Photos of Wigan
Photos of Wigan

Wigan Album

Wigan Grammar Schools


Wigan Grammar School, early 60s.
Photo: B. Taylor
Views: 100,788
Item #: 485
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.

Comment by: T. Rimmer on 11th April 2007 at 17:17

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.

Comment by: kath byrne on 17th April 2007 at 18:16


Comment by: cliff H on 5th August 2007 at 22:07

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 '

Comment by: Bernard Dowdall (curly) on 9th August 2007 at 01:02

If youre wondering where I am ..? I was in hospital having been burned by fireworks.. I wasnt Whacking it!

Comment by: G. Brown on 8th September 2007 at 13:29

No Bernard I wasn't wondering. As you can see I tend to sit on the fence.

Comment by: Fred Bamber on 12th September 2007 at 18:03

If you are wondering where I am ........ I did wack it.

Comment by: Dave Morris on 13th September 2007 at 13:59

If you wondering were I was - you lead a pretty sad life.

Comment by: I. Whitaker on 17th September 2007 at 15:06

If your wondering were I was, I wasn't that daft to do the xcountry.

Comment by: Sid Fly on 20th September 2007 at 14:15

The guy in the background behind Johnson is Cooper the woodwork teacher.

Comment by: Jeff Smith on 26th September 2007 at 18:45

Is that Frank Cartwright with his head down.

Comment by: Fred Mason on 24th November 2007 at 16:35

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.

Comment by: Elmerb on 27th November 2007 at 17:57

If you are wondering were I was - so am I. Probably having a drag on a woody in the club house.

Comment by: C. Evans on 10th December 2007 at 13:16

If your wonering where I was, I got my mam to write me a sicky.

Comment by: jim holding on 21st December 2007 at 01:23

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,,,,

Comment by: CLIFF H on 3rd January 2008 at 01:20

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.

Comment by: Chaz on 9th January 2008 at 17:05

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?

Comment by: jim holding on 9th January 2008 at 23:47

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,,,,

Comment by: Raz on 15th January 2008 at 22:13

Well I remember Jaz and Chaz and to stretch a point - Baz. I also rember dear old gaz. But do you remember me....

Comment by: Knowlesy on 15th January 2008 at 22:28

If your wondering where Dixie Dean was, so am I.

Comment by: S. Critchley on 16th January 2008 at 09:14

Re: Jim Holdings comments. Curly is the one and only Bernard Dowdall ex of St Marys and Goose Green.

Comment by: D. mORRIS on 16th January 2008 at 17:42

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.

Comment by: Knowlsey on 19th January 2008 at 18:53

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.

Comment by: Knowlsey on 19th January 2008 at 19:42

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.

Comment by: jim holding on 26th January 2008 at 21:55

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

Comment by: Bloggs on 2nd February 2008 at 16:47

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.

Comment by: Knowlesy on 4th February 2008 at 19:16

Are you "Bloggs" Cartwright and if so, is that you with your head down?

Comment by: Cheta Brown on 10th February 2008 at 17:40

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.

Comment by: cliff on 15th February 2008 at 23:55

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!

Comment by: jim holding on 16th February 2008 at 22:48

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,,,,,

Comment by: Routh on 20th February 2008 at 22:03

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.

Comment by: Knowlsey on 21st February 2008 at 23:43

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.

Comment by: Bloggs on 22nd February 2008 at 10:40

Ey up - yoh men. Me thinks Jim Holding doth protest too much.

Comment by: Routh on 22nd February 2008 at 12:50

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?

Comment by: Sqeek on 23rd February 2008 at 17:23

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.

Comment by: jim holding on 23rd February 2008 at 23:12

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

Comment by: Miss P. Maskell on 24th February 2008 at 13:38

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.

Comment by: C. Cubbin on 28th February 2008 at 17:04

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.

Comment by: Archy Aspinall on 28th February 2008 at 19:50

Right on Cubbers. Bernard Dowdall was the steward at Beech Hill Labour Club. Last time I saw him he was watering the horse.

Comment by: Percy "Clogger" Kellog on 29th February 2008 at 09:02

Your having a laugh. Bernard Dowdall was never the steward at Beech Hill Labour Club. He was the concert secretary.

Comment by: Bloggs on 29th February 2008 at 18:22

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.

Comment by: jim holding on 1st March 2008 at 21:30

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....

Comment by: P. Maskell on 6th March 2008 at 08:21

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.

Comment by: F. Heaton on 13th March 2008 at 13:41

I think I know James Holding if its the same lad who went to St. Catherines. But he was more my younger sisters age.

Comment by: Peeping Tom on 14th March 2008 at 19:22

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

Comment by: jim holding on 15th March 2008 at 21:04

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 ,,,

Comment by: jim holding on 15th March 2008 at 21:27

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,,,

Comment by: Knowlsey on 16th March 2008 at 19:31

Hey Tom I remember. When we saw you coming we would say "Look who's coming - Jesus C.....".

Comment by: Peeping Tom on 18th March 2008 at 07:41

Very funny Knowlsey ah ah! So yo are having a re-union Jim. When and where?

Comment by: Trencher on 24th March 2008 at 13:00

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.

Comment by: Knowlsey on 25th March 2008 at 13:24

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!

Comment by: Cheta Brown on 25th March 2008 at 20:56

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!

Comment by: Routh on 26th March 2008 at 18:57

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.

Comment by: jim holding on 26th March 2008 at 21:53

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??

Comment by: Peeping Tom on 27th March 2008 at 15:45

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?

Comment by: Bernard Dowdall (curly) Not Ernie on 28th March 2008 at 00:49

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 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.

Comment by: PYKEY on 11th April 2008 at 11:57

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.

Comment by: jim holding on 12th April 2008 at 22:42

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,,,,

Comment by: Pikey on 13th April 2008 at 17:15

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.

Comment by: jim holding on 15th April 2008 at 22:44

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,,,,

Comment by: SWIFTY on 18th April 2008 at 08:08

Yeah, I remember you lot 3G. A gang of cheeky young gts. I'll get you when you come out!

Comment by: bigd on 19th April 2008 at 21:18

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?????

Comment by: Pikey on 21st April 2008 at 08:01

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!

Comment by: Knowlsey on 21st April 2008 at 12:36

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.

Comment by: Pikey on 22nd April 2008 at 13:59

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.

Comment by: Knowlsey on 22nd April 2008 at 15:33

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.

Comment by: Peeping Tom on 24th April 2008 at 16:13

Wonder if any of the old teachers read this banter. If you do - drop us a line.

Comment by: Joe Boz (Deceased) on 25th April 2008 at 08:18

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.

Comment by: Peeping Tom on 28th April 2008 at 10:23

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?

Comment by: Trencher on 2nd May 2008 at 08:15

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?

Comment by: jim holding on 2nd May 2008 at 21:12

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?

Comment by: Fred Mason on 2nd May 2008 at 23:35

Joe Boz is deceased??? Oh can't be. I so look forward to getting my own back I grows up...!!!!

Comment by: Paddy Gore's Spectre on 5th May 2008 at 10:56

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!"

Comment by: Joe Boz on 5th May 2008 at 17:34

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....!!!

Comment by: jim holding on 6th May 2008 at 00:32

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

Comment by: Curly Dowdall on 6th May 2008 at 00:46

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.

Comment by: Trencher on 6th May 2008 at 15:17

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!

Comment by: Trencher on 7th May 2008 at 13:17

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.

Comment by: jim holding on 7th May 2008 at 22:03

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

Comment by: cliff on 9th May 2008 at 21:27

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.

Comment by: cliff (bloo) on 12th May 2008 at 22:24

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 !!!

Comment by: Warrior on 14th May 2008 at 16:09

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.

Comment by: Cheta on 16th May 2008 at 07:59

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.

Comment by: cliff higham on 16th May 2008 at 17:17

Well said cheetah

Comment by: Curly Dowdall on 19th May 2008 at 00:04

ooooh!!looks like we'll have to invite Jem Swift and Jemmy Ince as minders.
ps is Miss maskell coming??

Comment by: Pikey on 19th May 2008 at 11:13

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.

Comment by: Trencher on 21st May 2008 at 07:53

Maybe you guys are expecting too much from your reunion. The Grim Reaper may have felt the collar of a number of the crew.

Comment by: jim holding on 24th May 2008 at 20:18

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

Comment by: Miss P. Maskell on 1st June 2008 at 17:21

Bernard. I'm not thr girl I was, but will try to get down. Love PM.

Comment by: Archie on 5th June 2008 at 09:07

So Jaz - have you got many coming to your class re-union?

Comment by: jas holding on 9th June 2008 at 23:19

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

Comment by: cliff H on 13th June 2008 at 21:38

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.

Comment by: cliff H on 13th June 2008 at 22:29

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.

Comment by: Jay Bell Pentops on 14th June 2008 at 14:08

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”.

Comment by: Roy on 17th June 2008 at 09:10

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.

Comment by: jas holding on 18th June 2008 at 23:04

see you there roy and who ever else turns up

Comment by: jas holding on 18th June 2008 at 23:10

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

Comment by: Jay Bell Pentops on 20th June 2008 at 10:29

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!

Comment by: cliff H on 22nd June 2008 at 19:06

curly, extreme left on top row is obviously Donald Alexander Hilton.
His son put the pic on, silly boy.

Comment by: Jay Bell Pentops on 23rd June 2008 at 20:27

Wot do you want with yur drippin Cliff.

Comment by: cliff H on 23rd June 2008 at 22:14

black puddin an custard and a pendletons twicer.

Comment by: cliff H on 23rd June 2008 at 23:28

I win, the the hundreth posting. Lets hope we,re around for 200.

Comment by: Fred on 24th June 2008 at 13:23

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.

Comment by: Knowlsey on 28th June 2008 at 10:30

Did you take any photos at the do? See if they will let you post them.

Comment by: Fred Mason on 28th June 2008 at 10:39

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...!!

Comment by: cliff Higham on 30th June 2008 at 15:08

I sent one in Knowsley in the hope they might put
it on although they say they only want old photos not old people.

Comment by: Jay Bell Pentops on 30th June 2008 at 17:01

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.

Comment by: cliff (bloo) on 1st July 2008 at 17:57

an straighten that tie boy!

Comment by: cliff (bloo) on 5th July 2008 at 20:26

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.

Comment by: Fred Mason on 6th July 2008 at 16:53

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.

Comment by: Jay Bell Pentops on 8th July 2008 at 12:30

Shave off the father xmas Fred! Where's Jas these days? Have Jemmy Ince and Jem Swift nobled him.

Comment by: Cheta Brown on 9th July 2008 at 13:52

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.

Comment by: Fred Mason on 10th July 2008 at 17:39

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.......

Comment by: Jay Bell Pentops on 10th July 2008 at 20:24

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.

Comment by: cliff (bloo) on 17th July 2008 at 16:32

Can anybody put a date to this pc, the poster B Taylor says early 60,s I,de say more like 58/59.

Comment by: Peeping Tom on 18th July 2008 at 10:51

Sorry your losing sleep over this Cliff - I'll launch an enquiry.

Comment by: cliff H on 23rd July 2008 at 23:06

Too late, I,m goin for 1957

Comment by: jas holding on 23rd July 2008 at 23:06

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,,,

Comment by: Peeping Tom on 24th July 2008 at 14:20

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.

Comment by: Jay Bell Pentops on 24th July 2008 at 14:41

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.

Comment by: Fred Mason on 27th July 2008 at 13:44

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 have been warned..!! Come on Geoff and all who live close by, it's my round...

Comment by: Jay Bell Pentops on 28th July 2008 at 19:49

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?

Comment by: Fred Mason on 3rd August 2008 at 12:54

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.!!

Comment by: Fred Mason on 3rd August 2008 at 17:03

Hey lads,
Feeling low?
Feeling miserable?
Need a laugh?

Then go to:

Some of the pics are low res, sorry.


Comment by: cliff H on 3rd August 2008 at 23:23

nice one fred you did good, Heroes eh? ok why not 5 mile jog wasn,t easy

Comment by: Jay Bell Pentops on 4th August 2008 at 10:17

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?

Comment by: Fred Mason on 6th August 2008 at 18:39

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....

Comment by: Jay Bell Pentops on 7th August 2008 at 15:29

Hi Fred. What is the address of your website? You should find a job for Cliff. They say he is quite crafty.

Comment by: Fred Mason on 7th August 2008 at 16:07

Hi Jay B.
Yes, I heard about Cliff...!!!! good lad that he is...!!

Website is

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

Comment by: cliff H on 7th August 2008 at 20:26

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

Comment by: Knowlsey on 8th August 2008 at 08:33

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.

Comment by: Trencher on 8th August 2008 at 09:51

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..

Comment by: Peeing Tom on 8th August 2008 at 15:48

I agree Cliff folks using funny names should be chucked off site.

Comment by: cliff on 8th August 2008 at 16:34

hear we go again someone used my name its happened before disregard those comments jay
someones takin the pistaccio.

Comment by: jas holding on 9th August 2008 at 21:54

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

Comment by: Trencher on 10th August 2008 at 12:42

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.

Comment by: cliff H on 10th August 2008 at 21:10

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

Comment by: Jay Bell Pentops on 12th August 2008 at 11:08

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.......

Comment by: Fred Mason on 12th August 2008 at 12:23

...and as summer draws to a close, the great mind at 221 Baker St moves into high gear.... Who is Jaybell Pentops???

Comment by: Knowlsey on 12th August 2008 at 16:11

Poor owd Cliff seems to be gettin a mite techy in his owd age.

Comment by: bloomoon on 12th August 2008 at 21:00

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 !

Comment by: Peeping Tom on 13th August 2008 at 10:54

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?

Comment by: bloo on 13th August 2008 at 22:07

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.

Comment by: jymkahnna on 13th August 2008 at 22:27

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

Comment by: Curly (Soon to be nominated for a DAFTA)Dowdall on 14th August 2008 at 00:09

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.

Comment by: Knowlsey on 14th August 2008 at 08:21

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.

Comment by: Jay Bell Pentops (RIP) on 15th August 2008 at 12:59

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?

Comment by: cliff (bloo) on 17th August 2008 at 00:33

scuppered eh? Jay Bell, nevermind owd lad the truth will out and the super slueth hasn,t finished his task .
rock on

Comment by: jymkahnna on 18th August 2008 at 12:44

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”

Comment by: Knowlsey on 18th August 2008 at 20:45

Does anyone remember there were chants for Cheeta and Bamber and one for Tom that went "Peeping Tom prone to injury".

Comment by: jymkahnna on 18th August 2008 at 22:41

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

Comment by: PeepingTom on 19th August 2008 at 13:28

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.

Comment by: Fred Mason on 25th August 2008 at 19:26

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...

Comment by: Peeping Tom on 26th August 2008 at 09:29

So Fred..Joe Boz still old does that make him...well a guess if he's Nosferatu it doen't make much difference.

Comment by: Fred Mason on 26th August 2008 at 16:01

Hi Tom,
I'm afraid Joe Boz lives on forever....through us lot...


Comment by: knowlsey on 26th August 2008 at 20:39

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!

Comment by: Fred Mason on 30th August 2008 at 10:36

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.

Comment by: Knowlsey on 31st August 2008 at 11:53

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?

