor, 9th October 2009  
Hi guys. Wasn’t in your class but I guess you’ll recall me as one of the Catholics who came into your class when our other class colleagues were having their RI class.
I well recall the embarrassment that Cliff caused teachers. Cliff had this ability to produce a very realistic sound like the breaking of wind. He would put his hand under the opposite armpit and produce the sound. I used to try it at home but could never master the technique.
Of course the school teachers were very embarrassed because they couldn’t tell if the .”trumps” were real. It was all we could do to stop bursting out laughing.
I recall one day Cliff knocking off a rapid series of “trumps” and Sid Makinson turning around from the blackboard, his face as red as a beetroot.
Cliff had a pal, if you recall, he isn’t mentioned on the site. I think his name was Tony. Well sometimes I recall Cliff and Tony tossing stink bombs under the front desks. Tiny glass bulbs filled with yellow liquid. I think they bought them from the joke shop in the market hall.
I remember them making the noises in the lecture room on an occasion when we had been kept in on sports day because the weather was bad.
They kept knocking off these trumps and the smell from the stink bombs was awful. Mr. Pulford was in the room but he had no idea what to do.
I’m chuckling to myself now as I write this. The wife thinks I’ve gone mad.

Comments by S. Hurst, 10th October 2009  
What is the address of your website Fred?

Comments by pheonix rising, 10th October 2009  
[comment removed, brian]

Comments by Fred Mason, 11th October 2009  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
S.Hurst. Web site is www.cumbriancrafts.co.uk
I remember Dixie Dean...he taught me how to box.!Didn't do me any good.!!!

Comments by Fred Mason, 11th October 2009  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
S.Hurst? are you related to my old mate, Ronny Hurst, by any chance?

Comments by Sylvie Hurst, 12th October 2009  
If you mean Ronny with the red hair - how on earth do you know him?

Comments by Fred Mason, 12th October 2009  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 

Please contact me by e-mail. Ta.

Comments by J. Ince, 12th October 2009  
rum jockey dixie dean.

Comments by Gwen, 12th October 2009  
Freddy love we were expecting to see pics of you on your web site. All we got is pics of wooden pens.
ps do you only sell wooden pens.
explanation for readers. these are what you write with - not for keeping chickens.

Comments by Fred Mason, 12th October 2009  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
Gwen,I have a personal web site. www.fredmason.co.uk and I have a blog on WW, but why do you want pics of an old man??

Comments by Nel, 13th October 2009  
Freddy love. Gwendoline and I must appologise. We wanted to see how you had changed since your school days. You look a very distinguished gentleman. You were always a nice boy and I bet your a wonderful grandpa. Sorry if we upset you but at least your honest enough to call yourself an old man. More dolly mixtures than dolly birds these days hey Freddy. Glad you haven't grown a beard which make older men look ancient. They are a statement which says I have given up romance I'm just waiting for the Grim Reaper. Sorry we haven't got emails we just use the WMI PC when we get the chaance. Look after yourself Freddy love and Good Luck.

Comments by Archie, 14th October 2009  
I was looking at that photo of Jim Holding and his mate orienteering at Rivington. I was a member of the orienteering club. Loved it - couldn't wait for the holidays.

Comments by jas holding, 16th October 2009  
Goldarn it Archie ,,never been to the Orient,,,farthest I ever got was Bombay and Calcutta,,,hardly what you,d call the Orient old chap,,,lol

Comments by S. Critchley, 17th October 2009  
James., to stretch a point, India could be considered the Orient. Although the Orient is now generally perceived as the far east, in historical times the Orient was generally considered to be the Asiatic region including Persia.
However, Archie was alluding to “orienteering” , an activity promoted at Wigan Grammar School.
Orienteering is a sport that exercises mind and body. The aim is to navigate in sequence between control points marked on a unique orienteering map and decide the best route to complete the course in the quickest time. Orienteering can take place anywhere from countryside to urban parks and school playgrounds. The most challenging orienteering takes place in areas, which has demanding terrain and few paths. Hope this helps.

Comments by Fred Mason, 17th October 2009  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
Stephen, ol' classmate,

What WOULD we do without you.?

Be good, be happy. Stay sober.

Comments by S. Critchley, 17th October 2009  
James., to stretch a point, India could be considered the Orient. Although the Orient is now generally perceived as the far east, in historical times the Orient was generally considered to be the Asiatic region including Persia.
However, Archie was alluding to “orienteering” , an activity promoted at Wigan Grammar School.
Orienteering is a sport that exercises mind and body. The aim is to navigate in sequence between control points marked on a unique orienteering map and decide the best route to complete the course in the quickest time. Orienteering can take place anywhere from countryside to urban parks and school playgrounds. The most challenging orienteering takes place in areas, which has demanding terrain and few paths. Hope this helps.

Comments by Peeping Tom, 17th October 2009  
Steve your so good they framed you twice.

Comments by phoenix rising, 18th October 2009  
Nel & Gwen dont want to really to shatter your illusions but if you can get into the "Grumpy Old Mans(freddie that is)Facebook youll see him as he is Captain Birdseye look alike and all.

Comments by The Oracle, 18th October 2009  
************** THE ORACLE ANNOUNCES **************
The Oracle wishes to announce the sad news to all avid readers of this site that he will retire forthwith. However, all will not be lost as he wishes the mantle of his legacy to be inherited by a worthy successor.
The one who would be king must be literate, articulate, imaginative and above all equitable. The one who demonstrates most worthily these attributes and the one to whom the The Oracle bequeaths his legacy is James Holding.
James, most often the hero of these ripping yarns passed to and articulated by The Oracle. James the street wise master of “derring do”, the Lord Snooty of the Bash Street Gang. James, truly a man for all seasons.
Contributors, if they don’t have the confidence to narrate their own true tales should forthwith pass them on to James, as they once did with The Oracle, who depending on merit will publish with due panache.
James, just one caveat, “tell it like it is” or in this context, “tell it has it was”.
Remember the golden motto:
“There is many a tale that has been told, that thrills like me they did of old, the wiser youngsters of today”. *** Hasta la vista *** THE ORACLE.

Comments by Trencher, 19th October 2009  
I dont think what "phoenix rising" said about Trapper was very nice. I'm sure his cousin Bubba "Bloo" Higham would never have been so nasty. I appologise to you Fred on behalf od all the decent contributors. Phoenix Rising .. take a hike and dont come back. Nel & gwen think Fred is a nice guy and I'm sure we all agree. Rock on Fred lad.

Comments by Baz Taylor, 20th October 2009  
Never knew there were so many clubs to join - where was I when you roos where clocking this info. Orienteering Club,Chess Club, Cycling Club, Fishing Club, Fives Club, Tiddlywinks Club, Scouts and Bible Thumpers Club. Put your hands up you men who were members of all. I'll bet you were Ovalteenies too and members of the Dan Dare club. James Holding must have had more clubs than Tiger Woods.

Comments by Fred Mason, 20th October 2009  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
Thank you for your support, Trencher old mate, but I keep wondering who all these nom de plumes are? or should that be nom's de plume.?? Let us Grammar Grubs beware.!
Ah, well, only the good guys are open anyway.

Comments by Knowlsey, 21st October 2009  
Fred, I agree with Trench we need to kick this pig ignorant phoenix back to the ashes. Send him to Coventry!
Baz, spot on, I never joined a club at school and didn't know there were so many - there was an whole world going on without me twigging. Jas must have spent his whole school life "clubbing".

Comments by Fred Mason, 22nd October 2009  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
Bubba Had Shingles. Those of us who spend much time in a doctor's office should appreciate this! Doesn't it seem more and more that physicians are running their practices like an assembly line? Here's what happened to Bubba:

Bubba walked into a doctor's office and the receptionist asked him what he had. Bubba said: 'Shingles.' So she wrote down his name, address, medical insurance number and told him to have a seat.

Fifteen minutes later a nurse's aide came out and asked Bubba what he had..

Bubba said, 'Shingles.' So she wrote down his height, weight, a complete medical history and told Bubba to wait in the examining room.

A half hour later a nurse came in and asked Bubba what he had. Bubba said, 'Shingles..' So the nurse gave Bubba a blood test, a blood pressure test, an electrocardiogram, and told Bubba to take off all his clothes and wait for the doctor.

An hour later the doctor came in and found Bubba sitting patiently in the nude and asked Bubba what he had. Bubba said, 'Shingles.' The doctor asked, 'Where?'
Bubba said, 'Outside on the truck. Where do you want me to unload 'em??'

Comments by Knowlsey, 23rd October 2009  
You had me going there Fred bcause I thought you were talking about Bubba Higham. In fact this was reinforced by me thinking it was Wigan Infirmary. Very similar things have hapened to me at Wigan Infirmary.

Comments by C. Glass, 23rd October 2009  
Do you guys know that there is a pic of Bernard in the choir on the St Marys page.

Comments by Peeping Tom, 3rd November 2009  
Freddy that pic you've done of Jas and Cliff in the scouts doesn't say a lot for your craft firm, I think you could use some marketing advice.

Comments by Peter Ridout, 6th November 2009  
This page has disapointed me of late. Miss the "ripping yarns" from the Oracle. Hoped that James might step up to the plate as the oracles successor. Live in hope anyway. Cheers all.

Comments by Baz Taylor, 9th November 2009  
When are you guys next having a get together?

Comments by K.E., 10th November 2009  
This ones for Bernard Dowdall. I had to smile at Carl's comments re: Cliff Higham cracking off rasberries with his armpit. You and me Bernard were similar i.e. both small and dark. I was one of the catholics who sat at the back of your class when our own class was having RI. We were sitting in the chemi lab on the back row. Davidson, the teacher, said "All my class come and sit on the front benches". All you lads migrated to the front benches when someone shouted out, "Sir, Dowdall is still sat at the back". Where upon Davidson grabbed me by the ear and dragged me to the front. You lot had a good laugh but my ear was sore for a week. Like to know if you still recall that Bernard. Kev.

Comments by Blue Boy, 13th November 2009  
ashamedly, I remember the Savoy Chip shop,had a cafe at the rear,being kids,as you do,spent our dinner money on other things, not much money,but hungry,we would call in there, sit in the cafe part,order the works,,.......as we knew one of the lads had come across one their little order receipt books,so we just wrote our own bill in, ( 2 portions of chips ) Honest, it wasn,t me !! I was led,I just into a bad crowd,,,but they made me sign. teehee! sorry Mister Savoy, but Iv,e tasted better fish.

Comments by cliff higham, 13th November 2009  
Just to back up
Blues,s on the SAVOY ruse, I was in on it, I remember the chip fryer her first name was Phyllis,they should know never leave receipt books lying around when Grammar lads come to call. I will never forget that ruse we pulled, it worked a treat.

Comments by Norm, 14th November 2009  
Hello lads. Yeah I remeber the savoy - great fish, chips & peas, and babbies yeds.
Order fish, chips, peas & a pud, 2 shives BB and mug of tea and pay for a plate o chips when you leave.
Bernard had more on his mind than chips. Curly Dowdall would fight to sit on the inside corner of the table. He fancied the waitress something shocking and wanted to watch her legs as she tended the tables. Great days - great legs.

Comments by Tips, 14th November 2009  
I see Curly Dowdall has his picture published again on the Wiganers at Work page. His fame as an actor obviously is spreading.

Comments by Alan, 14th November 2009  
WORK!!! curly ? he turned with a pen.
can,t spell spade, never broke sweat but oh boy how can act, hard work rememberin lines and gettin up early.
nice lad though.

Comments by Archie, 15th November 2009  
Nice photo Bernard. Glad to hear your acting career is on the up. Seen you have attracted a bit of a fan club too.

Comments by Cheta Brown, 16th November 2009  
Don't know what all the fuss is about. I've seen that photo of Dowdall on Wiganers At Work. Its just an owd bloke in a T shirt. I could wear a monkey suit and call myelf a gorilla. Its daft.

Comments by Fred Mason, 16th November 2009  fred@fredmason.co.uk 
Cheta, old pal,

Join the party...it's a wonderful life.

Comments by rene mulqueeny, 17th November 2009  
berny dowdall love you are the bloke who booked turns at bechill club, seen your photo in that play. are you single. tell me somewere we can neet. love you bernard.

Comments by Trencher, 18th November 2009  
Think you've tapped here Bernard.

Comments by Peeping Tom, 20th November 2009  
Bernard does seem like he pulls the birds now he has moved into the acting industry.

Comments by jymkahnna, 20th November 2009  
hi Curly,,,,soz not been on before now,,been abit busy at work and catching up with mi gardening,,,,what you upto?,,yes would love to see you on TV and perhaps meet yourself sometime,,would be good,been trying to arrange a reunion with my secondry school class mates ,,looks like it might happen shortly,,,be good not seen some of them for a while havin sed that i not seen yourselves for a few months,,,where does the time go,,any way my appologies once more,,take care,,,

Comments by L. Wilding, 20th November 2009  
Used to work with Bernard at Wigan Housing,didn't know he was a cross country runner ,senna pods couldn't shift him out the office (lol).Played with Noel in the clubs many times, as far as I'm concerned he was one of the best keyboard players in Wigan,and so laid back he made Perry Como look hyperactive.....nice to see some other owd buggers.

Comments by Bloo, 20th November 2009  
'Shiver me timbers' Curly lad, 'Acting' ? no, cant act.
I followed my dream became a Morris Dancer, I took a degree and gained a 1st at Platt Bridge university and and later a chair, I now tutor the less fortunate at my own Morris Dancing Academy in Bryn.

Comments by Fred, 21st November 2009  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
You could say Cliff was a naughty boy
when he were gooin' t't school
because he drove the teachers mad
alus playing t' fool

When asked fo't write an essay on cricket
E' put 'is hand up straight away
the teacher said “That was quick Higham,”
E' said “Yes sir, rain stopped play.”

One teacher said “Name four animals from Africa,”
And e' made everybody laugh,
when e' wrote on 'is paper
three lions and a giraffe.

“What is a polygon PimpernHigham?”
Asked the maths teacher Mr.Pobbles,
E' said “Oh that’s easy sir,
A polygon is a dead parrot.”

Then there was the time
E' made 'is geography teacher irate
He said “Who knows were Iceland is?”
E' said “I think it’s in Standishgate.”

Comments by Knowlsey, 22nd November 2009  
Well done Fred. We will obviously need to support your nomination as poet laureate. What a talented class we had. Bernard Dowdall, potential Bafta winner, knight of the realm and mayor of Wigan. What next? An announcement that James Holding is Katey Price's secret lover. Geoff Brown is the next James Bond. Tom Hager nominated to represent the Uks application to hold the World Cup or Cliff Higham is entering the Ozy Jungle - Get Me Outa Here!

Comments by Curly Dowdall, 24th November 2009  
Where did you get that photo from Fred ?Thats on my agents website.
Did a speaking role last month for History Channel Knightsbridge Safety deposit robbery reconstruction.played leading gang member.They got 40 million (also got 22 years).Yesterday did BBC3 film called AWOL (young lad who was star of Love actually and Nanny McPhee was starring.Filmed in hospital ashton -u-Lyne.

Comments by Blue Boy, 24th November 2009  
Heading down to Horwich after scouting on the Pyke,
Jim & Cliff are cycling home on their tandem bike,
But a wheel catches a rock and they fall into the bogs,
The cheeky chaps are laughing cos they think they’re hot for dogs.
They’re hot for dogs,
Hot for dogs.

Curly Dowdall’s moaning cos his tights have got a rip,
He’s salvaged some birds fishnets from a suitcase on the tip,
He’s putting on the grease paint in his Shakespeare togs,
He stands before the mirror and says “I’m hot for dogs”,
He’s hot for dogs,
Hot for dogs.

Meanwhile Peeping Tom has crashed upon the lawn,
His petrol tank is burning and his dipsticks on the horn,
His gear box explodes as he avoids the falling cogs,
His kecks catch on fire and he cries out, “Hot for dogs”,
I’m hot for dogs,
Hot for dogs.

Noel regales the grannies in the Newtown Club,
He says he earned a ton last night dancing in a pub,
He wears cor blimey pit pants and a smookin’ pair of clogs,
The grannies chuck their knickers screaming Noel is hot for dogs,
He’s hot for dogs,
Hot for dogs!

In the Northern regions Trapper looks for Wee Bo Peep,
If he cannot find her soon he’ll have to chase the sheep.
The sheep slap has frozen and Fred saws it up in logs
He’ll be very this winter, he’ll be really hot for dogs.
He’s hot for dogs.
Hot for dogs.

Comments by Peeping Tom, 24th November 2009  
There have been over 6000 viewings of this pic/ site. You chaps must be doing something right. Eat your words Pulford.

Comments by Trencher, 27th November 2009  
Nice song Fred ,, sung to the tune of Cool for Cats.

Comments by P. Bernard Dowdall, 27th November 2009  
Do you recall the man with the weighing machine in the Little Archade. That man with the weighing machine was Bob Rudd (could be Wrudd). I once went racing with him when I worked for Joe Kennedy, Wigans finest bookie whose office was in the Wiend. Bob used to shout "Try your weight now friends"..A smashing man as was Syd Smith the newsagent.

Comments by Peeping Tom, 28th November 2009  
Fred, how did you know I had crashed on the lawn?

Comments by Blue Moon, 29th November 2009  
Wigan Grammar School,my second home,the previous comments brought back memories ,thanks for them. One of my favourite memories is of the Park Cafe. People would put their chairs out along the veranda. Dinner times. I did it for me and Jas Holding, chairs benches anything were lined up.Could you imagine that now?????? No!....
Lewis,s cafe, yeh, Hilda and Phylis, I eat icecream now and again, but,I,m not just saying this for nostalgia stuff, it is the best I have had the pleasure of, really is ! I also rember the lad collecting for St Mary,s, Curly Dowdall, he was a friend of my brother,he did well for himself I,m told He now trains Racehorses around the Newbury area. There used be a cafe a couple of doors away from Sam Mellings bike shop in Greenough St, anyone rememer the name? they had a small Jukebox on the wall, I used to play Elvis,s "Mystery Train " again,again and again, 1957ish....me,,only 12yrs old He,s still the King and still with us, he was spotted wednesday last week retrieving and stacking trollies on Tesco Car Park. I gave him a hand, poor sod,wet through,hair in a mess, we mumbled and hummed Jailhouse Rock as we pushed em up to the Cop end, lovely bloke,one of us, no pretence. Greenough St will never be the same,but they call it progress. OK...BY ME............but sad it aint the same. Blue.

Comments by Curly Dowdall, 29th November 2009  
I can now reveal I am the little boy collecting for the poor kids of St Mary's in Greenough St.. Not Ernie Dowdall but Bernard.And No Cliff im not training racehorses in Newbury but backing them in Ladbrokes ..mores the pity!! I've seen Cliff higham ,Joe Fairhurst on the odd occasion but not Elmer Hardman,Jas Holding ,Bill ashurst (my minder),Dave Ridout,Chris Glass,Cheta Brown,Norm Melling,Wick,..and others too numerous to mention.lets get together soon..come on Cliff round em up! Curly

Comments by Fred, 5th December 2009  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
Hi chaps,

Sorry I'm not Blueboy. Good poem though.

Hmmmmm....wonder who is Blue??? Spanish traveller, perhaps?

Comments by Peeping Tom, 6th December 2009  
Sorry Fred I thought you werre the resident poet. I see Blue Boy or maybe as you say Blue Moon has lampooned me. So I'll need to think about a suitable poem for Blue Moon.

Comments by Tips, 8th December 2009  
Yes Tom, very amusing ditty, we should have ourselves a competition for the best limerick. Now lets see what can I come up with .. “I wondered lonely .. as a Latics fan .. mmm..".

Comments by Knowlsey, 10th December 2009  
I wonder what all you cards have done with your lives. Bumped into Tony Dean a few years ago and he was driving a bread van for a living. Chanced to meet Tom Hager one late night in the chinky take away in Standish. He was partial to those red ribs. Said he was working as a nurse. Six or seven years ago met John Davies at Wigan Infirmary whilst visiting my aunt. He had a dicky ticker and wasn’t working but he was a qualified electrician. Remember bumping into Dave Ridout a couple of years after leaving school. It was in King Street and he worked as a solicitors clerk.

Comments by Knowlsey, 10th December 2009  
Was talking to Derek Worthington a couple years back near the DW Stadium. He was on his way to the Warriors match. Said he worked for the local housing corporation. Told me Curly Dowdall worked there too. Think they deal with letting out council property. Of course I suppose Curly has a job and a vocation as he is now an actor and TV personality. On another visit to the hospital I called in the Bellingham Hotel for a wee snifter. I read on this site that Cliff Higham worked there. I was told that a Mick Higham did some after dinner speaking and singing there but no one admitted to knowing Cliff.

Comments by Knowlsey, 10th December 2009  
I recall that someone did an essay at school describing what we all would be doing for a living in the future. Don’t remember much accept that Fairhurst and Ashurst would be slogging away in the army and David Pyke would be a ships cook with a greasy piny. Do you recall those coaches on the market they used for recruitment. I went with Joe Fairhurst one day to the Army Recruitment. Joe was keen on joining but was told he would probably fail the medical due to poor eyesight. Nevertheless we were encouraged to fill in applications. I’m not sure how we addressed the applications but a couple of days later Norm Melling complained that about a dozen large envelopes from the army had dropped through his letter box.

Comments by Knowlsey, 10th December 2009  
Never knew what Norm did for a living but many moons ago some one said that Norm was using a pneumatic drill on the roads and put half of Wigan in darkness by drilling through a power cable. I bumped into Pikey one Chistmas many moons ago in the Royal Oak. Subby was there singing Pin Ball Wizzard, a hit at the time, so you can guess how long ago it was. Pikey was in the Airforce and said he wanted to become an air steward. Fleck as we all know was a copper. Must be retired now because I saw him him recently behind the reception desk at Wigan Infirmary. Another Bobby’s Job? Never seem to be away from that damned hospital. Then I called a taxi and none other than Brian Rudd was the driver. Remember seeing him playing in a local pop band in the 60s , was it the Shims or Trolls, some such name. Mick Heaton also became a bobby.

Comments by Knowlsey, 10th December 2009  
Joe Hill I recall joined the army after leaving school. I saw him recently in town and he said he was working for the council as a joiner. Bill Ashurst started work as clerk on the railways and John Worthington aka Tips joined the merchant navy. Saw Dave (Mogsy) Morris a few years back. He was an accountant as was Geoff Brown. Mogsy said his old mate Jas Holding worked at Gullicks but was not sure what he did. Was talking to Elmer Hardman a year back. Looking for a new car. He has the Ford place in Chorley New Road, Horwich. Elmer is the one guy I remember who has done what he wanted to do when he was at school. I recall he was car mad. He said that he had spent all his working life selling cars.

Comments by Knowlsey, 10th December 2009  
John Riley and Graham Tutton I recall went to art school at Wigan Tech after leaving school. John worked as a commercial artist for Littlewoods in Liverpool and then emigrated to Dundee. Called in Newtown Working mans club one Friday night. Read on this site that Noel Smith was playing keyboards there. Noel wasn’t there but there was a poster in the reception saying Noel was Musical Director. Also read as how Fred mason is running a web based Craft Shop from the wilds of Cumbria. It would be nice to hear from Fred what he has been up to all through the years. And what about everyone else. Has anyone any info on the likes of Neville, Bill Brown, Barry Taylor, Ian Whitaker, Bill Neville, Cliff Higham etc.

Comments by S. Bass, 11th December 2009  
Knowlsey - if you want to know what Cliff Higham does - he's a joiner. I saw him propping up the bar in the Brocket last week.

Comments by Hammy, 11th December 2009  
Sam your jokes get no better with time.

Comments by Olive Hall, 11th December 2009  
I was looking at the Wiganers st Work photgraphs apposite. I saw where Bernard Dowdall is appearing in Britains Fatest Man with Timothy Spall this Christmas. Handsome Bernard has really come up in the world.

Comments by P. Melling, 11th December 2009  
David Pyke became an air traffic controller. He was a mate of Derek Worthington. I dont where he is now or where he is living.

Comments by M. Bo, 12th December 2009  
Knowlsey, Jim Holding used to work at Gullicks but now works at Joy Mining in Higher Ince.

Comments by Fred, 12th December 2009  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
Colin, ol' chap. That is very interesting writing. Lots of good info about our past Grubs. Thanks.

I emigrated to Canada age 19 with a wife and bairn. Got a job as a techy and went on to install and repair computers. Travelled all across Canada and the U.S.A. My real love was as a butcher working with meat and bought a shop in Fleetwood years later. Also do web design and photography.

Life is good, if rather wet and cold up here but peaceful.
Thanks again for all the info about the lads. I have thought about y'all many times over the years. We had a good bunch in those times. I look forward to meeting some or all again one of these fine days.

Comments by Fred, 12th December 2009  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
I got six hundred....na na - na na naaaaa..

Yuk yuk...

Comments by Knowlsey, 12th December 2009  
Fred, excellently succinct life history. The paragraphs I have written seemed to have generated a lot of interest.

Comments by Archie, 12th December 2009  
Yes James I am still First Aiding. Fred, congrats on the 600th. At least you beat that irritating oyk Higham to it, who boasts to get the 100th and then writes some silly nonsense.

Comments by Betty Tute, 13th December 2009  
I love Bernard Dowdall.

Comments by Rene Mulqueeny, 13th December 2009  
Get in the queu Betty.

Comments by Harry Wink, 13th December 2009  
Archie you mean Fred doesnt write silly nonsense then - I got six hundred...."na na - na na naaaaa..

Yuk yuk...".

Comments by Waddy, 14th December 2009  
I find it amazing dowdall has all these women after him ,, whatever hes got I wish I had a bit.

Comments by K. Atherton, 14th December 2009  
Hey Bassy,,cliff higham may be a joiner now but in the 70s he did a course and worked on the north sea gas scam. he did a bit on the nock too.

Comments by P. Melling, 15th December 2009  
Whats the "Nock"? Sounds dodgy!

Comments by S. Critchley, 15th December 2009  
To address P. Mellings question. I think the "nock" or "knock" refers to an activity the was prevalent in the 70s. People would knock randomly on doors and ask occupants if they had any old furniture or ornaments to sell. It reached a level of notoriety due to people receiving small amounts of cash for actually very valuable antiques.
North Sea Gas fitters were in an ideal situation to exploit this nefarious activity. They would be briefed by shady antique dealers or colleagues on what items to look for on entering peoples homes. Of course North Sea Gas conversion was a huge undertaking and therefore there were rich pickings for the unscrupulous.
The fitters would spot items in a home and either offer to buy it themselves or inform a colleague who would call at a later date.
The practice isn’t so prevalent today as people are wiser and the bottom has dropped out of antiques, so to speak. No pun intended.

