St Helens Mining Tech On North Road

Started by: GrahamK (444)

Anybody remember any of the teachers from St Helens Mining Tech on North Road? I can remember Mr Devanie who lived behind the town hall in St Helens and taught electrics, Mr Pownall who taught mining along with Mr Peter Dooley. Their was also a Scotsman from Orrell Mr McCallister was his name I think.

Started: 22nd Dec 2013 at 19:00

Posted by: tuddy (1172)

It's McMillan GrahamK, Alister McMillan. Other mining lecturers I remember are: Alex Pownall, Nick Lythwinenko, Mr Howsley, Viv Quick,there was also one lecturer who became mayor of Wigan,can't remember his name.

Replied: 22nd Dec 2013 at 19:22

Posted by: Handsomeminer (1775)

mr dumican mechanical , mr strettle electrical,mr holgate ?, mr saunders electrical

Replied: 22nd Dec 2013 at 19:51

Posted by: tuddy (1172)

Just remembered the lecturer who became mayor of Wigan, it was Ken Pye. Others I can remember are: Joe mulligan, Mr Moyers,& Mr Ashton, electrical, Roy Hughes,Mechanical.

Replied: 22nd Dec 2013 at 19:59

Posted by: tonker (24215) 

Mr Holgate was from Beech Hill and, I think, is Sheena's dad (Riverside).

Bob Saunders was a rum jockey, but not as rum as Pee Dooley. He was a bloody crackpot!

I'm sure I've told this tale before, but it's funny, so I'll tell it again!

One afternoon, we were at Notre Dame Mining College, Crab Street, St.Helens, having Mr.Dooley for Mining Science.
We were all waiting in the corridor outside the classroom door when he arrived (as nowt as nast, as always) and someone had decided to knock a matchstick into the door lock for a laugh (I think it was Johnny Baldwin, from Pemberton).

When Dooley tried to get the key into the lock and discovered the knocked in matchstick, he threw an almighty wobbler!
Everybody was sniggering, which made him go bright purple. He shouted, "Next F***** mon 'as laughs at me 'll think t'F***n' slopstone's geet up an' smacked thee int' F***n' gob"! Then he just smashed his way through the door, shoulder first, without unlocking it!

You can imagine, everyone went quiet and there wasn't a murmer throughout the lesson.
Those of you who know him won't be at all surprised!

Replied: 22nd Dec 2013 at 20:04

Posted by: tuddy (1172)

Dose anybody remember the name of the pub in the side street next to North Road College? It had a bar billiards table and boxing photo's in the vault.

Replied: 22nd Dec 2013 at 20:36

Posted by: tonker (24215) 


Replied: 22nd Dec 2013 at 20:42

Posted by: tuddy (1172)

Is it still there?

Replied: 22nd Dec 2013 at 20:43

Posted by: Anne (4043) 

How far are you all going back. I remember my husband talking about a maths lecturer, name of Swift. Early 1960s

Replied: 22nd Dec 2013 at 20:54

Posted by: tonker (24215) 

No, it's long gone! I mentioned it the other day, on Parkside Colliery thread, 21st December, @ 18:12!

Replied: 22nd Dec 2013 at 20:56

Posted by: tuddy (1172)

Shame that tonker, I never mastered that bar billiards game.

Anne, I started there in 1975.

Replied: 22nd Dec 2013 at 22:02

Posted by: doodle (59)

Were you in the same class as John Baldwin Tonker,only asking because John was in my year and you stated previously that you were at Old Boston in 1976,John would have been 1975.

Replied: 23rd Dec 2013 at 02:21

Posted by: graneyjoseph (4618) 

Bob Saunders from billinge I remember mr Dooley ex manager or something like that

Replied: 23rd Dec 2013 at 07:35

Posted by: tonker (24215) 

Doodle, yes, I was in the same year as Johnny Baldwin, but not in the same group. He was mechanical, me electrical.
His brother, Ste Baldwin, also a fitter, was a year in front. Along with Niel (tweet) Williams, David Scott etc.!