Comment by: Fred Mason on 31st August 2008 at 15:46

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.

Comment by: Knowlsey on 1st September 2008 at 09:01

Dont have your address Fred.

Comment by: Knowlsey on 1st September 2008 at 11:50

Sorry Fred I can now see the mailbox above your last comment. Its my age Fred!

Comment by: Joe Boz's Alter Ego on 11th September 2008 at 15:03

Curly. Are you the "Ghost of Joe Boz"?

Comment by: Knowlsey on 15th September 2008 at 19:48

Hey Fred. See what you mean about that photo. Its on page 3. Its a corker.

Comment by: Fred Mason on 20th September 2008 at 17:21

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?

Comment by: Curls on 23rd September 2008 at 09:27

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")

Comment by: Father Curls on 23rd September 2008 at 10:19

Fred. "Apparitions" will be screened in November - I will let you know the details when I get them. God be with you my son.

Comment by: Fred Mason on 26th September 2008 at 18:40

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.

Comment by: cliff (bloo) on 27th September 2008 at 23:44

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.

Comment by: JBP (Deceased) on 30th September 2008 at 14:52

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).

Comment by: Paranoic on 1st October 2008 at 09:23

":o)" ?

Comment by: J. Davies on 1st October 2008 at 13:30

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.

Comment by: Fred Mason on 3rd October 2008 at 13:18

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..!!

Comment by: M. Peet on 7th October 2008 at 11:18

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.

Comment by: JBPT on 7th October 2008 at 13:00

Hi Fred. Dick "Udder" Unsworth has a pottery shop "Ingleton Pottery" and plays in a Blues Band called Bad taste.

Comment by: cliff H on 11th October 2008 at 00:08

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.

Comment by: E. Stevens on 11th October 2008 at 12:54

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.

Comment by: Fred Mason on 11th October 2008 at 19:29

Thanks, JB,

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

Comment by: jas holding on 11th October 2008 at 21:35

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

Comment by: Fred Mason on 12th October 2008 at 01:06

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.

Comment by: M. Peet on 13th October 2008 at 15:31

James - 1962: 2nd row from front. 3rd right.

Comment by: Oliver tarquin Dowdall on 13th October 2008 at 16:05

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.

Comment by: Peeping Tom on 13th October 2008 at 16:11 teacher "Pulford" ... comments by "Ian Whitaker". Do I win a cocnut?

Comment by: Fred Mason on 13th October 2008 at 23:03

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.

Comment by: Peeping Tom on 21st October 2008 at 09:05

Ne then yoe men. When's next get together? Freddy boy are you going to make it next time? Where is Wick these days?

Comment by: Routh on 21st October 2008 at 09:34

********** 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!

Comment by: Trencher on 22nd October 2008 at 14:33

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.

Comment by: Fred Mason on 25th October 2008 at 16:01

I know.!! I've got it, by jove...

Maurice Micklewhite ..!!

Comment by: I. Pearce on 27th October 2008 at 08:56

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.

Comment by: Bernards Agent on 27th October 2008 at 13:04

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.

Comment by: Curly (Soon to be nominated for a DAFTA)Dowdall on 28th October 2008 at 21:53

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.

Comment by: Frank Healy on 29th October 2008 at 08:55

Hi Curly. Whereabouts in Manchester? :o)

Comment by: Routh on 30th October 2008 at 08:41

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.

Comment by: J. Blackburn on 1st November 2008 at 14:55

Sqeek = have you converted James yet? jon.

Comment by: jas holding on 2nd November 2008 at 21:12

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

Comment by: jas holding on 2nd November 2008 at 21:15

ps...jon are you on commision from sqeek?

Comment by: Curly Dowdall on 3rd November 2008 at 00:14

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.

Comment by: JB on 3rd November 2008 at 19:57

Jas. Just find it amusing. No offence Sqeek. Jon.

Comment by: Baz Taylor on 3rd November 2008 at 21:50

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!

Comment by: Sqeek on 4th November 2008 at 20:09

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.

Comment by: Trencher on 4th November 2008 at 20:14

Never seen Bill Ashurst smile on any of the photos on this site. Was he an unhappy chap? What do his mates say?

Comment by: cliff H on 4th November 2008 at 23:13

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.

Comment by: JDH on 5th November 2008 at 08:38

99 to go

Comment by: Trencher on 5th November 2008 at 20:59

Routh you were right Cliff H. did get the 200th. Did Bill Ashurst have any mates? Maybe that was why he was always depressed.

Comment by: Knowlsey on 5th November 2008 at 21:22

Trench. I think Jas Holding and Curly were Bill Ashursts main mates.

Comment by: Cheta Brown on 6th November 2008 at 14:12

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.

Comment by: Knowlsey on 6th November 2008 at 18:22

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.

Comment by: Routh on 7th November 2008 at 19:03

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.

Comment by: Peeping Tom on 8th November 2008 at 10:49

You mean a tweed jacket Routh a la Sherlock Holmes. He sat the front on his tod but I dont know his real name.

Comment by: Lanky Entertanes on 8th November 2008 at 11:17

*********** 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.

Comment by: Lanky Entertanes on 8th November 2008 at 11:41

************* 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.

Comment by: jas holding on 8th November 2008 at 22:25 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

Comment by: Archie on 9th November 2008 at 15:08

Saw Bill Ashurst painting a door in Swan Meadow Road some time ago. Could well live there.

Comment by: Knowlsey on 9th November 2008 at 15:34

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?

Comment by: Phyz Heaton on 19th November 2008 at 08:46

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".

Comment by: O. Destin on 20th November 2008 at 23:09

Phyz. I'm sure James Holding went to St Catherines school so chances are he did come from that area. Ozzy.

Comment by: Fred Mason on 21st November 2008 at 19:57

Luv the comments on 'ere...good bunch o' lads....
From another century... I 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...!!!

Comment by: Sqeek on 23rd November 2008 at 12:21

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.

Comment by: Mary Taylor on 26th November 2008 at 20:28

I was at St Marys same time as Curly Dowdall.

Comment by: jas holding on 30th November 2008 at 21:28

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

Comment by: O. Destin on 1st December 2008 at 17:52

If I am not mistaken the Sherrington twins also lived in Darlington St East.

Comment by: Jem Curry on 4th December 2008 at 09:07

A merry xmas to all you jolly young fellows.

Comment by: Routh on 5th December 2008 at 13:06

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.

Comment by: jas holding on 6th December 2008 at 21:09

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"

Comment by: D. Worthington on 8th December 2008 at 08:52

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?

Comment by: O. Bamber on 8th December 2008 at 13:09

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?

Comment by: O. Destin on 10th December 2008 at 12:18

Lived in Bolton St James - off Scholes - Platt Lane ran past the bottom of the street.

Comment by: J. McCarthy on 10th December 2008 at 15:48

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?

Comment by: Knowlsey on 11th December 2008 at 09:31

I thoght this was a Grammar School site. Its become Jas Holding old school friends site.

Comment by: Peeping Tom on 15th December 2008 at 09:46

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.

Comment by: Monica S. on 15th December 2008 at 12:48

Mary Taylor you say you were at St Marys same time as Bernard. Well I kissed Bernard in the bushes at St Marys.

Comment by: Cheta Brown on 16th December 2008 at 18:16

Tom. I'll try to make it.

Comment by: Knowlsey on 16th December 2008 at 21:06

Me too.

Comment by: Archie on 17th December 2008 at 08:49

I'll bet Curly kissed you in the bush too Monica.

Comment by: Frank Healy on 17th December 2008 at 09:44

Hi Knowlsey. I hope your "me too" was in reply to Cheta and not Monica :o)

Comment by: Fred Mason on 17th December 2008 at 18:22

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.

Comment by: Knowlsey on 17th December 2008 at 19:19

Nice one Frank - no I've kissed the Blarney Stone though,,,

Comment by: Bill Nev on 18th December 2008 at 09:24

The do - 8pm Brocket Thursday 18th December. Reet will make it if I can.

Comment by: Peeping Tom on 19th December 2008 at 12:56

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.

Comment by: Cheta Brown on 20th December 2008 at 12:37

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.

Comment by: Knowlsey on 20th December 2008 at 18:12

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.

Comment by: Peeping Tom on 21st December 2008 at 13:16

Well said knowlsey ,, behave yourself Cheta or you'll get the red card.

Comment by: Sqeek on 22nd December 2008 at 18:14

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.

Comment by: T.S. on 24th December 2008 at 13:23

Happy Xmas good old sexy James Holding. Thelma ***

Comment by: Curly Dowdall (Bernard) on 28th December 2008 at 00:49

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.

Comment by: Fred Mason on 28th December 2008 at 17:40

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.

Comment by: Pykey on 29th December 2008 at 13:26

Pykey know how to spell. Happy New Year everybody - keep dodging the box.

Comment by: Pykey on 29th December 2008 at 16:48

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.

Comment by: Knowlswy on 29th December 2008 at 18:14

Fred - I didn't realise you live in Platt Waz.

Comment by: Squeek on 30th December 2008 at 13:48

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.

Comment by: Peeping Tom on 1st January 2009 at 13:02

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.

Comment by: John Batty on 1st January 2009 at 13:24

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.

Comment by: Alan Swain on 3rd January 2009 at 12:07

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.

Comment by: jas holding on 3rd January 2009 at 22:03

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

Comment by: jas holding on 3rd January 2009 at 22:09

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

Comment by: jas holding on 3rd January 2009 at 22:22

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

Comment by: jas holding on 3rd January 2009 at 22:26

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,,,

Comment by: B. Taylor on 5th January 2009 at 11:01

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.

Comment by: Fred Mason on 6th January 2009 at 23:27

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...

Comment by: Knowlsey on 10th January 2009 at 13:15

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.

Comment by: Fred Mason on 10th January 2009 at 15:48

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...!!

Comment by: Roscoe on 11th January 2009 at 10:21

What do you call James Holding, Bernard Dowdall and Knowlsey in a field.............a thicket.

Comment by: Fred Mason on 15th January 2009 at 10:30

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...

Comment by: Frank Healy on 15th January 2009 at 14:01

Hi Fred. Doesn't the "old" refer to the people in the photos? :o)

Comment by: Fred Mason on 15th January 2009 at 15:40

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

Comment by: Frank Healy on 15th January 2009 at 16:13

Hi Fred. Alas, yes.

Comment by: Fred Mason on 18th January 2009 at 12:30

Oh dear,

Michael's been at it again....

Comment by: Trencher on 19th January 2009 at 13:05

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!

Comment by: Archie on 19th January 2009 at 21:03

I used to be Bernard Dowdall but I didnt like the lobbies so I packed it in.

Comment by: Trencher on 20th January 2009 at 11:47

I had a dog called Bernard. Loved that was a Saint.

Comment by: G. Brown on 20th January 2009 at 18:03

I had a curry called Bernard.

Comment by: Fred Mason on 21st January 2009 at 17:32

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 it's been said...(Sorry, Bernard..)

Comment by: Peeping Tom on 21st January 2009 at 20:04

You are a one Fred ,,,,,, but I'm sure Curly loves you.

Comment by: Knowlsey on 22nd January 2009 at 17:23

Enemy in the camp. A little bird told me that Frank Healy is really a Linacre Lout.

Comment by: Fred Mason on 22nd January 2009 at 17:46

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...."

Comment by: Peeping Tom on 22nd January 2009 at 22:39

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,,,

Comment by: Frank Healy on 23rd January 2009 at 08:50

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)

Comment by: Knowlsey on 23rd January 2009 at 19:34

So where are you on the pics then Frank.

Comment by: Fred Mason on 25th January 2009 at 17:09

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 in an advert on tv...

Time to go and hide....

Comment by: Frank Healy on 26th January 2009 at 08:40

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)

Comment by: Knowlsey on 26th January 2009 at 18:14

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?

Comment by: cliff H on 28th January 2009 at 00:47

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.

Comment by: Peeping Tom on 28th January 2009 at 13:16

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.

Comment by: cliff H on 29th January 2009 at 03:13

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.

Comment by: Fred Mason on 29th January 2009 at 15:12

Welcome back,Cliff,lad,

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


Comment by: Frank Healy on 30th January 2009 at 14:15

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)

Comment by: Fred Mason on 30th January 2009 at 21:28

Frank, lad, you are definitely one us, not a Linacre Lout after all, but do you know what that entails...? Tread 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....!!!

Comment by: Knowlsey on 31st January 2009 at 16:30

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.

Comment by: Brian Atherton on 31st January 2009 at 16:53

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.

Comment by: Frank Healy on 2nd February 2009 at 11:00

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)

Comment by: Fred Mason on 2nd February 2009 at 18:49

Wasn't there a lad in our class called 'Bird' or 'Seed' or sumat?

Comment by: cliff H on 2nd February 2009 at 22:59

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.

Comment by: Frank Healy on 3rd February 2009 at 08:27

There was a Brian Seed but I suspect him not,FRED MASON :o)

Comment by: Les Jones on 3rd February 2009 at 15:24

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.

Comment by: B, Taylor on 3rd February 2009 at 17:21

Wots the betting old Cliff gets the 300th comment.

Comment by: Fred Mason on 4th February 2009 at 00:37

Good one, BT, This is number 294...make way for our Cliff..

Comment by: Bill Nev on 4th February 2009 at 13:02

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.

Comment by: Fred Mason on 4th February 2009 at 15:16

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'.

Comment by: Knowlsey on 4th February 2009 at 17:40

I admire the sentiment Fred. Knowlsey, Frogg Lane, Wigan.

Comment by: Trencher on 4th February 2009 at 18:08

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".

Comment by: JDH on 5th February 2009 at 14:11

Unbearable excitement

Comment by: Knowlsey on 5th February 2009 at 17:06

JDH? That James D. Holding? Anyway 300th Cliff! Yah di dah di dah di!

Comment by: Fred Mason on 6th February 2009 at 14:16

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..

Comment by: jas holding on 7th February 2009 at 21:37

knowlsey,,,,JDH,,not me ,bill nev,it were richard garswood in our day,would like to think there another reunion this year,,,

Comment by: Knowlsey on 8th February 2009 at 18:48

Cheers Jas. Who is this mysterious JDH then? I don't recall Joe Hill having a middle name. Any ideas anybody?

Comment by: cliff h on 12th February 2009 at 23:11

DANG NABIT!!!!! darn missed it, I,ll get 400 god willin.

Comment by: Fred Mason on 16th February 2009 at 15:31

The only JDH that I remember was John Richard Head, but 'e were a Linacre Lout...weren't 'e?

Comment by: Peeping Tom on 17th February 2009 at 10:47

Don't forget the next get together on St Georges Day at the Brocket. God Save the Queen.

Comment by: Knowlsey on 18th February 2009 at 09:57

Trapper Fred has no excuses now Tom. If he sets out with his dog sled tomorrow. He will just about make it in time.

Comment by: Fred Mason on 18th February 2009 at 23:38

Reminder to myself: Must buy dog food immediately.

See you there lads...

Comment by: Trencher on 20th February 2009 at 12:20

Keep to the roads lad. Beware the moon.

Comment by: D. Destin on 20th February 2009 at 12:24

Jim Holding. Didnt one or both of the Sheri twins do a bit of Morris Dancing at one time? Where are they now?