Comments by P. Melling, 16th December 2009  
Thanks for that S. Critchley. I am now a wiser man and if someone knocks on my door asking for antiques I'll offer my old lady - you never know your luck!

Comments by Trencher, 16th December 2009  
Bernard Dowdalls at it again. He's popped up on Wganers at Work again (opposite). Apparently he's playing a Russian mobster on some program or other.

Comments by Knowlsey, 18th December 2009  
Hey! No Kidding! Our Bernard is doing really well. His acting career is coming on a treat. From the Hovis add to a Guy Ritchie movie. Not bad. I know he's taken a lot of ribbing from the likes of Cliff Higham but I think he needs a bit of praise. Well done Bernard. Come on everyone, lets hear it for our Curly.
Meantime if I dont get on again before Chrizi. A merry Christmas to all and a very prosperous New Tear. Who knows this time next year we may be watching Bernard in Corrie. Best wishes everybody. P.S. Your latest photo Bernard on Wiganers at Work - very good - reminds me of Alan Sugar.

Comments by Fred, 19th December 2009  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
Right on, Colin, old chap.

Our Curly is doing right good. Wonder when it will be Sir Bernard Dowdall.??? Has a nice ring to it, what..!

and, yes, a merry Christmas to all....lang may yer lum reek..

Comments by Peeping Tom, 22nd December 2009  
Yes - congratulations are due to Bernard. He has come a long way since the Hovis Ad. A merry yuletide to one and all.

Comments by Cliff H., 22nd December 2009  
Bah! Humbug! Why did the little lad have a piece of string wrapped round the loaf, I went to buy one today but couldn,t get one with the string around so I didn,t. Bah! Humbug!

Comments by Curly, 22nd December 2009  
The string was wrapped round a piece of brown paper to protect the loaf. Seriously though we were there from 5 am till 1.00 and the little lad Brian was great.(hes Scottish)and even had a stand-in.Its best viewed on www.hovisbakery.co.uk our ad I can then pause it as I too blinked and missed it.(how sad am I)At least I had a bigger part in Apparitions on BBC1 last November. Of course I’ve been in Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes and Britains Fattest Man Since. Oh! And the crime reconstruction on the History channel, yet to be screened, where I play a Russian mobster.

Comments by Fred, 24th December 2009  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
Bah, humbug as well, you cross country Grammar Grubs...

Wishing one and all a very happy Christmas...stay sober...

Catch up with yer, next year..

Comments by jas holding, 24th December 2009  
Seasons greetings boys,,,,yes Tom,,,with regard to site we must be doing summat right ,,wonder which particular "item" has the most view or actual comment,,,,Its come a long way since first put on in early 2007 and it has somewhat kept within the original "school group and concept"if you know what i mean,,,,really would be good if some of the missing chaps could get in touch would be glad to chat,,,,,
Good to see you keeping your hand in Archie,the course han,t been the same,,,,Cliff(where ever you maybe at present Fred,Curly,Joe,Knowlsey ,Tom, Cheta Brown,Steve C,
Mogsy,and every one ,appologies for missed names but Id like to wish everyone a Very Happy Christmas and Prosperous New Year,,,may everyone be hail and hearty for 2010,,

Take care chaps

Comments by D. WORM, 25th December 2009  
Happy Christmas everyone.
May I have a Bah Humbug too?
Bah humbug! Bah humbug!
God I feel a lot better after that.
Dont get too pistachioed - hic! hic!

Comments by Fred, 31st December 2009  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
All the best, you runners, you.
Hope you have a good evening and hope to see you next year..!!

Comments by Peeping Tom, 31st December 2009  
Good man Fred. Yes everyone its Tomo here wishing each and every on of you a Happy New Year.

Comments by Baz Taylor, 1st January 2010  
A happy New Year to one and all.

Comments by Curls, 1st January 2010  
Thank you everyone, most encouraging to receive your support. And a happy New Year to all my fans. Look out for me on the History Channel.

Comments by Rene Mulqueeny, 4th January 2010  
I cant wait to see Bernie as a Russian gangster. Does anyone know when its on TV... smashin pic of Bernie on Wiganers at Work.

Comments by Waddy, 9th January 2010  
Bernard Dowdall seems very popular with readers on this site he's even got photos on the Wiganers -at -Work page.

Comments by H.R., 16th January 2010  
Hope you had a good Xmas and New Year Fred love. Harriet xxx.

Comments by Bernard Curly Dowdall, 19th January 2010  
Sorry chaps..its not the History channel.Its Crime and Investigation Network on Sky and Virgin.Theres already been two on (Brinks matt robbery and another security express robbery with old Georgie foreman.)Im in the Knightsbridge Safety Deposit robbery..£40 million.as Eric Rubin the russian.Someone keeps nicking my photos from my agents site..mmmm wonder who ?

Comments by Trencher, 20th January 2010  
I see Bernard has another picture on Wiganers-at-Work. Looks like he's going into theatre work. Will we see him with an Oscar one day?

Comments by Nicky (ex - St Marys), 22nd January 2010  
Hi there Curly. Really surprised to read about your acting career. Left it a bit late though haven't you Bernard.
Anyway better late than never and I'm really pleased for you. He who dares wins and all that.
I see from Wiganers-at-Work your in that play by Joe Orton, Entertaining Mr Sloane. I remember seeing the film ages ago. Wasn't John Thaws wife in it? The one with the hooky nose.
Anyway Curly long time no see. In fact I haven't seen any of the St Marys lads for donkeys years.

Comments by S. Ctitchley, 22nd January 2010  
Beryl Reid was in the film "Entertaining Mr Sloane". Sheila Hancock, John Thaws wife played the same part but on TV.
Joe Orton was murdered. Lets hope Bernard has better luck.

Comments by Gwen & Nel, 26th January 2010  
We see you have still got your female admirers Fred. Its a bit late now but we wish you a Happy New Year. Hope you have taken a resolution to shave off the father christmas and fight the fat. Lets see if we cant see you posting a picture of yourself billed as the new slim line Freddy. Beards make old duffers look even duffer. Good luck Fred.

Comments by Tips, 26th January 2010  
I see Bernard Dowdall is on that Wiganers at Work page again. I dont know what he's got but I wish I had a bit. All them women admiring him.

Comments by Nicky (St Marys), 31st January 2010  
Saw you on the box other night Curly in the crime thing. Well done. Not be long before you get your Oscar.

Comments by Fred, 31st January 2010  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
Saw Bernard as well the other night. Quite a sprightly chap still. Pity we didn't hear the Russian accent, Bernard.

Wish I knew who Gwen and Nell are? Thanks for the message.

Best wishes to you Harriet, my lovely class mate.

Comments by HR, 1st February 2010  
Fred therewas Gwendoline at St Johns. Were you good friends by any chance?

Comments by Fred, 1st February 2010  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
I do remember Gwen Cox at St John's. Wonder if this is the lass.?

Comments by Rene Mulqueeny, 2nd February 2010  
Bernie luv can you tell me please. I have been looking at your pics on wiganers at work and I like the one in your suit. A pal makes T shirts. He says he cn put your pic on a T shirt. I want to put it on a shocking pink T shirt. It would look great in your blue suit. Tell me if its not ok. Next time I see you in the street I can open my jacket and flash you.

Comments by Fred, 2nd February 2010  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
By the way, Harriet, Dorothy sends her love.

Comments by Miss P. Maskell, 6th February 2010  
Happy valentine Bernard. I have been following your progress on Wganers-at-Work. Until the next time. Love you xxx.

Comments by Trencher, 8th February 2010  
I see Bernard Dowdall is adverising his wares on the Wiganers at Work page again. This time he thanking his fans and friends. You got to give him full marks for trying. He'll be pictured with Jordan next.

Comments by Tips, 8th February 2010  
Think Frank Healey has cocked this site up by slapping on all those pics he's half inched from the Wigan Grammar site. Its better as a good old site where we can have a laugh rather than a stuffy owd site with endless pics of cloaks, sour puss faces and pigeon letting boards.

Comments by Jay Bell Pentops, 11th February 2010  
Frank Healey should be tarred and feathered. Wot a Yob!

Comments by Frank Healy, 12th February 2010  
Charnock? Frank Healy? I'm definitely puzzled. Who's the mischief maker? :o):o)

Comments by Bradshaw, 14th February 2010  
I was taller than you midgets.

Comments by HR, 14th February 2010  
Happy Valentine Freddy love. xxx

Comments by Jim Khana, 14th February 2010  
I tend to agree with Tips. Who ever slapped all the pics on the site has spoiled it. But if it wasn't Frank then who is this Charnock? Is it Cliff taking the pistachio? I dont think Cliff would spoil the site. Its some yellow belly who hiding behind a false name.

Comments by RON HUNT, 14th February 2010  
Sorry got to disagree with the people who say all these photographs have spoiled the site. This type of picture are exactly what the site was first set up to publish. An historical document of Past Wigan. I am sure that 640+ people who have left comments can't be wrong. I would rather see photographs like this, than, 'My mum and Dad at Butlins'. 'My sister and me in the back garden' 'My Aunty and Uncles wedding'

Comments by Trencher, 14th February 2010  

Who rattled Rons cage.

Not seen any pics of me mother on this site Ron!

But I think I'd rather see her than Paddy Gore and Teddy Johnson.

Comments by Tips, 15th February 2010  
I see Bernard Dowdall and "friends" have been putting pictures on the Wiganers At Work page again. Someboby called Curly has put a picture of the Millstone Pub on there. Is this Bernard?

Comments by Routh, 18th February 2010  
Hi Tips. I dont know if Bernard put the Millstone pic on Wiganers at Work. I have not been in the Millstone for donkeys years but next time I'm in Wigan I'll call in for a pint or two and a "Jill".
By the way Curly really seems to be going places. I am facinated by the comments about his acting career on the Wiganers at Work page. See y'all now.

Comments by jas holding, 21st February 2010  
chaps what can i say,,,its a saturday night and have had had a couple of beers so you,ll have to excuse the spellings,,not that me spellings and turn of phrase is all that good anyway(Dick Downing will be shaking his head in awe from somewhere)any way,,got to agree wth the view regarding the saturation of the site with all the "team pics" from whenever does seem to be a bit of overkill,,there doesnt seem to be the interest and comments as this actual foto has raised on any of them,,in fact there is hardly a comment on them,,compare to this pic or site or whatever you call it,,blog,,,I dont know,,,,but coming up to 700 comments and nearly 7000 views,,,bet there,s there ain,t a nother on WW with half a many,,,,

Tips where you at now ,,oftern think back when I visit the Bellingham now,,to the time when you lived there???See the girl next door finnally retired or summat wa in the papers last weeks,,,never realised she,d been a doc aswell,,,

Joe kahhna(its called plagurising),,,dont go on about people using or hiding behind false names,,,

Routh,,,you might be having a "gill" in the millstone but be good to see you ,,letsus know when coming

Finally,,,with regard to all the team pics,,,,,,how old is Paddy Gore????he first appears on them pics dated nineteen hundred and frozen to death up to the sixties,,,,and the frightening thing is,,,,he looks the same,,talk about Dorian Gray,,,,,,him and Joe Bozmmbet they still haunting somewhere,,,,

Comments by Knowlsey, 21st February 2010  
Jim Khana - if you look on the rugby pic next to this one you will see that Charnock claims to be Richard Garwood’s cousin.
However, like everyone else I think all these old photos that have been put on the site are unnecessary. I think like someone said they have been ripped off the Wigan Grammar School site.
I don’t see the point either.
It would be better to let the site grow organically with people who are interested and will make comment. It makes the site a "live" enjoyable experience rather than a museum piece, which lets face it, is what the Grammar School site is ..
Trench lad ,, don’t argue with Ron Hunt because I think he is “establishment”. If – as far as this site is concerned – Ron says its Tuesday – then its Tuesday.
But Jas Holding is quite correct – Ron says 640 people have commented – but 99% of them are on the first three pages.
Trencher – do like I do – read the first three pages and then go straight to the end to see if there are any new, interesting pics.
Trouble is all those museum pieces, especially the “the Dead Sea Scrolls” put people off– they don’t think readers will bother to navigate through all the museum pieces.

Comments by Tips, 25th February 2010  
Who are all these nom de plumes? I think Jaybell is Bernard Dowdall but who is Jim Khana and Trencher I dont recall those names in the class. Is Peeping Tom , Hager?

Comments by Tips, 25th February 2010  
Jim .. how you doin marrar .. back home..retired. Let you have email when I get public one.

Comments by Fred, 27th February 2010  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
Just a point to ponder, chaps...
Old age is when former classmates are so gray and wrinkled
and bald, they don't recognize you.

Comments by Tips, 27th February 2010  
So Fred your bald and gray and wrinkled and no one recognises you. Ah,, youre bringing tears to my eyes.

Comments by Peeping Tom, 28th February 2010  
Tips. Nom de plumes. Where do I start. You obviously recall Jay Bell Pen Tops aka Curly, aka Bernard Dowdall. Trencher? Well I dont think he was in our class or year. I think Cliff Higham is also known as Bloo or Bloo Moon but he probably has other names. You probably remeber Cheeta and yours truly. Jymkhanna, not sure of spelling, I think is Jim Holding,, its the same style as Jim normally writes and he is probably also Jim Khana but not sure. Routh if my memory serves me well, and you may recall, is John Riley. I think that is just about all I know. Happy reading!

Comments by d.garlick, 1st March 2010  
You look very handsome these days Fred.dot.

Comments by Fred, 1st March 2010  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
and Dorothy, you are a bonnie lass, yourself...

Comments by M. McCarthy, 3rd March 2010  
jim holdin was a smashin little lad from dalington street. Nothin agin anybody who lived in darli but jim was a bit posher. the lady in the shop always said he has good manners sayin please and thankyou all the time. he was a luvly lad. he went for country dancin with david sherington another lad who lived in darli. still think about jimi hope his ok. marj.

Comments by jas holding, 6th March 2010  jimholding@hotmail.co.uk 
Tips,,,good to hear from you,,,soon up for retirement myself,,,,are you still in Wigan? my e-mail attached,,,,

and for everyone,,,,, chatting with a couple of the guys,,23rd april being proposed for a meet in Brocket,,,,would be good to see all of the people who regularly comments on here,,,,a few old faces,,,litterally I suppose,,,,the more the merrier,,,,or if anyone has any other thoughts,,,

Comments by Cubin, 7th March 2010  
I was gob smacked when I read about Dowdall on the Wiganers at Work page. All those plays and films he's been in. Who'd have thought it. He used to be on the bus from Newtown he was always with Bill Ashurst.

Comments by Archie, 9th March 2010  
I thought it was a joke at first. All those credits and pictures on Wiganers at Work and then I saw Bernard Dowdall on that gangster documentary where he played that Russian villain Eric Rubin. Wonders will never cease.

Comments by Curlers, 9th March 2010  
I have quite a few recollections of jim isherwood, the Wigan artist.One vivid memory is when I was a young boy.I used to go to St Mary's school in Standishgate Wigan and went to my grandmothers for my dinner each day in Scholes.

One day I was returning to school walking down Greenough St where his mother had a shop. As I was walking by, Jim asked me to stop and admire a portrait of Tommy Steele (with two heads) ,and the next day the picture appeared in the Daily Mirror with the caption "Artist unveils portrait of pop sensation Tommy Steele ,young admirer amazed"

Years later I was working for a local Bookmaker Joe Kennedy in The Wiend,and Isherwood was a regular visitor to the office,which in those days before betting shops was a credit office. He liked a bet on the horses and more often than not when it came time to settle up he invariably paid his debts by way of a painting . I dread to think of how many of his works ended up being a nice comfy resting place for Joe's two Siamese cats.

A couple of years ago I came across a signed copy of Sir Gerald Nabarro's autobiography dedicated to Jim and Lily ,and guess what was inside....a couple of sketches and a photograph of one of his paintings in Venice I think.

Comments by Harry Wink, 10th March 2010  
Archie theres a pic of Bernard Dowdall from that gangster movie on the wiganers-at-work page. He's toasting his mates with a glass of vino. Like you Archie I'm aamazed. Is this the little lad we new at school?

Comments by Fred Mason, 14th March 2010  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
That's my son....

A rugby league fan is drinking in a Wigan pub when he gets a call on his
mobile phone. He hangs up, grinning from ear to ear, and orders a round
of drinks for everybody in the bar, announcing his wife has just given birth
to a typical Lancashire baby boy weighing 25 pounds.

Nobody can believe that any new baby can weigh in at 25 pounds,but the
rugby fan just shrugs and replies, 'That's about average in Lancashire ...like I
said, my boy's a typical Lancashire baby boy. Gonna be a Wigan rugby league

Congratulations showered him from all around, amid many exclamations of

One woman actually fainted due to sympathy pains.

Two weeks later, he returns to the bar. The bartender says, 'Say, aren't
you the father of that typical Lancashire baby that weighed 25 pounds at
Everybody's been making bets about how big he'd be in two weeks. So, how
much does he weigh now?'

The proud father answers, 'Twenty pounds.'

The bartender is puzzled, concerned and a little suspicious. What

He already weighed 25 pounds the day he was born!

The Lancashire-man takes a slow swig of his Thwaites, wipes his lips
on his shirt sleeve, leans into the bartender and proudly says,

'Had him circumcised...'

Comments by Jas, 14th March 2010  
Stick to the sheep shearing Trapper.

Comments by Waddy, 17th March 2010  
I thought I saw James Holding the other week in Sainsbury's petrol station, he was driving a black four wheel drive. Facially it was a ringer for him, wearing glasses but a bit wrinky and looking a bit doddery. Course it may not have been him because this chap could have passed for 70.

Comments by Baz Taylor, 18th March 2010  
Wow! Bonza blues! This phenomona about Curly Dowdall what! Pow! Crazy or what! Movie star! TV Star! Sex symbol! If you told me he was going to do that at school I would hsve thought you were coming the raw prawn mates. I'll bet he's as high a dingo with two dongas. Good on yer mate! Bonza! And Bernard was such a quiet little guy at school! I'm with ya mate! Go get it! Baz.

Comments by Fred, 1st April 2010  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
ey up, yo men,

Here's wishing you all a very happy Easter....with lots of eggs.

Comments by cliff, 5th April 2010  
bit late now Freddie but hope u had a good easter holiday away from that oven

Comments by Tips, 5th April 2010  
I read on the Wiganer-at-Work page that Bernard Dowdall says he is appearing in a film about Boy George. Do you lads know if this is true or is old Bernard just romancing. That body double certainly looks like Bernard. I've not seen him for yonks but its like his other photos.

Comments by Steven, 13th April 2010  
James Holding and I were great friends at St Catherines. It is the playground games that are my fondest memories. We would play Cocky Rusty and British Bulldog but best of all was spin the bottle. I was the one the girls wanted to kiss most but my friend James was next. The girls loved us.

Comments by Rupert, 20th April 2010  Reynardine 
This is the most unique set of posting I have encountered involving similar sites during my research.
This set of chaps, old school class mates, and other interested parties have carried on the dialogue for a considerable time.
This is unusual in that you usually find an initial flurry of interest and then a decrease in activity, petering out into spasmodic postings.
Keep it up chaps.

Comments by Grammar School Misfit, 29th April 2010  
How strange it is when I now read this site. The comments have dried up. I hear the lonely wind of abandonment blowing through the site like a lost banshee and the tumbleweed of neglect drifting through the lonely streets of narrative.
Where are the amusing ramblings of Bloo Moon, the acid comments of Cheta Brown and stock comments of Peeping Tom and Knowlsey. Where are the self conscious preening remarks of Wigan thespian Peter Bernard Dowdall or the bumbling mind dumps of Jim Holding. Where have these old grammar school misfits gone.
Has the Grim Reaper finally clipped their tickets. Have they fallen of their perches, popped their clogs, kicked the bucket. Me thinks the answer is somewhat more rudimentary.
The site is now a museum of photographs of grey characters, of suits who attend formal annual dinners and like their pictures in Lancashire Life. Pictures of long forgotten "rugger" boys, Wigan Laners and old sepia school masters.
I turn and put up my collar of regret, tighten my overcoat of nostalgia, tip the brim of my homburg of mellowness and abandon the streets of narrative.

Comments by Fred, 30th April 2010  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
Yup, appears that we done run out of insults or even nice comments about each other.

Still a good bunch of misfits though.

(Now that should get some tongues a'waggin') har, har..

Comments by Harry Wink, 6th May 2010  
Has Jim Holding passed on?

Comments by Kearnsy, 7th May 2010  
Wishful thinking Harry. The old devil is still knocking around, I saw him getting petrol in Sainsbury's. If you had spelled "passed" with an "i" you may have been nearer the truth.

Comments by Curls, 20th May 2010  
Lawrence Isherwood was born in Wigan, he was my hero.
Isherwood was a smashin’ feller..
There are many similarities between Isherwood and Lowry, except unlike Lowry, Isherwood devoted his whole life to painting.
He used to come in to Joe Kenedy’s betting shop were I worked at the time and he once painted a chum of mine looking in a shop window, Dave Ridout.
He wore sandals without socks, which was a daring thing to do in Wigan at the time. He also sported a cape, goatee beard and long hair.
I may take up painting myself and take up where the great man left off.

Comments by Quinzer, 26th May 2010  
I'll bet none of you guys will identify me after all the years I'm not on the photograph but I remember you lot. Jas Holding sneaking under our stairs and releiving me of my toffee stash. Yeah old Jas was the only lad I know who used to bring toast to school with beans on.
Dave Ridout would give a mock commentary on horse races, mentioning every horse in the race until the end and suddenly stating, " ..and Quinners a winner". That should give you a clue.
I recall Whitaker bringing a big bag of perriwinkles in the class and throwing the shells at the other lads.
Pykey, Colin Knowles, Tom Hager, Grahem Tutton et all. There were some rum bunnies in that class to be sure.

Comments by Ted Barker, 28th May 2010  
Suprised see Fred Masons still about. Thought he would be brown bread. Couple o years ago saw this bloke in Penrith of all places. Fat chap with a father christmas beard eating a pie at the market. Said to wife Carole Ashcroft, tha knows I've sin yon before.
Then it came to me, as it does. Said to wife, if tha takes yon beard off him he's a ringer for Fred Mason, dus know who I mean.
Carole sez, shurrup it is Fred Mason.
Have you ever had one o them times, I could have crawled away. I was hoping he didnt recognise us. Towd lad didnt look fettlin say least.

Comments by I. Pearce, 29th May 2010  
I wonder if Bernard Dowdall could give me the sp on his acting career. I am fascinated. I knew him at the Grammar School and would be very interested to hear his story. I have been reading about him on the Wiganers At Work section. He seems very popular with local people, especially the ladies. If any of you lads can tell me I would be obliged. Imagine achieving fame at such a late time in his life. Fascinating.

Comments by Fred Mason, 2nd June 2010  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
One has to wonder...just who is Ted Barker....?

Comments by Bill Neville, 4th June 2010  
Hello Fred. There was a lad at the Grammar a bit older than us named Edwin Barker. I think he came from the Lamberhead Green area. Maybe he is yout Ted Barker.
Should not take much notice of the comments Fred as I remember you were a slim hansome lad at school as your photo overleaf shows. I am sure you are still like that Fred.
Anyway you have probably never been in Penrith. What self respecting Wiganer would want to go there.
Hello Quinzer. I reckon you were Chris Evans. I have a vague memory of hearing Bill Ashurst refer to you as Quin or some such name. Do I win the coconut?

Comments by Quinzer, 5th June 2010  
Yes Bill you have a coconut.
Bill Ashurst gave me the name. First Nelly the Elephant, then Nel Gwyn, the for some unknown reason Nel Quin and finally Quinzer. It took a long time but we got there. Bill had his own names for everyone. I think he called Jas Holding, Jiggsy. He called Bernard Dowdall, Curly Jay after the bloke who sold pens on the market. Does anyone know what has happened to Bill. Is he still around?

Comments by Archie, 6th June 2010  
I've seen Billy Ashurst a couple of times in Swan Meadow Road. cant say if he lives there or not.

Comments by C. Meadows, 7th June 2010  
fred mason. Yep! Ed or Ted Barker did go the Grammar. In my year. Year older than you old chap. Don't fret there's worse in heaven and hell!

Comments by Barnsey, 7th June 2010  
I knew Ed at school. Good guitarist. Played with him. Never knew him as Ted. Didnt know he married that woman he mentioned. He always fancied a girl called Harriet Atherton from Pem. She went to the High School. Last time I heard about Ed I think he was in Spain playing with a group. That was yonks ago.

Comments by Ted Barker, 8th June 2010  
One has to wonder...just who is Fred mason....to be wondering who I am?

Comments by Jim Khana, 8th June 2010  
Sorry to break up your love in Barker & Mason (Solicitors) but what are both of you doing wasting time and space wondering about each other.

Just a little reminder to Bloo Moon - the 700th comment approacheth - and over 10 times that number of viewings. Good stuff regarding the OIKS who write on here!

Comments by Archie, 9th June 2010  
Chris. You left the Grammar early .. what hapened to you. On minute you were there .. next minute gone.

Comments by Quinzer, 9th June 2010  cevans000@tiscali.co.uk 
Family moved to Congleton Archie. Drop me a line and I'll fill you in.

Comments by Fred, 10th June 2010  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
Great comments, chaps. Yes, let's leave the 700th to Cliffy babe. Go for it young man.

Still some pseudonymns to sort out on here...what !!!!!!!!

Cheers all.

Comments by Sue Donenym, 11th June 2010  
Quinzer....Chris Evans
Bloo.......Cliff Higham
Jim Khana..James Holding
Archie.....Archie Aspinall
Curls......Bernard Dowdall.

Comments by Fred, 12th June 2010  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
Thanks for the info, Sue Donenym, or is that done em in? and who are you????

Comments by Su Donenym, 14th June 2010  
I'm on list ..... cuz.... have dew drop - luvly ... Wiggin market .... a quid. Weather here great.

Comments by H. Riley, 14th June 2010  
A special run was filmed in December 1970 of BOBS Roller Coaster (Belle Vue). Graham "Vance" Tutton created a new world record. "Vance" was seen on TV drinking tea on BOBS, beleived to be the last time Bobs was filmed. Graham was affectionately known as Tutty to school mates.

Comments by JDH, 18th June 2010  
Somebody's got to do it.

Comments by Knowlsey, 19th June 2010  
Well Jim lad you've deprived Bloo of the 700th comment...shame on you!

Comments by Peeping Tom, 20th June 2010  
Looks like Bloo has ceased to contribute - is he still knocking about?