Replied: 23rd Dec 2013 at 09:18

Posted by: PeterP (8919)

I attended St Helens College in the town centre in 1969 up on the 4th floor overlooking Beechams on one side and the hairdressing dept on the other sideIn 1970 they moved the mining section to the old convent on North Road. We caused bother with the staff because we wanted to finish 10 mins before time so we could walk the extra distance to the station to catch the train. Told staff if we missed the train the next one was 30 mins later and would be full by the time it got into St HelensRemember the travellers rest pub, only pub I knew with the dart board over an open fire. Also there was another pub on the other side of north rd going back towards the town which had sawdust on the floor

Replied: 23rd Dec 2013 at 09:31

Posted by: mancunian (14)

Tonker,you mentioned Bob Saunders who was a lecturer at St Helens college.Soon after he retired age 60yrs he died suddenly with a heart attack.

Replied: 23rd Dec 2013 at 14:08

Posted by: chris southworth (609)

I did my ONC at St.Helens,the 6 months block release course,(6 mths at tech,6 mths at pit)1972-74.I can remember Bob Dickie,I think he was head lecturer,Viv Quick,Alastair Mcmillan and a fella called Toft,I think, who used to come up from the main college to teach us Maths.Viv Quick taught Mining Science,Bob Dickie surveying and "Mac" taught Geology.A cracking bloke was Alastair. He used to organize field trips to Castleton in Derbyshire using the Notre Dame Convent's minibus.They were joint expeditions with the 6th form convent girls!!! Enough said.I used to get a lift to college off Derek Bennett,picking up Lawrence Mchrystal on the way at Platt Bridge.Other "potential managers" in the class that I can remember were, Neil Wilkinson and Peter Smith.

Replied: 23rd Dec 2013 at 18:18

Posted by: chris southworth (609)

I've just remembered about Peter Dooley.I never knew him at St Helens,he might have retired when I was there.I heard about him back at the pit though.He was Undermanager or Deputy Manager at Golborne in the 60's.One story I can remember is about him taking two blokes from out the pit round the back of the canteen and giving them a good hiding.

Replied: 23rd Dec 2013 at 18:30

Posted by: rio caroni (5077) 

Is Sent Ellins in Wigan

Replied: 23rd Dec 2013 at 18:48

Posted by: PeterP (8919)

Rio carini sent Helens is not in Wigan but it seems half of wiganers went to college there

Replied: 23rd Dec 2013 at 19:07

Posted by: tonker (24215) 

If you count having an 01942 telephone code and a WN postcode as 'being in Wigan', then I'm afraid a large chunk of St.Helens is in Wigan.
However, it could be said that a large chunk of Wigan is in St.Helens.
The truth of the matter is - 'only Wigan is in Wigan'!

Replied: 23rd Dec 2013 at 19:32

Posted by: graneyjoseph (4618) 

chris those names you mentioned bring back memories I was there from 67 till 73,2 other names electrical instructors mr ashton technical and mr ashcroft practical ,there was also a mr middlehurst not sure what subject he taught.

Replied: 23rd Dec 2013 at 19:36

Posted by: dougie (4712) 

I've been looking at this thread I got the equivalent in theory of a Shotfirer/Deputy at the age of 18 and was face trained by the age of 19, through going to the mining college at St-Helens on day release from the pit, the pit closed I was at in 1959 and Reeds opened worked the next 40 years at Reeds best thing I ever did,

in 1955 the mining college was next to the Town Hall we also used the Gamble institute for lessons before moving to a new place by Beacham's,
I remember Alic Murphy was working on it at the time

Replied: 23rd Dec 2013 at 21:12

Posted by: rio caroni (5077) 

dougie, did you work with Burt Storey?