Comment by: Fred Mason on 21st February 2009 at 20:02

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..

Comment by: Trencher on 23rd February 2009 at 12:18

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".

Comment by: Fred Mason on 25th February 2009 at 18:54

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.

Comment by: Fred Mason on 25th February 2009 at 22:00

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...

Comment by: Trencher on 27th February 2009 at 11:38

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.

Comment by: Knowlsey on 1st March 2009 at 09:34

Hi Peepers. So next reunion is on St Grorgies day at the Brocket. That is 23rd April.

Comment by: Fred Mason on 3rd March 2009 at 17:51

American names and dates:?

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

Comment by: Peeping Tom on 4th March 2009 at 18:27

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.

Comment by: By T Crin on 6th March 2009 at 13:22

Tha should write fot telly. Keep banter goin!!!

Comment by: Trencher on 6th March 2009 at 18:53

Here we go again with these noms de plume. Reveal yourself you coward.

Comment by: Knowlsey on 8th March 2009 at 19:06

Hi Trench. I think the nom de plume is probably probably Trapper Fred.

Comment by: jasholding on 8th March 2009 at 21:00

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,,

Comment by: E. Rudd on 9th March 2009 at 09:49

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.

Comment by: By T Crin on 10th March 2009 at 06:04

"Nom de plume"? reet posh that!!

Comment by: Knowlsey on 10th March 2009 at 10:08

Yes Mr Crin and unless you tell us your ID we will name you as Trapper Fred Mason.

Comment by: By T Crin on 10th March 2009 at 12:56

"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.

Comment by: Fred Mason on 10th March 2009 at 17:22

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 Mr Crin....please come!!!
or I'll set me sled dogs on yer..

Comment by: Lanky Entertanez on 10th March 2009 at 20:52

************ 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.

Comment by: C. Glass on 19th March 2009 at 11:35

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.

Comment by: Raz on 26th March 2009 at 10:00

Does anyone fancy a get together of the scripture union?

Comment by: Knowlsey on 27th March 2009 at 09:44

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.

Comment by: T. Malone on 27th March 2009 at 18:16

Good old Curly Dowdall.

Comment by: Fred Mason on 4th April 2009 at 16:30

Supping club, eh, Colin,?...well, if there isn't one, let's start one.!!

Comment by: J. Ince on 9th April 2009 at 13:59

Rum card Bernard Dowdall.

Comment by: B. Mulqueeny. on 10th April 2009 at 13:47

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.

Comment by: Fred Mason on 15th April 2009 at 19:58

Hey, B. Mulqueeny,

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

Comment by: B. Mulqueeny on 17th April 2009 at 17:52

Fred I dont know what bernard Ds dad did. I'm too busy trying to find my old man. Bernard.

Comment by: Fred Mason on 22nd April 2009 at 20:04

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....

Comment by: Fred Mason on 29th April 2009 at 18:38

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...!!!

Comment by: Jay Bell Pentops on 30th April 2009 at 16:16

I don't know about a reunion but the banters got boring of late. Bring back Jay Bell Pentops.

Comment by: Fred Mason on 1st May 2009 at 21:52

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.

Comment by: Betty Tute on 10th May 2009 at 10:42

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.

Comment by: Knowlsey on 11th May 2009 at 10:09

Must try these Ortisan cubes meself if that good.

Comment by: cliff on 11th May 2009 at 23:44

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!

Comment by: J. Ince on 17th May 2009 at 23:30

Thas a weird dude all reet Cliff.

Comment by: Pikey on 21st May 2009 at 10:21

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.

Comment by: Letty Windass on 27th May 2009 at 23:29

Bernard I wanr to use Ortisan cubes cos me guts give me awful gyp. Can you assure me they dont have long term problems.

Comment by: Fred Mason on 29th May 2009 at 21:43

.....Jay Bell Pentops...!!!..Your turn,.....

Comment by: Jay Bell Pentops on 1st June 2009 at 19:52

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?

Comment by: J.H. on 2nd June 2009 at 20:31

I'll second that JBP.

Comment by: Fred Mason on 4th June 2009 at 16:15

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....

Comment by: BD on 14th June 2009 at 13:36

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.

Comment by: CH on 16th June 2009 at 08:47

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.

Comment by: BD on 16th June 2009 at 20:57

Bring it on Cliff lad. Just tell me the date & time, pick up place and cost. Rock on Cliff lad.

Comment by: Knowlsey on 17th June 2009 at 18:44

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.

Comment by: BD on 18th June 2009 at 12:18

Knowlset lad. Cliff & Fred are big mates.

Comment by: cliff h on 18th June 2009 at 16:27

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.

Comment by: Fred Bell Laptops on 18th June 2009 at 18:07

.......and don't forget to wear your muk-luks, men...

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

Comment by: Fred Bell Laptops (JBP Cuz) on 18th June 2009 at 18:37

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....


Comment by: Peeping Tom on 19th June 2009 at 10:46

Can't wait Fred. Home you got them Cumber bangers sizzling when we get there. We'll bring our own balm cakes.

Comment by: The Oracle on 19th June 2009 at 18:47

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.

Comment by: The Oracle on 20th June 2009 at 12:49

++++++++++ 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.

Comment by: Victoria on 20th June 2009 at 19:45

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.

Comment by: jas holding on 20th June 2009 at 21:35

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

Comment by: The Oracle on 21st June 2009 at 14:03

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.

Comment by: The Oracle on 21st June 2009 at 14:17

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.

Comment by: The Oracle on 21st June 2009 at 14:40

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.

Comment by: BD on 22nd June 2009 at 14:54

Fred, Cliff, have you set a date yet for this Cumbria trip?

Comment by: J. Ince on 22nd June 2009 at 20:10

rum jockey bernard dowdall

Comment by: B. Taylor on 24th June 2009 at 14:58

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.

Comment by: Trencher on 25th June 2009 at 09:28

I used to see James Holding & Cliff Higham in the Scripture Union I think they were Bible Thumpers.

Comment by: S. Critchley on 25th June 2009 at 12:50

James wasnt a bible thumper, at least not as a boy. Maybe Cliff Higham , dunno...

Comment by: Fred Mason on 27th June 2009 at 21:46

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...****

Comment by: Sqeek on 28th June 2009 at 12:34

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.

Comment by: S. Critchley on 28th June 2009 at 14:30

"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.

Comment by: Peeping Tom on 28th June 2009 at 16:21

Fred, if you want peace yu should try yga...the mind type....meditation. Find yurself a good guru wh will look after you.

Comment by: Trencher on 29th June 2009 at 16:39

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.

Comment by: CH on 30th June 2009 at 14:25

thanks for that steve,,,,,I can sleep soundly now!

Comment by: cliff H on 30th June 2009 at 22:19

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.

Comment by: Trencher on 1st July 2009 at 09:19

How about the Bernard Building after the great Thespian?

Comment by: H. Riley on 2nd July 2009 at 11:42

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.

Comment by: Fred Mason on 3rd July 2009 at 18:37

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.

Comment by: cliff on 3rd July 2009 at 21:52

now then cousin !!, behave urself or I,ll tell aunt maggie.

Comment by: A. McKnight on 4th July 2009 at 17:56

I thought James Holding was dishy.

Comment by: Knowlsey on 5th July 2009 at 12:15

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.

Comment by: Peeping Tom on 5th July 2009 at 16:04

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.

Comment by: Knowlsey on 5th July 2009 at 19:32

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.

Comment by: cliff on 5th July 2009 at 20:25

not aunt maggie Fred, cousin maggie,
crazy !! I might be your dad

Comment by: Rudd on 6th July 2009 at 08:54

Fred Mason & James Holding!

Disgusting behaviour.

Comment by: cliff H on 6th July 2009 at 22:09

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 !!!

Comment by: Peeping Tom on 7th July 2009 at 09:53

Congratulations Fred & Cliff in find each other after all these years. This calls for a toast, I'llhave jam on mine.

Comment by: jymkahnna, on 7th July 2009 at 09:59

theres gettin on for 5000 hits on this photo - must be doin somethin right.

Comment by: JDH on 7th July 2009 at 11:15

Approaching 400 comments. It's getting exciting again.

Comment by: Fred Mason on 7th July 2009 at 20:05

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 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.....???

Comment by: cliff on 7th July 2009 at 22:36

MY cousin Fred

Comment by: JBPT on 8th July 2009 at 08:40

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?

Comment by: Trencher on 8th July 2009 at 13:06

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!

Comment by: Peeping Tom on 8th July 2009 at 18:19

JBPT I think you mean will Cliff get the 400th.

Comment by: JBPT on 9th July 2009 at 08:39

yeseree..Peepers .. it will be one o' them good old boys..hill billy cousins .. trapper fred & bubba higham.

Comment by: cliff h on 9th July 2009 at 21:20

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.

Comment by: Trapper Fred on 10th July 2009 at 09:42

Well done, Bubba..!!

Comment by: The Oracle on 11th July 2009 at 09:06

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.

Comment by: Monica Stone on 12th July 2009 at 14:46

Jim Holding is Fred Bamber related to Olga Bamber?

Comment by: jon wood on 15th July 2009 at 12:16

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.

Comment by: Miss P. Maskell on 17th July 2009 at 09:05

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.

Comment by: Cliff H. on 18th July 2009 at 11:28

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.

Comment by: cliff bloo on 20th July 2009 at 15:44

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.

Comment by: Jay Bell Pentops on 20th July 2009 at 17:59

Stick to the day job Cliff!

Comment by: Peeping Tom on 21st July 2009 at 09:51

Keep taking the tablets Bubba lad.

Comment by: Knowlsey on 21st July 2009 at 10:01

I was reading the famous Wiganers bit n this site...and, no mention of Bernard Dowdall....a scandal or what!

Comment by: Roy Pendlebury on 21st July 2009 at 10:55

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.

Comment by: Frank Healy on 22nd July 2009 at 17:52

It's sad I know but I've still got my WGS reports. The later ones mention Kipling Master: possibly introduced about 1960.

Comment by: Knowlsey on 22nd July 2009 at 20:51

So Frank - whats the story on Kipling? Owt to do with Rudyard?

Comment by: bubba higham on 23rd July 2009 at 18:36

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,,

Comment by: Trapper Fred on 24th July 2009 at 17:07

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 old and fav cuz, bubba also. Beware the moon, beware the trapper.

Comment by: cliff h on 27th July 2009 at 22:22

join the club Frank,I still have all my reports.

Comment by: Cheta Brown on 29th July 2009 at 12:45

Cliff was known as Seldom at school as one of his reports read "Seldom pays attention".

Comment by: Tips on 30th July 2009 at 17:11

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.

Comment by: cliff h on 30th July 2009 at 17:22

I have just dug out my old school reports
1st year Geog "does well to find his way home"

Comment by: Trapper Fred on 31st July 2009 at 15:41

Well, in that case, young Cliff, you'd better put your trust in the pilot when returning from Der Fatherland.

Comment by: Tips on 31st July 2009 at 15:56

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!

Comment by: Fred Mason on 31st July 2009 at 17:54


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

Comment by: Tips on 1st August 2009 at 14:00

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.

Comment by: jas holding on 1st August 2009 at 22:11

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

Comment by: S. Critchley on 2nd August 2009 at 12:36

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.

Comment by: Baz Taylor on 3rd August 2009 at 18:42

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.

Comment by: Fred Mason on 3rd August 2009 at 19:26

Hey, Baz,

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

Comment by: Fred Mason on 3rd August 2009 at 19:27

Think about it, Ol'e mate

Comment by: Jaybell Pentops on 4th August 2009 at 09:58

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.

Comment by: S. Critchley on 4th August 2009 at 20:17

Would you say that Jay Bell is Bernard's "pen name"?

Comment by: Knowlsey on 5th August 2009 at 15:56

Thas a berrel o' laughs Ste owd lad, tha must o' had us i stiches at schoo.

Comment by: Peter Ridout on 5th August 2009 at 18:18

Mr Oracle. Have you any more stories like James and the Grapes. It tickled us.

Comment by: vincent garbutt on 15th August 2009 at 00:24

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.

Comment by: j. ince on 17th August 2009 at 18:53

rum jockey dowdall

Comment by: Dotty on 19th August 2009 at 22:55

Trapper Fred may have not been a rummun then -- but he's a rum old soak now!

Comment by: The Oracle on 20th August 2009 at 13:10

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:

Comment by: Pykey on 20th August 2009 at 16:07

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!

Comment by: The Oracle on 20th August 2009 at 16:40

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.

Comment by: jas holding on 22nd August 2009 at 22:00

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

Comment by: Peter Ridout on 24th August 2009 at 12:49

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.

Comment by: Knowlsey on 25th August 2009 at 08:57

Peter why dont you put Daves comments on.

Comment by: The Oracle on 25th August 2009 at 20:47

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:

Comment by: Bill on 25th August 2009 at 21:10

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}

Comment by: Knowlsey on 26th August 2009 at 17:12

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.

Comment by: S. Critchley on 26th August 2009 at 18:16

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?

Comment by: Tips on 30th August 2009 at 11:00

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.

Comment by: jas holding on 30th August 2009 at 20:17

Tips,,,ref my e-mail 1st august,,what and where are you these days,,, 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

Comment by: jas holding on 30th August 2009 at 21:16

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,,,

Comment by: Knowlsey on 31st August 2009 at 09:53

I thought Kiplins were crap. Didnt like Cooper either posh plonker.

Comment by: Fred Mason on 31st August 2009 at 10:15

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.

Comment by: Trendcher on 31st August 2009 at 13:14

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.

Comment by: Peeping Tom on 1st September 2009 at 13:24

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.

Comment by: jimkhana on 2nd September 2009 at 09:36

beware the moon trapper lad...keep off the moors!

Comment by: Jesse Lee on 3rd September 2009 at 14:57

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.

Comment by: G. Brown on 3rd September 2009 at 15:24

I understand that Dowdall started work as an apprentice to the weigh man in the little arcade after leaving school.

Comment by: Curly on 3rd September 2009 at 17:03

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.

Comment by: Routh on 4th September 2009 at 12:31

Curly I thought you started work in Isherwoods shoe shop in Greenough Street after leaving school.

Comment by: Curly on 4th September 2009 at 13:26

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!

Comment by: Peeping Tom on 4th September 2009 at 16:35

Trapper Fred. I've been hunting beaver most of my life. let me know if you need any tips.

Comment by: Cliff H. on 4th September 2009 at 17:18

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.

Comment by: Fred Mason on 5th September 2009 at 14:33

Thanks for that Peeping Tom, but I seem to do alright. I always make sure that I take my long gun with me.

Comment by: Peepers on 6th September 2009 at 20:37

Spot on Trapper lad. I think short ones are for pussies. If your after real big beaver you need a long weapon.

Comment by: Fred Mason on 10th September 2009 at 08:51

Yes, my son. Even the lads at the Grammar School at Longhampton are envious of the lads at the Grammar School at Wigan.

Comment by: me on 12th September 2009 at 00:49

Fred, where is Longhamton?

Comment by: Fred Mason on 12th September 2009 at 15:14

Hello me,

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

Comment by: cliff h on 14th September 2009 at 00:37

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

Comment by: S. Dainty on 15th September 2009 at 09:45

Mr, Cliff H. I think Joe was probably ill when you saw him "wobbling". I read his obiturary in the Observer. God bless.

