Photos of Wigan
Photos of Wigan

Wigan Album

Ken Allan


Kenneth Allan
Photo: Fr. Norman Price
Views: 3,061
Item #: 17956
The late Mr. Kenneth Allan former headmaster of Ashton Grammar School [nowadays Byrchall High] and one of life's true gentlemen. This picture was taken on the day I was ordained in July 1989.

Comment by: babsmd on 21st June 2011 at 01:18

I remember Mr Allan starting as headmaster at AGS, he lived in the school house and was a true gent as you said. I was at AGS from 1956-1962 but I can't just remember exact year he came a headmaster.

Comment by: Fr Norman on 21st June 2011 at 14:02

I think he became head in 1959. I am still in touch with Mrs Allan so will ask her next time I see her.

Comment by: margaret cannon on 21st June 2011 at 15:54

i remember mr allan well Can still remember his daughter visiting the school and the school singing Barbara Allen to her Did she pass away at a young age ? He always put the fear of God in you if you had done something wrong but was very fair and proud of the school and its achivements I wasnt up there with the top academics but was very good at sports especially athletics and hockey Always remember Mr Allan cheering me on at these eventsAs you say a true gent

Comment by: janet on 22nd June 2011 at 13:01

I remember him too, he came in after Mr Starky??? something like that..memories going. Yes he was a decent man, strict but fair....

Comment by: Kenee on 22nd June 2011 at 13:51

A true gent ? Very fair ?
I know a few pupils who might disagree with that. I didn’t know Mr Allen that well but I crossed swords with him on occasion. He reprimanded me a couple of times for having long hair and made an example of me in front of the caretaker, Mr Sankey and Gym mistress, Ms Nolan. He then made me spend my dinnertime picking up litter, which I didn’t think was very fair.

When I came to take my options in Remove, I put my name down for German. Mr Allan said that I wasn’t particularly good at French or Latin and summoned my parents informing them that I should take History instead, my worst subject! As it happened I passed O level French and failed History miserably. I always think he cost me a German O level, not to mention a useful knowledge of the German language.

Comment by: nyce horse on 23rd June 2011 at 00:48

The shoe inspection at morning assembly, the Draconian rules about wearing your cap and not mixing with the Secondary school pupils, keeping the school back after 4 to re-sing the morning Hymn till it was up to he's standard. A gent? I don't think so.

Comment by: sagaman49 on 23rd June 2011 at 22:21

Looking back Mr. Allan behaved like a typical Headmaster, maintaining discipline and offering "advice" on your appearance. A constant source of amusement was regularly telling David James(now deceased)to cut his hair. David had short back and sides but a longish fringe and that was all Mr.Allan saw at assembly, whereas some of us had the opposite and escaped his wrath.
Note for Kenee: Sie haben immer noch lange haare.

Comment by: Kenee on 24th June 2011 at 10:59

Sorry to hear 'Jamsie' is no longer with us.
Sagamann war mein Haar nicht so lange wie es in späteren Jahren.

Comment by: Kath on 8th July 2011 at 15:34

I was a pupil from 1964 to 1969 and remember Mr Allan well, strict but fair would be an accurate discription of him I think, and I remember feeling very sad for him when he lost his daughter, a very pretty girl as I remember, not sure how she died but I feel sure it was an illness and not by accident. It's a shame that teachers nowadays don't have the right to discipline pupils, it never did any of us any harm to respect those doing their very best to teach!

Comment by: Fr Norman on 10th July 2011 at 14:23

His daughter, Elizabeth, was I think 23 when she died from natural causes. Needless to say there were all sorts of vicious rumours, but all unfounded. His son Richard is still around.
As regards fairness and gentlemanly conduct, I take all people as I find them. Obviously a head teacher back then expected respect and discipline something sadly lacking today. He put the fear of God in me as a child. It did me no harm whatsoever, and then I had the privilege later in life to get to know him personally ~ and as previously stated a true gentleman whom I still miss. He passed away in 1993.

Comment by: Uncle Joe on 8th October 2011 at 07:47

On the now defunct Old Ashtonians site, he went on record as saying that he "could not understand the dialects of some students." It was hardly appropriate for him to be head if he couldn't understand the children, was it?

One dinnertime, my brother drove me to school. (the new one on Warrington Road). Some of his mates were digging the road up and saw me get out of the car. One of them passed a comment to me, to which I replied. What I didnt see was that KA was behind me. He followed me up the drive, and came up to me in the bike sheds. He then told me that I shouldn't talk to such "underlings" and I should visit him in his study. Once in there, I heard his favourite words "bend over, boy!"

A fair man? True gent? Hardly! More like a....

Comment by: Chantal on 4th September 2013 at 02:51

In these comments it seems to me that girls tend to consider Mr Allan as a gentleman but some boys don't. I think he was more severe with boys. He has always been perfect with me...(I worked in his school as a French assistant in 1972-73).

Comment by: JEANETTE SOUTHAM (COLLINS) on 19th May 2018 at 09:25

I am sure Mr Allan was headmaster when I started at HAS in 1958. Do not remember any other

Comment by: Neville Flavell (Sheffield) on 18th February 2021 at 12:56

Kenneth Allan was my history teacher for School Cert and A level 1948-51 at Hemsworth GS in West Yorks. His enthusiasm for Economic history in particular must have rubbed off on me because, although I went to read languages at university, in mid career I took on (by correspondence) a London BSc Econ with the history option. Then, after retiring pursued more locally related industrial and commercial history which eventually led to a PhD. I think Mr Allan would have been a bit surprised, as I was far from being a star pupil. But I think he would also have been chuffed that his influence lasted for so many decades.

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