Comments by Bill Nev, 20th June 2010  
Saw Cliff Higham about a month ago in Iceland.

No you fools .. the frozen food shop.

Comments by Routh, 21st June 2010  
Yes, shame on you Jas Holding for usurping little Cliffs right to the 700th. Yah .. boo .. you dirty rotter.:-)

Comments by JDH, 21st June 2010  
I'm not Jas Holding

Comments by Routh, 21st June 2010  
Appologies Jas, we have some cowboy on the line pretending to be you and he had done for little Cliff.

Comments by JDH, 21st June 2010  
Wasn't pretending to be anyone. Somebody's ASSUMED that JDH is Jas Holding

Comments by Knowlsey, 22nd June 2010  
Your a rum jockey JDH. There's no one with your initials on the photo or in the class as I recall. So...who are you?

Comments by Tips, 24th June 2010  
I can confirm that Cliff Higham is still alive and kicking. I saw him at Manchester Airport and he was kicking a waste bin. Would have liked to stop for a chat but I was in a rush.

Comments by JDH, 28th June 2010  
You're right Tips. I saw him a few weeks ago, smoking outside the Brocket when I passed by in the car.

Comments by Val Hitchen, 28th June 2010  
Bill Neville, Ted may not be as daft as he looks after all. If you look on the St Johns (Pemberton) Primary School site Fred Mason says he lives in Cumbria. Well he could live in Penrith.

Comments by Bill Neville, 29th June 2010  
Hi Val. Well you never know... I suppose somebody gotta live in Cumbria!!!!:>)

Comments by R. Mason, 30th June 2010  
Penrith Cumbria. Big Ale Kench. Captain Birdseye whiskers. Must be Fred Mason.

Comments by Knowlsey, 30th June 2010  
R. Mason are you related to Fred Mason?

Comments by R. Mason, 1st July 2010  
No comment.

Comments by R. Coats, 2nd July 2010  
Speaking of Tony Worswick. I see there are some pics of him working in a Spanish bar on the Wiganers at Work section.
Must have been shortly befopre he sadly passed away.

Comments by Fred, 4th July 2010  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
Must share this with you... it's not true, of course.

I met a fairy today who said she would grant me one wish.

" I want to live forever", I said.

"Sorry", said the fairy, "I can't grant wishes like that."

I said, "Okay I want to die when England win the world Cup."

"your crafty bas..rd," she said !

Comments by Maurice Brown, 7th July 2010  
Dear chaps, obviously I am not one of you but my dad was. I dont want to embarass him so I wont mention his name. However, I like to read this site and then tease him.
Thing is, I had this bad tummy for ages and a read how Bernard Dowdall advocated using Ortisan fruit cubes for constipation. I tried em and ureka! .. they worked.
Look I know I sound daft and I hope my dad doesnt read this .. but thanks a bunch Bernard.
If you have another reunion .. then advertise it on here ..even if my dad doesn't go along .. then I will and buy Bernard a pint.
Vive El Bernardo - the constipation man.

Comments by Routh, 8th July 2010  
Maurice, would that be Bill or Geoff ... your dada I mean? Anyway, yeah old Curly Tops does seem to have a reputation for digestive health advice. I reckon he gets a back hander of Ortisan for recommending the cubes.

Comments by Dora Mason, 8th July 2010  
Fred Mason are you a relative of Barry Mason the song writer from Wigan. If so do you know where he is now?

Comments by Peter Verkovensky, 8th July 2010  
Dear Fred Mason, I hope you don't feel I'm presumptuous, but did you once live in East Anglia. I used to work there as a travelling salesman and I knew a Fred Mason who said that he was originally from Wigan.

Comments by Fred, 8th July 2010  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
Hi Dora,

Sorry, I'm not related to Barry. I understand there are a few Mason's around in Wigan.

Take care.

Comments by Fred, 8th July 2010  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
Hi Peter,

I did live in East Anglia in the late 1990's. I had a pub called The Green man in Tunstall village, near Woodbridge. Can you tell me more please?

Comments by Peter, 9th July 2010  
Hi Fred,

I thought it was you. I was Googling something and came across your name on this site. You must recall me. I am pretty tall with blond hair and I once tried to sell you a cash machine, unsuccessfully I may add. However you did give me a glass of free ale. I think you had some kind of beer promotion going at the time.
I'm a driving instructor in Cleavelys now. Not as interesting but at least I make a living.
I was into trying to sell lots of things those days, nuts, cash registers, glasses etc. I worked for several different companies at the same time. In that neck of the woods profitable venues are few and far between. You'll know what I mean.
The Green Man pub was certaintly different with all the artifacts on the wall and the general ambience. Seemed a nice enough place. What made you leave?

Comments by Fred, 10th July 2010  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
Hi Peter,

Yes, I do remember you. Can you contact me on my e-mail above please.

Comments by Bernard Mulqueeny (Canada), 19th July 2010  
I came across Bernard Dowdall's name on the web. Thought surely that was an old St Mary's name. Being an ex-pat I like bit of nostalgia for the old country and school,,, as you do. So I Googled “Bernard at Wigan World” and could now virtually write his life story. Fascinating chap! As a youngster he worked for "poor kids". Later became famous locally as a "raconteur" and horse racing tipster. Now he's a well known actor. Must admit I haven't seen Bernard in any TV or film productions but then you have a different perspective in Canada. One thing though, surprisingly enough my cousin uses those Ortisan tablets he advocates and says she is forever grateful to him. I am looking forward to receiving a sample of those tablets, kindly sent by my loving cousin. Respect Bernard! Great to see a fellow school chum doing well.

Comments by "Woodie" Guthrie, 19th July 2010  
Actualy Bernard your Google search didnt reveal all. Bernard Dowdall was a great friend and admirer of that famous Wigan artist, the late Laurence Isherwood and I understand it his ambition to emulate the great man.

Comments by Jonty, 20th July 2010  
Hi guys I bet none of you remember me. Hope you are all keeping well. Anybody know what has happened to my old pal Bill Ashurst.
Oh I was so surprised to see Fred Mason was in love with H. Atherton. Nudge! Nudge! Wnk! Wink! say no more! Your secrets safe with me Freddy boy.

Comments by Curly, 21st July 2010  
A couple of years ago I came across a signed copy of Sir Gerald Nabarro's autobiography dedicated to Jim Isherwood and and his friend Lily,and guess what was inside....a couple of sketches and a photograph of one of his paintings in Venice I think.

Comments by Tips, 22nd July 2010  
Reading these comments I'd gather Fred Mason is a bit of a ladies man. What bit I recall of him at school he was very quiet. Well the girls I knew always said that its the quiet ones you have to watch.

Comments by Derek Worm, 27th July 2010  
Jony are you the John Johnson on the pic above?

Comments by Jonty, 28th July 2010  
Worm, not Jony but Jonty and who else?

Comments by Fred, 29th July 2010  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 

I remember you well, old chap, from Lamberhead Road. Where are you now?

Comments by Jonty, 29th July 2010  

Comments by Tips, 3rd August 2010  
Don't care for Oz myself Jonty lad. Always seemed a bit of a third world country pooulated by yobs.

Comments by Fred, 4th August 2010  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
It is now.......

Comments by Tips, 5th August 2010  
And twas ever so.

Comments by Airath O'Higham, 5th August 2010  
Give Oz back to the Abos!

Comments by Chaz, 12th August 2010  
Do any of you men know what hapened to Subby. Is he still knocking about?

Comments by Tips, 13th August 2010  
Subby is still knocking about but lives in Chorley.

Comments by Ray Armstrong, 25th August 2010  
I knew a numpty once called Fred Mason! Surely cant be the same?

Comments by Fred Mason, 26th August 2010  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
I agree, Ray,

Surely can't be the same.....

Comments by RA, 27th August 2010  
I'll have to tell Georgie Orrell then that its not the Fred Mason that we all knew and ...

Comments by Caddy, 27th August 2010  
hey RA ...dont leave me out.

Comments by Joe Hill, 10th September 2010  
Hello lads! How are you all doing? I wish to announce my arrival on the site. I'm writing on the St Georges school page as well. So when is our next reunion? Come on Cliff shake a leg!

Comments by F.B., 13th September 2010  
OOh! I remember all you lads. Did we have some smashing times or what! And Freddy what about when we met in that club in Vancouver. I bet you remember. Where we surprised! Oh God I thought as I cast eyes on you for the first time in years, of all the gin joints in the world and its my old fiend Freddy Mason. Well I was gobsmacked I can tell you. Well Freddy I'm glad to see that you seem in the pink. Go on admit I bet you're wearing that pink shirt now. Did we have some fun at school.
And I've seen that picture of Geoffrey Hardman. Isn't he tall. Ooh! I remember Geoff very well. He was a good friend.
And then theres little Cliff and James Holding. All my favourites. Well I hope you are keeping well boys and I hope to see you soon. Cherio chaps dont do anything I wouldnt. Fred.

Comments by Seosamh Fionngarrán, 14th September 2010  
Bernard Dowdall. I know that the artist Isherwood is a hero of yours so may I draw your attention to the site: http://www.artbyisherwood.co.uk/. I think you will find it very interesting.

Comments by Tips, 15th September 2010  
Bernard seems to be a very arty fellow. An actor, interest in art and I do believe at school he had an interest in poetry. I know that he was always up to date on TV actors.

Comments by Tips, 17th September 2010  
Fred Bamber is that you. I haven't seen or heard of you since you left school. What are you up to now?

Comments by Knowlsey, 7th October 2010  
Hi Fred didnt know you were in Vancouver with Fred Bamber. When was that then! I was in Canada for a while - I didnt notice you!

Comments by FB, 20th October 2010  
Fred Mason and I were great mates. We had wonderful times. I made a noise in class once and Pobbles aka Harry Rigby gave Fred 500 lines, "I must not make rude noises in a maths class". Laugh? We had barrels of fun. Fred. lol :>)

Comments by Cheta Brown, 21st October 2010  
Good oh! Fred. i was very good mates with Fred Mason too. Yes we had loads of fun despite the yobs we had to put up with ..nice to hear from you.

Comments by FB, 25th October 2010  
Hello Geoff nice to hear from you. Yes Fred is a lovely fellow. A very good friend. Hope you are well. Let me know more.

Comments by The Real Mogsy, 26th October 2010  
FB do you recall when Sid Makinson, the maths teacher, said, "There's a funny smell in the room" and I said, "Put your shoes on Mason". Well we all had a great laugh didn't we. And Fred, to give him his due, put his shoes on. No, I jest, but Fred took it in good heart as always. Bless him.

Comments by Neville, 28th October 2010  
I remember Fred M. buying stink bombs from the market hall and letting them off in class. We didnt half have a good laugh. The teachers never suspected us good lads and blamed it on the bad lads like Jim Holding.

Comments by Noel, 29th October 2010  
So it was fred Mason then who let them stink bombs off. Always wondered who it was. Never suspected fred.

Comments by Cheta Brown, 2nd November 2010  
Me and fred Mason were the top lads in the Scripture Union. We knew twice as much as braggers like James Holding.

Comments by Dolly Grimwood, 16th November 2010  
fred mason are you the one looking for old school recipees,,as I worked on scool meals,

Comments by Tips, 22nd November 2010  
I was browsing the Wiganers at Work page on this site and see that there is a new picture of Bernard Dowdall. Apparently he is appearing in a film called Bedlam on Living TV. I must look out for it.
Fred Mason - I find it a bit weird you taking an interest in old school meal menus or is it recipes. As I recall school meals were pretty dire.
Why not collect old Wigan recipes? Makes sense, doesn't it.

Comments by C. Peters, 29th November 2010  
There's a pic of Fred Mason selling pies from a van on the Wiganers at Work page so maybe Fred is also thinking of selling old fashioned school meals. Call it nostalgia food.

Comments by Fred B., 1st December 2010  
Yes.. what about that then .. Fred Mason selling pies from his van with his lovely assistant. What ever will he get up to next, he's such a wag.
Anyway, in case I forget, a Merry Christmas to all my old mates and especially Freddy.

Comments by Tips, 4th December 2010  m3smz 
Yes and a Merry Christmas to you too Fred Bamber and to your great friend Fred Mason. In fact I wish all the lads who write on hear a very Merry Xmas including Jim Holding, Peeping Tom, Pikey, Bernard Dowdall, Knowlsey, Geoff Brown, Knowlsey and not forgetting the ubiquitous Cliff Higham.

Comments by G. Brown, 8th December 2010  
Merry Christmas Tips and to the two good friends, the two Freds.

Comments by The Real Mogsi, 11th December 2010  
Have a very festive season everyone! Happy Christmas! Where are Fred Bamber and Fred Mason these days?

Comments by Dick Roscoe, 13th December 2010  
Fred Mason lives in Pemberton. I didnt know Fred Bamber that well but I heard he emigrated to Canada.

Comments by Mick Rigby, 14th December 2010  
Off the mark Dick, Fred went to Canada yonks ago. Don't know about Fred Bamber.

Comments by G. Brown, 15th December 2010  
Dont know about Bamber but surely there are plenty clues as to Fred Masons whereabouts if you read the comments.
As far as I can see he emigrated to Canada and has since lived in East Anglia, Fleetwood and Scotland to name but few.
It seems he lives in Cumbria now and has been seen in Penrith.
If the photo on the Wiganers At Work page are correct he is still selling pies from his van in Wigan.
Bit of a mystery really..Pemberton?...Penrith? Maybe somewhere else by now.

Comments by Fred Mason, 18th December 2010  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
Here's wishing all you lads a very merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year.

Comments by Peter Bernard Dowdall, 21st December 2010  
I wish all my fans, including my most adoring fan, Cliff Higham, a very happy Christmas and a terrific New Year. An actors life is a busy one and you will continue to see me on the small screen in the near future.

Comments by Fred Mason, 22nd December 2010  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
Thanks for the warning, Bernie.


Comments by jasholding, 22nd December 2010  
how dare you fred mason besmirch the name of the great wiggin thespian peter bernard!

Comments by Fred Mason, 23rd December 2010  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
Quite right, Jas , old son, I am humbled..

HOWEVER...Cuz Cliff? Greatest fan?

Yon mon has lots to answer to.....

and a jolly ole' time was had by all....

Merry Crimbo..... to all Grammar Grubs..

1597 - 1957

Comments by Pykey, 24th December 2010  
Wow Fred I knew you are old but didnt realise you were that ancient. You must have been at WGS when Joe Boswell was a lad. Anyway here to wishing you all a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS to Peeping Tom, Jas Holding, Knowlsey, Cliff Higham, Cheta Brown, the two Freds, Mason and Bamber, g
Geoff hardman, Norm Melling, Joe Fairhurst, Noel Smith, Curly Dowdall, Derek Worm, Dave Morris, Tips, Steve Critchley, Geof Ashton and anyone I have missed. Happy Christmas everyone!

Comments by Fred Mason, 3rd January 2011  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
Alas, alack, Pikey,

You have found me out.

I am really ancient, and am actually the father of...............

Joe Boswell.

Beware you Grubs...!!

Comments by Fred Mason, 29th January 2011  fredmason2001@yahoo.co.uk 
Also beware, you Grubs, Joey (The Gent) Fairhurst is back in town after his sojourn to the wilds of Southport and Aintree.

Welcome home, Joe.

Comments by A. Fan, 17th February 2011  
I've been looking for Bernard Dowdall appearing in Bedlam on Sky Living TV but I haven't seen him yet.

Comments by Joey, 18th February 2011  
Bernard tells me he's currently filming with Sir Anne Jones. I thought she was a wimbledon tennis champion but Bernard says she was a regular on Coronation St. Bernard has a crush on her - no accounting for taste - but then I guess Bernard is a bit of a luvvy these days

Comments by Fred Mason, 20th February 2011  fredgourmet@gmail.com 
Hiya, A. Fan,

You say you haven't seen our Bernard yet on Bedlam...????

Should have gone to specsavers......!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Comments by Alice Fan, 21st February 2011  
Hi Mr. Fred. Was it at the beginning of the second episode? If so I missed that bit. Alice..lol ..XXX.

Comments by Fred Mason, 24th February 2011  fredgourmet@gmail.com 
Well, chaps, we approaching 800 postings.

Question: Who gets number 800?

Comments by Joey, 1st March 2011  
Bernard tells me he's currently filming with Sir Anne Jones. I thought she was a wimbledon tennis champion but Bernard says she was a regular on Coronation St. Bernard has a crush on her - no accounting for taste - but then I guess Bernard is a bit of a luvvy these days.

Comments by Cliffers, 17th March 2011  
Soon be 10,000 views. Not bad hey?

Comments by Dave Cheetham, 18th March 2011  
News around Beech Hill is that bernard Dowdall will be appearing on Panarama.

Comments by A. Fan, 19th March 2011  
Thats news to me. I heard he is to appear in a Fred West TV movie. He does cop for the miserable movies doesn't he! Britains Fattest Man, Jack The Ripper and Bedlam. Maybe he should audition for Telly Tubbies :>}.

Comments by James Woodson, 27th March 2011  
What does Fred Mason do these days. Haven't seen him around Wigan for yonks. What does he do for a living. He always told me in the kipling that he was going to be a test pilot. Did he ever make it?

Comments by Fred Mason, 30th March 2011  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 

How nice to hear from you again. Yes, I did become a test pilot. I worked for NASA and delivered the very first Space Shuttle to the Space Station in 2001.


Comments by Sheila, 31st March 2011  
I think I saw Cliff Higham in Iceland the other week. Not the island .... the shop in Stndishgate. I think it was him ... has he grown a beard? I knew him at school.

Comments by Irene, 1st April 2011  
Cliff Higham does have a beard. I've seen him shopping in Tecsos in Gidlow Lane.

Comments by Nadine, 3rd April 2011  
I knew James Holding when I was at WGHS. He was a bit of a teddy boy then but all my school mates fancied him. He had a Tony Curtis quif and wore tight trousers, white socks and beetle crushers.

Comments by Fred Mason, 3rd April 2011  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
Eight more comments to go.

I think Joey the Gent should take the honour of 800.

Go for it Joey..!!

Comments by Richard Atherton, 4th April 2011  
I recall the teddyy boy James Holding at school. I was younger but in the fishing club. His mates were teds too, Bill Ashurst and Bernard Dowdall. James always had cool threads. I asked him where he got them from and he said Slaters in the Little Arcade. Now sadly gone.
I used to look at the clothes in there but my mam wouldn't let me have them and my dad was too soft to challenge her. Anything for a quiet life.
James was a good lad. Always ready to help the younger anglers. They were good teds not your dodgy type.

Comments by B. Taylor, 5th April 2011  
Yes Jas Holding was a great lad. But are the two Fred Masons?
A couple of months ago I spoke to an old school colleague who now works for Wigan Housing Dept. He said Fred Mason lives in Carlisle and manages a D_I_Y shop. That may not be completely accurate but it was something like that. I am surprised he was a test pilot and on the US space programme. Suppose that could have been in his younger days. You live and learn.

Comments by F. Mason, 5th April 2011  
Just to confuse the confused. I state categorically that I am the true Fred Mason. Don't believe everything that you read on here. I have really lived a lot in my years. I adored the wife and even swam the widest oceans for her, climbed the highest mountains and crossed the hotest deserts for her.

She divorced me because I was never home. !!!!

Comments by B. Taylor, 7th April 2011  
At least thats your story Fred. I believe you. Thousands wouldn't. My wife divorced me because she found a younger, richer and better looking bloke. And similarly I found a fitter, younger bird.

Comments by Mick Santus, 14th April 2011  
Bravo Fred Mason, you are clearly a romantic and a man of action. A swahbuckler no doubt. Would that I could have been more like you rather than an accountant.

Comments by Captain Bird's Eye, 14th April 2011  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
Only two more postings to eight hundred.

Come along, young Joey the Gent.

Get ready, get set, GO..!!!!!!!!

Comments by G. Brown, 16th April 2011  
Yeah...nearly 800 comments. some acheivment may I say. Ah! ,, the aulde school days.. what fond memories ,,cold toast in the morning ,, freezing milk out of a little bottle sticking to your lips .. the fragrant odour of ripe raspebbies in the cloisters ,, yes lads .. those were the days.

Comments by Bernard Dowdall, 19th April 2011  
Well lads looks like its up to me to be the 800th.Dickie Downing would have been proud of me. Joey and Clifton and my self have some jaunts planned for the summer.Clifton and i are 65 on 19th June.We plan to slide down Pendle hill in an old tin bathtub.

Comments by Peeping Tom, 20th April 2011  
Good for you Bernard. I can see your still young at heart.

Comments by Rene Mulqueeny, 20th April 2011  
Berny when are you on the telly again.

Comments by freddy., 20th April 2011  
hi rene I understand bernards making a movie about fred west at the mo. keep happy.

Comments by Bill Nev, 21st April 2011  
Nice to hear of Bernards success. We were not such a useless bunch after all, no matter what Cocky said. Rock on chaps to another 100 comments.

Comments by Fred Mason, 25th April 2011  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
It doesn't matter who gets number 900 really,

but number 1000 must go to Jimbo.

What say you all????

Comments by John Pugh, 27th April 2011  
Jimbo? Could that be Jim Holding to whom you refer. He's the only Jim I can find on this page. He was a great chap. Older than me and wiser. He was my mentor in Albert Wright's Scripture Union. A Gentleman. Ah, the religeous discussions we had, and for such a young chap he had a really mature grasp of life. My experience at school would have been half as rewarding if it wasn't for Jim. I lift my glass to him. Cheers Jim!

Comments by Graham Armstrong, 8th May 2011  
Yes my pal Dexi and I used to call Jim the Teddy Boy Vicar. We really had a great respect for him. He treated all the young lads in the kipling with a lot of big brotherly advice. We thought he would have gone on to enter the church service. Maybe he did. And he had a great haircut and some trendy duds.

Comments by S. Critchley, 11th May 2011  
Just to correct the above photo. There is someone identified as Monty Mason. It isn't Monty its Fred Mason. Also Wally Rudd is Brian. Nigel Smith is Noel Smith. Eric Worthington is Derek. Geoff Ashurst is Geoff Ashton. Harry Holding is James Holding. Willie Ashton is Bill Ashurst. The one named as Cliff Higham is Joe Hill and the one named as Fred Bamber is Cliff Higham.

Comments by Lanky, 16th May 2011  
I remember Jas Holding. Great lad. Liked his fishing.

Comments by Bill Nev, 19th May 2011  
One of the best JH. Salt of the earth.

Comments by Peeping Tom, 20th June 2011  
Its all gone quiet on here!

Comments by Rosco, 21st June 2011  
Saw Cliff Higham in Brocket. He was looking well.

Comments by joan beckett (wilding), 2nd July 2011  
Is Jim Holding still around by any chance

Comments by Stan, 4th July 2011  
Hi Joan. James Holding is definitely still around. I saw him in Sainsburys the other day. Think he lives in Marus Bridge.

Comments by Jem D., 5th July 2011  
is that stan martlew? ps saw jim holding in a green 4 wheel drive in chapel lane a couple of weeks ago.

Comments by jas holding, 10th July 2011  
hello,,,thanks for the concerns,but yes am still about and alive and well,,,,still fishing when get chance,hope every one ok,,,will have to arrange another reunion some where,,, good to meet up with everyone again,,,,

Comments by joan beckett (wilding), 15th July 2011  
Fishing !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Comments by Arty Fishall, 17th August 2011  
Wow. Saw a photo of Bernard Dowdall on the Wiganers at Work section. He's put on a bit of timber recently or maybe he's just tubbying up for a TV part.
Anyway I think it is Mr Dowdall as the lady who shot the photo at Ashton market was not too sure. Its a long time since I saw him in the flesh. I think it was when he worked in Kennedy's bookies.
I was in his kipling at school or is it kiplin, not sure, where did that name come from anyway?
Joan Becket, whats wrong with Jim Holding fishing? I fish myself. Nothing more relaxing that snoozing by a quiet pond waiting for the float to bob. Us blokes do some strange things at times. Then again so do you ladies. Nowt stranger than folk.

Comments by Fred Mason, 23rd August 2011  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
Who is Arty Fishall????

Come on you chaps....bring this boundah to justice...I say....

Comments by Tarquin Dowdall, 12th September 2011  
I wish to point out that I'm not related in anyway or have anything to do with Bernard Dowdall. I don't even know the man. Please don't ask me to get signed photographs T shirts or anything else. Thank you very much.

Comments by Fred Mason, 14th September 2011  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
Ah, but Tarquin, dear chap,

No Grammar Grub is related to the Venerable one. Bernard stands yards above all other Grammar Grubs. None can touch him, but thanks for the admission....God be with you, my son..

Bernard Dowdall Appreciation Society.

Comments by Jim Holden, 26th September 2011  
I recall the time under the cloisters when Arthur Fishall and I were watching a chap call Dean orchestrating a game which he did quite often.
Kids were piling one empty milk bottle on top of another, stood in a circle around the pile of bottles. Everyone yelled when someone topped up another bottle, inevitably the bottles would fall.
Meanwhile other kids were kicking milk bottles at the pile. Arthur was about to try his luck when a hand came on our shoulders and a voice said, "You two, hop it".
It was Bernard Dowdall. Seconds later the prefects invaded and carted a load of lads off for the "wack". Dean had already scarpered. Thanks to Bernard, Arty and I had a close shave but got away with it.
I learned later that someone had bubbled us up to the prefects, nuff said.
Anyway, if you read this Bernard, cheers lad.

Comments by bill melling, 27th September 2011  
good lad bernie dowdall.

Comments by Norris Gripweed, 28th September 2011  
Mr Dowdall is obviously a man of many talents. Perhaps he deserves a brass plaque on the wall of the old school commemorating his time there.

Comments by Raz, 2nd October 2011  
Over 10,000 viewings cherubs.

Comments by Ray Price, 7th October 2011  
Bernard Dowdall is for life, not just for Christmas.

Comments by Terry, 11th October 2011  
Is Jim Holden above different to Jim Holding?

Comments by Brian, 11th October 2011  
How many of these lads still survive?
Please post a comment if your still alive and kicking.

Comments by John Atherton, 13th October 2011  
I saw cliff higham in brocket the other day. was alive. but not kicking. he'd been to point percy at the porcelain and was stumbling back down the steps. either that or he'd been tickling his tonsils too much with the amber nectar.

Comments by Raz, 14th October 2011  
Rich Garswood and Geoff Ashton are defintely alive and kicking.

Comments by T. Rimmer, 17th October 2011  
Its probably safe to assume that Fred Mason and James Holding are still alive, if not kicking, since they have recently contributed to this column.