Comment by: Fred Mason on 15th September 2009 at 18:05

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....

Comment by: curly dowdall on 15th September 2009 at 23:48

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.

Comment by: S. Critchley on 16th September 2009 at 09:51

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.

Comment by: Pykey on 16th September 2009 at 09:54

Curly. I thought Isherwoods name was Lawrence?

Comment by: Bernard on 16th September 2009 at 10:36

Steve,,thanks for that ,, I'll sleep easier tonight.

Comment by: Cliff Bloo on 16th September 2009 at 11:58

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

Comment by: Doreen Davies on 16th September 2009 at 13:11

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.

Comment by: Knowlsey on 16th September 2009 at 14:06

Who is this Bloo ,, Cliff Bloo ,, Bluemoon et al. Are they Cliff Higham?

Comment by: D. Morris on 16th September 2009 at 15:26

I was in the same class at St Catherines school as Steven Critchley and Jim Holding and the Sherrington Twins.

Comment by: Trencher on 16th September 2009 at 16:34

Knowlsey I have always thought that antyhing to do with Blue is Cliff Higham.

Comment by: Sleuths Are Us on 16th September 2009 at 19:54

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

Comment by: Trapper Fred on 16th September 2009 at 20:46

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..)

Comment by: Miss P. Maskell on 16th September 2009 at 21:26

Bernard dearest, I am so delighted that you are doing well in your show business career. Keep it up darling.

Comment by: Routh on 17th September 2009 at 13:18

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.

Comment by: R. Hudson on 18th September 2009 at 12:47

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.

Comment by: cliff on 18th September 2009 at 22:49

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.

Comment by: Pete Derbyshire on 19th September 2009 at 13:35

Cliff Higham was in my Kipling at Wigan Grammar. Smashing lad.

Comment by: J. Ince on 19th September 2009 at 13:38

Salt o the earth Cliff Higham.

Comment by: Bernard on 19th September 2009 at 18:17

I was in the same class as John Riley and Bill Ashurst at St Marys School.

Comment by: Elmer on 20th September 2009 at 12:33

I was in the same class as Graham Tutton at St Andrews.

Comment by: Pykey on 22nd September 2009 at 19:54

John Davies and Tony Worswick were my classmates at St Johns.

Comment by: Noel on 23rd September 2009 at 12:47

I was at St Thomas's with Tommy Rimmer.

Comment by: Fred Mason on 23rd September 2009 at 21:48

Only eight more to go until 500. Who will claim it?
The tension strains.......!!!!!!!

Comment by: JDH on 24th September 2009 at 21:29

Cut it out Fred, you've stolen my lines (well, almost)

Comment by: harold potter on 25th September 2009 at 00:27

I went to bed with Fanny Green from Greenough street.

Comment by: M. Vose on 25th September 2009 at 10:08

Harold, are you Vera Potters brother.

Comment by: Frances Green on 25th September 2009 at 13:20

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!

Comment by: The Real Harold Potter on 25th September 2009 at 15:37

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.

Comment by: Knowlsey on 26th September 2009 at 11:42

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.

Comment by: jim holding on 26th September 2009 at 21:13

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

Comment by: jim holding on 26th September 2009 at 21:17

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

Comment by: jim holding on 26th September 2009 at 21:22

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" bloo can tell you,,,jsut where he is,,,

Comment by: cliff (bloo) higham on 26th September 2009 at 23:46

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'

Comment by: Fred Mason on 27th September 2009 at 12:17

Right on, Bubba,

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

Comment by: Fred Mason on 27th September 2009 at 19:08

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.

Comment by: jas holding on 27th September 2009 at 22:29

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

Comment by: Peter Ridout on 28th September 2009 at 11:02

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.

Comment by: Knowlsey on 28th September 2009 at 16:36

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.

Comment by: Trencher on 30th September 2009 at 10:22

Knowlsey when I see a nom de plume like jimkana on this page I always think Cliff Higham.

Comment by: Knowlsey on 30th September 2009 at 14:10

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.

Comment by: Sylvie on 30th September 2009 at 15:28

T recall a Fred Mason at St John's C of E School in Pemberton. He was a very handsome young lad.

Comment by: S. Bass on 30th September 2009 at 16:25

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.

Comment by: Cliff H on 1st October 2009 at 02:11

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

Comment by: Fred Mason on 1st October 2009 at 16:51

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 for more info.

Comment by: Peeping Tom on 1st October 2009 at 19:47

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.

Comment by: Fred Mason on 2nd October 2009 at 14:23

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.

Comment by: Bloo on 3rd October 2009 at 13:05

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.

Comment by: Fred Mason on 3rd October 2009 at 15:31

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?

Comment by: Curls on 5th October 2009 at 14:39

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.

Comment by: S, Critchley on 6th October 2009 at 10:27

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.`

Comment by: Brian on 6th October 2009 at 11:05

What about Winstanley Hall? Haigh Hall? Old Town Hall?

Comment by: Gwendoline on 6th October 2009 at 11:09

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!

Comment by: Fred Mason on 6th October 2009 at 13:54

Sylvie, Gwendoline, IF you really exist...look at my 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.

Comment by: The Oracle on 6th October 2009 at 15:21

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:

Comment by: The Oracle - for Bernard on 6th October 2009 at 15:24

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).

Comment by: Conservationist Trapper on 7th October 2009 at 09:59

SAVE EARTH - It's the only planet with chocolate.

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

Comment by: Peeping Tom on 7th October 2009 at 10:28

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!

Comment by: Fred Mason on 7th October 2009 at 14:45

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.

Comment by: The Real Mogsi on 7th October 2009 at 18:30

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.

Comment by: S. Critchley on 8th October 2009 at 19:45

For every comment there are approx nine more who read it!

Comment by: C. Taylor on 9th October 2009 at 20:31

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.

Comment by: S. Hurst on 10th October 2009 at 14:08

What is the address of your website Fred?

Comment by: pheonix rising on 10th October 2009 at 22:01

[comment removed, brian]

Comment by: Fred Mason on 11th October 2009 at 01:45

S.Hurst. Web site is
I remember Dixie Dean...he taught me how to box.!Didn't do me any good.!!!

Comment by: Fred Mason on 11th October 2009 at 22:22

S.Hurst? are you related to my old mate, Ronny Hurst, by any chance?

Comment by: Sylvie Hurst on 12th October 2009 at 00:43

If you mean Ronny with the red hair - how on earth do you know him?

Comment by: Fred Mason on 12th October 2009 at 10:48


Please contact me by e-mail. Ta.

Comment by: J. Ince on 12th October 2009 at 11:32

rum jockey dixie dean.

Comment by: Gwen on 12th October 2009 at 11:49

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.

Comment by: Fred Mason on 12th October 2009 at 17:06

Gwen,I have a personal web site. and I have a blog on WW, but why do you want pics of an old man??

Comment by: Nel on 13th October 2009 at 11:40

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.

Comment by: Archie on 14th October 2009 at 18:59

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.

Comment by: jas holding on 16th October 2009 at 00:10

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

Comment by: S. Critchley on 17th October 2009 at 14:24

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.

Comment by: Fred Mason on 17th October 2009 at 16:21

Stephen, ol' classmate,

What WOULD we do without you.?

Be good, be happy. Stay sober.

Comment by: S. Critchley on 17th October 2009 at 17:24

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.

Comment by: Peeping Tom on 17th October 2009 at 18:37

Steve your so good they framed you twice.

Comment by: phoenix rising on 18th October 2009 at 00:14

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.

Comment by: The Oracle on 18th October 2009 at 14:25

************** 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.

Comment by: Trencher on 19th October 2009 at 16:32

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.

Comment by: Baz Taylor on 20th October 2009 at 10:06

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.

Comment by: Fred Mason on 20th October 2009 at 10:12

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.

Comment by: Knowlsey on 21st October 2009 at 10:36

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".

Comment by: Fred Mason on 22nd October 2009 at 23:12

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??'

Comment by: Knowlsey on 23rd October 2009 at 10:23

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.

Comment by: C. Glass on 23rd October 2009 at 18:25

Do you guys know that there is a pic of Bernard in the choir on the St Marys page.

Comment by: Peeping Tom on 3rd November 2009 at 14:40

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.

Comment by: Peter Ridout on 6th November 2009 at 11:14

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.

Comment by: Baz Taylor on 9th November 2009 at 19:38

When are you guys next having a get together?

Comment by: K.E. on 10th November 2009 at 12:58

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.

Comment by: Blue Boy on 13th November 2009 at 10:30

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,, 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.

Comment by: cliff higham on 13th November 2009 at 22:34

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.

Comment by: Norm on 14th November 2009 at 12:36

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.

Comment by: Tips on 14th November 2009 at 15:35

I see Curly Dowdall has his picture published again on the Wiganers at Work page. His fame as an actor obviously is spreading.

Comment by: Alan on 14th November 2009 at 22:44

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.

Comment by: Archie on 15th November 2009 at 23:04

Nice photo Bernard. Glad to hear your acting career is on the up. Seen you have attracted a bit of a fan club too.

Comment by: Cheta Brown on 16th November 2009 at 17:20

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.

Comment by: Fred Mason on 16th November 2009 at 19:38

Cheta, old pal,

Join the's a wonderful life.

Comment by: rene mulqueeny on 17th November 2009 at 18:37

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.

Comment by: Trencher on 18th November 2009 at 23:02

Think you've tapped here Bernard.

Comment by: Peeping Tom on 20th November 2009 at 11:53

Bernard does seem like he pulls the birds now he has moved into the acting industry.

Comment by: jymkahnna on 20th November 2009 at 20:03

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,,,

Comment by: L. Wilding on 20th November 2009 at 20:08

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.

Comment by: Bloo on 20th November 2009 at 20:12

'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.

Comment by: Fred on 21st November 2009 at 14:35

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.”

Comment by: Knowlsey on 22nd November 2009 at 13:20

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!

Comment by: Curly Dowdall on 24th November 2009 at 00:14

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.

Comment by: Blue Boy on 24th November 2009 at 12:41

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.

Comment by: Peeping Tom on 24th November 2009 at 13:26

There have been over 6000 viewings of this pic/ site. You chaps must be doing something right. Eat your words Pulford.

Comment by: Trencher on 27th November 2009 at 16:18

Nice song Fred ,, sung to the tune of Cool for Cats.

Comment by: P. Bernard Dowdall on 27th November 2009 at 20:14

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.

Comment by: Peeping Tom on 28th November 2009 at 11:09

Fred, how did you know I had crashed on the lawn?

Comment by: Blue Moon on 29th November 2009 at 14:18

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,,,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.

Comment by: Curly Dowdall on 29th November 2009 at 23:39

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

Comment by: Fred on 5th December 2009 at 16:56

Hi chaps,

Sorry I'm not Blueboy. Good poem though.

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

Comment by: Peeping Tom on 6th December 2009 at 17:21

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.

Comment by: Tips on 8th December 2009 at 10:43

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..".

Comment by: Knowlsey on 10th December 2009 at 10:59

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.

Comment by: Knowlsey on 10th December 2009 at 11:01

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.

Comment by: Knowlsey on 10th December 2009 at 11:25

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.

Comment by: Knowlsey on 10th December 2009 at 11:28

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.

Comment by: Knowlsey on 10th December 2009 at 17:40

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.

Comment by: Knowlsey on 10th December 2009 at 17:43

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.

Comment by: S. Bass on 11th December 2009 at 10:57

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.

Comment by: Hammy on 11th December 2009 at 14:00

Sam your jokes get no better with time.

Comment by: Olive Hall on 11th December 2009 at 14:30

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.

Comment by: P. Melling on 11th December 2009 at 23:47

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.

Comment by: M. Bo on 12th December 2009 at 11:06

Knowlsey, Jim Holding used to work at Gullicks but now works at Joy Mining in Higher Ince.

Comment by: Fred on 12th December 2009 at 15:01

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.

Comment by: Fred on 12th December 2009 at 18:44

I got six na - na na naaaaa..

Yuk yuk...

Comment by: Knowlsey on 12th December 2009 at 19:56

Fred, excellently succinct life history. The paragraphs I have written seemed to have generated a lot of interest.

Comment by: Archie on 12th December 2009 at 23:06

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.

Comment by: Betty Tute on 13th December 2009 at 11:12

I love Bernard Dowdall.

Comment by: Rene Mulqueeny on 13th December 2009 at 11:38

Get in the queu Betty.

Comment by: Harry Wink on 13th December 2009 at 18:53

Archie you mean Fred doesnt write silly nonsense then - I got six hundred...."na na - na na naaaaa..

Yuk yuk...".

Comment by: Waddy on 14th December 2009 at 11:29

I find it amazing dowdall has all these women after him ,, whatever hes got I wish I had a bit.

Comment by: K. Atherton on 14th December 2009 at 18:07

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.

Comment by: P. Melling on 15th December 2009 at 10:18

Whats the "Nock"? Sounds dodgy!

Comment by: S. Critchley on 15th December 2009 at 15:22

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.

Comment by: P. Melling on 16th December 2009 at 11:53

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!

Comment by: Trencher on 16th December 2009 at 13:28

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.

Comment by: Knowlsey on 18th December 2009 at 12:27

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.

Comment by: Fred on 19th December 2009 at 00:14

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..

Comment by: Peeping Tom on 22nd December 2009 at 13:25

Yes - congratulations are due to Bernard. He has come a long way since the Hovis Ad. A merry yuletide to one and all.

Comment by: Cliff H. on 22nd December 2009 at 16:17

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!

Comment by: Curly on 22nd December 2009 at 16:33

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 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.

Comment by: Fred on 24th December 2009 at 18:30

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..

Comment by: jas holding on 24th December 2009 at 20:12

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

Comment by: D. WORM on 25th December 2009 at 14:04

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!

Comment by: Fred on 31st December 2009 at 09:43

All the best, you runners, you.
Hope you have a good evening and hope to see you next year..!!

Comment by: Peeping Tom on 31st December 2009 at 11:11

Good man Fred. Yes everyone its Tomo here wishing each and every on of you a Happy New Year.

Comment by: Baz Taylor on 1st January 2010 at 11:56

A happy New Year to one and all.

Comment by: Curls on 1st January 2010 at 11:59

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.

Comment by: Rene Mulqueeny on 4th January 2010 at 11:57

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.

Comment by: Waddy on 9th January 2010 at 15:42

Bernard Dowdall seems very popular with readers on this site he's even got photos on the Wiganers -at -Work page.

Comment by: H.R. on 16th January 2010 at 18:37

Hope you had a good Xmas and New Year Fred love. Harriet xxx.

Comment by: Bernard Curly Dowdall on 19th January 2010 at 00:21

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 Eric Rubin the russian.Someone keeps nicking my photos from my agents site..mmmm wonder who ?

Comment by: Trencher on 20th January 2010 at 12:59

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?

Comment by: Nicky (ex - St Marys) on 22nd January 2010 at 12:13

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.

Comment by: S. Ctitchley on 22nd January 2010 at 17:22

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.

Comment by: Gwen & Nel on 26th January 2010 at 10:11

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.

Comment by: Tips on 26th January 2010 at 10:28

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.

Comment by: Nicky (St Marys) on 31st January 2010 at 12:47

Saw you on the box other night Curly in the crime thing. Well done. Not be long before you get your Oscar.

Comment by: Fred on 31st January 2010 at 16:12

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.

Comment by: HR on 1st February 2010 at 15:41

Fred therewas Gwendoline at St Johns. Were you good friends by any chance?

Comment by: Fred on 1st February 2010 at 17:16

I do remember Gwen Cox at St John's. Wonder if this is the lass.?

Comment by: Rene Mulqueeny on 2nd February 2010 at 13:24

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.

Comment by: Fred on 2nd February 2010 at 16:35

By the way, Harriet, Dorothy sends her love.

Comment by: Miss P. Maskell on 6th February 2010 at 14:35

Happy valentine Bernard. I have been following your progress on Wganers-at-Work. Until the next time. Love you xxx.

Comment by: Trencher on 8th February 2010 at 12:06

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.

Comment by: Tips on 8th February 2010 at 12:14

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.

Comment by: Jay Bell Pentops on 11th February 2010 at 18:33

Frank Healey should be tarred and feathered. Wot a Yob!

Comment by: Frank Healy on 12th February 2010 at 12:36

Charnock? Frank Healy? I'm definitely puzzled. Who's the mischief maker? :o):o)

Comment by: Bradshaw on 14th February 2010 at 11:01

I was taller than you midgets.

Comment by: HR on 14th February 2010 at 11:22

Happy Valentine Freddy love. xxx

Comment by: Jim Khana on 14th February 2010 at 11:37

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.

Comment by: RON HUNT on 14th February 2010 at 11:49

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'

Comment by: Trencher on 14th February 2010 at 13:33


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.

Comment by: Tips on 15th February 2010 at 10:05

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?

Comment by: Routh on 18th February 2010 at 18:59

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.

Comment by: jas holding on 21st February 2010 at 01:33

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,,,,

Comment by: Knowlsey on 21st February 2010 at 13:51

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.

Comment by: Tips on 25th February 2010 at 17:23

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?

Comment by: Tips on 25th February 2010 at 17:31

Jim .. how you doin marrar .. back home..retired. Let you have email when I get public one.

Comment by: Fred on 27th February 2010 at 14:09

Just a point to ponder, chaps...
Old age is when former classmates are so gray and wrinkled
and bald, they don't recognize you.

Comment by: Tips on 27th February 2010 at 21:16

So Fred your bald and gray and wrinkled and no one recognises you. Ah,, youre bringing tears to my eyes.

Comment by: Peeping Tom on 28th February 2010 at 11:32

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!

Comment by: d.garlick on 1st March 2010 at 13:48

You look very handsome these days

Comment by: Fred on 1st March 2010 at 17:19

and Dorothy, you are a bonnie lass, yourself...

Comment by: M. McCarthy on 3rd March 2010 at 09:36

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.

Comment by: jas holding on 6th March 2010 at 21:15

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,,,

Comment by: Cubin on 7th March 2010 at 15:36

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.

Comment by: Archie on 9th March 2010 at 12:49

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.

Comment by: Curlers on 9th March 2010 at 15:04

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.

Comment by: Harry Wink on 10th March 2010 at 21:48

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?

Comment by: Fred Mason on 14th March 2010 at 20:27

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 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...'

Comment by: Jas on 14th March 2010 at 22:51

Stick to the sheep shearing Trapper.

Comment by: Waddy on 17th March 2010 at 20:55

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.

Comment by: Baz Taylor on 18th March 2010 at 19:26

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.

Comment by: Fred on 1st April 2010 at 23:14

ey up, yo men,

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

Comment by: cliff on 5th April 2010 at 02:12

bit late now Freddie but hope u had a good easter holiday away from that oven

Comment by: Tips on 5th April 2010 at 10:01

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.

Comment by: Steven on 13th April 2010 at 14:30

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.

Comment by: Rupert on 20th April 2010 at 19:06

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.

Comment by: Grammar School Misfit on 29th April 2010 at 22:46

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.

Comment by: Fred on 30th April 2010 at 16:03

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..

Comment by: Harry Wink on 6th May 2010 at 17:24

Has Jim Holding passed on?

Comment by: Kearnsy on 7th May 2010 at 12:39

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.

Comment by: Curls on 20th May 2010 at 15:55

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.

Comment by: Quinzer on 26th May 2010 at 14:43

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.

Comment by: Ted Barker on 28th May 2010 at 13:55

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.

Comment by: I. Pearce on 29th May 2010 at 18:43

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.

Comment by: Fred Mason on 2nd June 2010 at 18:24

One has to wonder...just who is Ted Barker....?

Comment by: Bill Neville on 4th June 2010 at 11:22

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?

Comment by: Quinzer on 5th June 2010 at 20:55

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?

Comment by: Archie on 6th June 2010 at 12:32

I've seen Billy Ashurst a couple of times in Swan Meadow Road. cant say if he lives there or not.

Comment by: C. Meadows on 7th June 2010 at 10:57

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!

Comment by: Barnsey on 7th June 2010 at 20:06

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.

Comment by: Ted Barker on 8th June 2010 at 14:20

One has to wonder...just who is Fred be wondering who I am?

Comment by: Jim Khana on 8th June 2010 at 16:32

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!

Comment by: Archie on 9th June 2010 at 15:09

Chris. You left the Grammar early .. what hapened to you. On minute you were there .. next minute gone.

Comment by: Quinzer on 9th June 2010 at 16:41

Family moved to Congleton Archie. Drop me a line and I'll fill you in.

Comment by: Fred on 10th June 2010 at 19:51

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.

Comment by: Sue Donenym on 11th June 2010 at 15:56

Quinzer....Chris Evans
Bloo.......Cliff Higham
Jim Khana..James Holding
Archie.....Archie Aspinall
Curls......Bernard Dowdall.

Comment by: Fred on 12th June 2010 at 18:27

Thanks for the info, Sue Donenym, or is that done em in? and who are you????

Comment by: Su Donenym on 14th June 2010 at 12:34

I'm on list ..... cuz.... have dew drop - luvly ... Wiggin market .... a quid. Weather here great.

Comment by: H. Riley on 14th June 2010 at 13:56

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.

Comment by: JDH on 18th June 2010 at 17:19

Somebody's got to do it.

Comment by: Knowlsey on 19th June 2010 at 12:32

Well Jim lad you've deprived Bloo of the 700th comment...shame on you!

Comment by: Peeping Tom on 20th June 2010 at 13:54

Looks like Bloo has ceased to contribute - is he still knocking about?

Comment by: Bill Nev on 20th June 2010 at 19:47

Saw Cliff Higham about a month ago in Iceland.

No you fools .. the frozen food shop.

Comment by: Routh on 21st June 2010 at 09:16

Yes, shame on you Jas Holding for usurping little Cliffs right to the 700th. Yah .. boo .. you dirty rotter.:-)

Comment by: JDH on 21st June 2010 at 11:32

I'm not Jas Holding

Comment by: Routh on 21st June 2010 at 14:13

Appologies Jas, we have some cowboy on the line pretending to be you and he had done for little Cliff.

Comment by: JDH on 21st June 2010 at 22:32

Wasn't pretending to be anyone. Somebody's ASSUMED that JDH is Jas Holding

Comment by: Knowlsey on 22nd June 2010 at 20:11

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?

Comment by: Tips on 24th June 2010 at 13:19

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.

Comment by: JDH on 28th June 2010 at 09:23

You're right Tips. I saw him a few weeks ago, smoking outside the Brocket when I passed by in the car.

Comment by: Val Hitchen on 28th June 2010 at 14:36

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.

Comment by: Bill Neville on 29th June 2010 at 10:37

Hi Val. Well you never know... I suppose somebody gotta live in Cumbria!!!!:>)

Comment by: R. Mason on 30th June 2010 at 08:56

Penrith Cumbria. Big Ale Kench. Captain Birdseye whiskers. Must be Fred Mason.

Comment by: Knowlsey on 30th June 2010 at 19:54

R. Mason are you related to Fred Mason?

Comment by: R. Mason on 1st July 2010 at 13:24

No comment.

Comment by: R. Coats on 2nd July 2010 at 09:22

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.

Comment by: Fred on 4th July 2010 at 12:52

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 !

Comment by: Maurice Brown on 7th July 2010 at 11:23

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.

Comment by: Routh on 8th July 2010 at 09:25

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.

Comment by: Dora Mason on 8th July 2010 at 13:08

Fred Mason are you a relative of Barry Mason the song writer from Wigan. If so do you know where he is now?

Comment by: Peter Verkovensky on 8th July 2010 at 14:24

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.

Comment by: Fred on 8th July 2010 at 21:17

Hi Dora,

Sorry, I'm not related to Barry. I understand there are a few Mason's around in Wigan.

Take care.

Comment by: Fred on 8th July 2010 at 21:19

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?

Comment by: Peter on 9th July 2010 at 09:42

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?

Comment by: Fred on 10th July 2010 at 10:05

Hi Peter,

Yes, I do remember you. Can you contact me on my e-mail above please.

Comment by: Bernard Mulqueeny (Canada) on 19th July 2010 at 10:02

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.

Comment by: "Woodie" Guthrie on 19th July 2010 at 13:56

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.

Comment by: Jonty on 20th July 2010 at 13:26

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.

Comment by: Curly on 21st July 2010 at 11:02

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.

Comment by: Tips on 22nd July 2010 at 10:02

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.

Comment by: Derek Worm on 27th July 2010 at 14:49

Jony are you the John Johnson on the pic above?

Comment by: Jonty on 28th July 2010 at 12:14

Worm, not Jony but Jonty and who else?

Comment by: Fred on 29th July 2010 at 04:42


I remember you well, old chap, from Lamberhead Road. Where are you now?

Comment by: Jonty on 29th July 2010 at 11:41


Comment by: Tips on 3rd August 2010 at 16:11

Don't care for Oz myself Jonty lad. Always seemed a bit of a third world country pooulated by yobs.

Comment by: Fred on 4th August 2010 at 13:47

It is now.......

Comment by: Tips on 5th August 2010 at 12:33

And twas ever so.

Comment by: Airath O'Higham on 5th August 2010 at 12:35

Give Oz back to the Abos!

Comment by: Chaz on 12th August 2010 at 11:25

Do any of you men know what hapened to Subby. Is he still knocking about?

Comment by: Tips on 13th August 2010 at 11:01

Subby is still knocking about but lives in Chorley.

Comment by: Ray Armstrong on 25th August 2010 at 13:39

I knew a numpty once called Fred Mason! Surely cant be the same?

Comment by: Fred Mason on 26th August 2010 at 17:07

I agree, Ray,

Surely can't be the same.....

Comment by: RA on 27th August 2010 at 11:33

I'll have to tell Georgie Orrell then that its not the Fred Mason that we all knew and ...

Comment by: Caddy on 27th August 2010 at 15:18

hey RA ...dont leave me out.

Comment by: Joe Hill on 10th September 2010 at 11:01

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!

Comment by: F.B. on 13th September 2010 at 14:34

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.

Comment by: Seosamh Fionngarrán on 14th September 2010 at 15:14

Bernard Dowdall. I know that the artist Isherwood is a hero of yours so may I draw your attention to the site: I think you will find it very interesting.

Comment by: Tips on 15th September 2010 at 10:01

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.

Comment by: Tips on 17th September 2010 at 10:08

Fred Bamber is that you. I haven't seen or heard of you since you left school. What are you up to now?

Comment by: Knowlsey on 7th October 2010 at 14:25

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!

Comment by: FB on 20th October 2010 at 13:21

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 :>)

Comment by: Cheta Brown on 21st October 2010 at 10:58

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.

Comment by: FB on 25th October 2010 at 12:29

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.

Comment by: The Real Mogsy on 26th October 2010 at 10:15

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.

Comment by: Neville on 28th October 2010 at 10:48

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.

Comment by: Noel on 29th October 2010 at 18:38

So it was fred Mason then who let them stink bombs off. Always wondered who it was. Never suspected fred.

Comment by: Cheta Brown on 2nd November 2010 at 13:28

Me and fred Mason were the top lads in the Scripture Union. We knew twice as much as braggers like James Holding.

Comment by: Dolly Grimwood on 16th November 2010 at 18:43

fred mason are you the one looking for old school recipees,,as I worked on scool meals,

Comment by: Tips on 22nd November 2010 at 13:20

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.

Comment by: C. Peters on 29th November 2010 at 17:10

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.

Comment by: Fred B. on 1st December 2010 at 11:24

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.

Comment by: Tips on 4th December 2010 at 16:31

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.

Comment by: G. Brown on 8th December 2010 at 18:56

Merry Christmas Tips and to the two good friends, the two Freds.

Comment by: The Real Mogsi on 11th December 2010 at 13:14

Have a very festive season everyone! Happy Christmas! Where are Fred Bamber and Fred Mason these days?

Comment by: Dick Roscoe on 13th December 2010 at 13:46

Fred Mason lives in Pemberton. I didnt know Fred Bamber that well but I heard he emigrated to Canada.

Comment by: Mick Rigby on 14th December 2010 at 10:52

Off the mark Dick, Fred went to Canada yonks ago. Don't know about Fred Bamber.

Comment by: G. Brown on 15th December 2010 at 13:08

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.

Comment by: Fred Mason on 18th December 2010 at 20:28

Here's wishing all you lads a very merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year.

Comment by: Peter Bernard Dowdall on 21st December 2010 at 13:28

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.

Comment by: Fred Mason on 22nd December 2010 at 15:45

Thanks for the warning, Bernie.


Comment by: jasholding on 22nd December 2010 at 21:01

how dare you fred mason besmirch the name of the great wiggin thespian peter bernard!

Comment by: Fred Mason on 23rd December 2010 at 20:27

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

Comment by: Pykey on 24th December 2010 at 12:48

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!

Comment by: Fred Mason on 3rd January 2011 at 19:47

Alas, alack, Pikey,

You have found me out.

I am really ancient, and am actually the father of...............

Joe Boswell.

Beware you Grubs...!!

Comment by: Fred Mason on 29th January 2011 at 17:09

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.

Comment by: A. Fan on 17th February 2011 at 09:34

I've been looking for Bernard Dowdall appearing in Bedlam on Sky Living TV but I haven't seen him yet.

Comment by: Joey on 18th February 2011 at 19:14

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

Comment by: Fred Mason on 20th February 2011 at 20:08

Hiya, A. Fan,

You say you haven't seen our Bernard yet on Bedlam...????

Should have gone to specsavers......!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Comment by: Alice Fan on 21st February 2011 at 11:09

Hi Mr. Fred. Was it at the beginning of the second episode? If so I missed that bit. ..XXX.

Comment by: Fred Mason on 24th February 2011 at 17:45

Well, chaps, we approaching 800 postings.

Question: Who gets number 800?

Comment by: Joey on 1st March 2011 at 11:16

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.

Comment by: Cliffers on 17th March 2011 at 18:44

Soon be 10,000 views. Not bad hey?

Comment by: Dave Cheetham on 18th March 2011 at 09:26

News around Beech Hill is that bernard Dowdall will be appearing on Panarama.

Comment by: A. Fan on 19th March 2011 at 09:34

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 :>}.