Comments by T.Rimmer, 17th October 2011  
Terry. should think jim holden knows how to spell his own name lol :>}

Comments by Fred Mason, 17th October 2011  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
Well, lads,

I am definitely alive and kicking and will be for many years to come....I can also vouch for the likes of:

Young Cliffy Higham,

Joey the Gent from Nogbad,

Dante, the man,

and not forgetting the amazing Jimbo (Holding)

Wigan Grammar School forever.. long live Joe Boz..!!

Alright, WHO SAID that..???

Comments by Ray Price, 18th October 2011  
Who is the infernal "Dante"?

Joey from Nogbad ....... Joe Hill or Joe Fairhurst?

Comments by J. Davies, 19th October 2011  
Do any of you readers know this john sharrock taylor geezer.
Someone told me he had wrote a book about his childhood in Wigan and would be the same age as the chaps on this photo.
Apparently his best mate was Pugsley Parr. There's a Parr on the photo above.
Could this be the Taylor commonly known as Sid?

Comments by Terry Crompton, 24th October 2011  
Brian with regard to you asking about survivors, I saw Geoff Hardman recently. He runs the Ford garage in Horwich. He's not on the above pic but is on your reunion pic on the next page. So there's another one for your collection.

Comments by Willie Lewis, 14th November 2011  
I passed my 11 plus and could have gone to Wigan GS. Too posh all my mates said. You come from Lomorra Green. You've no chance. They'll laugh at you. So I went to the Linacre. They accept yobs there my mates said.

Comments by Arty Fishall, 16th November 2011  
All the thickos went to the Linacre, Lewis.

Comments by Desdemona Gale, 28th November 2011  
Can anyone tell me if Bernard Dowdall is a Wigan councillor.

Comments by Peeping Tom, 11th December 2011  
Merry Christmas everyone!

Comments by Joan, 13th December 2011  
Merry Christmas Jim (Holding).
xxxxxxx :>)

Comments by Fred B., 27th December 2011  
Happy New Year to all my old friends especially Freddy. Hope you all had a good Christmas.

Comments by jas holding, 7th January 2012  
Happy New Year to everyone,,,,Nogbad keep up the WWC,,,Bernard,,keep treading the boards,,,Cliff keep treding the birds,,,Fred just keep treading????...hope everyone of class of 57 good and well,,,,take care guys...

Comments by Bloo, 15th January 2012  
second that jas. appy noo yeer all. have a drink on me int brocket.

Comments by Fred Mason, 15th January 2012  fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk 
Third that Jas, oud lad.

Best wishes to everyone from WGS 57. May see y'all sometime this year. Up the Latics..!!

Comments by Tips, 17th January 2012  
Yes boys have a good one and I hope I'll be wishing you the same this time next year.

Jas..........what is WWC ... is that a Wicked Water Closet?

Comments by jasholding, 18th January 2012  
Tips,,,Ooooppp that should have been,,,WCC...Wrightington Country Club,,,where nogbad the unready aka Joe Fairhurst is a member,,,
Good to have Cliff and Fred back in old blighty after their globetrotting,,,,Bernard still treading the boards,,,,

Comments by Alison Dubret, 30th January 2012  
Is it true that Peter Bernard Dowdall is to appear in a production of Shakespear's Midsummer Nights dream at the Wigan Little Theatre?

Comments by Bloo, 5th February 2012  
Nearly 12000 views Jim Holding must be a popular man.

Comments by Bloooers, 17th February 2012  
EE... I must make it 850. Smashin them midget gems I get from the market. Only £1 a bag.

Comments by Dolores De Joocey, 28th February 2012  
I love that Cliff Higham. Corr - just give me one night with him.
Corr what a dishy bloke.

Comments by Fred B., 3rd March 2012  
Not heard from Fred Mason for a while. Is he still extant?

Comments by R. Mason, 24th March 2012  
He lives the life of a hermit in the wilds of Cumbria.

Comments by Willwe, 27th March 2012  
Will we ever reach a thousand comments?

Comments by Cliff Bloo!, 31st March 2012  

Easy peasy!

Universe the limit ... have a midget gem .. smashin .. &1 market hall!

Ooh! lock up your wifes .. I'm on the prowl!

Comments by Roy Leyland, 4th May 2012  
Not heard much from Fred Leyland lately. Is he OK.

Comments by Rene Cartwright, 13th May 2012  
Roy is Fred your brother?

Comments by Roy Leyland, 21st May 2012  
Appologies, posted under wrong pic. No Fred not my brother. Three Leylands in my year and none related.

Comments by Wendy Moore, 21st May 2012  
I was reading a comment by Bernard Dowdall in the Wigan Observer last October in which he lambasted Robby Motinez. Bit of humble pie and an apology in order. Don't you think Mr Dowdall?

Comments by Leo Gorsey, 13th June 2012  
Where's Fred Mason?

Comments by Huntz Hall, 15th June 2012  
Fred's in Ireby, Nr. Wigton in Cumbria.

He is Diector of the festival up there in Ireby and is too busy to bother with the likes of you plebs on this site.

Carry On Directing, Fred, your honour.

Comments by Jola Weisman, 17th June 2012  
Ireby festival over. Next one 2013. Fred not director.

Comments by jas holding, 20th June 2012  
hmm...Wendy got a point there Bernard,,am sure it cant taste all that bad,,,,

Comments by Geoff Armstrong, 24th June 2012  
I thought Bernard was a bit strong on that point. Come on Bernard lets have an appology.

Comments by cubin, 26th June 2012  
best fisher man in wigan .......... jas holding,, bar none.

Comments by Rosa, 30th June 2012  
Huntz, I thought Fred Mason was director of Cumbrian Crafts at least that's what he told me.

Comments by Alice Cartwright, 1st July 2012  
That bloke they say on the photo up there is not Fred Bamber its Clifford Higham.
Has anybody seen him lately. Ive not sin him for yonks.

Comments by Trev, 2nd July 2012  
CHs is still knocking about but not so much now. You might catch him in the Brocket now and again. He's moved to the Gidlow Lane area and he spends some time abroad these days.

Comments by Ron, 3rd July 2012  
Huntz & Rosa don't take anything Fred tells you too seriously.

Comments by Cliff, 30th July 2012  
Bernard finally managed to get on on Corrie!
Well done son!

Comments by Fred, 5th August 2012  
Congrats Bernard!

I'll see you in the Rovers ...... mines a pint of Newton & Rigleys.

Har.........har o:> !

Comments by Raz, 19th August 2012  
Saw Cliff Higham recently in Bargain Booze in Gidlow Lane buying a load of plonk.

Comments by Motley Crew, 21st August 2012  
Dear readers. We are the Motley Crew. We are updating info on the lads on this picture. We hope you will point out any deficiencies and add more detail as is befitting. We apologise in anticipation for any gaffs.
Our information comes mainly from the web, often from what the lads have written themselves or from people we have met in the hostelries around the Swinley area.
****************** Part One ******************************
Back Row: Left to Right: Graham Parr: No info. Geoff Brown: No info. John Johnson: came from Lamberhead Green. He left the Grammar School after his second year when his family moved home. He played on the wing for the rugby team at the time. We don’t know the school which he subsequently attended but info fed back indicates he became a rugby success at his new school.
Second Row down: Left to Right: Fred Mason: Fred went to St Johns junior school, Pemberton. He worked in a butchers shop in the market hall after leaving school and later emigrated to Canada where he appears to have done many jobs including IT.
On his return to England he ran a pub in Suffolk before moving to Fleetwood where he worked as a photographer and a butcher. He then moved to Scotland after which he moved again, to his current residence in Ireby, near Wigton, Cumbria.
At the time of research Fred was a director of 15 limited companies, at least a dozen of which were listed as active. His activities covered the manufacture of gourmet pies, sausages and sauces and provision of gourmet cooking lessons. He also has companies trading in photography and web design, a “Village Tuck Shop” and Cumbrian Crafts. There are further companies including one associated with plant and yet another dealing in IT consultancy. For complete accuracy the reader should consult the company profiles via the web. Fred lists his hobbies variously as photography, hunting and fishing.
He also lists his occupation covering various activities including, craft, web design, gourmet cooking teaching and IT hardware consultancy. There may be more.
Tony Worswick: Tony went to St Johns junior school in Standishgate along with David Pyke and John Davies. After leaving school Tony worked at Pilkington Glass in St Helens and BICC in Leigh, where along with Joe Fairhurst he played for a works football team.
He later worked for a credit drapers in Dicconson Street and for ex Wigan RL player, Billy Blan, on the Wigan RL lottery.
He began the first licensed discothèque in Wigan, along with Joe Fairhurst, at the Las Vegas club, King St West. For a short time they ran a similar disco at Newton-le-Willows cricket club. He managed the local pop band The Illusions.
He joined Orrell RU along with Richard Garswood and Joe Fairhurst and also played RL in the Sunday League for the Royal Oak, Standishgate with Richard, Joe and John Davies, who’s father was licensee.
Tony moved South to Plymouth as a free lance DJ. Later he managed clubs in Chester and Greenford London. Later he managed a club in Helsby before managing Chaplins Club in Wigan.
He returned to pub management, managing pubs in the midlands and around the Stockport area.
In his later years he became licensee of the Abbey Lakes pub in Orrell. Whilst still licensee of the Abbey Lakes he worked in the Wigan Warriors bar in Benalmadena where sadly he passed away in 2005.
Brian Rudd: Brian left WGS after year one. He played guitar in a local pop band in the 60s called Ipso Facto. He has lately been seen driving taxis.
Richard Garswood. Richard attended Woodfield Primary School. He currently lives in the Standish area. Richard was a long standing playing member of Wigan Rugby Union club and is a staunch Wigan Warriors fan. He is often seen in the pubs in the Swinley area and has been frequently seen at Wrightington Country Club.
John Worthington: John joined the Royal Navy after leaving school. He is now retired and living in the Wigan area. To be continued:

Comments by Motley Crew, 28th August 2012  
*************************** Update *************************
*************************** Part Two ***********************
Dear readers, as before, we hope you will point out any deficiencies and add more detail as is befitting. We apologise in anticipation for any gaffs.

3rd Row Down: Left to Right: Noel Smith (Hands on James Holding’s shoulders):
Noel went to St Thomas’s junior school. Noel is a professional musician. He currently plays keyboards in the Newtown Working Mens Club’s resident band. Noel is also the Newton WMC Musical Director. Noel comes from a musical family, his father playing the drums and piano in various local clubs including the King of Clubs in the 60s. His brother Paul was a well known local DJ in the 80s. Noel currently lives in the Standish area.
John Davis: John was a pupil at St John’s junior school in Standishgate along with class mates David Pyke and Tony Worswick. John became an electrician and is now retired. He lives in the Swinley area.
Steven Critchley: Steven was a class mate of James Holding at St Catherines junior school. Nothing is known of Stevens’s current position or residence.
Derek Worthington: Derek was a great friend of WGS classmate, Clifford Higham, and they were each others “best man” at their respective weddings. Derek along with his good friend Clifford was also on the committee of Swinley club together in the 70s. Derek worked at Pilkington’s Glass in St Helens and latterly worked, along with WGS classmate, Bernard Dowdall, in the Wigan Housing Corporation. Derek is often seen at the DW Stadium where he is a very keen follower of Wigan Warriors. He is believed to live in the Ince area.
4th Row Down: Left to Right: Geoff Ashton: Geoff went to Woodfield Primary school. His father was the Mesnes Park keeper. Geoff became a school teacher and later headmaster of a local school. Latterly he worked in education in London. He is president of Bellingham Tennis Club and still resides in the Wigan area.
Frank Cartwright (Head Down): Frank may have been a nickname. His real name may be Peter. Peter became an accountant. He was a keen fell walker and was often seen with his fell walker, pals in the Boars Head pub. His current residence in unknown.
James Holding (wearing spectacles): James was a pupil at St Catherines junior school along with class mate Steven Critchley. James was a keen angler at school and this information cropped up regularly when discussing James with friends and acquaintances. James was described as one of the most skilful and knowledgeable anglers in Wigan. James is also a very popular man amongst friends, neighbours and work colleagues, often described as “one of nature’s gentlemen”. James has always worked in industry and latterly works for Joy Mining in Ince. James, keen on fitness, is often seen in the Total Fitness club and in Sainsbury’s supermarket, both in Marus Bridge. James is believed to be resident in the Marus Bridge area.
Colin Knowles: We have no information about Colin.
To be continued:

Comments by Motley Crew, 18th October 2012  
*************************** *** Update *******************************
****************************** Part Three *****************************
Dear readers, as before, we hope you will point out any deficiencies and add more detail as is befitting. We apologise in anticipation for any gaffs.
Front Row: Left to Right: Joe Hill: Joe went to St Georges Junior School along with class mates Cliff Higham and Joe Fairhurst. Shortly after leaving school Joe joined the Army where his outstanding abilities were rewarded by becoming Young Soldier of the Year. Joe went on to represent the Army has a hooker in the Rugby Union team. After leaving the Army Joe returned to Wigan where he worked as a joiner with the Wigan local authority. Joe lives in the Beech Hill area and is often spotted in the hostelries in Woodhouse Lane.
Bill Ashurst: Bill went to St Mary’s junior school along with class mates Bernard Dowdall and John Riley. Bill was an outstanding athlete at school. He was an accomplished rugby player having represented Wigan at RL school boy level. Bill was very good friends with Bernard Dowdall and James Holding (Bill’s best man at his wedding) and shared their love for fishing. Bill joined British Rail after leaving school but nothing is known about him after that time. He is believed to be living in the Worsley Mesnes area.
Cliff Higham: There is so much on the web about Cliff it is hard to separate the myth from the reality. Also there was more information submitted about Cliff than any other member of the class. We have tried therefore to give as accurate a synopsis as possible from the information available.
Cliff went to St Georges junior school along with class mates Joe Hill and Joe Fairhurst. Cliff is reputed to have worked in many posts after leaving school including the Gas Board in Warrington, in John England’s admin unit and also working as a gas fitter on North Sea Gas conversion. There are also rumours that he dabbled in antiques in those far off days.
Many people gave evidence of Cliff’s love of music and there are many stories of him bursting into song in the Swinley club where he was joined by friends giving impromptu renditions of the Hollywood musical songs. Said Dave, “Cliff could have been a professional singer if he had the aptitude but he was always too happy-go-lucky. His mother was a professional singer and both his sons were musicians. Richard played piano and gave guitar lessons, Danny plays base in a local rock band”.
Many people also spoke of Cliffs membership of a local Barbers Shop band. Indeed Cliff was also on the committee for a while, at the Swinley club, along with close friend and class mate Derek Worthington (Cliff’s best man at his wedding).
Cliff is undoubtedly a very popular man and well known in the pubs and clubs in the Swinley area. A good friend, Trev, commented,”You will not find a more popular and well loved chap than Cliff. He could charm the birds from the trees and the ladies from behind the bar.” That was a sentiment repeated in a similar manner from many of the contributors. Bill added, “Cliff is a good friend of Bernard Dowdall, a bit of an actor chap, who Cliff looks up to as his mentor. I think Bernard has given him a lot of help lately and keeps him on the straight and narrow. I don’t see him as often now in the Millstone pub or the Bellingham Hotel where he was a regular afternoon participant. I sometimes see him in the Brocket but he has now moved to Gidlow Lane and spends a lot of time abroad”.
Mary contributed, “Cliff is great raconteur. You can spend hours in his company listening to him recite tales of ‘derring do’. He’s great company and loved by all, especially the ladies”.
David Pyke: David went to St Johns junior school along with class mates John Davies and Tony Worswick. It is believed that David joined the Air Force after leaving school. There are rumours that he also worked as a steward on civilian aircraft but this can not be confirmed.
Latterly he is believed to be working as an air traffic controller, possibly in Ireland.
Joe Fairhurst: Joe went to St Georges junior school along with class mates Joe Hill and Cliff Higham. After leaving school Joe set up the first licensed disco in Wigan, in King Street West, along with class mate Tony Worswick. They also ran another disco, at the same time, at Newton-le-Willows cricket club.
Joe later disappeared to London for several years before reappearing in Wigan. In subsequent years he opened two night clubs in the Wigan area before disappearing once again to the South. In between opening the clubs, Joe attended Lancaster University obtaining a Master degree.
He has lately, regularly, been seen in Wrightington Country Club, The Rigbye Arms, Wrightington and Parbold village. He has also been spotted in the Boars Head, Millstone and Brocket hostelries. He is believed to live in the Parbold or Wrightington area.
Norman Melling. “Big Norm” Melling was a very popular lad in this “class of characters”. He road a motor bike to school and was a regular attendee at the legendary Lil’s Café in Standish. Norm received notoriety after leaving school, drilling through a power cable and putting a large part of Wigan in darkness. Norm lives in the Norley Hall area.
That's the end of the updates. Motley Crew hope the readers will enjoy these brief descriptions and add any relevant information.
In process of gathering information Motley Crew obtained details of several other class members who do not appear on this photograph. Motley Crew hope to post this information at a later date. WATCH THIS SPACE!

Comments by Wanda Rose, 19th October 2012  
Thankyou Motley Crew for a very interesting read. May I point out that Geoff Ashton didn't attend Woodfield primary school, rather he attended St Michaels.

Comments by Frank Healy's Younger Wiser Brother, 21st October 2012  
Motley Crew may I point out that it should read, “Big Norm” Melling .... rode (not road) a motor bike to school..
Funny that our Frank didn't jump on that mistake, like a tramp on a kipper, he's a bit pedantic like that, our Frank.

Comments by Barry Dainty, 24th October 2012  
I remember James Holding at school. In my house. Bit older than me. Nice lad. Saw his photo some time ago receiving his gold clock for long service at that place in Ince that used to be gullicks. On this site. Good luck Jim.

Comments by jim holding, 25th October 2012  
Thanks Billy,,,appreciate your kind comments,,and how are you doing these days

Comments by Barry, 25th October 2012  
Think you mean Barry ........ John .. sorry .. Jim. Just joshing Jim ... grandkids .. bit of golf .. dodging the auld lady .. usual stuff. Doing OK Jim lad.

Comments by jim holding, 25th October 2012  

My apologies,put it down to my age,,,looks like you like the rest of us then,,,grandkids etc..cant beat it,,,

Comments by penman, 1st November 2012  
wow...didn't know fred mason was a millionaire .. all them companies ..... buddy, can you spare a dime for an old shipmate.

Comments by betty pownall, 2nd November 2012  
oo fred mason a multi milionaire wow ,, new him when he worked on wigan market ,, gave me mam more meat becos he wanted to go out with me but I would not ,,wish I had insted of that slob I maried,, . wonder if he is still single,, I am in good shape and only live in Norley Hall ,, get in tuch fred love,, lots of love ***** bet.

Comments by Steve Atherton, 7th November 2012  
I remember Jim Holding well and its a privilege to get the chance to write this. He was a great bloke at school, one of the best.
I was in the same Kipling but a couple of years younger.
There was a guy called Frank who used to bully me and my mate Alan. I can't recall his surname. He was a stout guy, bigger and older than us. He wore horn rimmed glasses and had a big quiff, as some lads did those days, especially the ones that fancied themselves.
Well Frank was doing his stuff, bullying Alan and me in the school yard.
Jim strolled up with his mate and clocked what was going down. He just casually spoke to Frank, very quietly. I recall his exact words, "Do you get a kick out of bullying lads younger and smaller than yourself".
"Do you want some", answered Frank.
"Well you'll get nowt from beating me", said Jim, "why not pick on Jem", and he pointed to this lad called Jem.
Now Jem was more than a bit of a head case and when he heard his name called he looked up. Frank turned a whiter shade of pale and you could see the smoke trail as he departed.
He managed to shout back to us, "I'll see you later", but from that time onwards all we got from Frank was a nasty scowl.
It took guts to do what Jim did because Frank was older and a lot bigger.
If I ever see Jim in the pub he has a pint or two due on me.

Comments by G. Temple, 8th November 2012  
For fans of Peter Bernard Dowdall, celebrated Wigan actor and ex-WGS, don't miss tonight on ITV3 10 pm. Appropriate Adult, about Fred West.
Ooh! Nay madam ,, and thrice times nay ,, Bernard doesn't play the leading role.
In fact, blink and you might miss him.

Comments by Dave Jones, 16th November 2012  
Steve that lad your talking about in your last comment, was his last name Healy? Sounds like him. Stout lad with horn rimmed bins and big quiff! Be about the right age.

Comments by Raz, 22nd November 2012  
fred B. a mate of mine said he saw fred mason in the bookies in pemberton on monday. knocking about ok but with a stick and a bit tubby.

Comments by Peepers, 23rd November 2012  
Wonder what the odds are for the 900th comment?

Jas Holding 2 to 1,, Fred Mason 3 to 1,, Cliff "Bloo" Haigham ,, 4 to 1. 10 to 1 the rest. Knowlsey, Pikey, Cheta, Bamber, Bernard Dowdall aka Jaybell Pentops, Moggsy etc.
Maybe a surprise package Dixie Dean or Ian Wick!

Comments by Willwe, 26th November 2012  
Come on chaps, this isn't good enough

Comments by Fred, 27th November 2012  
Over 16600 hits though Willwe Mason. Can't all be bad. Takes th'auld lads longer to get out o' the wheel chairs and onto zimmer frames these days.
Not everyone has a laptop.


Comments by jas holding, 27th November 2012  
wheelchairs,laptops,zimmer frames????????? bet biggest part of them there lads could still manage that cross country nowa days,,,,might take a tad longer though,,,,

Comments by Frank Healy, 28th November 2012  
Is there anybody else who thinks,like me,that the person who chose the cross country course was a sadist?

Comments by Peepers, 28th November 2012  
Frankie lad it was just a sadist regime. If you didn't bring pumps (even if they were nicked from your locker) you had to do gym in bare feet.
After rugby practice, in the Prospects mud & cow slap, you had to go under a freezing cold shower in a shed devoid of heat.
Sometimes they would cain a whole class just for a minor incident.
I saw Wilf Murphy punch boys a fraction of his size with his fist. In one case just because a lad said on the rugby field "I'm bu-----d".
JJ Bradburn was an out and out sadist picking you up with your ears and twisting just for a better buzz.
I saw him play a tune on a lads head with the flat of his hands until the lad was virtually in tears, and the lad had done nowt of significance.
I saw him beat Riley & Pikey to the ground with their own pumps and sock Dixie so hard, in the gym, that the lad slid on his backside, several feet into a stack forms, which then fell on poor old Dixie’s head.
Joe Boz, Teddy Johnson, Paddy Gore, Dick Nutt etc ... all sadist and in Teddy's case a senile sadist.
Me and my mates, they know who they are, used to work out a good set of bushes where we could hide and have a smoke during the cross country.
On one occasion we came out too early and the monitors were counting us off "One, two, three..", we swiftly made our way back to the bushes.
In todays clime, some of those so called "masters" would have been jailed. There wasn't completely sane one amongst them.

Comments by Jim Khana, 29th November 2012  
Nice to see Fred Mason posting again. Much maligned but a good chap at heart. Bit of a rum jockey but no harm in him!
Is there?
The 900th comments looms!

Comments by jas holding, 29th November 2012  
ref peepers last comment,,,it has been said before,,maybe attached to another pic ,,yes a couple of he teachers mentioned would be arrested these days,,bottom lione is they were thugs and alot of others ruled by fear,,,

havibg said that i look around me at the youth of today,the state of things,and wonder who is right,,,dont seem to see mcuh wrong in my fellow pupils at the time,,,am i sounding like a grumpy old man,,,,,i leave you to make your own mind up,,

molly coddlled ,politically correct,,,health and safety,,, sometimes think the worlds gone mad

Comments by Peepers, 29th November 2012  
Think they could have treated us with a bit more respect Jas. Some of us poorer kids got a rough ride - aw poor things.
Seriously though, even then I thought they went over the top. I thought, "I'd never hit kids".
You have a point though Jas, but consider this: Did anyone disrespect Dickie Downing - No!
Did we all grudgingly like Dickie - Yes!
Did anyone step out of line with Dickie - No!
Did he teach us well - we performed best at English Language yet we were the drop outs!
It can be done with a bit of respect and less pomposity.

Comments by jas holding, 30th November 2012  
Peepers ..agree with what you say about Dickie Downing but he had a an aura about him for want of a better word, the worst he would do was conficate your toffee if he caught you chewing and distribute them to the rest of the class.
Elmer used to get caught every time and even when he didnt Dickie would pass them round any way.,,Yes had a lot of time for Dickie in retrospect

Comments by jas holding, 30th November 2012  
Sorry Peepers,,,,

them there odds to good to miss,,,,

Comments by Peepers, 30th November 2012  
You cheeky begger Jas!

You nipped in a bit quick there! You'll have given Fred Mason a heart attack not to mention Cliff aka Bloo Moon.

900 comments and over 17000 views - wow!

Comments by Bernard Dowdall, 1st December 2012  
Met the beautiful Joanna lumley on set of Making of a Lady.I'm in love

Comments by Jim Khana, 3rd December 2012  
Ah but Bernard don't you think that Joanna is just a wee bit out of your league?
I can just see Joanna now ,,on Bernards arm ,, knocking back a pint of snake bite at the King Billy ,, or scoffing a pie at Top Nosh in Scholes.

Comments by jas holding, 3rd December 2012  

take no notice of jym kahna,,he,s only jealous,,,can understand your palputaions,she one very attactive lady

Comments by Jim Khana, 3rd December 2012  
It's Bernard dining out with the lovely Joanna at Top Nosh then Jas ,, pies & peas are one me!

Then down the road to the King Billy for after dinner mild & bitter cocktails!

Ooh! scuse me Joanna luv ,, no more curry for me monty!

Comments by Madam Duval, 3rd December 2012  
Bernie Dowdall booked me a couple of times when he was Concert Secratary at Beech Hill Labour Club. Honey Duval. Exotic dancer.

Comments by Knowlsey, 4th December 2012  
I'll bet he did. Leopards don't change their spots eh Curly lad. Well done.

Comments by Jo Boz Appreciation Society, 20th December 2012  
The Joe Boz Appreciation Society wishes everyone a Merry Christmas.
Knights of the Order: Young Hiiram of Windsor, Sir Jasper Du Clarry, Curlew the Venerable Dowdall & Pepe Le Gent extend their Christmas greetings.
As do associate members: Bill Brown, Dave Ridout, Norm Melling, Geoff "Elmer" Hardman, Geoff Ashton & Noel Smith.
As do absent members John Riley & David Pyke.
As do nominees: Joe Hill, Dave Morris & Bill Ashurst.
And as does Honorary Member: Frank Healy.
Note: Deadly Freddly was blackballed and subsequently excommunicated for conduct unbecoming having committed a dastardly deed in respect of a fellow member.
Happy Christmas to all members and followers.