Comment by: James Woodson on 27th March 2011 at 18:42

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?

Comment by: Fred Mason on 30th March 2011 at 22:42


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.


Comment by: Sheila on 31st March 2011 at 10:40

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.

Comment by: Irene on 1st April 2011 at 10:31

Cliff Higham does have a beard. I've seen him shopping in Tecsos in Gidlow Lane.

Comment by: Nadine on 3rd April 2011 at 14:05

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.

Comment by: Fred Mason on 3rd April 2011 at 18:12

Eight more comments to go.

I think Joey the Gent should take the honour of 800.

Go for it Joey..!!

Comment by: Richard Atherton on 4th April 2011 at 16:31

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.

Comment by: B. Taylor on 5th April 2011 at 10:28

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.

Comment by: F. Mason on 5th April 2011 at 22:08

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. !!!!

Comment by: B. Taylor on 7th April 2011 at 16:28

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.

Comment by: Mick Santus on 14th April 2011 at 09:18

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.

Comment by: Captain Bird's Eye on 14th April 2011 at 20:15

Only two more postings to eight hundred.

Come along, young Joey the Gent.

Get ready, get set, GO..!!!!!!!!

Comment by: G. Brown on 16th April 2011 at 10:47

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.

Comment by: Bernard Dowdall on 19th April 2011 at 22:52

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.

Comment by: Peeping Tom on 20th April 2011 at 10:02

Good for you Bernard. I can see your still young at heart.

Comment by: Rene Mulqueeny on 20th April 2011 at 14:37

Berny when are you on the telly again.

Comment by: freddy. on 20th April 2011 at 16:58

hi rene I understand bernards making a movie about fred west at the mo. keep happy.

Comment by: Bill Nev on 21st April 2011 at 08:23

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.

Comment by: Fred Mason on 25th April 2011 at 21:16

It doesn't matter who gets number 900 really,

but number 1000 must go to Jimbo.

What say you all????

Comment by: John Pugh on 27th April 2011 at 17:04

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!

Comment by: Graham Armstrong on 8th May 2011 at 19:05

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.

Comment by: S. Critchley on 11th May 2011 at 21:21

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.

Comment by: Lanky on 16th May 2011 at 11:14

I remember Jas Holding. Great lad. Liked his fishing.

Comment by: Bill Nev on 19th May 2011 at 08:59

One of the best JH. Salt of the earth.

Comment by: Peeping Tom on 20th June 2011 at 15:24

Its all gone quiet on here!

Comment by: Rosco on 21st June 2011 at 09:08

Saw Cliff Higham in Brocket. He was looking well.

Comment by: joan beckett (wilding) on 2nd July 2011 at 22:43

Is Jim Holding still around by any chance

Comment by: Stan on 4th July 2011 at 08:22

Hi Joan. James Holding is definitely still around. I saw him in Sainsburys the other day. Think he lives in Marus Bridge.

Comment by: Jem D. on 5th July 2011 at 09:32

is that stan martlew? ps saw jim holding in a green 4 wheel drive in chapel lane a couple of weeks ago.

Comment by: jas holding on 10th July 2011 at 17:04

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,,,,

Comment by: joan beckett (wilding) on 15th July 2011 at 22:45

Fishing !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Comment by: Arty Fishall on 17th August 2011 at 09:44

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.

Comment by: Fred Mason on 23rd August 2011 at 20:03

Who is Arty Fishall????

Come on you chaps....bring this boundah to justice...I say....

Comment by: Tarquin Dowdall on 12th September 2011 at 18:01

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.

Comment by: Fred Mason on 14th September 2011 at 18:13

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.

Comment by: Jim Holden on 26th September 2011 at 12:21

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.

Comment by: bill melling on 27th September 2011 at 17:07

good lad bernie dowdall.

Comment by: Norris Gripweed on 28th September 2011 at 10:07

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.

Comment by: Raz on 2nd October 2011 at 22:42

Over 10,000 viewings cherubs.

Comment by: Ray Price on 7th October 2011 at 19:03

Bernard Dowdall is for life, not just for Christmas.

Comment by: Terry on 11th October 2011 at 10:16

Is Jim Holden above different to Jim Holding?

Comment by: Brian on 11th October 2011 at 10:30

How many of these lads still survive?
Please post a comment if your still alive and kicking.

Comment by: John Atherton on 13th October 2011 at 10:29

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.

Comment by: Raz on 14th October 2011 at 10:13

Rich Garswood and Geoff Ashton are defintely alive and kicking.

Comment by: T. Rimmer on 17th October 2011 at 10:45

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.

Comment by: T.Rimmer on 17th October 2011 at 14:24

Terry. should think jim holden knows how to spell his own name lol :>}

Comment by: Fred Mason on 17th October 2011 at 23:25

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..???

Comment by: Ray Price on 18th October 2011 at 09:32

Who is the infernal "Dante"?

Joey from Nogbad ....... Joe Hill or Joe Fairhurst?

Comment by: J. Davies on 19th October 2011 at 14:42

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?

Comment by: Terry Crompton on 24th October 2011 at 09:42

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.

Comment by: Willie Lewis on 14th November 2011 at 11:05

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.

Comment by: Arty Fishall on 16th November 2011 at 19:14

All the thickos went to the Linacre, Lewis.

Comment by: Desdemona Gale on 28th November 2011 at 21:12

Can anyone tell me if Bernard Dowdall is a Wigan councillor.

Comment by: Peeping Tom on 11th December 2011 at 20:27

Merry Christmas everyone!

Comment by: Joan on 13th December 2011 at 12:12

Merry Christmas Jim (Holding).
xxxxxxx :>)

Comment by: Fred B. on 27th December 2011 at 21:08

Happy New Year to all my old friends especially Freddy. Hope you all had a good Christmas.

Comment by: jas holding on 7th January 2012 at 22:56

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...

Comment by: Bloo on 15th January 2012 at 10:33

second that jas. appy noo yeer all. have a drink on me int brocket.

Comment by: Fred Mason on 15th January 2012 at 12:56

Third that Jas, oud lad.

Best wishes to everyone from WGS 57. May see y'all sometime this year. Up the Latics..!!

Comment by: Tips on 17th January 2012 at 22:17

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?

Comment by: jasholding on 18th January 2012 at 21:05

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,,,,

Comment by: Alison Dubret on 30th January 2012 at 14:21

Is it true that Peter Bernard Dowdall is to appear in a production of Shakespear's Midsummer Nights dream at the Wigan Little Theatre?

Comment by: Bloo on 5th February 2012 at 01:09

Nearly 12000 views Jim Holding must be a popular man.

Comment by: Bloooers on 17th February 2012 at 12:14

EE... I must make it 850. Smashin them midget gems I get from the market. Only £1 a bag.

Comment by: Dolores De Joocey on 28th February 2012 at 22:11

I love that Cliff Higham. Corr - just give me one night with him.
Corr what a dishy bloke.

Comment by: Fred B. on 3rd March 2012 at 10:38

Not heard from Fred Mason for a while. Is he still extant?

Comment by: R. Mason on 24th March 2012 at 13:05

He lives the life of a hermit in the wilds of Cumbria.

Comment by: Willwe on 27th March 2012 at 11:24

Will we ever reach a thousand comments?

Comment by: Cliff Bloo! on 31st March 2012 at 12:47


Easy peasy!

Universe the limit ... have a midget gem .. smashin .. &1 market hall!

Ooh! lock up your wifes .. I'm on the prowl!

Comment by: Roy Leyland on 4th May 2012 at 15:50

Not heard much from Fred Leyland lately. Is he OK.

Comment by: Rene Cartwright on 13th May 2012 at 19:17

Roy is Fred your brother?

Comment by: Roy Leyland on 21st May 2012 at 08:36

Appologies, posted under wrong pic. No Fred not my brother. Three Leylands in my year and none related.

Comment by: Wendy Moore on 21st May 2012 at 09:21

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?

Comment by: Leo Gorsey on 13th June 2012 at 08:40

Where's Fred Mason?

Comment by: Huntz Hall on 15th June 2012 at 00:49

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.

Comment by: Jola Weisman on 17th June 2012 at 09:54

Ireby festival over. Next one 2013. Fred not director.

Comment by: jas holding on 20th June 2012 at 17:01

hmm...Wendy got a point there Bernard,,am sure it cant taste all that bad,,,,

Comment by: Geoff Armstrong on 24th June 2012 at 17:52

I thought Bernard was a bit strong on that point. Come on Bernard lets have an appology.

Comment by: cubin on 26th June 2012 at 09:10

best fisher man in wigan .......... jas holding,, bar none.

Comment by: Rosa on 30th June 2012 at 16:53

Huntz, I thought Fred Mason was director of Cumbrian Crafts at least that's what he told me.

Comment by: Alice Cartwright on 1st July 2012 at 07:09

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.

Comment by: Trev on 2nd July 2012 at 20:57

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.

Comment by: Ron on 3rd July 2012 at 10:59

Huntz & Rosa don't take anything Fred tells you too seriously.

Comment by: Cliff on 30th July 2012 at 13:36

Bernard finally managed to get on on Corrie!
Well done son!

Comment by: Fred on 5th August 2012 at 05:15

Congrats Bernard!

I'll see you in the Rovers ...... mines a pint of Newton & Rigleys.

Har.........har o:> !

Comment by: Raz on 19th August 2012 at 19:15

Saw Cliff Higham recently in Bargain Booze in Gidlow Lane buying a load of plonk.

Comment by: Motley Crew on 21st August 2012 at 15:27

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:

Comment by: Motley Crew on 28th August 2012 at 16:26

*************************** 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:

Comment by: Motley Crew on 18th October 2012 at 16:05

*************************** *** 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!

Comment by: Wanda Rose on 19th October 2012 at 13:32

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.

Comment by: Frank Healy's Younger Wiser Brother on 21st October 2012 at 14:43

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.

Comment by: Barry Dainty on 24th October 2012 at 20:04

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.

Comment by: jim holding on 25th October 2012 at 11:05

Thanks Billy,,,appreciate your kind comments,,and how are you doing these days

Comment by: Barry on 25th October 2012 at 11:34

Think you mean Barry ........ John .. sorry .. Jim. Just joshing Jim ... grandkids .. bit of golf .. dodging the auld lady .. usual stuff. Doing OK Jim lad.

Comment by: jim holding on 25th October 2012 at 17:54


My apologies,put it down to my age,,,looks like you like the rest of us then,,,grandkids etc..cant beat it,,,

Comment by: penman on 1st November 2012 at 19:22

wow...didn't know fred mason was a millionaire .. all them companies ..... buddy, can you spare a dime for an old shipmate.

Comment by: betty pownall on 2nd November 2012 at 12:24

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.

Comment by: Steve Atherton on 7th November 2012 at 17:52

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.

Comment by: G. Temple on 8th November 2012 at 12:48

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.

Comment by: Dave Jones on 16th November 2012 at 11:37

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.

Comment by: Raz on 22nd November 2012 at 16:35

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.

Comment by: Peepers on 23rd November 2012 at 10:42

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!

Comment by: Willwe on 26th November 2012 at 15:51

Come on chaps, this isn't good enough

Comment by: Fred on 27th November 2012 at 11:01

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.


Comment by: jas holding on 27th November 2012 at 17:00

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,,,,

Comment by: Frank Healy on 28th November 2012 at 14:00

Is there anybody else who thinks,like me,that the person who chose the cross country course was a sadist?

Comment by: Peepers on 28th November 2012 at 17:18

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.

Comment by: Jim Khana on 29th November 2012 at 08:52

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!

Comment by: jas holding on 29th November 2012 at 12:51

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

Comment by: Peepers on 29th November 2012 at 16:41

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.

Comment by: jas holding on 30th November 2012 at 13:54

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

Comment by: jas holding on 30th November 2012 at 13:56

Sorry Peepers,,,,

them there odds to good to miss,,,,

Comment by: Peepers on 30th November 2012 at 16:00

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!

Comment by: Bernard Dowdall on 1st December 2012 at 19:42

Met the beautiful Joanna lumley on set of Making of a Lady.I'm in love

Comment by: Jim Khana on 3rd December 2012 at 09:27

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.

Comment by: jas holding on 3rd December 2012 at 13:14


take no notice of jym kahna,,he,s only jealous,,,can understand your palputaions,she one very attactive lady

Comment by: Jim Khana on 3rd December 2012 at 18:42

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!

Comment by: Madam Duval on 3rd December 2012 at 19:12

Bernie Dowdall booked me a couple of times when he was Concert Secratary at Beech Hill Labour Club. Honey Duval. Exotic dancer.

Comment by: Knowlsey on 4th December 2012 at 11:51

I'll bet he did. Leopards don't change their spots eh Curly lad. Well done.

Comment by: Jo Boz Appreciation Society on 20th December 2012 at 17:19

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.

Comment by: Pikey on 24th December 2012 at 18:38

Merry Christmas everyone!

Comment by: Knowlsey on 25th December 2012 at 13:58

Yeah Pikey, good on you lad!

And happy Noo Year too! To you all!

Comment by: Fred M. on 28th December 2012 at 22:10

Best wishes to everyone from WGS 57. May see y'all sometime this year. Up the Latics..!!

Comment by: jas holding on 29th December 2012 at 21:21

yes chaps,,seasons greeting to everyone,,,and heres to a happy and prosperous new year...

Comment by: Frank Healy's Younger Wiser Brother on 31st December 2012 at 08:24

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!

Comment by: P. B. dowdall on 31st December 2012 at 09:45

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

Comment by: Jon Davies on 1st January 2013 at 18:13

Well done Bernard. The ol;d stories are the best. Keep taking the tablets.

Comment by: jas holding on 2nd January 2013 at 13:26


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??

Comment by: Frank Healy's Younger Wiser Brother on 2nd January 2013 at 15:36

With humble apologies, my last comment should have read "over 19000 viewings" and not "over 19000 comments". Our Frank remains unmoved - MISERABLE SOD.

Comment by: jymkhana on 3rd January 2013 at 13:22

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

Comment by: Curly on 3rd January 2013 at 21:51

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!

Comment by: Knowlsey on 7th January 2013 at 09:14

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?

Comment by: Bernard on 7th January 2013 at 10:20

I think Paul Merson's talking book My Struggle is one of the funniest,most surreal ever heard.

Comment by: jas holding on 7th January 2013 at 13:30

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,,,,

Comment by: Curly on 8th January 2013 at 08:45

Try Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows!

Comment by: Fred Mason on 9th January 2013 at 07:32

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..???

Comment by: jas holding on 9th January 2013 at 13:13

Fred ,,you just said that,,,you still living in millionaires row? all the seasons best,,,

Comment by: Ron on 10th January 2013 at 13:40

Our Fred's a high roller these days. Rolling in it!

Comment by: Yvonne on 11th January 2013 at 15:34

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 !

Comment by: Fred B on 12th January 2013 at 11:36

Fred may be rolling in it Ron, but rolling in what ..?

Comment by: Fred on 16th January 2013 at 17:55

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......!!

Comment by: John Taylor on 18th January 2013 at 11:47

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.

Comment by: cherries on 18th January 2013 at 16:48

Don't start on Fred'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 !!!!!!

Comment by: Knowlsey on 22nd January 2013 at 18:25

Wow! Over 2000 hits!
Can't be bad.

Comment by: jymkhana, on 23rd January 2013 at 12:42

knowlsey I think you mean, "Wow! over 20000 hits". Well done son.

Comment by: Bunty Le Tissier on 5th February 2013 at 10:16

I saw Bernard Dowdall's performance as the Russian gangster Eric Ruben. He was very good.

Comment by: gymkhana on 5th February 2013 at 13:21

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

Comment by: Bunty on 5th February 2013 at 15:25

Hi Gym.

Just a fan but well connected.

Comment by: gymkhana on 12th February 2013 at 13:15

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??

Comment by: Grammar School Misfit on 14th February 2013 at 11:45

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.

Comment by: The Real Cheeta on 15th February 2013 at 10:46

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.

Comment by: jim holding on 15th February 2013 at 13:50


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???

Comment by: Sandy Kay on 18th February 2013 at 18:58

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.

Comment by: Richie Penman on 19th February 2013 at 20:38

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.

Comment by: Curly on 21st February 2013 at 12:59

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!

Comment by: jas holding on 22nd February 2013 at 13:48

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.

Comment by: Roy Thomas on 22nd February 2013 at 16:31

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.

Comment by: jas holding on 24th February 2013 at 00:41

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,,,

Comment by: Ray Atherton on 24th February 2013 at 14:29

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.

Comment by: Bunty on 25th February 2013 at 09:14

I read that Shameless is currently on its lasr series. I understand that Peter Bernard Dowdall appears in Shameless. Does anyone know which episodes?

Comment by: Frank Healy's Younger Wiser Brother on 25th February 2013 at 16:05

Bunty. I asked the MISERABLE SOD but all he would say was "sod off".

Comment by: cherries on 25th February 2013 at 21:33

Ah hah.......cherries here !!!!
Some of you seem to be wondering who I 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

Comment by: (The Real) Frank Healys Younger Wiser Brother on 25th February 2013 at 22:54

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.

Comment by: Frank Healys Younger Wiser Brother (The Real One) on 26th February 2013 at 08:43

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.

Comment by: Sarah Ridout on 26th February 2013 at 12:44

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.

Comment by: Frank Healy's Younger Wiser Brother on 26th February 2013 at 15:50

"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.

Comment by: Bunty Le Tissier on 1st March 2013 at 12:35

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?

Comment by: j.swift on 3rd March 2013 at 16:02

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.

Comment by: Frank Healy on 4th March 2013 at 14:35

Contrary to popular belief, I do have a sense of humour so I find all of this very amusing :o)

Comment by: Bunty on 4th March 2013 at 22:27

Good on you Frank.
Great big quif hey?
Can't wait to meet you!

Comment by: Fred on 8th March 2013 at 00:23

Jim Holding for England.

Comment by: Frank Healy's Younger Wiser Brother on 8th March 2013 at 16:49

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.

Comment by: Bunty on 9th March 2013 at 12:27

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.

Comment by: jas holding on 9th March 2013 at 20:57

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?

Comment by: Frank Healy on 10th March 2013 at 20:31

The intake of 1955.

Comment by: Frank Healy's Younger Wiser Bro on 11th March 2013 at 14:47

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.

Comment by: Big Norm Melling on 15th March 2013 at 22:50

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.

Comment by: P.B. Dowdall on 19th March 2013 at 11:13

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

Comment by: Doreen on 19th March 2013 at 11:56

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.

Comment by: james swift on 19th March 2013 at 22:55

telegraph fantasy racing, Im into that. go for it bernard lad.

Comment by: Doreen on 21st March 2013 at 14:24

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.

Comment by: Jim Khana on 21st March 2013 at 16:39

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.

Comment by: gymkhana on 23rd March 2013 at 13:09

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,,

Comment by: jas holding on 23rd March 2013 at 21:03

Big 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,,,

Comment by: cherries on 25th March 2013 at 18:13

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 !!!!

Comment by: cherries on 27th March 2013 at 09:32

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 ???

Comment by: Franks Healys Younger Wiser Bro, on 27th March 2013 at 12:49

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.

Comment by: cherries on 27th March 2013 at 13:17

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'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 !!!

Comment by: cherries on 27th March 2013 at 14:12

Referring to my previous comment about the very rude and impolite 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 stupid lot.....but I WAS FURIOUS !!!!!! Do forgive me.

Comment by: Oxo on 27th March 2013 at 16:54

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.

Comment by: Peggs on 28th March 2013 at 12:02

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.

Comment by: Fred B. on 2nd April 2013 at 15:08

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.

Comment by: jas holding on 5th April 2013 at 12:30

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.

Comment by: cherries on 5th April 2013 at 21:08

Believe me, cherries does exist !!!!

Comment by: Frank Healys Younger Wiser Bro on 6th April 2013 at 09:36

"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.

Comment by: jas holding on 6th April 2013 at 20:45

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.

Comment by: G. Brown on 25th April 2013 at 12:05

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.

Comment by: jas holding on 25th April 2013 at 17:11

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"

Comment by: G.B. on 7th May 2013 at 11:36

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...

Comment by: jim holding on 7th May 2013 at 13:27

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

Comment by: cherries on 8th May 2013 at 14:36

Reckon you think wrong, James're all a bunch of the nicest possible way, of 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 !!!!!

Comment by: bandy butter bonce on 28th May 2013 at 10:40

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.

Comment by: jim holding on 28th May 2013 at 14:02


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????

Comment by: G.B. on 6th June 2013 at 11:31

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.

Comment by: Bernard Dowdall (curly) on 7th June 2013 at 12:35

If youre wondering where I am ..? On the pic. I was in hospital having been burned by fireworks.. I wasnt Whacking it!

Comment by: Bernard Dowdall (Curly) on 17th June 2013 at 19:11

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 or put a message on here. Give me time to sort the stables out with my Head Lad.

Comment by: dorothy clarke (nee sharpe) on 21st June 2013 at 01:04

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.

Comment by: Norris Gripweed on 22nd June 2013 at 16:19

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!

Comment by: jas holding on 23rd June 2013 at 20:42

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,,,

Comment by: cliff h,aka blue,etc on 23rd June 2013 at 20:50

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

Comment by: Fred Mason on 23rd June 2013 at 21:06

Well done to all our lads at Wigan Grammar School.

Hope you all did well in your respective lives.

Here's to us...

Comment by: jas holding on 23rd June 2013 at 21:28

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?

Comment by: One of our aircraft is missing on 24th June 2013 at 14:10

Cliff Higham...19.06.1946---23.06.2013...RIP

Comment by: Frank Healy on 24th June 2013 at 15:47

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.

Comment by: Peps on 24th June 2013 at 18:02

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.

Comment by: Fred Mason on 24th June 2013 at 18:45

Just heard. GOD Bless, Cliff, me old cuz and classmate. R.I.P.

Comment by: Blue Boy 24.11.2009 on 27th June 2013 at 15:43

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.

Comment by: A Friend on 28th June 2013 at 09:39

Cliff's funeral service is at St mary's church in Standishgate on Tuesday 2nd July at 2 pm.

Comment by: Rudyard Kipling,, on 28th June 2013 at 13:03

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

Comment by: Tony Bennet on 29th June 2013 at 12:26

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.

Comment by: I. Soffored on 4th July 2013 at 13:01

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.

Comment by: Mary Skaggs on 9th July 2013 at 13:09

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.

Comment by: cherries on 12th July 2013 at 13:59

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 !!!!

Comment by: cherries on 13th July 2013 at 11:07

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 !!!!!!

Comment by: lone chick on 13th July 2013 at 16:11

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).

Comment by: cherries on 13th July 2013 at 20:27

No worries on that score, lone chick. I catfight over 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 !!!!!

Comment by: cherries on 13th July 2013 at 20:56

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.

Comment by: Mary on 14th July 2013 at 15:33

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.

Comment by: cherries on 14th July 2013 at 17:00

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 !!!

Comment by: cherries on 30th July 2013 at 09:16

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 !!!!!!!

Comment by: jas holding on 30th July 2013 at 13:42

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

Comment by: cherries on 30th July 2013 at 14:57

Now, now, James Holding !!!! behave yourself....cheeky boy !!!! but on second thoughts.....WHY NOT ????? Eh girls !!!!! What does everybody else think of that idea ????

Comment by: good innings on 1st August 2013 at 13:33

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)

Comment by: Dixie on 2nd August 2013 at 12:34

It's a free country you clown!

Comment by: good innings on 2nd August 2013 at 23:49

just as I said. oh well, there you go. over and out. Goodnight Vienna. too bored now.

Comment by: Dixie on 3rd August 2013 at 12:30

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!

Comment by: W.J.A on 10th August 2013 at 16:52

Well done Bernard Dowdall in your acting career.

Comment by: W. J. A. on 12th August 2013 at 12:23

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.

Comment by: jas holding on 13th August 2013 at 13:45

Come on now people,,modesty forbids,,he he

Comment by: dorothy Clarke (nee Sharpe) on 13th August 2013 at 23:06

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?

Comment by: jas holding on 14th August 2013 at 09:41

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.

Comment by: dorothy clarke on 14th August 2013 at 10:56

ok Jas. No probs and thanks for replying. (someone may throw some light on it at sometime) thanks again.

Comment by: Fred Mason on 31st August 2013 at 21:24

Has anyone ever heard from Joe Fairhurst???

Comment by: jas holding on 12th September 2013 at 20:00

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

Comment by: Margo on 14th September 2013 at 21:19

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

Comment by: Swifty on 26th September 2013 at 09:00

Whose Margo?

Comment by: Barry Cunliffe on 26th September 2013 at 12:00

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?

Comment by: Fred Mason on 28th September 2013 at 22:53

Looks like Joe Fairhurst doesn't check out this thread.

Comment by: Bary Cunliffe on 3rd October 2013 at 12:08

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?

Comment by: Jon Russell on 4th October 2013 at 11:40

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.

Comment by: Chris on 4th October 2013 at 23:18

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.

Comment by: Jon Russell on 6th October 2013 at 08:42

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.

Comment by: Jon Russell on 8th October 2013 at 09:24

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.

Comment by: margo on 8th October 2013 at 21:01

I am a member of WCC who happen to be parked up when Joe Fairhurst pulled alongside ,,,

Who,s Swifty

Comment by: Philip Green on 12th October 2013 at 08:40

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.

Comment by: Fred Mason on 12th October 2013 at 19:14

I wonder if Joe Fairhurst is known by any other name???

Comment by: Phil Green on 16th October 2013 at 12:35

Margo are you Tony Worswick's cousin?

Comment by: Susan Dainty on 17th October 2013 at 11:57

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.

Comment by: Norris Gripweed on 19th October 2013 at 11:48

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.

Comment by: jas holding on 19th October 2013 at 20:35

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

Comment by: Jon Russell on 20th October 2013 at 10:03

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.

Comment by: jas holding on 28th October 2013 at 20:35

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

Comment by: Squeak on 28th October 2013 at 22:40

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

Comment by: Susan Dainty on 29th October 2013 at 12:47

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.

Comment by: jas holding on 29th October 2013 at 19:50

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

Comment by: cherries on 31st October 2013 at 10:12

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.

Comment by: Eddie Collins on 31st October 2013 at 10:21

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.

Comment by: jas holding on 31st October 2013 at 20:14

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

Comment by: John Yates on 1st November 2013 at 10:28

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.

Comment by: Mary Skaggs on 3rd November 2013 at 14:33

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.

Comment by: cherries on 3rd November 2013 at 16:55

He suits me fine thanks, gyms for him. Leave that to Mr.Holding who I believe you have taken a shine to in his Speedos !!!!! Get in there, girl !!!!!

Comment by: Winnie McKean on 6th November 2013 at 14:04

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?

Comment by: Frank Healys Younger Wiser Brother on 9th November 2013 at 10:34

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!

Comment by: Norris Gripweed on 14th November 2013 at 12:44

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!

Comment by: D Kiddick on 21st November 2013 at 20:06

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?

Comment by: Norris Gripweed on 26th November 2013 at 15:05

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.

Comment by: swifty on 27th November 2013 at 15:25

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.

Comment by: D Kiddick on 27th November 2013 at 19:32

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

Comment by: Chris on 27th November 2013 at 23:36

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."

Comment by: Phil on 30th November 2013 at 20:27

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.

Comment by: Kevan on 2nd December 2013 at 10:25

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.

Comment by: Miss Maskell on 9th December 2013 at 10:24

I've heard nothing about Bernard lately. Is he still around?

Comment by: jymkahnna on 14th December 2013 at 10:04

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,,,

Comment by: Frank Healy's Younger Wiser Bro' on 15th December 2013 at 08:56

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!

Comment by: cynthia on 15th December 2013 at 18:56

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?

Comment by: A. Nother on 16th December 2013 at 14:53

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.

Comment by: Jas Holding on 17th December 2013 at 20:43

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,,,,

Comment by: Paisnall on 18th December 2013 at 12:51

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.

Comment by: cherries on 19th December 2013 at 11:11

Hi 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.

Comment by: Joe Boswell (Spectre) on 19th December 2013 at 14:40

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!

Comment by: jymkahnna on 20th December 2013 at 11:23

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

Comment by: ayrefi on 20th December 2013 at 11:37

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.

Comment by: chris on 20th December 2013 at 22:29

merry Christmas all you crazy cookies. Great site. good health to you all. may you find Peace in your Haven wherever it be.

Comment by: jymkahnna on 21st December 2013 at 16:05

chris ,, are you chris evans?

Comment by: jas holding on 21st December 2013 at 21:04

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

Comment by: Fred Mason on 22nd December 2013 at 14:23

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.

Comment by: jas holding on 22nd December 2013 at 19:55

Cheers Fred..will second that,,,hope all you chaps have a good christmas and happy new year and long may me be able to

Comment by: Fred Mason on 22nd December 2013 at 22:10

Right on, jas...all the best, mate...

Comment by: Frank Healy's Younger Wiser Bro' on 24th December 2013 at 10:29

Jim you’ll probably find this a better link to your fame and ‘ayrefield’:
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.

Comment by: cherries on 24th December 2013 at 12:11

Excuse me FHYWB ..... I don't know about the other names but 'cherries' is definitely not a nom-de-plume. I certainly do 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 !!!)

Comment by: jas holding on 24th December 2013 at 19:22

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..

Comment by: Fred B. on 26th December 2013 at 10:45

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'".

Comment by: Norris Gripweed on 26th December 2013 at 20:19

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!

Comment by: cherries on 27th December 2013 at 10:26

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 ????

Comment by: Tips on 28th December 2013 at 09:56

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!

Comment by: cherries on 28th December 2013 at 12:02

I can see you're all just as childish as you were 50 odd years ago so very last posting from'll all be pleased to hear. !!!!!

Comment by: Knowlsey on 29th December 2013 at 02:44

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!

Comment by: swifty on 30th December 2013 at 12:43

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.

Comment by: john on 30th December 2013 at 14:27

so Cherries has taken his/her ball home and not coming out to play anymore. can that be the end please. Ahmen

Comment by: jas holding on 30th December 2013 at 20:00

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,,,,

Comment by: Mary Skaggs on 30th December 2013 at 22:06

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?