Comments by Pikey, 24th December 2012  
Merry Christmas everyone!

Comments by Knowlsey, 25th December 2012  
Yeah Pikey, good on you lad!

And happy Noo Year too! To you all!

Comments by Fred M., 28th December 2012  
Best wishes to everyone from WGS 57. May see y'all sometime this year. Up the Latics..!!

Comments by jas holding, 29th December 2012  
yes chaps,,seasons greeting to everyone,,,and heres to a happy and prosperous new year...

Comments by Frank Healy's Younger Wiser Brother, 31st December 2012  
Wow, over 19000 comments. Our Frank will be pleased!

Another year and a few more limitted companies for jolly old Fred Mason I would guess.

That chap must be a multi-millionaire tycoon by now!

Come on Peter Bernard Dowdall let's have a signed photo for our Frank. It will make his year!

Comments by P. B. dowdall, 31st December 2012  
I have quite a few recollections of jim Isherwood the famous Wigan artist. One vivid one when I was a young boy.I used to go to St Mary's school in Standishgate Wigan and went to my grandmothers for my dinner each day in Scholes. One day I was returning to school walking down Greenough St where his mother had a shop. As I was walking by, Jim asked me to stop and admire a portrait of Tommy Steele (with two heads) ,and the next day the picture appeared in the Daily Mirror with the caption "Artist unveils portrait of pop sensation Tommy Steele ,young admirer amazed" Years later I was working for a local Bookmaker Joe Kennedy in The Wiend,and Jim Isherwood was a regular visitor to the office,which in those days before betting shops was a credit office. He liked a bet on the horses and more often than not when it came time to settle up he invariably paid his debts by way of a painting . I dread to think of how many of his works ended up being a nice comfy resting place for Joe's two Siamese cats. A couple of years ago I came across a signed copy of Sir Gerald Nabarro's autobiography dedicated to Jim and his lady Lily ,and guess what was inside....a couple of sketches and a photograph of one of his paintings in Venice I think. Hope this is of interest Bernard Dowdall

Comments by Jon Davies, 1st January 2013  
Well done Bernard. The ol;d stories are the best. Keep taking the tablets.

Comments by jas holding, 2nd January 2013  

I remember the two headed Tommy Steele painting in he Greenough St shop,,,tyhought he was taking a liberty cos Tommy S was my favourite at the ontime 6.5 Special,,,wonder whatever happened to it,,,anybody know??

Comments by Frank Healy's Younger Wiser Brother, 2nd January 2013  
With humble apologies, my last comment should have read "over 19000 viewings" and not "over 19000 comments". Our Frank remains unmoved - MISERABLE SOD.

Comments by jymkhana, 3rd January 2013  
never heed him young sibling,,,,,but have you noticed the next school pic with nearly 19000 views has got 11 comments as opposed to the over 900 comments on this one

Comments by Curly, 3rd January 2013  
Someone's up to no gym ,,,,,,,,,,

Or should I say Jim!

Hail the X Cross Counrty Lads! We are the Champions!

Shame on your Older Dumber Brother Oh! Frank Healy's Younger!

Comments by Knowlsey, 7th January 2013  
Bernard do you mean "someone's up to no good". I agree. They are cads pushing up their number count whilst only having a few comments. Disgraceful! Well they're not grammar school boys are they?
What would England be without it's grammar school boys!
By the way Bernard is Gymkhana aka Jas Holding?

Comments by Bernard, 7th January 2013  
I think Paul Merson's talking book My Struggle is one of the funniest,most surreal ever heard.

Comments by jas holding, 7th January 2013  
gymkahana?????? pass ,,would appear that there are quite a few nom-de-plumes all over Wigan World,,,

bernard thanks for the book review,,,,any good films you can recommend,,,,

Comments by Curly, 8th January 2013  
Try Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows!

Comments by Fred Mason, 9th January 2013  
Well, lads,

I am definitely alive and kicking and will be for many years to come....I can also vouch for the likes of:

Young Cliffy Higham,

Joey the Gent from Nogbad,

Dante, the man,

and not forgetting the amazing Jimbo (Holding)

Wigan Grammar School forever.. long live Joe Boz..!!

Alright, WHO SAID that..???

Comments by jas holding, 9th January 2013  
Fred ,,you just said that,,,you still living in millionaires row? all the seasons best,,,

Comments by Ron, 10th January 2013  
Our Fred's a high roller these days. Rolling in it!

Comments by Yvonne, 11th January 2013  
Bernard love, we all miss you here at Wigan Corpy but from what I hear your doing very well with your acting career.

Sure you find it a lot more interesting than our daily grind.

Lots of love from everyone here XXX !

Comments by Fred B, 12th January 2013  
Fred may be rolling in it Ron, but rolling in what ..?

Comments by Fred, 16th January 2013  
If anyone on the photo would kindly say where they have lived and what occupation they had from then to now would be fascinating.

I will start.

I lived in Canada for 25 years and worked as computer engineer, but also had a butchers shop (Fleetwood) and had a photography business for a while, in between.

Your turn......!!

Comments by John Taylor, 18th January 2013  
I heard on Question Time that a record number of companies were formed in the UK last year. Over 450,000, 400,000 of which were opened by Fred Mason.

Comments by cherries, 18th January 2013  
Don't start on Fred again......you're being cruel !!!! No need for it. Do as he says and say what you've all accomplished and bet you've never moved a mile from Wigan !!!!! He did and has !!!!!!

Comments by Knowlsey, 22nd January 2013  
Wow! Over 2000 hits!
Can't be bad.

Comments by jymkhana,, 23rd January 2013  
knowlsey I think you mean, "Wow! over 20000 hits". Well done son.

Comments by Bunty Le Tissier, 5th February 2013  
I saw Bernard Dowdall's performance as the Russian gangster Eric Ruben. He was very good.

Comments by gymkhana, 5th February 2013  
Got agree that Bermard has had some stiring roles on tv ,serving the old school well,,,and to think the old art teacher FAL used to think the boys in the pic were complete and utter morons,,well not only FAL,,,you could throw Cocky and JBoz in the mix as well,,,thought I do suspect Dickie D would be secretly proud,,,,,,

ps Bunty are you Bernies agent/girlfriend

Comments by Bunty, 5th February 2013  
Hi Gym.

Just a fan but well connected.

Comments by gymkhana, 12th February 2013  
Wonder what it is that Steven Critchley is looking at?? what is that has caught his eye?Is this a Mona Lisa moment like the inegmatic winsome smile on her face??/ Can the real Steven Critchley let os know,if he can remember or was he just bored witless??

Comments by Grammar School Misfit, 14th February 2013  
How strange it is when I now read this site. The comments have dried up. I hear the lonely wind of abandonment blowing through the site like a lost banshee and the tumbleweed of neglect drifting through the lonely streets of narrative.
Where are the amusing ramblings of Bloo Moon, the acid comments of Cheta Brown and stock comments of Peeping Tom and Knowlsey. Where are the self conscious preening remarks of Wigan thespian Peter Bernard Dowdall or the bumbling mind dumps of Jim Holding. Where have these old grammar school misfits gone.
Has the Grim Reaper finally clipped their tickets. Have they fallen of their perches, popped their clogs, kicked the bucket. Me thinks the answer is somewhat more rudimentary.
The site is now a museum of photographs of grey characters, of suits who attend formal annual dinners and like their pictures in Lancashire Life. Pictures of long forgotten "rugger" boys, Wigan Laners and old sepia school masters.
I turn and put up my collar of regret, tighten my overcoat of nostalgia, tip the brim of my homburg of mellowness and abandon the streets of narrative.

Comments by The Real Cheeta, 15th February 2013  
Hi there gymkhana. Take that is the pen name for Jim Holding.
Well Jim, Steven wasn't exactly dressed for a marathon .. was he? Mind on other things no doubt. What was he doing in the pic? Was he excused physical activity?
Blazer, cap and gloves. Gloves? How many of the above dudes wore gloves? How many wore caps even?
Stevie was a different animal, a one off, a bit more cerebral than the rest of us, bless him.
Do you ever see Steven now, what is he doing?
Hope you are keeping well yourself Jim.
And what of my good friend Freddy Mason. Not seen you since school. Are you well? What are you doing these days?
Who is Cherries.. wife, daughter .. or your latest squeeze?
Bet its the latter, you were always rum jockey Freddie.

Comments by jim holding, 15th February 2013  

seems there are a couple of variations of jymkhana/gym looks like who vere it is cant make up their mind suspect there may be moe than on culprit,,,maybe they need to call thmeslves "The Real ***khana" as you have done,,,
ref Steven??? have never seen him since late 50,s when he laeve WGS but have seen his name crop up on here but what is real,,,bu would be nice to catch as we go back from St Catherines,,,,,
Who is Cherries who ever it is certainly sprang to the defence of Fred with avengence,,,,interesting???

Comments by Sandy Kay, 18th February 2013  
james holding was such a lovely lad. I once saw him fishing at one of those pools they called flashes. Was it called Scotmans .. somewher around Newtown. I forget.
Well I kept snuggling up to him but he was very shy and just kept playing with his maggots and hooks. I kept asking him questions and he told me a lot of mumbo umbo about perch and roach and such like. I wasnt really interested.
But it was a lovely summers day and we were both on our school holidays.
He was telling me about all the birds we could see and hear singing.
He pretended to ignore my advances and gave me a butty.
It was a nice day though.

Comments by Richie Penman, 19th February 2013  
Yes Sandy luv Jim was an OK guy but Scotsmans flash is in Poolstock. I dont think you can fish there now. Its used for sailing.

Comments by Curly, 21st February 2013  
I have quite a few recollections of jim isherwood. When I was a lad at St Mary's school I went to my grandmothers for my dinner each day in Scholes,
One day I was returning to school walking down Greenough St where he had his shoe shop. As I was walking by, Jim asked me to stop and admire a portrait of Tommy Steele (with two heads)and the next day the picture appeared in the Daily Mirror with the caption "Artist unveils portrait of pop sensation Tommy Steele ,young admirer amazed". I was amazed .. it was me.
Years later I was working in Joe Kennedy's bookies where Isherwood was a regular visitor. He liked a bet on the horses and more often than not when it came time to settle up he invariably paid his debts by way of a painting. I dread to think of how many of his works ended up being a nice comfy resting place for Joe's two Siamese cats.
A couple of years ago I came across a signed copy of Sir Gerald Nabarro's autobiography dedicated to Jim and Lily ,and guess what was inside....a couple of sketches and a photograph of one of his paintings in Venice I think. Eureka!

Comments by jas holding, 22nd February 2013  
Dont get down to Scotmans Flash much these days more likely to be on a commercial fishery in and around Wigan and district or one of the Garswood Hall fisheries where I am a member these days,,,,,,,,,,but anyone is still welcome to a butty and drink of coffee,,,

Took a 45 year sabatical from fishing, other intrests taking over from age 15-16 ,lived the life,,only to rediscover the joys and peace of fishing through my grandson with whome i have spent many happy hours at the waterside discussing life and times as only a man and his boy can do.

Comments by Roy Thomas, 22nd February 2013  
Jas I've been reading your stuff and you make it sound so good. River bank, chatting to your grandson about life. Taking in the country, sounds idyllic.
I listen to the Talk Sport radio Saturday mornings. They have a fishing show. Very interesting. Also like watching the fishing programmes on Sky.
What reminds me of you is a programme on BBC. Its about an old timer called Crabtree who used to take his grandson fishing.
You must be an old timer Jas based on what you've said. God bless you old son and may you have many more long and pleasant days spent fishing in the countryside.
Curly, this Jim Isherwood you talk about, is that Lawrence Isherwood or is he another bloke.
I know the shop you mean since I grew up in Scholes. Top of Greeny. A shoe shop. My mam used to take me in every Easter when I was suitably re-booted and suited. Easters always seemed to be sunny those days. We were all out in our new blazers.
Don't know much about art or artist but I thought the famous Wigan artist was Lawrence Isherwood.
Good on you for your little windfall. We all dream of finding a fortune in the attic or a junk shop.
Well done lad.

Comments by jas holding, 24th February 2013  
aye you right roy,,,us old timers alot easier now with the zimmer frames and electric wheelchairs,,,,lol,,yes Mr Crabtree goes fishing was coppulsive reading for any scholl boy who ever fished back in the day,,,50,s mustvhave read it from cover to cover a thousand times and still only caught roach,perch and the odd gudgeon on the canal and flashes,,,,but as you say,,Mr Crabtree make in a come back on a sky channel and good viewing it makes,,,lol
did see the 2 headed tommy steele in both the greent st and darlington st east shops the the Isherwoods had well done curly for that.
we had a well attended fishing club at WGS with a few masters attending the i dont ever recall Dickie D making a guest appearance,,,

Comments by Ray Atherton, 24th February 2013  
When I was at school and we saw our mates doing a dodgy painting we would take the pistachio. We would point at their work and say, "Isherwood". He was a laughing stock.
Now his paintings cost a fortune.
Is's a mad world.

Comments by Bunty, 25th February 2013  
I read that Shameless is currently on its lasr series. I understand that Peter Bernard Dowdall appears in Shameless. Does anyone know which episodes?

Comments by Frank Healy's Younger Wiser Brother, 25th February 2013  
Bunty. I asked the MISERABLE SOD but all he would say was "sod off".

Comments by cherries, 25th February 2013  
Ah hah.......cherries here !!!!
Some of you seem to be wondering who I am.....am I Fred's sister, latest squeeze ??? Jim Holding wondering who's defending Fred. Well.....guess what......I'm not going to tell you !!! Did you really think I would ?? NO....DEFINITELY NOT !!!! One possible clue....I went to the High School but so did a million others !!!! I'll let you all carry on wondering but isn't Jim Holding a cutie on this pic !! xx

Comments by (The Real) Frank Healys Younger Wiser Brother, 25th February 2013  
The above is a scoundrel and an ID thief. I would never describe Bernard in such an ungentmanly way. And I would never use that kind of language. I'm surprised the remark was published. I also know the id of "Cherries", the clue is in the comment.
That is not the act of a Healy or a Grammar School Boy.

Comments by Frank Healys Younger Wiser Brother (The Real One), 26th February 2013  
Bunty dear, may I appologise to you for the imposter diguised as myself.
On behalf of Frank & myself may I say that Peter Bernard is too much of a gentleman to use such abusive language.
Peter Bernard is not only a talented thespian and thoroughly good human being but also a very charming man.
No doubt in due course he will make a considerate reply.

Comments by Sarah Ridout, 26th February 2013  
I don’t usually write on the web but felt compelled to do so when I read the comments made by the fake Frank Healy’s Younger Wiser Brother. However, like the Real Wiser Brother I am disgusted with the language used and am surprised the proprietors published the comments.
My father being a former pupil I tend to browse the site occasionally.
I find this particular picture quite amusing in respect of the banter and occasionally quite informative. Certainly I haven’t read any bad language before.
What a contrast to Jim Holdings comments which are always witty and polite, never stooping to low life language. He takes the leg pulling in his stride and always comes back with a witty repost.
I don’t know Bernard Dowdall and have only read of him but I hope the offensive remarks don’t distract him from his good work.
Lets hope that Bernard follows in the illustrious foot steps of those other Wigan luminaries of stage and screen, Sir Ian McKellen, Roy Kinnear and Ken Parry. Thereby helping to establish Wigan as a town where artistes can flourish and not just rugby players.

Comments by Frank Healy's Younger Wiser Brother, 26th February 2013  
"Miserable Sod" does not refer to Bernard but to our Frank as it did in a previous comment (about 35 ago). The words caused no such furore at the time.

Comments by Bunty Le Tissier, 1st March 2013  
Seems that Frank Healy has a number of older, wiser brothers. Best to ignore ones who use bad language.
I am rather curious to know: Who is Frank Healy?

Comments by j.swift, 3rd March 2013  
bunty..Frank is an old grammar grub .. there in mid 50s to early 60s.

known for having a great big quif .. known to his mates as Quify or The Quif or Quifo.

Comments by Frank Healy, 4th March 2013  
Contrary to popular belief, I do have a sense of humour so I find all of this very amusing :o)

Comments by Bunty, 4th March 2013  
Good on you Frank.
Great big quif hey?
Can't wait to meet you!

Comments by Fred, 8th March 2013  
Jim Holding for England.

Comments by Frank Healy's Younger Wiser Brother, 8th March 2013  
Bunty, our Frank was known most recently as a self styled pundit on WW (aren't we all). But he is particularly recognised for his early criticism of Peter Bernard.
However, I believe he has reassessed Peter Bernard's virtues and realises that he is an exceptional talent, here to stay. Probably equalling or surpassing Ken Parry in both talent and popularity.

Comments by Bunty, 9th March 2013  
FHYWB (hope I'm addressing the right one). I think Peter Bernard is more popular because he's a good looking guy, where as Ken Parry, the late Roy KInnear and Sir Ian Mckellen are more known purely for their acting talent.

Comments by jas holding, 9th March 2013  
whose frank healy an wots his younger brothers name and,,,did he go to WGS was he in the year of 57 as were the Cross country crew?

Comments by Frank Healy, 10th March 2013  
The intake of 1955.

Comments by Frank Healy's Younger Wiser Bro, 11th March 2013  
Our Frank was in the same year as Archie I think, Ian (Big Dixie) Dickinson, Dewhurst, Coxhead, Stan, Joe Payne, Gordon Ramsdale, Basil Whitaker etc.

Comments by Big Norm Melling, 15th March 2013  margaret.denton@sky.com 
Who can remember the name of the chinese, at the end of the royal arcade, where we used to go for dinner. Joe Fairhurst, do you remember the pepper pot in Harolds cafe in Millgate ring me on 01942 222494. Big Norm.

Comments by P.B. Dowdall, 19th March 2013  
Amazed to see i’m top of the league Telegraph Fantasy cheltenham.
My Trainers/Jockey stable steaming thanks to R.Johnson and Davey Russell.
I’m lying 58th of over 25000. 4 great winners today 7/1 16/1 14/1 10/1 unfortunately only got two together in ew yank.Onwards and fingers crossed for Thurs

Comments by Doreen, 19th March 2013  
Hiya Big Norm. This is Joe’s cousin. He doesn’t usually go on this site unless I draw his attention to something. Don’t think he’s online at the moment. Been unable to contact him by email recently.
Saw him last week in the swimming pool in Wrightington Country Club. He said that he was having trouble with his Sky broadband.
I think he’s away at the moment. He said he fancied a few days staying with friends in West Sussex where he used to live.
I’ll try to contact him on his mobile and give him your message.

Comments by james swift, 19th March 2013  
telegraph fantasy racing, Im into that. go for it bernard lad.

Comments by Doreen, 21st March 2013  
Hiya Big Norm its me Doreen again. I managed to get Joe on his mobile. He was in a pub called the Scarlet Arms in Ockley, wherever that is. I could hear music in the background so they must have been enjoying themselves.
Anyway he says that he remembers Harry’s café and the tramps who were usually the victims. He said that he too, like yourself, was horrified with the behaviour of the lads, Jas, Curly, Bill, Dave and Wick etc. but could do nothing to persuade them to act like well behaved Grammar boys. He said they did the same with the vinegar bottle tops in the chippy opposite.
He can’t remember the name of the Chinese but says that Curly, Jas and the boys would switch the power off at the mains at the bottom of the stairs, until they were ambushed by the bobbies and Chinese waiters armed with cleavers.
Anyway he’ll be back Thursday. I may see him early in the evening at the Brocket because he has promised to bring me back some home made chocolate. It is delicious. He gets it from a pub in a village called Abbinger. Always sounds mysterious, would love to go there someday.
Anyway, if I can think on, I’ll give him your number and remind him to ring.

Comments by Jim Khana, 21st March 2013  
1000th comment coming up. Wonder who will get it: 2 to 1 Fred Mason; 3 to 1 Jim Holding; 4 to 1 Curly Dowdall; 5 to 1 Frank Healey; Franks Younger Wiser; Bloomoon AKA Cliff Higham.

Comments by gymkhana, 23rd March 2013  
It was love at first sight when I came across a pic of Cherries ,,, she was helping Fred Mason to sell pies from a van ,,, I think it was Fred ,,, a gentleman distinguished by a well developed Auntie Nelly.
When you see my svelte body and ripped 6 pack Cherries love you'll never want the old piesky again,,,lots of love Gymi,,

Comments by jas holding, 23rd March 2013  
Big Norm...how you doing keeping well i hope,,,good to see you out and about so to speak,,,jim/gym who ever you are,,dont under estimate the rascal that is Joe Fairhurst to come in as a complete outsider to nick the 1000 spot,,,who ever takes it will complete a milestone on here,,,but more to the point are there any other pics onthe sites on WW that have as many comment s as the old 57 intake cross country pic,,,,,and they said we wouldnt amount to anything as a class,,FAL,EAT<and Joe Boz etc,,,think there was only Dickie Downin had a shed of hope for us,,,

Comments by cherries, 25th March 2013  
I am waiting for an explanation by gymkhana of his Post of 23rd March of where he has managed to see a pic of me and why on earth he would even dream to think that I would fancy his six pack and his svelte body !!!!!
In your dreams gymkhana......NEVER !!!!
Now explain please and perhaps whilst you're on, you could enlighten us as to just who you are !!!!

Comments by cherries, 27th March 2013  
C'mon gymkhana.....all the comments seem to have dried up. You'll never reach your 1,000 at this rate so come on ...... put me out of my misery and tell me who you are and where you've seen me. It's only polite to do that if it was 'love at first sight' !!!!!! I'm beginning to think you were only joking and that wouldn't be very nice, would it after making a girl feel she's loved ???

Comments by Franks Healys Younger Wiser Bro,, 27th March 2013  
Better put your six pack back on ice Jim.
Yes Jim many comments. You sure have a good pic. Even our Frank passes comment. A few nutters though like Cherries.
Hmm! Reckon your a good bet for slipping in for the 1000th unless the elusive Fred is skulking in the shadows ready to strike. But my mazuma in our Frank... go get it son.

Comments by cherries, 27th March 2013  
and just who do you think you're calling a nutter. My name was brought into this by some unknown person I might tell you. If anybody's a nutter....it's you matey !!! with your fancy name and stupid comments. I'm quite entitled to know who is taking my name in vain.....what have I got to do with you stupid lot and stupid you are. There always has to be one, doesn't there !!!!!!!! and I reckon you're it !!!

Comments by cherries, 27th March 2013  
Referring to my previous comment about the very rude and impolite gentleman....giving him a polite name.....Franks Healys Younger Wiser Bro,,, looking back amongst all the comments, it appears to me that you are an intruder in the camp and do not belong at all. It seems to me that you have only recently appeared and it is not the first time that you have made insulting comments about people. I reckon it's time you took your leave, don't you and let the 'real' WGS gentlemen make their comments without insulting remarks by you. It also seems to me that they are too much of gentlemen to tell you to get lost.....if that's what they wish, I am presuming..... so I'll say it for them in case they do.......GET LOST !!!!!!
I also apologise for calling you gentlemen of the WGS......you stupid lot.....but I WAS FURIOUS !!!!!! Do forgive me.

Comments by Oxo, 27th March 2013  
Hope you chaps don't mind an "intruder" but I can't resist a comment. I was at WGS more or less the same time as you lot but different class. You may recall my nick name.
I'm really addressing my comments to Doreen above.
I used to attend training courses in my younger days near to Abinger Hammer. There was a pub there called the Volunteer that sold home made chocolate. Yes it was delicious.
There are lots of lovely pubs in that very attractive part of the country. My favourite was The Royal Oak at Holmbury St Mary.
Yes Doreen I'm sure you would love it down there. I would love to go there myself again some day but I've got out of the habit of long distant car journeys. Mores the pity.

Comments by Peggs, 28th March 2013  
Hi Oxo my husband Deggs remembers you. You know I can’t stand folks posting vitriol like the last contributor but your comments were like a breath of fresh air. I love England especially the summer and your comments were like the rose of summer opening in my mind after the bitter bile in the previous comments.
We have an atlas that shows the beauty spots in the Uk and Ireland as well as the roads. If you don’t like traveling too far there are some lovely places in Lancashire and Yorkshire. I’m sure I don’t need to teach you to suck eggs, I’m just trying a bit of encouragement.
Yes we have often been to the South Downs region. It is beautiful. We tend to do a round trip taking in Oxfordshire and the Cotwolds, then Surrey, West Sussex and returning via Hampshire, Berkshire and Wiltshire. Peggs.

Comments by Fred B., 2nd April 2013  
I say Jim old boy I have news for you, good and bad. The bad news is that I think you got your cherries mixed up, so to speak. If the photograph is the one I think you saw, the lady in the picture doesn’t have the name “Cherries”.
As Frank’s Younger Wiser Bro advises, put your svelte body and six pack on ice until you fall in love with another lady.
The good news is that you haven’t offended anyone because Cherries only exist as the alter ego of someone else.
And who is this person? Well it’s none other than my very old and very dearest friend, Fred.
Yes Jim, Fred has always been somewhat of a drama queen. So please don’t worry and Frank’s Younger Wiser Bro’ you can now come out of hiding. Alls well that ends well.

Comments by jas holding, 5th April 2013  
hmm young healy the wise one,,,,think you off cherries christmas card list its as well she dont exist as Fred B believes,,,any way what azazes me is that some body could think that any of the chaps on the CC Pic or indeed contributor/pensioner to this pic could have a "svelte body complete with six pack",,,bet average age is 65 if not older,,,dream on...appologies if any of you chaps have but not convinced.

Comments by cherries, 5th April 2013  
Believe me, cherries does exist !!!!

Comments by Frank Healys Younger Wiser Bro, 6th April 2013  
"Respect" Fred B, for exposing "Cherries". Was a bit worried I'd fallen foul of 'who knows what'.
As you guys know I'm only on here to ensure our Frank upholds the high standards of our family and WGS.
Now I know its only some dodgy geezer taking the whatsit, it's OK. Frank can you see how I'm handling this. Not gloating, just trying to encourage the old gentlemen to behave himself in future.
Jas, always thought that you were Gymkhana, but I'll take your word for it.
PS Saw a recent documentary of Japanese men in their 70s and 80s who had taken up body building, six packs and all.
Chap at my liesure club still uses weights at over 80 years old. Can't say if he has a six pack though as he wears a vest.
You guys.........leave the 1000th comment for Jas ... he deserves it.

Comments by jas holding, 6th April 2013  
Cherries we believe you,,,,its good to see you exsist,,take it easy,young heally take your point but cant think for the life of me any young japenease chappies in our class or even in WGS but then again you could never be to sure.