Comment by: Fred Mason on 31st December 2013 at 17:33

All the best in 2014 to all my old mates from the fifties.


Comment by: Jas Holding on 31st December 2013 at 20:04

Yes indeed Fred and a Happy New Year to all our contributors and all our readers in 2014


Comment by: Fanny Deville on 1st January 2014 at 09:13

Ooh! Freddy you are a one!

Comment by: Lankyentertanez on 2nd January 2014 at 15:06

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.

Comment by: Rosie O'Brady on 4th January 2014 at 11:17

Just seen a pic of Cliff Higham put on by his chum Bernard Dowdall. Lovely picture, lovely man. Cheers Bernard. Where was it taken?

Comment by: Norris Gripweed on 7th January 2014 at 10:14

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!

Comment by: Mary on 10th January 2014 at 13:57

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.

Comment by: John on 10th January 2014 at 19:22

Jon Russell, did you even ever go WGS? struggling to place you. What year were you? Does anyone else know who this is?

Comment by: Jas Holding on 11th January 2014 at 18:38

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,,,

Comment by: jas holding on 11th January 2014 at 20:28

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,????

Comment by: jas holding on 12th January 2014 at 13:42

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

Comment by: cherries on 12th January 2014 at 14:47

I don't want to appear forward but was it not 'Weaver to Wearer ???? Good story though !!!!

Comment by: john on 12th January 2014 at 19:57

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.

Comment by: cherries on 12th January 2014 at 20:07

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 !!!!!

Comment by: Fred on 13th January 2014 at 06:15

There is something comforting about foggy days..quiet, peaceful times.

Comment by: Alan Spacer on 13th January 2014 at 12:18

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!

Comment by: jas holding on 13th January 2014 at 12:41

"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,,,,

Comment by: Jimmy Green on 16th January 2014 at 14:32

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!

Comment by: jas holding on 16th January 2014 at 21:16

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

Comment by: Frank Healys Younger Wiser Bro' on 17th January 2014 at 12:57

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!

Comment by: jas holding on 17th January 2014 at 20:51

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,,,

Comment by: Roy Marshall on 18th January 2014 at 13:05

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?

Comment by: Henry Hamblett on 18th January 2014 at 16:34

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.

Comment by: chris on 19th January 2014 at 23:00

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?

Comment by: Fred B. on 20th January 2014 at 12:57

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.

Comment by: Mary on 21st January 2014 at 11:07

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.

Comment by: Cis Grimes on 4th February 2014 at 21:08

Jim Holding I've seen your face before. Bugging me where?
Were you in the Wigan Royals Morris Men at any time?

Comment by: jas holding on 5th February 2014 at 20:07

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

Comment by: Cis Grimes. on 7th February 2014 at 11:17

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.

Comment by: Michelle Caine on 7th February 2014 at 13:48

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!

Comment by: jas holding on 7th February 2014 at 19:32

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

Comment by: Mary Skaggs on 11th February 2014 at 18:04

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.

Comment by: jas holding on 11th February 2014 at 19:49

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

Comment by: Jon Russel on 15th February 2014 at 10:52

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.

Comment by: chris on 15th February 2014 at 11:48

you should'a said.
"meant to show you no disdain"
but "hey,
that's no way to say goodbye"

Comment by: jas holding on 21st February 2014 at 19:44

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

Comment by: Lydya on 27th February 2014 at 15:36

Jim. You'll be able to have your kench-off with your rival Fred at your do.

Can I come and watch?

Comment by: jas holding on 1st March 2014 at 20:25

Lydya,,everyone welcome,,the more the merrier,will keep you poated on developments

Comment by: Norris Gripweed on 3rd March 2014 at 08:53

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.

Comment by: Frank Healy's Younger Wiser Bro' on 4th March 2014 at 09:18

If our Frank attends the reunion I will buy a pint for the best QUIF!

Comment by: Jas Holding on 5th March 2014 at 19:27

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,,,,????

Comment by: F.H.Y.W.B. on 10th March 2014 at 09:11

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.

Comment by: Jon Russell on 25th March 2014 at 11:14

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 .........

Comment by: Chris on 25th March 2014 at 23:38

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.

Comment by: Mandy May on 26th March 2014 at 15:21

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.

Comment by: jas holding on 29th March 2014 at 23:00

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

Comment by: Philip Green on 28th April 2014 at 20:10

Is this the end of this comic strip?

Comments fading out!

Comment by: Harriet on 29th April 2014 at 11:49

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!

Comment by: chris on 29th April 2014 at 13:33

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)

Comment by: jas holding on 30th April 2014 at 20:06

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,,,,,

Comment by: Norm on 2nd May 2014 at 09:14

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!

Comment by: Bulletin on 16th May 2014 at 15:11

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.

Comment by: jas holding on 17th May 2014 at 21:17

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

Comment by: jas holding on 17th May 2014 at 21:24

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.....

Comment by: Peps on 6th June 2014 at 10:03

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.

Comment by: Peps on 6th June 2014 at 10:25

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.

Comment by: chris on 22nd June 2014 at 00:43

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.

Comment by: Fred Mason on 27th June 2014 at 17:35

Still never hear from Joe Fairhurst. Wonder where he is today?

Comment by: Fred Mason on 2nd July 2014 at 20:37

Still nothing from our old mate, Joe.

God, I hope he is not brown bread...???

Comment by: chris on 6th July 2014 at 20:42

this site has died. how sad.

Comment by: jas holding on 14th July 2014 at 13:20

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

Comment by: Fred Mason on 14th July 2014 at 19:37

Thanks for that, Jimbo....

Comment by: Fred Mason on 17th August 2014 at 18:21

All these views...and no comments..?????

Comment by: Fred Mason on 3rd September 2014 at 17:08

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....

Comment by: jas holding on 15th September 2014 at 19:54

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,,,,

Comment by: jas holding on 15th September 2014 at 19:58

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.....??????

Comment by: john on 17th October 2014 at 06:00

is there anybody out thereeeeeeeeeeeeeeee? (all sleeping)

Comment by: J W Ashley-Smith on 25th October 2014 at 18:31

Silence, boy...

Comment by: Fred Mason on 2nd November 2014 at 17:43

Looks like this thread is a totally lost cause now...what do you say?

Comment by: chris on 4th November 2014 at 15:55

Ahh well. The life is dimming here but memories last forever, "I will love you til I die"

Comment by: Fred Mason on 21st December 2014 at 15:56

Here's wishing all Grammar Grubs a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year....

Comment by: chris on 24th December 2014 at 01:30

Happy Christmas.

Comment by: jas holding on 29th December 2014 at 14:14

Seasons greetings to one and all and to good health,hope everyone is ok ,,,

Comment by: Fred Mason on 3rd February 2015 at 19:14

Yeah...looks like I got 47,000

Greetings to all.

Comment by: Fred Mason on 7th March 2015 at 21:49

Looks like I got 48000 as well...roll on 49000

Comment by: jas holding on 7th March 2015 at 22:57

Good on yer Fred,,how you keeping,,,still drowing them maggots,,,been a bit cold for me as yet,,

Comment by: Fred Mason on 8th March 2015 at 10:21

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.

Comment by: Fred Mason on 21st March 2015 at 20:43

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....

Comment by: Chris on 23rd March 2015 at 23:27

Old fishermen never die. ... Did you hear the one about the two fishermen?

Comment by: Fred Mason on 24th March 2015 at 14:01


I missed 49,000.

THAT went very quickly...!!!!

Ah,'s to 50,000 then...

Comment by: Fred Mason on 7th April 2015 at 18:47



Comment by: jas holding on 15th April 2015 at 19:53

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,,,,

Comment by: Fred Mason on 6th June 2015 at 19:52

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...

Comment by: Fred Mason on 7th June 2015 at 18:52

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.

Comment by: chris on 3rd November 2015 at 11:42

"hello" it's me. just thought i'd call. How are yer?

Comment by: Bill sharpe on 4th December 2015 at 23:00

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 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.

Comment by: Frank Healy on 19th December 2015 at 10:18

Sad news. I found out this morning that Billy Brown died a couple of weeks ago.

Comment by: Bill on 4th April 2016 at 08:59

Just testing. Is this website now defunct?

Comment by: chris on 2nd May 2016 at 00:24

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.

Comment by: Fred Mason on 30th May 2016 at 21:40

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....

Comment by: Fred Mason on 31st May 2016 at 16:22

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.

Comment by: Fred Mason on 13th July 2016 at 19:44

Where is everybody????

Comment by: Fred Mason on 19th October 2016 at 18:13

I wonder how many of us are still around. Doesn't look like too many at the moment, sadly.

Comment by: Fred Mason on 18th December 2016 at 22:25

Well, lads...a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to anyone that is still left among us. Bless all Grammar Grubs remaining.

Comment by: Jas Holding on 11th January 2017 at 13:55

Hello Fred,,,and the same to you,,,yes looks like not many of responding these days,,any way you take care

Comment by: Fred Mason on 10th July 2017 at 18:33

It's dead, Jim,'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...!!!)

Comment by: Bill Sharpe on 17th July 2017 at 09:12

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.


Comment by: Fred Mason on 15th September 2017 at 20:56

Come on you chaps. Not all of us are brown bread, surely.???? I do hope not....!!!!

Comment by: Jas Holding on 11th October 2017 at 12:17

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

Comment by: Fred Mason on 7th December 2017 at 17:56

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.

Comment by: Max on 21st December 2017 at 21:25

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.

Comment by: Max Cooper on 23rd December 2017 at 16:38

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!

Comment by: Cicero Grimes on 26th December 2017 at 13:06

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.

Comment by: Cicero Grimes on 29th December 2017 at 10:48

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.

Comment by: Cicero Grimes on 29th December 2017 at 12:55

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 “

Comment by: Cicero Grimes on 4th January 2018 at 13:34

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.

Comment by: Molly McGuire on 7th January 2018 at 13:16

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.

Comment by: Cicero Grimes on 11th January 2018 at 12:08

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.

Comment by: Max Cooper on 17th January 2018 at 10:53

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.

Comment by: Max Cooper on 7th February 2018 at 12:41

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.

Comment by: Quiffy Healy on 14th March 2018 at 22:03

Never wore glasses in those days. Curly Grimes? :0)

Comment by: Cicero Grimes on 28th March 2018 at 11:07

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?

Comment by: Molly on 30th March 2018 at 10:48

I think I’ve spotted Quiffy now! What a handsome lad. Cicero, who is Sqeek! Funny name, he doesn't use the 'u'.

Comment by: Cicero Grimes on 12th April 2018 at 11:00

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.

Comment by: Jas Holding on 15th April 2018 at 17:48

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

Comment by: Fred Mason on 16th April 2018 at 08:14

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.

Comment by: Molly on 17th April 2018 at 11:57

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.

Comment by: Cis Grimes on 28th April 2018 at 10:29

Thanks Molly. Always found Graham a nice guy and an interesting character. It's very sad.

Comment by: Fred Mason on 4th December 2018 at 21:56

...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....

Comment by: TC on 2nd January 2019 at 11:07

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.

Comment by: TC on 2nd January 2019 at 11:12

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.

Comment by: Fred Mason on 28th May 2019 at 20:32

Well, Jim lad, Looks like they have all gone. Just thee and me left....what?

Comment by: Jas Holding on 19th July 2019 at 15:41

Help needed chaps ,myself and 2 old chaps having been trying to remember the names of the teachers who tried to install history lessons into our bunch of miscreants,,1957/62,,???r

Comment by: Fred Mason on 21st July 2019 at 08:47

Could it be one of these, Jim.?

Comment by: Fred Mason on 1st December 2019 at 20:08

What a shame that no one is posting here.

I can only assume that they are all brown bread.

If so, then R.I.P. all you Grammar Grubs... Bless.

I will continue....

Comment by: Trans Gee on 23rd December 2019 at 13:15

Merry Chrismas to everyone: I hope most of you are still around. Recently spotted: Dicky Garswood delivering drugs (the NHS kind); Geoff (Elmer) Hardman, selling cars in Horwich; Jim Holding spotted in Asda; Dave Flemming spotted in the Millstone, Norm Melling of Pemberton; Joe Fairhurst the Brocket; Joe Hill spotted in Beech Hill; Bernard Dowdall spotted mooching around the hospital; Geoff Ashton at Bellingham Tennis Club and Morcambe’s one and only Billy Sharpe.
Merry Christmas to those who may still be extant: Dave Pyke, Dave Morris, Chris Evans, Graham Parr, John (Tips) Worthington, Tony (Dixie) Dean, Ian Whitaker, Colin Knowles, Geoff Brown, Fred Bamber, Ted Mason, Steven Critchley, John Johnson and Noel Smith.
Merry Christmas to all contributors not least Frank Healy. Rock on!

Comment by: Billy sharpe on 20th April 2020 at 13:07

Just an update, with a few scattered thoughts.

This Coronavirus does not look good. It seems targeted at our profile.....over seventies......more men than women (for some reason)...the lockdown lifestyle is already boring..but much better than the alternative.

We survived WGS experience with good humour, we can beat this. Please do everything to stay safe..we do not want any obituaries due to Covid..there are already too few of us remaining.
I am already organising a re-union of all classmates for our joint 100th birthday. I am willing to pay for all the festivities, including transport and a 3 day stay at the world renown MIDLANDS hotel in Morecambe.
To guarantee an invitation, please send me a cash for £20 or £50 if you want a suite (just to cover the admin.fees) . Within the next 7 days please, my alcohol tab is due for payment.
Now that we have to stay at home, it has stopped raining and the golf course is closed.
I have read that the Coronavirus did NOT originate in China. It was (allegedly) intentionally released from a laboratory by a WOMAN. Covid has stopped football and all other sports from being played/watched......all the pubs and bars have been closed.......we have all been furloughed at home.....we are not allowed out of the house.....not allowed to have mates visit. No excuse now for all the built up chores that need doing ...redorating etc.
I was invited to attend a last “well man” health check in December, as they do not offer the check-up to men over 75. I was the perfect weight for a man who was 7 foot 9inches tall. I suggested that the height measuring stick must have been wrong, as I was advised to lose some weight. She suggested my alcohol intake of 6 pints a day was also too much (can you believe that she classified me as a heavy drinker). I knew mates (not alive now), but they happily drank far more than this.
Anyway, the wife, supported by our children and grandchildren, ganged up on me to moderate my well earned drinking habit. I agreed on a new year resolution to stop drinking at home, and limit my intake to no more than 3 pints a day when we went to the pub 3 times a week for lunch. Now they have closed the pubs and I am now teetotal. I can tell you, I never signed up for that. I have negotiated a beer garden event every Sunday afternoon, for members of the household only and can have a 4 pack.
Anyway, have to go now and get on with my chores.
Sorry for the ramble, but you do get fed up.
It would be good to hear from schoolmates back in the good old days.
Come on, get posting, you have got plenty of time.

Comment by: Fred Mason on 23rd April 2020 at 21:09

Happy St George's Day to all my old classmates.

Comment by: Dicky Littlebird on 1st May 2020 at 16:00

Well done Bill. I am pleased to inform you that you have been accepted into the inner sanctum. The MC Jim Holding will confirm in due course. Sad to inform that Ian Whitaker passed away in 2017.

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