Comments by G. Brown, 25th April 2013  
You chaps mustn’t be harsh on Fred M. I understand that he leads somewhat of a hermit’s life isolated somewhere in the nether regions of Northern England, possibly encountering more sheep than people.
Such conditions, I understand can lead to the Dr Jekyll & Miss Cherries syndrome. Although a return to normal life and maybe a wee bit of counselling would probably alleviate the problem.
Nevertheless, proceed with caution gentlemen; triggering a negative reaction in either Fred or his alter ego Cherries would not be ideal.
Thank you for your time.

Comments by jas holding, 25th April 2013  
Geoff,,,,least i assume its Geoff aka (Cheetah) you probably more than anyone would know FM seeing as i recall you used to sit next to him but I still think you and young Healey are running the risk of faceing the wrath of cherries,,alter ego or not,she comes across as a "person" not to be "trifled with"

Comments by G.B., 7th May 2013  
Well done fellers, nearly 1000 comments and over 23000 views. Not bad for this motley crew. Makes you wonder about the pics with thousands of views but just a handfull of comments.
Shame about Fred M. though...

Comments by jim holding, 7th May 2013  
GB i suppose motley crew just about covers the characters in the class through the years thoubh its got to be said various teachers described us as worse,,,think there was only Dickie D and Cocky met us head on and to that end they did get some respect from us.
Can think of others who might very well appear in our national press along with other "celebs"but for cruelty reasons.
Still we turned out ok...least I think we did

Comments by cherries, 8th May 2013  
Reckon you think wrong, James Holding.....you're all a bunch of lunatics......in the nicest possible way, of course......at least some of you.
In case you're wondering where I've been, I've been quite ill.....still not good....but I shall return...... so beware !!!!!

Comments by bandy butter bonce, 28th May 2013  
curly dowdall has posted a few times but i dont see him on the photo.....
is fred m. fred mason?
sounds a bit norman batesish...
does he run a remote motel ,, is his mams name cherries?
regards bbb.

Comments by jim holding, 28th May 2013  

If i rememebr rightly Bernard was in hospital with serious burns having been the victim of a bonfire night prank.fred m is probably fred mason who is curently living the country life up in the lake district.
hmm do think you may be crossed off cherries christmas card list along with franks whats is names sibling,,,lol
While am one does anyone fancy having a get to -gether for a drink one night say end june/july,,say a friday night for a couple of hours,,,Brocket or some other place????

Comments by G.B., 6th June 2013  
Ah, 3B’s . I think I know your identity but I won’t mention your real name just in case I upset someone. I have already committed a blunder in misinterpreting Dorothy Sharpe’s comments on the rugby photo next to this one, assuming dear old Billy Sharpe had shuffled off his mortal coil, when in fact rumours of his demise were premature.
Yes, Fred M. is indeed Mr. Mason but although, apparently, he lives in a remote part of the North of England, I haven’t read that he owns a motel, run down or otherwise, so I think you can dismiss the Norman Bates analogy.
On the other hand I have a slight hunch that Fred, aka Cherries, is probably having a wee jest with Frank, Jas, Gymkhana et al.
Fred, I am sorry to hear that you haven’t been well but you say that you are getting better. I’m sure that I speak on behalf of everyone to wish you a speedy and complete recovery.
On that subject, have you ever considered moving back to Wigan, where you know people and they know you. I’m sure that Frank, Jas and Bernard, your old Grammar chums, would offer their hands of friendship during your rehabilitation. I’ve heard that there is plenty available accommodation in Wigan, including Council accommodation, if that suits you.
Give it a thought old bean, can’t hurt!
PS Jas. Good idea. Reunion. Let me lnow dates/ times etc. Don't live locally but will try.

Comments by Bernard Dowdall (curly), 7th June 2013  
If youre wondering where I am ..? On the pic. I was in hospital having been burned by fireworks.. I wasnt Whacking it!

Comments by Bernard Dowdall (Curly), 17th June 2013  
Ok lads been dicussing this for a while with Joe and Jaz. Bellingham seems best bet.All those interested..All those on cross country photo plus Wick,Dixie and any other Form fivers in fact any Grammar Schoolers who knew us.Please email me dante_109@hotmail.co.uk or put a message on here. Give me time to sort the stables out with my Head Lad.

Comments by dorothy clarke (nee sharpe), 21st June 2013  royclarke35@aol.com 
hello I. Pearce (you commented 29th may, 2010 and 21st Oct. 2008) did you live one time at 200 Beech Hill Ave?) You may have had a white mini-van? think you may have been at the grammar with my brother Bill, he left in 62/63 I think.

Comments by Norris Gripweed, 22nd June 2013  
Just a passing comment as I wasn’t in the same year as the lads above.

Dorothy Clarke, there was an Ian Pearce who went to Wigan Grammar but he was older than the lads in the picture above. I think he was in the same year as Frank Healy. Maybe Frank will comment. I think also that he may have been a bosom buddy of Curly Dowdall. Maybe Curly can throw some light on the matter.

I say you chaps, your getting mighty close to a thousand comments. Amazing!

Comments by jas holding, 23rd June 2013  
norris is correct Ian Pearce was a coiuple of years older than the cross -country crew,not sure where he lived but he appears in some of the pics of late 50,s soccer team on the main WGS site,,,,,not sure how close he was to Curly Dowdall but for sure he had some history with Tash,,,

Comments by cliff h,aka blue,etc, 23rd June 2013  
have got to take the milestone 1000 comment for cliff h ,who is not his usual self at the moment but he would be wanting to make this on his own,,,,,he looking at you cliff

Comments by Fred Mason, 23rd June 2013  fredgourmet@gmail.com 
Well done to all our lads at Wigan Grammar School.

Hope you all did well in your respective lives.

Here's to us...

Comments by jas holding, 23rd June 2013  
I,ll second that comment Fred,,,dont forget to contact Bernard any of you chaps who want a chin wag anytime,,,we trying to get a few old faces together,,,perhaps re run the the race/
open invite to all,,maybe cherries could make it?

Comments by One of our aircraft is missing, 24th June 2013  jimholding@hotmail.co.uk 
Cliff Higham...19.06.1946---23.06.2013...RIP

Comments by Frank Healy, 24th June 2013  
Yes, as far as I can remember Ian was in the same year as me. There's something of a mystery; about 15 years ago someone told me that Ian was no longer with us. ???? If the two comments mentioned were by Ian then I was obviously misled.

Comments by Peps, 24th June 2013  
Cliff's gone to see Elvis - and he won't be back.

Say hello for me son.

Cliff was always a lad and a great one.

Comments by Fred Mason, 24th June 2013  fredgourmet@gmail.com 
Just heard. GOD Bless, Cliff, me old cuz and classmate. R.I.P.

Comments by Blue Boy 24.11.2009, 27th June 2013  
Heading down to Horwich after scouting on the Pyke,
Jim & Cliff are cycling home on their tandem bike,
But a wheel catches a rock and they fall into the bogs,
The cheeky chaps are laughing cos they think they’re hot for dogs.
They’re hot for dogs,
Hot for dogs.

Curly Dowdall’s moaning cos his tights have got a rip,
He’s salvaged some birds fishnets from a suitcase on the tip,
He’s putting on the grease paint in his Shakespeare togs,
He stands before the mirror and says “I’m hot for dogs”,
He’s hot for dogs,
Hot for dogs.

Meanwhile Peeping Tom has crashed upon the lawn,
His petrol tank is burning and his dipsticks on the horn,
His gear box explodes as he avoids the falling cogs,
His kecks catch on fire and he cries out, “Hot for dogs”,
I’m hot for dogs,
Hot for dogs.

Noel regales the grannies in the Newtown Club,
He says he earned a ton last night dancing in a pub,
He wears cor blimey pit pants and a smookin’ pair of clogs,
The grannies chuck their knickers screaming Noel is hot for dogs,
He’s hot for dogs,
Hot for dogs!

In the Northern regions Trapper looks for Wee Bo Peep,
If he cannot find her soon he’ll have to chase the sheep.
The sheep slap has frozen and Fred saws it up in logs
He’ll be very warm this winter, he’ll be really hot for dogs.
He’s hot for dogs.
Hot for dogs.

Comments by A Friend, 28th June 2013  
Cliff's funeral service is at St mary's church in Standishgate on Tuesday 2nd July at 2 pm.

Comments by Rudyard Kipling,,, 28th June 2013  
I,ve taken my fun where i,ve found it
I,ve rogued an I,ve ranged in my time
I,ve ad my pickin o sweethearts
An four o the lot was prime,
One was an arf-caste widow,
One was a woman at Prome,
One was the wife of a jemader-sais
an one is girl at ,ome

Must a,ve ad Cliff in mind when i penned this in 1898,,

Rock an Roll Cliff.....Rock on.....RK

Comments by Tony Bennet, 29th June 2013  
Today is a sad day for all those of us who are still alive from the above class. Cliff was always fun, always made one happy and a sheer joy to be around.
My condolences to his family and all his friends.

Comments by I. Soffored, 4th July 2013  
Now Jas Holding seems like a very nice person. This charming gentleman has, at times, suggested that the above pictured ensemble re-run the cross country.
Well James old boy, as a memeber of said ensemble, I'm currently holding up one finger. You can have the other if it makes you feel better.

Comments by Mary Skaggs, 9th July 2013  
I think that Cherry woman is missing out. I see Jim Holdin posing in his speedos by the pool in Total Fitness.
And no wonder he wants to run because he's an athlete.
He's not let himself go like my old feller. I wish he looked like Jim. Chaerry wotsit is missing out I say.

Comments by cherries, 12th July 2013  
Hey Mary.......whatever gives you the idea that I know Jim Holding ?? I see his comments on here but that doesn't mean I know him or that he knows me. Get in there yourself if you think he's so fit !!!!

Comments by cherries, 13th July 2013  
Thinking about it Mary Scraggs.......just who the hell are you ??? No other mention of anyone by that name on these postings. Reveal yourself seeing you know so much about me !!!!!!

Comments by lone chick, 13th July 2013  
now, now ladies (cherries and scraggs) no cat-fights over the men. They will be getting large heads. besides, you're girls of the sixties. Where is your dignity? you letting the side down. (shake paws and girl-up).

Comments by cherries, 13th July 2013  
No worries on that score, lone chick. I catfight over no man......no need to even if I say so myself......never have, never will. Anyway I know who you are....the both of you so shall just take no notice of your comments and if Mr.Holding still looks good in Speedos at 67 I'll eat my hat !!!!!!! Let him show us, eh.....that would be good because he seems to be saying nothing !!!!!

Comments by cherries, 13th July 2013  
Just to prove a point....a previous comment.......
Comments by Waddy, 17th March 2010
I thought I saw James Holding the other week in Sainsbury's petrol station, he was driving a black four wheel drive. Facially it was a ringer for him, wearing glasses but a bit wrinky and looking a bit doddery. Course it may not have been him because this chap could have passed for 70.

Comments by Mary, 14th July 2013  
Hee .... Cherries luv you have gone back a long time for that one. No ......... Jimmy is in great shape .... must have been his doppleganger Waddy saw.
You are dead right I'd fancy him meself but I still luv me auld stick int mud, his fat kench and all. For better or worse hey ... no he's like a big teddy bear.
Stick to your Fred ... even if he has a big gut. They never stray.

Comments by cherries, 14th July 2013  
Hey Mary or whoever you are.......Fred's not mine, not in that sense anyway. He's just a friend....we were at Junior School together and have kept in touch. As for Mr. Holding, you know him apparently.....I don't so can't comment on how fit he is but, like you, I'll stick to my owd man.....he's a good 'un and leave James Holding posing in his Speedos !!!

Comments by cherries, 30th July 2013  
Now Mr. Holding, no comments from you after all the discussion about you. Where's that pic of you in your Speedos.......Mary and me are waiting with bated breath !!!!!!!

Comments by jas holding, 30th July 2013  
the days of posing in the speedos are gone more of a shorts type of chap these days but to be honest i do wear the old speedo,s when i,m swimming at Total Fitness and even then its a quick plunge in,,,swim,,,and then out again.I suppose i could do pics by request but wouldnt want to disappoint.
Cherries a pic minus speedos might be of interest,,lol

Comments by cherries, 30th July 2013  
Now, now, James Holding !!!! behave yourself....cheeky boy !!!! but on second thoughts.....WHY NOT ????? Eh girls !!!!! What does everybody else think of that idea ????

Comments by good innings, 1st August 2013  
hey grammar boys. seems like the site created, of your grt memories has been high-jacked by one or two bored ladies. (live your own lives cherries and mary) REALLY!!! let the boys have their site back. (bet you both reply to this)

Comments by Dixie, 2nd August 2013  
It's a free country you clown!

Comments by good innings, 2nd August 2013  
just as I said. oh well, there you go. over and out. Goodnight Vienna. too bored now.

Comments by Dixie, 3rd August 2013  
If there's anybody cluttering up the page it's you. Good Innings my a___.
Get off!
Can't even give your proper name.....coward!

Comments by W.J.A, 10th August 2013  
Well done Bernard Dowdall in your acting career.

Comments by W. J. A., 12th August 2013  
What do readers think of a "kench-off" between Megapot Mason & Six Pack Jim?
The contestants can send pics of their respective torsos to the site and the lady readers can vote for the sexiest abs.

Comments by jas holding, 13th August 2013  
Come on now people,,modesty forbids,,he he

Comments by dorothy Clarke (nee Sharpe), 13th August 2013  
hello Jas holding. Who was 'Tash' you referred to who may have been a friend of Ian Pierce? also, I wonder if curly Dowdall would comment when he next writes on this site? we are wondering if it correct that Ian no longer with us?

Comments by jas holding, 14th August 2013  
Morning Dorothy,,fact is I was speaking tongue in cheek about the "history"between Tash and Ian Pearce in as much as it was a little bit of aggro between the two back in the schooldays.As to wether Bernard Dowdall has any news regarding Ian I couldnt say like yourself all I can go off is the comment made by Frank Healy back in june.Sorry to sound so vague but thats as much as I know.

Comments by dorothy clarke, 14th August 2013  
ok Jas. No probs and thanks for replying. (someone may throw some light on it at sometime) thanks again.

Comments by Fred Mason, 31st August 2013  fredgourmet@gmail.com 
Has anyone ever heard from Joe Fairhurst???

Comments by jas holding, 12th September 2013  
Fred joe alive and kicking,can be seen cruising the strip,taking advantage of the nice weather,in his new wheels,,a mercedes avant guarde convertable with red leather seats real nice motor,,joe looking good

Comments by Margo, 14th September 2013  
Yes he parked alongside of me at Wrightington Country Club just the other day,sound system in his car playing a Bay City Rollers number Shang-a lang as I recall followed on with Abba but he looked ok to me and it is a nice car

Comments by Swifty, 26th September 2013  
Whose Margo?

Comments by Barry Cunliffe, 26th September 2013  
I saw Joe Fairhurst in the Millstone a few weeks ago. He was with Joe Hill who was in my Kiplin at the Grammar. There were a few other auld Grammar faces. I think Bill Brown and James Holding.
There was another face I thought was familiar but this guy had very long hair for an auld mon. I thought at first he was a pikey or one of those Rumanian gypsies you see around Wigan these days. After looking at the photos on the next page I reckon it was Bernard Dowdall. Anyway he was talking to the others.
It must have been a reunion or something. There was another mon with party about the same age. A bloke with a long dark crombie and a Yul Bryner. James Holding …… was this Fred Mason as he had a look of him on the photo above?

Comments by Fred Mason, 28th September 2013  fred@cumberlandpies.co.uk 
Looks like Joe Fairhurst doesn't check out this thread.

Comments by Bary Cunliffe, 3rd October 2013  
Hi there Fred Mason. Was it you with James Holding in the Millstone then. It was a ringer for you regarding your pic above. Give a few rinkles and a bit of weight. Where did you get that long crombie? Not seen one like that since the 70s. Bet you’ve had it since then. What do you do for a living these days?

Comments by Jon Russell, 4th October 2013  
And deep into his fiery heart
He took the dust of joan of arc,
And high above the wedding guests
He hung the ashes of her wedding dress.

Comments by Chris, 4th October 2013  
jon Russell ... are the leonard cohen lines in context of something? missed that one. you might like my favourite "the sands of time were falling from your fingers and your thumb and you were waiting for the miracle, the miracle to come" or "i'm not looking for another as I wander in my time, walk me to the corner our steps will always rhyme, You know my love goes with you as your love stays with me, it's just the way it changes like the shoreline and the sea.

Comments by Jon Russell, 6th October 2013  
Thread? You know the thread! None required.

There's a white diamond gloom on the dark side of the room,
And a pathway that leads up to the stars.
If you don't believe there's a price for this sweet paradise,
Remind me to show you the scars.

Comments by Jon Russell, 8th October 2013  
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury
Signifying nothing.

Comments by margo, 8th October 2013  
I am a member of WCC who happen to be parked up when Joe Fairhurst pulled alongside ,,,

Who,s Swifty

Comments by Philip Green, 12th October 2013  
Swifty was known by one and all..your James Holdings..your Curly Dowdalls .. your Fred Masons.
In fact he once had Fred's head in an arm lock by the Library doors.
"Let him go Swifty", said Curly in a very stern tone, "you'll do your reputation no good beating up a nice quiet lad like Fred".
Swifty had blood in eyes ..... Curly stared back stone faced.
For a second I thought Curly was toast ..... then Swifty released a tearful Fred, slapped Curly on the arm and said, "Your reet Curly lad" and left the scene.
Fred was thanking Curly profusely. Curly walked off ... cool and silent.

Comments by Fred Mason, 12th October 2013  fred@cumberlandpies.co.uk 
I wonder if Joe Fairhurst is known by any other name???

Comments by Phil Green, 16th October 2013  
Margo are you Tony Worswick's cousin?

Comments by Susan Dainty, 17th October 2013  
Hi Margo. I was intrigued by your earlier posting about Joe Fairhurst but I think you have the wrong man. I’ve known JF for some time and often raided his music collection. I’ve never seen Abba and I don’t think he would be heard dead playing the Bay City Rollers. Most of his music is rock with a few blues and folk collections. No pop music at all.
When he first got the car he couldn’t play music because it had an ipod system and he didn’t have an ipod. I offered to lend him mine but it had the wrong connection.
Of course he could have been playing the radio but it doesn’t seem like him sitting in the car park listening to Abba and the Rollers on the radio.
Anyway Margo I look forward to meeting you when you’re next in Wrightington CC. I’m usually in the atrium between 9 a.m. and 10 catching up on my emails on my tablet. Ask the ladies at the bar to point me out. I’ll buy you a coffee and we can have a chat. Susan.

Comments by Norris Gripweed, 19th October 2013  
I say you chaps jolly good show. Now over 26000 comments. I love to read this column with topics ranging for comparison of tummies to over exited comments by frustrated ladies. Fred, along with your colleagues, Jim, Bernard, Frank Healy et al, you do a marvellous job. Long may you reign.

Comments by jas holding, 19th October 2013  
Yes susan your correct I cant see Joe playing abba and the like, hes a blues man,,REM Rolling Stones Bob Dylan kind of guy,
Barry that wasnt Fred Mason in the Millstone that cant think who the guy in the crombie was,he dosent spring to mind.
Norris glad you enjoy the banter keep up the comments

Comments by Jon Russell, 20th October 2013  
You tell him to come in sit down
But something makes you turn around
The door is open you can't close your shelter
You try the handle of the road
It opens do not be afraid
It's you Chris, you who are the stranger
It's you Chris, you who are the stranger.

Comments by jas holding, 28th October 2013  
Thanks for sharing that with us Jon....not sure what its all about but thanks anyway,,,A little bit highbrow for the cross country lads,,,well for most of em I would think... no offence lads

Comments by Squeak, 28th October 2013  mrhyde@northwestel.net 
I know I'm a few years late, but I'm impressed by the ongoing life this photo possesses. I would have been on it if I hadn't
(a) had a sick note
(b) was having a smoke
(c) had skipped school to watch the high school girls playing hockey
Anyway, can we work on a list of fools like me who missed out on this momentous occasion?
Derek (Squeak) Hyde, John (Routh) Riley et al.
RIP Cliff Higham

Comments by Susan Dainty, 29th October 2013  
Hi Jas, I finally caught up with Joe yesterday. I hadn’t seen him at the club for a while. He says that he only knows one Margo and she isn’t a member. He reckons it’s one of his old school mates taking the Pisces (his words .. not mine).
He may have a point because Margo hasn’t yet taken up my invitation for a coffee and a chat.

Comments by jas holding, 29th October 2013  
Squeak,, off the top of my head,,,Moggsie,Dixie,Fred Bamber ,Elmer and Bernard who was in hospital..will have to think of afew more.Ok Susan who knows like i said thats no Joe music anyway

Comments by cherries, 31st October 2013  
fred,, you may not have the 6 pack of the dashingly athletic jim holding ,, or the quick wit of the charmingly erudite Frank Healy .. nor the seductive good looks of the multi-talented Bernard Dowdall .... but I love you just the same. love cherries XXXXXX.

Comments by Eddie Collins, 31st October 2013  
Derek Hyde your name strikes a bell but I can't put a face to the name. But you're right it's not so much the characters above but the ones that are missing. And there are a few characters on the above photo.
Before Jas Holding gets on my back I do have some credence in posting this message. I may not have been an official class member but I can claim to be an associate. I am a catholic and me and the other catholic lads had to sit at the back of the classroom with the above gentlemen when our own class was having RI.
Missing characters who spring to mind are Ian Whitaker, Tony Dean, Dave Ridout, Bernard Dowdall, Geoff 'Elmer' Hardman and John Riley's buddy Graham Tutton who sadly passed away some time ago in tragic circumstances. These really were a rum set of jockeys. Ian Whitaker would excuse himself at the start of the lesson, to go to the toilet, and not appear again until nearly the end of the lesson. Bernard who always had a rolled up copy of Titbits or The Reveille in his jacket pocket would read the mag under the desk whilst Dave Ridout read the Musical Express on top of the desk. Dave always sat at the back near us.
Tony Dean once lit up blowing the smoke out of an open window. He had a talent for making raspberries with his armpit. He would look around after doing so, directly at one of the quieter lads and when the teacher looked around from the blackboard, all eyes would be on the quiet lad. When Elmer wasn't sleeping he was pushing dinky cars around the desk.
You couldn't make it up. It was like being in a Carry On film. We were supposed to study or do home work but we just enjoyed the show. Sorry Jas but I've got to say that you were a dab hand at throwing chalk pellets and that wasn't the only type of missile you had to watch out for. There were football socks, rolled up exercise books and pellets shot from finger catapults made from elastic bands. Bill Ashurst would shout in a high voice "Hey, are you one of us". The teacher never managed to pin down the culprit. It was usually pandemonium but always fun.

Comments by jas holding, 31st October 2013  
Bill Brown,Mick Heaton and Fleck seem to be missing,,,other will come to mind over the next couple of days

Cherries ,,good declaration,,,where have you been,nice to hear from you again

Comments by John Yates, 1st November 2013  
Tommy Rimmer was in that class at the time, he was Noel Smith's classmate at St Thomas's. Mick Heaton's mate Neville was in too both went to St marks. Chris Evans from St Pauls Avenue was in the class but moved to Congelton a couple of years later. And Barry Taylor came into the class later on, I think he was a St Andrews lad.

Comments by Mary Skaggs, 3rd November 2013  
Well said cherries stand by thi mon. I saw jimmy the other day at TF and he was looking fit. Get your fred down the gym 2 or 3 days a week. You'll soon have him in fettle.

Comments by cherries, 3rd November 2013  
He suits me fine thanks, Mary.....no gyms for him. Leave that to Mr.Holding who I believe you have taken a shine to in his Speedos !!!!! Get in there, girl !!!!!

Comments by Winnie McKean, 6th November 2013  
Hiya Fred Mason. I told JF you've been asking about him. If you can't email him its because he's changed his IP to PlusNet. He's busy presently helping me with research for my book but sends his regards.
He asked if you still make gourmet pies and wooden biros? He says well done and keep up the good work and remember not to put your kippers under your neighbours grill.
I think the last comment is a euphemism but says you will know what it means.
He reckons your a dab hand with gourmet sauces and says he has invented one. Orange sauce: water and castor sugar reduced until just browning. Add fresh orange zest, fresh orange juice, orange liqueur, butter and stem ginger. My question: It is very good but is it a true gourmet sauce?

Comments by Frank Healys Younger Wiser Brother, 9th November 2013  
I don't often raise my head above the parapet for fear of Cherries decapitating me. But I am amazed that two old codgers like Jim and Fred have these women running after them. I don't know what they have got but if you can bottle it, I'll have some. I reckon our Frank could use a bottle or two as well.
Is that Benny Hill music I hear in the distance!

Comments by Norris Gripweed, 14th November 2013  
Jolly good show you chaps. Seems only 5 minutes ago I was congratulating you on approaching 26000 views and now its approaching 28000. Really is amazing how Freddy Mason and Jamie et al keep this thread alive with their riveting dialogue and their cheeky chatter. Well done you chaps!

Comments by D Kiddick, 21st November 2013  
Norris, did you have a sister Cynthia who used to go to the High School,,I met up with her on on the charra trips to luminations that people used to organise.This one was from Beech Hill ..a girl called Anne got up.during the coarse of the trip got to know Cynthia and she mention her bother Norris and it was such a strange name just thought it might have been your good self there arnt many Norris,s about.
We had a few dates ,even managed a weekend in a caravan in Fleetwood but it all came to nothing as she had won a place at Cambridge to read ancieat history and i was due to join the REME so we left it at that and beside she had a boyfriend who was studying to be a doctor,we always said see ho wthings would turn out.As it was this football,rugby all action guy didnt pass the medical exam due to flat feet..could nt believe it.I lost track with the old town as i did a lot of site work before settling down somewhat. Often wondered what happen to Cynthia,,did she get to explore the old ruins she was so fond ,did settle down with her doctor.if you are that Norris would good if you let me know and agin if so just pull Cynthia to one side and tell her Don as been asking about her and does she remember?

Comments by Norris Gripweed, 26th November 2013  
Don old chap, sorry to disappoint you but I'm not the Norris of whom you seek. This is a well read thread and perhaps someone else may be able to help you. Good luck.

Comments by swifty, 27th November 2013  
ney then freddy. ive just read about phil saying a put your head in an arm lock ..sorry owd lad if I did. be honest I cant remember but if I did I appolgise,,. better late than never hey freddy,,,
if you get down to the masons pub in goose green on a Saturday night about 9 ,,, ask for swifty and I will by thi a pint.

Comments by D Kiddick, 27th November 2013  
Norris thanks for clearing that up,it was worth an ask just disappointed I suppose would have liked to know what ever became of Cynthia.I guess in someways its better this way not knowing but still,,

thanks again, Don

Comments by Chris, 27th November 2013  
I think you may be right Jon Russel. " ... I never had a secret chart to get me to the heart of this." " ... but it comes to me, you never were a stranger."

Comments by Phil, 30th November 2013  
Great gesture Swifty. Must warm the cockles of Freds heart. He’ll feel 10 feet tall at that. Great stuff. Mind you he must have felt like that for Bernard all those years ago.

Comments by Kevan, 2nd December 2013  
Eddie & Phil: I was another catholic lad who sat in with this merry band of buccaneers when my own class had RI. I reckon the quieter lads like Fred Mason owed a debt of gratitude to Joe Fairhurst too. He was form captain and when the miscreants were raising Cain before the class started Joe did his best to keep them under control. He would write their sins on the blackboard usually under the generic title of “rioting”. Of course he got no backing from the teacher and despite his protest was told to shut up and sit down. Must have been disheartening for him. Still he soldiered on and it must have been a godsend for the likes of Fred Mason as Joe curbed the excesses of the likes of Jas, Wick, Curly and the rest of the high spirited throng.

Comments by Miss Maskell, 9th December 2013  
I've heard nothing about Bernard lately. Is he still around?

Comments by jymkahnna, 14th December 2013  
In the days of the Raj,,rudyard kiplings stories ,poems,writings whatever , where based around the sense of solidarity with which a given group is capable of achieving,,,,,particularly his "army ones",,,,
Being as Robin Cooper was a great poetry man it wouldn,t surprise in the least if he were not the man to come forward wth this "collective name"Kipling" as a new scheme to instill this in to WGS abandoning the normal "form" grading and introduce the "cross house group"where you had a mix from 1st -6th form,,,ie a "Kipling" to instill that same sense of solidarity" He would have had a good ally in head Ashley-Smith who I think was a forward thinker in his time.....
any way thats my theory and I,m sticking to it,,,

Comments by Frank Healy's Younger Wiser Bro', 15th December 2013  
Well, thanks for that, Jim Kana. That's a great weight off my mind. Now, if you wouldn't mind telling me who the Frank Healy you are, apart from someone who studies Kipling of course?
PS D Kiddick: our Frank knew a lot of folk around Beech Hill at one time. I'll ask him if he remembers your Norris!

Comments by cynthia, 15th December 2013  
Now, I remember Joe Fairhurst. He was one of the 'bad ' lads at WGS but one of the loveliest. I still have feelings for him. Wonder where he is now?

Comments by A. Nother, 16th December 2013  
Kevan and Phil, I think you got it slightly wrong. Yeah, Joe was form captain but he would never have put Jas and Curly’s name on the board. Curly liked a laugh but he wasn’t a rioter. Jas might have joined in the fun but he wasn’t a protagonist.
Joe might have put the likes of Ian Wick and Dixie’s name on the board but it was all tongue in cheek. He new well the teachers would never do anything about it. It was all part of the pre-class ritual. Joe’s protest were all part of the pageantry.
As for the quiet lads Jeff Brown, Fred Bamber, Fred Mason and Mogsi etc. I think they enjoyed the proceedings as much as the rest. The lads weren’t in this class for nothing. If they had done their homework regularly and worked hard they wouldn’t have been in this class. They were a class of lazy gits, dreamers, duckers and divers, and some like me, were probably all of those.
As for Wick leaving the class room and not returning, I think by that stage of the game the teachers were only too pleased he stayed away. I didn’t like school. Too many rules and regulations. Too strict. Too many snobbish, silly and down right mad school teachers. I spent my time dreaming of beautiful ladies and exotic lands.
But I thought the lads were great, they were the rock'n rollers, and I don’t know of any who haven’t made a good life of it afterwards.
Merry Christmas everyone .... keep rocking you lads.

Comments by Jas Holding, 17th December 2013  
JK,,,old Rudyard seem a somewhat complex chappie to me,him from the upper class backgroud and yet he seem to have an affinity to the troops even to the extent of a lot of his soldiers stuff ,written in broad speayke
He was an outspoken critic of the tactics(if you can call them that)in WW1 of the troops swarming out of trenches to get mown down by machine gun fire,the unecessary loss of life claiming that no lessons had been learned from The Boar War.He argued about the treaty of Versaille and pointed out in the mid 30s before he died in 1936 ,,the growing threat of the Nazi Party and the armaments it was building up....having seen 1st hand the attrocities of the North West Frontier as was(Now Afgahistan)I wonedr what he would have thought about the soldier who got life for shooting a heavily armed rebel who had previously been laying IED,s

(Its trooper this and trooper that and get him out the brute
But he,s savoiur of the country when the guns begin to shoot

just a couple of lines of Rudyards in praise of his beloved troopers,,,,

Comments by Paisnall, 18th December 2013  
Sorry to be a nerd Jas .. it's .. For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck him out, the brute!"

You and Jim Kana seem to have a lot in common. Perhaps you missed your calling .. War Correspondent? .. Military Historian perhaps?

SQUEEKER - Do you recall the art school days at Wigan Tech!
Jon (Routh) Riley, Graham (Vance) Tutton, Dave (Sime) Parker, Jon Sheri, Rob Higham and the lovely Jez et al?

Seminal days what!

Merry Christmas to all the lads from Wigan GS.

Comments by cherries, 19th December 2013  
Hi Paisnall......you brought back a lot of memories for me by mentioning Graham (Vance) Tutton because I dated him for a while whilst he was at Wigan Art College.
I was incredibly sad when I heard he had died but shall remember him with the joy we shared in those bygone days.

Comments by Joe Boswell (Spectre), 19th December 2013  
Do you know what "nemesis" means? A righteous infliction of retribution manifested by an appropriate agent. Personified in this case by an 'orrible git... me!

Now listen up you mugwumps. I want no more bad grammar, punctuation and spelling. “What’s that Dickie?” That’s my comrade Ralph Downing (pronounced ‘Rafe’). And no more bad use of clauses.

You're on very thin ice my pedigree chums, and I shall be under it when it breaks. Now, shape up or else!

Comments by jymkahnna, 20th December 2013  
Joe Boz I'm afraid you'll have to thrash me ,, English was never my strongest subject ,,, sorry Dicky ,,, I mean Rafe!
Seasons greetings boys,,,, with regard to site we must be doing summat right ,,wonder which particular "item" has the most view or actual comment,,,,Its come a long way since first put on in early 2007 and it has somewhat kept within the original "school group and concept"if you know what i mean,,,,really would be good if some of the missing chaps could get in touch would be glad to chat,,,,,
Good to see you keeping your hand in SQEEKER,,,,,Cliff(where ever you maybe at present ,,, good on you lad)Fred, Curly, Joe, Knowlsey , Tash, Cheta Brown,Steve C,
Mogsy, Billy Brown, Joe Hill, Norm and every one ,appologies for missed names but Id like to wish everyone a Very Happy Christmas and Prosperous New Year,,,may everyone be hail and hearty for 2014,,

Take care chaps

Comments by ayrefi, 20th December 2013  

Jim Holding the most discussed Wigan Grammar School boy on the Wigan Album so far, I wonder where he is now? What do you think.

Comments by chris, 20th December 2013  
merry Christmas all you crazy cookies. Great site. good health to you all. may you find Peace in your Haven wherever it be.

Comments by jymkahnna, 21st December 2013  
chris ,, are you chris evans?

Comments by jas holding, 21st December 2013  
paisnall,,, tought somebody would pick up on it,,,,sometome difficult to remember my troopers from my tommies but am sure you get my drift,,,,,semm to be getting more and more nome de plumes on the site????

cherries bet you surprised whatsit little brother healey ,, whatever his name his,,,with your comment about tutty,,i used to see on Liverpool train some times when i was working at Bank Hall,,,,as I remember he worked for Liitlewoods in art dept????

artify will take your word for that but am alive and kicking,,,,well alive anyway

Comments by Fred Mason, 22nd December 2013  fredgourmet@gmail.com 
Well, we have all survived another year without mishap, so merry Christmas and a happy new year to all from Wigan Grammar School in the fifties.

RIP and blessings to those that are sadly not with us.

Comments by jas holding, 22nd December 2013  
Cheers Fred..will second that,,,hope all you chaps have a good christmas and happy new year and long may me be able to

Comments by Fred Mason, 22nd December 2013  fredgourmet@gmail.com 
Right on, jas...all the best, mate...

Comments by Frank Healy's Younger Wiser Bro', 24th December 2013  
Jim you’ll probably find this a better link to your fame and ‘ayrefield’: http://www.wiganworld.co.uk/communicate/mb_message.php?opt=f1&opt2=&msd=499644&offset=21680&subject=The%20most%20discussed%20Wigan%20Grammer%20School%20boy
I explored the subject on your behalf, unfortunately I’m not registered with Wigan World and can’t get any further.

You’re right Jim Lad there are a lot of nom de plumes around. I was only saying to my older, less wise brother Frank the other day it can get quite frustrating. Yes there are cherries, margot, chris & Jim Khana for example, although Phil suggests that chris may be Chris Evans. If my memory served me well he left Wigan with his family to live in Congleton. John Johnson did a similar thing, although I don’t know where he went. It would be interesting to hear from them.

I knew Graham too, as did our Frank. I was both sad and surprised when I heard he was no longer with us. He was not only a nice lad but a unique character. Didn’t know he worked for Littlewoods although I believe his good friend John Riley worked in the art department for Littlewoods. I remember seeing Graham on Scene at 6.30 or some such Northern TV programme when he broke the roller coaster record and entered the Guinness Book of Records.

You must admit though Jim, ‘the thread’ is getting a little more cultured with your good self, Jon Russell and chris quoting poetry. However, Jim Lad I do fear for your safety ‘on the ice’ with the Spectre of Joe Boswell waiting for you underneath, not to mention the presence of Dicky or is it Rafe Downing.

Time to clean up your prose old boy.

Happy Christmas everyone.

Comments by cherries, 24th December 2013  
Excuse me FHYWB ..... I don't know about the other names but 'cherries' is definitely not a nom-de-plume. I certainly do exist....how do you think I managed to date Graham Tutton in my bygone days. Be careful or you just might be decapitated (was that the word you used in a previous post !!!)

Comments by jas holding, 24th December 2013  
frankie boy,,,

you are quite correct it was John Riley,,must be an age thing getting them mixed,,,lol,,,Cherries do tell us more,,,

Like to wish seasons greeting to all our readers take care ,,It would be Dickies spectre that i would quake at,what with my bad grammer ans artrocius spelling..

Comments by Fred B., 26th December 2013  
1946: A church: Somewhere in Wigan.
The priest holds a new born babe over the font.
The priest dips his finger in the holy water.
The priest draws a cross on the child's forehead with his wet finger.
The priest speaks: "I christen thee 'Cherries'".

Comments by Norris Gripweed, 26th December 2013  
Point taken Fred.
You can fool some ...... all of the time ....

Have a jolly good Christmas and New Year everyone and remember those who aren't as lucky.

Best wishes!

Comments by cherries, 27th December 2013  
As a matter of fact Fred B, it was December 1945 !!!! so you're wrong there !! and why are you making up rhymes about me may I ask and what a strange rhyme it is.....maybe done by a strange person ????

Comments by Tips, 28th December 2013  
Cherries ripe,
Sutcliffe's tripe,
Cow heels and trotters!

We used to sing that as kids to the tune of Cherry Ripe.

New Years greetings to all!

Comments by cherries, 28th December 2013  
I can see you're all just as childish as you were 50 odd years ago so very last posting from me.....you'll all be pleased to hear. !!!!!

Comments by Knowlsey, 29th December 2013  
Cherries, Cherries baby,
Won't you come out, come out tonight!
Where art thou Fred Mason when your squeeze needs you?
She declared her love for you and you clam up oh! Fred the Chicken Heart!
Stand by your woman .. man!

Comments by swifty, 30th December 2013  
thas out of order knowlsey fred maight not even know cherries,, she might be some owd boiling piece who just fancies him .. read thi thred ,, fred never said he knew her.

Comments by john, 30th December 2013  
so Cherries has taken his/her ball home and not coming out to play anymore. can that be the end please. Ahmen

Comments by jas holding, 30th December 2013  
Hey up lads play the game after all it is the season of goodwill to all,,,,lets cut cherries some slack (as our american cousins would say),,,she,s only trying to bring a bit of colour into our lives,,,,

Comments by Mary Skaggs, 30th December 2013  
All the kids sang that song about cherry ripe and sutcliffes tripe, everybody in wigan knew it. I agree with john the mard wench. Tips said nowt about her. what colour is she bringing, black?

Comments by Fred Mason, 31st December 2013  fredgourmet@gmail.com 
All the best in 2014 to all my old mates from the fifties.


Comments by Jas Holding, 31st December 2013  
Yes indeed Fred and a Happy New Year to all our contributors and all our readers in 2014


Comments by Fanny Deville, 1st January 2014  
Ooh! Freddy you are a one!

Comments by Lankyentertanez, 2nd January 2014  
On behalf of Lankyenteranez I wish a very happy New Year to the Joe Boz Appreciation Society, to: Norm Melling, Billy Brown, Joe Hill, Dave Ridout, Curly Dowdall, Elmer Hardman, Noel Smith, Jas Holding and Peps. Also to associate members Frank Healy and his Younger Wiser Brother.

Maude Boyler.

Comments by Rosie O'Brady, 4th January 2014  
Just seen a pic of Cliff Higham put on by his chum Bernard Dowdall. Lovely picture, lovely man. Cheers Bernard. Where was it taken?

Comments by Norris Gripweed, 7th January 2014  
I say you chaps, jolly good show. Nearly 30,000 views. That's an awfully good score, nearly 30,000.
I must say Jim Holding does a spivving job keeping this thread going after absolutely yonks of years. Ably assisted of course by Fred. Do keep it up you chaps!

Comments by Mary, 10th January 2014  
Norris. I don't know why you praise Fred because he says nowt. Never answers anybody. Just conforms with what others say. Happy Christmas, Happy New Year etc. Just platitudes. Now I know Jim Holdings grammar is a bit rough but he does an interesting contribution. Your too nice Norris.

Comments by John, 10th January 2014  
Jon Russell, did you even ever go WGS? struggling to place you. What year were you? Does anyone else know who this is?

Comments by Jas Holding, 11th January 2014  
From where I lived at Clarington Brook bus stop,there was Houghtons Post Office(best place for 1d ice lollies) at the corner of Kirkless St,on the other corners was a "cloggers shop" next door but one going up Manchester Road was "Owd Alfs"(Withington,s pie shop)next door was Lilly Longs Toffee Shop(more general store)and next door to that was Laura,s Cake Shop,,who was also Alf Withington,s daughter,,their bakery being situated at the back of the shops in Mason,s Hollow,,on opposite side of road was Hilton,s Newsagents,,there was also a painting and decorators and as joyce remembers earlier,,you could get a drink in Molly Hammonds Temperance Bar,,get your fruit and veg at Polly Birchalls,more bread from next door,,,fish and chips from Winnards Chippy across the road (at that time I remember taking my white bowl for 4d worth of chips,pea wet and scratchings)a vertiable feast,,,,and any fresh fish from the fishmonger,s(whose name just escapes me at present)at the top of Forge St...and so it went on up Manchester Road to Rose Bridge,,,,each block having businesses and pubs and all making a living,,,,supporting a long gone community,,,

Comments by jas holding, 11th January 2014  
The unforgivable thing about the last entry on the Clarington Brook piece is the ommision on Jack Tomorrow,s Chemist,,if ever there was an iconc charactor who was known all over the area,Scholes,Hardybutts,all around the St Catherines Parish,Manchester Rd and Higher Ince it was Jack the Chemist,,,,no matter what ever you wanted or prescripstion you took to him he would always say(Can you come back tomorrow),,,hence,,,,,,,
to be honest I,m not sure how the piece arrived on here it although I did write it,it was left on Places/Bygone Days some 5 or 6 years since,????

Comments by jas holding, 12th January 2014  
I once bought some keks had the jacket to em,one the ten bob range of suits designed for Kays Gents Outfitters and general emporium of Darlington St,,,by the french/italian designer Ivorgotti de Mobbe,,,,sad story really he was taken prisoner of war and shipped to the east lancs moors in a pow camp,,,settled in Ramsbottom after the war and showed all his gallic flair into creating a range of "no-frills" budget fashion clothes for all ,in those autere years after WW2,,,he open a chain store "Wearer to Weaver"which eventually went bust.He was last heard of wandering the streets of Oswaldtwistle a broken man,,,,legend has it he made it back across the channel,,,I,d Like to think so anyway

Comments by cherries, 12th January 2014  
I don't want to appear forward but was it not 'Weaver to Wearer ???? Good story though !!!!

Comments by john, 12th January 2014  
ha ha! dear old Cherries. (knew you couldn't keep away) hot air hot air hot air. ha ha happy new year me old fruit.

Comments by cherries, 12th January 2014  
Are you the only person entitled to comment on this thread dear John. You're a nasty piece of work !!!!
I made a perfectly reasonable comment on Mr.Holding's posting and you have to be your usual nasty self and why should I 'keep away' just to please you ?? Anybody is entitled to read all the postings on WW and comment if they so wish but apparently you're the only one. You make me sick !!!!!

Comments by Fred, 13th January 2014  
There is something comforting about foggy days..quiet, peaceful times.

Comments by Alan Spacer, 13th January 2014  
Wigan has always been a total c**p hole. Ever since it was founded. In fact it's such a c**p hole it even had a book written by George Orwell who needed to use 200 pages to describe how much of a c**p hole it is. Despite this, I wouldn't want fer live anywhere else, no other town compares! LONG LIVE WIGAN!

Comments by jas holding, 13th January 2014  
"platt lane mission",,,used to house all the school functions,,social dances,,boys brigade,life boys,scouts,cubs ,girl guides brownies,,,,,1st Sunday of month ,Church Parade would start from mission,,and march up to church head ed byb the boys brigade band,,,and back again after the morning service,,,,

Comments by Jimmy Green, 16th January 2014  
Neh then Alan, I disagree. You think Wigan is a dump, I agree, to a point, i.e. the town centre and some parts of the suburbs. The town centre is a disgrace, dirty, untidy and as a pal of mine says, “Full of skanks”. He now shops in other nearby towns.

However, you can live somewhere without loving it and saying it is great will not make it any better. The councillors had a chance to improve it by letting the public see the Parish Church and generally making the town I nice place to come, see and relax.

They destroyed the character of the town by replacing the Market Square with a shopping precinct and even though they couldn’t fill all the lettings, they built another one in Millgate. I bet some bank accounts fluctuated during that period.

I worked on a building site when I was 16 with a team of Wiganers. It was local voting time. I was too young to vote but I asked a work mate who he would vote for. He said he had never voted because labour always got in and even if you put a donkey up for labour it would still get it in. Well I still hear the Hee Haws, loud and clear today.

The Mesnes playing field was arguably the last piece of green in the town centre. Now it’s got a large tin hut on it. A youth club for the town, I’ve heard it said.
Funny, my youth club no longer exists (as it was), Orrell RU. Owned by the same gent I think. Loads of playing fields in my youth. Loads of houses now.

Recently I went through a street in Pem and noticed a flower display placed by the Council in a large trough. However, the majority of residents in the street preferred growing fridges, cookers and settees in their gardens. Of course the town centre, as dirty as it is, is often extensively decorated with flowers.

It’s hard to see how this expenditure can be justified when they are curtailing expenditure on such things as old folks homes and libraries.

But that’s Wigan.

George Orwell rock on!

Comments by jas holding, 16th January 2014  
tell you what boys,I was in the old school the other day,had to go for an x-ray on my shoulder,,,de-ja-vu,,was sat on a chair waiting my appointment,,it was just in the spot where the masters gym room was,,where Joe Boz would take you for the cane,,,i was stood against a wall in the x-ray room ,went all cold and shivery,,,brrrr
As i was leaving was talking to one of the women on the front desk,who I just happened to know,,so i ask her
How many people ask you why this place is called T T L C,,(cant bring my self to say it) and the The Wigan Grammar School Centre,,,,,she replies Nobody has ever asked as far as I know in fact she says theres probably only us old un,s know it was the old Grammar School,,,,,arggggg how sad is that,,,as each generation passes it will soon be forgotten

Comments by Frank Healys Younger Wiser Bro', 17th January 2014  
Very poignant James. When you started WGS probably in 1957 the First World War must have seemed like eons away, yet it was only 39 years ago. 39 years ago from today the Rolling Stones were still in their pomp and they are still performing. In 57 you watched old Humphrey Bogart movies from the 30s. Good movies but monochrome and creaky. That was only 20 years before. Blade Runner was made over 30 years ago, Alien was made 35 years ago and yet these films still seem modern.

The first comment on this thread was April 2007, nearly 7 years ago. It’s like a ghost ship sailing through the mist of time, it’s memories encapsulated for ever. Food for thought James, food for thought!

Comments by jas holding, 17th January 2014  
hmm your right Young Healey lost track of time there,,,2007 wow,,,yes times litterally flying,,,speaking of Rolling Stones,,,I saw them on yhe Emp one monday night they play the main stage and then later saw them on The Ritz,,,2nd billing were Charlie &Inez Fox to be honest they stole the show,,,

Comments by Roy Marshall, 18th January 2014  
Jas. I too was dependent on that great establishment in Darlington Street…….Kays. However, I must have shopped there after the demise of that talented, yes inspired designer, Ivorgotti de Mobbe, because the only designer suits I was able to buy, looked like they were designed as army, surplus rejects. That is, apart from the boots, which looked like they had been designed for the Italian army, because when you wore them, it looked as if you were walking backwards. Do you remember the lady who served there, she looked like a dark haired version of Mae West, fag dangling from her lips?

Comments by Henry Hamblett, 18th January 2014  
Johny………so you want to know about John Russell. I’m a bit reluctant to say because you haven’t given your full name and I expect Johny isn’t your real name. Your style looks very much like Cherries, another non de plume. Anyway I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt but only on this one occasion.
If I know the same John Russell he has an interesting past. Abandoned by his parents he was brought up by gypsies. Later he was reunited with his dad and lived in Diggle Street. A quiet blond lad, he didn’t say much. You could say he was laconic. When he did talk you tended to listen because what he said was often quite profound.
When his dad died he was left a lodging house in Dicconson Street but he sold it and returned to a gypsy life. That’s the last I member of him.
I can’t tell you what year he was in at WGS because I went to Thornleigh but others I saw him with were ken Hamilton and Clive Tricket. Also a group of lads who formed a band Roy Sharpe, Terry Rimmer, Derek Marshall and Sam Bass. I think the band was called the Troglodytes are some such name.

Comments by chris, 19th January 2014  
so Jon Russell. .... you surely cannot be the gypsy boy decribed by Henry? I think not? (too much "smoke and mirrors surrounding" you already)???????? who are you?

Comments by Fred B., 20th January 2014  
I have no doubt that Cherries, Johny and Fred M are the same person. I’m a bit more curious about Chris whose style is reminiscent of two individuals. However, James would have to discipline himself in terms of his grammar and his spelling. Also I would not have associated either Fred or James with poetry as esoteric as the lines Jon Russell has quoted. Chris does demonstrate knowledge of the subject.
However, perhaps Fred is more of a thinking man than I imagine.
Chris I would suggest that if you want Jon Russell to respond you should give your full name. At least tell him if you are a man or a woman. You can’t blame him for not responding to a nom de plume.
You may be right Chris, Henry Marshall has the wrong John Russell. However, the Jon Russell from Diggle street did sign his name as Jon not John as Henry wrote. If I’m not mistaken it was short for Jonathon.
Jon left Wigan to work on the fair grounds although he was quite an intelligent chap and very quick. He could read a book quicker than anyone I know. I bumped into him about 1986, the last time I saw him. It was in Bayswater Tube Station. I was coming off the escalator he was going on to it. We were both in a hurry but swapped addresses. He lived near Putney Bridge but I never got around to calling on him. He said that he was ‘painting’, I assume it was pictures rather than walls.
He said that he frequented the Half Moon pub which I knew well from my previous time in London. I went there a couple of times, where they always had good rock bands, but I didn’t see Jon again. But Chris it wouldn’t surprise me if it is Jon from Diggle Street who writes on here.

Comments by Mary, 21st January 2014  
Well, well well. Fred Mason after all this time. I worked at Greens butchers in the Market Hall when he worked on the market. I had almost forgotten. What a cad.
Anyway I found a wonderful chap. We had a wonderful life together.

Comments by Cis Grimes, 4th February 2014  
Jim Holding I've seen your face before. Bugging me where?
Were you in the Wigan Royals Morris Men at any time?

Comments by jas holding, 5th February 2014  
Cis,,your quite correct but I started off in Lomra Green Troupe and spent some time banging the big base drum in the Boys Brigade following on with a spell in the Higher Ince Clog Dance formation team,,,We came 3rd in the county championships held in Oswaldtwistle

Comments by Cis Grimes., 7th February 2014  
Jas thanks for the reply. My better half suggested I might have known you as a Morris Man. I can now sleep at night.
I tried clog dancing once but it was too intricate for me.
I can't dance now, the knees have gone but I do still like to watch a good Morris dancing session.
It's a small world. I used to live in Lomra Green as you put it. Didn't know they had a Morris dancing team. Must check up on it.
Anyway Jas I'll let you know when I'm next at a festival. Maybe we can meet and chew the fat over Morris dancing, a very underrated and healthy lifestyle. Regards Cicero.

Comments by Michelle Caine, 7th February 2014  
Did you know that Jas Holding's former class mate Dave Sherrington used to do Scottish Country Dancing in the 60's!
Not a lot of people know that!

Comments by jas holding, 7th February 2014  
cis,,your right i didnt know about dave,s country dancing must come from the McSherrington Clan,,,,his sister had flaming red hair,a proper scottish trait

Must add at this point i wasnt bad when it came to the old rock an roll either,,,i couldnt half swing a womans clogs off when i used to hit the dance floor at the emp,,I was a mean bopper

Comments by Mary Skaggs, 11th February 2014  
Mr Holding. Boasting again are we. If its not your six pack, its your skimpy speedos and now your boasting about your prowess as a bopper.
Well when my other half pops his clogs I'll take you up on it. You can throw me around the dance floor like a rag doll, wearing your drains and blue suede shoes. Rock on Jimmy.

Comments by jas holding, 11th February 2014  
Mary,,you,ll have to settle for brown suade boots and black levi,s am afraid,,,,and a bit if Creedance Clearwater or Chuck Berry,,,,,keep a rockin babe

Comments by Jon Russel, 15th February 2014  
Then I saw you naked in the early dawn
I hoped you would be someone new
I reached for you but you were gone
Now Lady I'm going too.

Comments by chris, 15th February 2014  
you should'a said.
"meant to show you no disdain"
but "hey,
that's no way to say goodbye"

Comments by jas holding, 21st February 2014  jimholding@hotmail.co.uk 
If any of our readers or contributors or even any fans or old school chums are interested,Joe Fairhurst is looking to organise a Pie & Peas reunion at a local hostelry ,probably the Boars Head in the near future,,,all welcome,,,will forward details ,,,if it tickles your fancy get in touch either through this site or to me via my e-mail...Jas

Comments by Lydya, 27th February 2014  
Jim. You'll be able to have your kench-off with your rival Fred at your do.

Can I come and watch?

Comments by jas holding, 1st March 2014  
Lydya,,everyone welcome,,the more the merrier,will keep you poated on developments

Comments by Norris Gripweed, 3rd March 2014  
I say Lydya old girl, I don't wish to sound pedantic but Fred is sure to win. If the ladies who contribute to this thread are correct Fred has an impressive girth whilst Jim has a six pack. Hence only Fred could win a 'kench off' as you so colourfully describe it.

Comments by Frank Healy's Younger Wiser Bro', 4th March 2014  
If our Frank attends the reunion I will buy a pint for the best QUIF!

Comments by Jas Holding, 5th March 2014  
Well young Healy not sure how many quiffs will be on display ,certainly lets me and Joe Fairhurst out of the quation,,,,tho at at one time,,,,????

Comments by F.H.Y.W.B., 10th March 2014  
Thanks for not picking me up re: my miss spelling of 'quiff'!
Some Grammar Grubbs are extremely pedantic.
You're right of course, there won't be many quiffs left, let alone six packs.
I think Fred will have a deal more competition on the well developed kench side of things than you with your six pack.

Comments by Jon Russell, 25th March 2014  
I came so far for beauty
I left so much behind
My patience and my family
My masterpiece unsigned
I thought I'd be rewarded
For such a lonely choice
And surely she would answer
To such a hopeless voice
I practiced on my sainthood
I gave to one and all
But the rumours of my virtue
They moved her not at all
I could not touch her
With such a heavy hand
Her star beyond my order .........

Comments by Chris, 25th March 2014  
my best friend he said to me
why is it you can't see
the love you lost can never be

It was forged from a time gone by
the paper leaves of history,
It's gone.

But I always thought that I'd see you again.

Comments by Mandy May, 26th March 2014  
I saw James Holding in Asda last week he was wearing a UKIP rosette. He used to live near me in Kipling Avenue. He was a very nice lad.

Comments by jas holding, 29th March 2014  
Hello Mandy nice to hear from you after all this time,I thought you had emigrated in the 60,s,,are you back on a visit or fopr good,I think you might be mistaking my flower power tee-shirt for a rossette,speaking of flower power and the summer of love,,how are the twins??? they will be grown up and have childer of their own now I suppose???life can be cruel at times with its twists and turns,,fate I suppose,still all for the good,,,take care

Comments by Philip Green, 28th April 2014  
Is this the end of this comic strip?

Comments fading out!

Comments by Harriet, 29th April 2014  
I read some time ago about Bernard promoting Ortisan tablets. I didn't bother thanking him at the time because so many other people were praising him.
I suffer pain and take tablets to alleviate the condition but the side affect is constipation. I tried all sorts of things to help to avail.
However, since taking Ortisan tablets my digestion has been wonderful, so I want to give Bernard a big thanks.
Let me know if you are performing in theatre Bernard and I'll try to get to see you.
Once again thanks!

Comments by chris, 29th April 2014  
if this is the end of this much contributed to column, how about if all those who have hidden behind false names now come forward, (for the sake of posterity), and say who they really are? that would keep the column going for another year or two. (ps I am definitely who I am)

Comments by jas holding, 30th April 2014  
And so am I Chris but you have got a good point,,,meanwhile there dosnet semm to have been much reponse to a pie and a pint night reunion,,,is any one at all interested whether by nome de plume or not,,,,,

Comments by Norm, 2nd May 2014  
Hi Jas! Fear not owd lad! It'll be all reet on the neet!
Hi Chris! I saw you in Standishgate yesterday!
Said to the Trouble, "There goes Chris, me and Chris use our proper names".
I gave you a wave but you'd just nipped into Iceland.
Trouble said, "Yeah! Every body knows Chris!".
Some of the above are dead, some dying and some of us are damned but don't worry, we lads will soldier on, cos we are true mugwumps!

Comments by Bulletin, 16th May 2014  
It is with regret we bring you the sad news that John Sherrington passed away recently in London after suffering a stroke.
Dave who also suffered a stroke is in a London nursing home.
We express our sincere condolences.

Comments by jas holding, 17th May 2014  jimholding@hotmail.co.uk 
More bad news i,m afraid,,, Bill-Tash- Ashurst(2ng left front row) has also left us this week,his funeral was yesterday,have spent many happy hours fishing with Tash and indeed holidays in our youth,I do regret that i never got the chance to catch up on old times .My feelings go out to his wife and family in these sad times. RIP Tash

Comments by jas holding, 17th May 2014  jimholding@hotmail.co.uk 
ref Bulletin...also sad to hear about John and David Sherrington,,,,cant rememeber evr not knowing them,,from being age 4 in St Catherines right through school years to 16 but then losing touch as we grew into adults and went our seperate ways,again never seen either of them in over 50 yrs ,RIP john and hope David gets better.Any one one here knows anything more about them please contact me on my e-mail.....

Comments by Peps, 6th June 2014  
Very sorry to hear about Bill, he was a pal especially in the early years at WGS. I knocked about with him a lot when he moved from Newtown to Marsh Green. We tried to get in touch several times in the recent past but he was probably to poorly to respond.
I think the last time that I saw him was in the County Ball Hall shortly after leaving school. It was the place that we miscreants gathered in those days uncertain, expectant and slightly excited about the future that awaited us.
I thought Bill had become a bit more withdrawn, not the pugnacious character I recall first meeting.
I would really have liked to chat with him, to have heard his reflections on life since leaving school . I wish his family well.

Comments by Peps, 6th June 2014  
Also sorry to hear about the Sheri twins. I knocked about with Dave shortly after leaving school along with Tony Worswick . I think Dave worked with Tony at Pilkingtons. I recall going to Dave's house in Darlington St East during that terrible winter of 63 when the same frozen puddles lay on the pavement for weeks. I think John was at Wigan Art College at the time.
I know nothing more about Dave's condition other than what is written on this thread but I do hope that he gets well.
I had many a pint with John 'on the Lane' in the 80s before moving south again. When I visited London I stayed in the flat he still had in Kings Cross. I lost contact with him after that time. I made several enquiries regarding his where abouts on moving back North but no one seemed to know anything. Both lads led interesting lives. Good luck John where ever you may be.

Comments by chris, 22nd June 2014  
found a thread running through the years of this site. (how strange): I.Pearce, Grammar School Misfit and jon Russel. (one and the same)? maybe, perhaps.

Comments by Fred Mason, 27th June 2014  fredgourmet@gmail.com 
Still never hear from Joe Fairhurst. Wonder where he is today?

Comments by Fred Mason, 2nd July 2014  fredgourmet@gmail.com 
Still nothing from our old mate, Joe.

God, I hope he is not brown bread...???

Comments by chris, 6th July 2014  
this site has died. how sad.

Comments by jas holding, 14th July 2014  jimholding@hotmail.co.uk 
Hello Fred
Joe alive and well in the background beavering away,,hes in the process of organising a pie & peas re-union which hopefully will get some response from here,,,any one interested please get in touch via e-mail,or indeed through this school site

Comments by Fred Mason, 14th July 2014  fredgourmet@gmail.com 
Thanks for that, Jimbo....

Comments by Fred Mason, 17th August 2014  fredgourmet@gmail.com 
All these views...and no comments..?????

Comments by Fred Mason, 3rd September 2014  fredgourmet@gmail.com 
Yo, Jimbo,

Bin drownin' wazzums and sweetcorn in the Lancaster Canal near Carnforth today. Beautiful day, not much caught but thoroughly enjoyable day.

See ya....

Comments by jas holding, 15th September 2014  
Hey up Fred,,
ref the views per comments if you look at next pic with 22,000 views it only has 11 comments??? so for 1166 now 7 comments per 40,000 its not that bad,,,,

Comments by jas holding, 15th September 2014  
Anyway chaps with regard the official school song Oh Wigan is a Grand old Town ,,,etc ,,,does anyone rememeber the popular song that was song,,,Oh the man was in the jailhouse ,,and it goes on to portray his time in there and tell about the rest of his family members,,,mother,,his daughter lily and his father.....??????

Comments by john, 17th October 2014  
is there anybody out thereeeeeeeeeeeeeeee? (all sleeping)

Comments by J W Ashley-Smith, 25th October 2014  
Silence, boy...

Comments by Fred Mason, 2nd November 2014  fredgourmet@gmail.com 
Looks like this thread is a totally lost cause now...what do you say?

Comments by chris, 4th November 2014  
Ahh well. The life is dimming here but memories last forever, "I will love you til I die"

Comments by Fred Mason, 21st December 2014  fredgourmet@gmail.com 
Here's wishing all Grammar Grubs a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year....

Comments by chris, 24th December 2014  
Happy Christmas.

Comments by jas holding, 29th December 2014  
Seasons greetings to one and all and to good health,hope everyone is ok ,,,

Comments by Fred Mason, 3rd February 2015  fredgourmet@gmail.com 
Yeah...looks like I got 47,000

Greetings to all.

Comments by Fred Mason, 7th March 2015  fredgourmet@gmail.com 
Looks like I got 48000 as well...roll on 49000

Comments by jas holding, 7th March 2015  
Good on yer Fred,,how you keeping,,,still drowing them maggots,,,been a bit cold for me as yet,,

Comments by Fred Mason, 8th March 2015  fredgourmet@gmail.com 
Yes, Jim,

I am still fishing although not in this cold weather. How tough were we in the fifties and sixties when we went up to the canal in January to March.I remember breaking thin ice on the Lancaster Canal in in order to fish.

Good fishing.

Comments by Fred Mason, 21st March 2015  fredgourmet@gmail.com 
Yo, Jimbo,

Looks like no-one is up for posting on this site so I will be able to claim 49,000...great stuff....

Good times....good fishing, lad....

Comments by Chris, 23rd March 2015  
Old fishermen never die. ... Did you hear the one about the two fishermen?

Comments by Fred Mason, 24th March 2015  fredgourmet@gmail.com 

I missed 49,000.

THAT went very quickly...!!!!

Ah, well..here's to 50,000 then...

Comments by Fred Mason, 7th April 2015  fredgourmet@gmail.com 


Comments by jas holding, 15th April 2015  
good on yer fred,,,hows it going,,,,was talking to Brian Ruddbout 4 months back in Asda,,,,seems the place to meet up with Chaps,,,have also bumped into Gaz and also Joe Fairhurst,,,,since february,,,all looking good,,,,

Comments by Fred Mason, 6th June 2015  fredgourmet@gmail.com 
Yo, Jim la-a-a-d,

Oi' be doin' just fine. Soon be drowning them there maggots in the Lancaster.

Glad to see everyone is also well. Pity they don't post anymore.

Good fishing...

Comments by Fred Mason, 7th June 2015  fredgourmet@gmail.com 
Hey, you lot,

Look what I found....

A list of all the headmasters...

1597 Isaac Tilman, M.A.

1600 Rev. Gregory Turner, B.A.

1602 Robert Wright

1606 Thomas Williamson

1608 Rev. George Boardman

1619 Rev. John Lewis

1620 Rev. William Sherlock

1622 Thomas Evans

1625 George Rudall, B.A.

1643 Rev. Hugh Barrowe, M.A.

1661 Rev. Henry Fielden, M.A.

1676 Rev. Samuel Shawe, M.A.

1687 Rev. John Sumpner, B.A

1691 James Liptrot

1694 Richard Duckworth

1710 William Ashburner

1732 John Cawley

1753 Samuel Robinson

1764 Rev. Page Godfrey

1771 Rev. John Bennett, M.A.

1773 Rev. John Croudson

1811 Rev. Henry Johnson

1813 Rev. Thomas Stanley Bowstead, M.A.

1817 Rev. Thomas Collet

1835 Rev. Richard Wilson

1837 Rev. William Hawkins, B.A.

1839 Rev. John Hickman, B.A.

1842 Richard Snowdon, B.A.

1844 (Thomas Henry Potter, usher carries on)

1847 Rev. Samuel Marie Rocco Doria, M.A

1868 Thomas Taylor

1871 Arthur Evans, M.A.

1883 James Ohm, M.A., Ph.D.

1891 Rev. Gordon Crewe Chambres, M.A

1926 John Malcolmson Moir, M.Sc..

1931 Stuart Wellesley Whitehouse, M.A.

1939 John William Jones, B.A. (master-in-charge)

1940 William Taylor, M.A., B.A.

1948 L. W. Warren, M.A.

1953 I. W. Johnson, Bsc, L.R.A.M., M.Ed.

1954 Dr. J. W. Ashley-Smith, M.A.

1962 H. R. Nutt, M.A. (master-in-charge)

1963-72 W. G. Merriman, BSc, M.A.

Comments by chris, 3rd November 2015  
"hello" it's me. just thought i'd call. How are yer?

Comments by Bill sharpe, 4th December 2015  
The school had a 3 class entry, so there were about a hundred pupils each year. At any given time they were split up into various classes for English,maths,Latin etc., BUT once a week they all came together in the assembly hall for a music lesson. The music master was a little bloke with a Hitler moustache and took the lesson very seriously.
Can you imagine how formidable this unruly lot were in year 3 ? Aged about 13/14.
I can still remember one particular lesson when the whole class were winding him up. He was trying to get nearly 100 pupils to sing together.no chance. The first line of the song was "come sing, come sing, of the great sea King". Someone, in a loud voice, sang "some King, some King, of the great sea sing". Instantantly everyone took up the same refraine and Price was doing his nut. He stamped his foot and jumped up and down insisting we sing it properly, or else....He had no chance. Then someone started laughing and his face turned bright red. He said we would be here all day until we behaved. Soon everyone joined in the laughter... Price got more and more agitated and started prancing around. He reminded me of Freddie Starr doing his Nazi impression. Price completely lost control of the class and amid hysterical laughter he stormed out of the room.
We continued to howl with laughter at the situation that we had caused. Suddenly, the door quietly opened and in crept the deputy head. He never said a word, but as soon as the lads saw who it was there was an abrupt silence. "All of you, an orderly queue outside my office,NOW", and he turned on his heel and left.
We all filed after him expecting the usual punishment, 6 of the best.
When we arrived at his office, jostling not to be in front of the queue, he said "go away, and do not wind up members of my staff again".
It was the only instance that we ever got away without the big stick from Dickie Nutt, but we knew not to push our luck with any repeat performance.
The next week, at music lesson, Dickie Nutt sat amongst the pupils, and everyone sang. "Come sing, come sing, of the great sea King".

Happy days.... 45 years on.

Comments by Frank Healy, 19th December 2015  
Sad news. I found out this morning that Billy Brown died a couple of weeks ago.

Comments by Bill, 4th April 2016  
Just testing. Is this website now defunct?

Comments by chris, 2nd May 2016  
No Bill, not defunct. just seems to be an orbituary notice board these days. Come on everyone! lets revive this, share some good old memories as Bill did.

Comments by Fred Mason, 30th May 2016  fredgourmet@gmail.com 
Yo, Jimbo lad....

I am off tomorrow morn to drown sum maggots in't Lancaster canal at Borwick...Near Carnforth...

I'll let ye know the results...Be cool....

Comments by Fred Mason, 31st May 2016  fredgourmet@gmail.com 
Well, Jim lad,

I am losing me touch. Two good bites but they got off while reeling them in. (The ones that got away)

However, a good day was had in the sunshine and beautiful scenery all around.

Will be be back again soon.

Good fishin' to you, lad.

Comments by Fred Mason, 13th July 2016  fredgourmet@gmail.com 
Where is everybody????

Comments by Fred Mason, 19th October 2016  fredgourmet@gmail.com 
I wonder how many of us are still around. Doesn't look like too many at the moment, sadly.

Comments by Fred Mason, 18th December 2016  fredgourmet@gmail.com 
Well, lads...a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to anyone that is still left among us. Bless all Grammar Grubs remaining.

Comments by Jas Holding, 11th January 2017  
Hello Fred,,,and the same to you,,,yes looks like not many of responding these days,,any way you take care

Comments by Fred Mason, 10th July 2017  fredgourmet@gmail.com 
It's dead, Jim, lad...it's dead...God bless our Grammar Grubs, they were a good bunch of lads. R.I.P.

(Found a great fishing place on the Lancaster Canal...It's a secret...but...!!!)

Comments by Bill Sharpe, 17th July 2017  
Hi everybody,

Just thought that I would formally close this thread by posting the 2000th comment.

If someone makes another posting, then perhaps we will need to carry on for the next 1000.

I somehow doubt it, but the thread certainly caught the imagination and I have personally got great pleasure from reliving some fantastic memories .

Good luck and god bless all who passed through those famed portals.


Comments by Fred Mason, 15th September 2017  fredgourmet@gmail.com 
Come on you chaps. Not all of us are brown bread, surely.???? I do hope not....!!!!

Comments by Jas Holding, 11th October 2017  jimholding@hotmail.co.uk 
Hello Fred,
Still alive and kicking,,well some what and to Billy Sharpe i entirley agree with your sentiments,,,it had been a good wander down memory lane reliving all the incidents and events,,,think we owe it to our dependants and future generations /readers to leave our slant on the late 50s early 60s school days as it was as ,

Not sure how many rascals that appear on the pioc or indeed how many the Year of 57 ar still about but would be good to have some more input from the past...Jas

Comments by Fred Mason, 7th December 2017  fredgourmet@gmail.com 
Some good points there, Jas.

I am beginning to wonder just who is left of us Grubbs from 1957.

In the meantime I would like to wish yourself and whoever is left, a very Merry Christmas for 2017, and a happy and prosperous New Year in 2018.

Comments by Max, 21st December 2017  Cooper 
I walked into Sainsbury’s café. Sam Bass was playing the piano. I said ‘Play it again Sam’.
I got my Americano and took a table. Salma Hayek came in and sat down at my table.
I said ‘Of all the grot stops in all the world you come into this one’.
She touched my hand. She kissed my cheek. We sang together ‘A kiss is just a kiss, a sigh is just a sigh, the simple things apply as time goes by’.
Then I woke up.

Comments by Max Cooper, 23rd December 2017  
Christmas! Wigan Grammar School! Lunch time! Gorners Café, Little Arcade.
A group of suspicious characters talking at a table. I don’t understand the language.
I say to Lois: ‘I think they are Russian'.
Lois replies: ‘They are Belarusian!’
I tried to move closer. They were unshed over the table eating something.
I think they were Minsk Spies!

Comments by Cicero Grimes, 26th December 2017  
See this column has picked up since Jimmy Holding came back. He's the only one with any imagination. You moaning lot are pathetic. Billy Sharpe does his best as a new comer and is completely ignored by you whining lot until Jimmy came back. Good on you Jimmy. Good on you Billy.

Comments by Cicero Grimes, 29th December 2017  
Billy Sharpe you mentioned the aptly named ‘Pricker’ Price earlier in the thread. An arrogant little popinjay. Charlie Chaplin haircut, Hitler mustache, 3 piece tweed whistle and dickie bow.
In some circles known as ‘Hit-laar’ pronounced in a Snudge voice as per Bootsie & Snudge. Used to try to make a rock’n roll generation sing tuneless garbage such as a song about ‘Gertrude’ who was apparently ‘dauntless and gay’. The lads used to sing ‘dustbin’ in place of ‘Gertrude’.
In one such session as Billy described I was wrongly accused of ‘grunting’. Chief Demon, Joe Boswell was summoned from Hell. I was dragged kicking, screaming and protesting my innocence to the ‘torture chamber’ aka the gym office. ‘Bend over the desk’ – But I’m innocent – THWAK -‘Do as you’re told’ – I want a fair trial – THWAK – I’ll tell me mam – THWAK – you can break my body
but not my spirit –THWAK!
My innocent name was entered into the Black Book, besmirched from here to eternity. But my spirit rose like the phoenix above the sadists grovelling in the climax of their orgasm of torture. I walked away proud and unbroken.

Comments by Cicero Grimes, 29th December 2017  
Jimmy Holding 15th September 2014 above. You commented on the ‘jailhouse song’.
I don’t think this one is one of Mr Price’s finest and I can’t remember all the words. Maybe if you know the song better you will correct me.
On the next photo I see Billy Sharpe was on the rugby team and I’m told the lads sang jolly songs on the coach to and from matches. So maybe Billy can supply a more accurate version than me.
Anyway, here goes, I’ll do my best:
“There’s a squaddie in the glasshouse with his discharge in his hand
And the shadow of his proboscis against the wall
The moss is growing thick between the spaces in the brick
And the rats are quite amused by it all
He has a daughter Lilly well known in Piccadilly
As is his mater in the Strand
Pater is a drummer in the Household Cavalry
They’re the finest of families in the land “

Comments by Cicero Grimes, 4th January 2018  
Wonder what happened to the characters who used to contribute to this thread. The likes of the Quiff and his Younger Wiser Brother. Gymkhana, Sqeek, Bernard Dowdall and the Oracle. Guess at their age they're all dead, dying or damned.

Comments by Molly McGuire, 7th January 2018  
James Holding goes to Total Fitness on his push bike. He swims and does the gym. At his age its great. I think he must be one of them there iron men. You know them that run swim and bike. Cicero who is the Quiff.

Comments by Cicero Grimes, 11th January 2018  
Hi Molly. So it's Iron Jim Holding is it. Hope he's not one of those lycra louts. The bane of my life. Clogging the roads and preventing me getting home by blocking off all the roads. I'd ban the lot of 'em.
The Quiff aka Quiffy aka Frank Healy. You can spot him on the group photos overleaf. He identifies himself. Large quiff and glasses. Also known at school as Cooky I think. After Cooky the Comb, a character from the 60s TV series 77 Sunset Strip, as he was always combing his quiff.

Comments by Max Cooper, 17th January 2018  
I felt stressed out. My doctor said move to somewhere quiet where next to nothing happens. I moved to Morecambe.
I walked along the promenade. An old man in a long mac was sitting on a bench. He was eating chips and staring at the traffic lights. He offered me a chip. I don't usually accept gifts from strangers but he seemed a nice old buffer.
I complemented him on the chip. He said his name was Billy Sharpe.
He gave me some homely advise. 'Get a dog and walk it on the promenade. You'll meet friendly folk'.
But I can't stand those smelly things that foul the pavement and leave their scent everywhere they go. I don't care much for dogs either.

Comments by Max Cooper, 7th February 2018  
In my younger days I liked to roam. I would often visit the Tickled Trout at Samlesbury. I loved to stroll along the river bank on a summer’s day. On one such occasion I noticed what looked a familiar figure perched on the bank, rod extending over the water.
It was James Holding a former pupil of Wigan Grammar. I asked him if he had caught anything. Laconically he beckoned to the keep net where several creatures were wriggling.
Are they chub? I enquired. They’re fairly chubby he replied.

Comments by Quiffy Healy, 14th March 2018  
Never wore glasses in those days. Curly Grimes? :0)

Comments by Cicero Grimes, 28th March 2018  
Hi Quiffy! Sorry about the bins. At least Molly will be able to spot you now. Glad to hear your still kicking.
I see at the end of this section someone has posted a picture of Graham Tutton, I was surprised to hear he passed away about 20 years ago. He was a relatively young man. Does anyone know the circumstances?

Comments by Molly, 30th March 2018  
I think I’ve spotted Quiffy now! What a handsome lad. Cicero, who is Sqeek! Funny name, he doesn't use the 'u'.

Comments by Cicero Grimes, 12th April 2018  
Dear Molly, sorry can't be of help regarding Sqeek. I only know what I have read in this column. He appears to be some sort of a religeous fellow. I suggest you ask your friend Jim Holding about him, down at the gym.

Comments by Jas Holding, 15th April 2018  jimholding@hotmail.co.uk 
Afternoon chaps just to confirm I can still be seen doddering along to Total Fitness in an effort to keep the old bones from seizing up,other than that can be found wondering around Robin Park Precinct.Can confirm some of the others from the pic are still about,Joe Fairhurst,Richard Garswood,Norman Melling ,Joe Hill,Bernard Dowdall ,Fred Mason,would be good to hear of any others,,,take care men

Comments by Fred Mason, 16th April 2018  fredgourmet@gmail.com 
Nice to hear from you, Jim lad.

Just bought my maggot drowning licence for this year. Will out and about soon. Also, just moved back to Lancashire, the Fylde area.

Comments by Molly, 17th April 2018  
Cicero, I don't really know Jim Holding, only by sight and what other folks say. They say he's a nice fellow but I'm on the shy side when it comes to approaching people I don't know. But I knew Graham Tutton. We Convent and High School girls would meet him after school with his friend John Riley. They were two good looking lads.
There's a picture of Graham on page 15 where he's on a big dipper. Someone named D. Glover has written about what happened to him. It's very sad.

Comments by Cis Grimes, 28th April 2018  
Thanks Molly. Always found Graham a nice guy and an interesting character. It's very sad.

Comments by Fred Mason, 4th December 2018  norleylad@gmail.com 
...and as we all get ready for a very Merry Christmas, 2018 and a Happy New Year, 2019, we hope that all our old mates are still with us....

Comments by TC, 2nd January 2019  
Happy New Year all you survivors: Big Norm Melling, Geoff Ashton, Richard Garswood, James Holding, Joe Hill, Bernard Dowdall, Noel Smith, Joe Fairhurst, Geoff Hardman, Dave Ridout and anyone who I may have missed.
Lets hear from you John (Tips) Worthington, Tony (Dixie) Dean, Dave (Mogsy) Morris, John Riley, Geoff Brown, Fred Bamber et al.
And I special New Year's greeting to the ubiquitous, redoubtable Frank Healy, not of this vintage but nevertheless a precious contributor.

Comments by TC, 2nd January 2019  
On a sad note, for those not already informed, it is with regret that I heard Tommy (Sam) Bass has recently died. He was a friend of mine. We didn't talk much lately, we didn't have the time, but he was a friend of mine.

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