Replied: 23rd Dec 2013 at 22:49

Posted by: graneyjoseph (4618) 

I went to the mining college next to the town hall for electrical practice taken by a mr,ashcroft 1967

Replied: 24th Dec 2013 at 06:59

Posted by: dougie (4712) 

Yes rio--We knew each other very well but not seen him for some time now,hope he's keeping well

Replied: 24th Dec 2013 at 08:26

Posted by: tonker (24215) 

Replied: 24th Dec 2013 at 12:55

Posted by: graneyjoseph (4618) 

memories well done MERRY CHRISTMAS

Replied: 24th Dec 2013 at 17:46

Posted by: rio caroni (5077) 

dougie, he has had a couple of rough spells but I was with him in the New Inn on Sunday afternoon and he is as fit as a fiddle at the moment

Replied: 24th Dec 2013 at 19:03

Posted by: GrahamK (444)

Tonker did you start at Old Boston with Peter Hayes he was a fitter at Bold and was apprentice of the year in his first year.

Replied: 28th Dec 2013 at 18:31

Posted by: graneyjoseph (4618) 

I worked with peter hayes at Bold another name from the past.

Replied: 28th Dec 2013 at 18:49

Posted by: tonker (24215) 

No, Graham, I don't remember many fitters from Boston, as I was electrical. I was there in 1976, well, I think it was August, 1975, to July, 1976.
The fitters I remember were David Scott, Neil Williams, Ste Baldwin (1974 - 1975) then Johnny Baldwin (1975 - 1976).
And a lad from Warrington, called Graham (Charlie) Hughes!

Replied: 28th Dec 2013 at 23:54

Posted by: Handsomeminer (1775)

peter hayes started same year as me aug 74

Replied: 29th Dec 2013 at 08:21

Posted by: GrahamK (444)

I started in September 78 at St Helens Tech until July 81 with Mike Sherrington, Vinny Marsden, Andy Bamford, Hughie Sutton all from Bold. Ste Rourke and Mike ? who we called lurch both from Parkside. Joe Mears from Agecroft.

Replied: 29th Dec 2013 at 19:18
Last edited by GrahamK: 29th Dec 2013 at 19:43:30

Posted by: doodle (59)

I was in the same set at Old Boston with Graham Hughes,bit of an odd character we used to call him Prince Charles.Others i remember were dave ruddy,chris arkwright,derek hurst,alan vincent(wilf),his cousin chris,stey lowe,dave bennett,ian brett,bob donaghy,barry harcourt,johnny boyd the last 4 names were all apprentices at plank lane then we all transferred to Parkside in 1979,good times.

Replied: 31st Dec 2013 at 11:20

Posted by: GrahamK (444)

Ste Lowe if he was a fitter is the only name I remember Doodle.

Replied: 4th Jan 2014 at 18:40

Posted by: graneyjoseph (4618) 

I remember Ste Lowe from bold,there was a party at a club on bishops road st,helens Ste turned up in his ford capri came into the club said his car was stuck on the car park turned out he had parked on the bowling green oops.

Replied: 5th Jan 2014 at 04:50

Posted by: whups (7279) 

i remember all those teachers . howsley could write for england & mr pownall could write with both hands . i mentioned mr dumican on the old boston thread . we used to go in the travelers but migrated to the guardians .me , parky , wilf hill , tony pilling & karl myers sharpened up our darts in those pubs . it used to be the old notre dame school i believe .happy days.

Replied: 27th Jan 2014 at 12:45
Last edited by whups: 27th Jan 2014 at 12:47:14

Posted by: massumbula (62)

i remember parky ,wilf,tony and karl, i went to the college with them as well whats your name whupps, you may remember me jw.

Replied: 1st Feb 2014 at 18:15

Posted by: whups (7279) 

yes john i remember you well . hav,nt seen you in a long time . i,m the dart player from downall green.r u still living in bamfurlong ?.

Replied: 2nd Feb 2014 at 00:54
Last edited by whups: 2nd Feb 2014 at 00:56:52

Posted by: whups (7279) 

for anyone from golborne iv,e put a message on the golborne colliery blog about the disaster walk planned for march .

Replied: 3rd Feb 2014 at 14:42

Posted by: tonker (24215) 

Do you think Rawsthorne will turn up?

Replied: 3rd Feb 2014 at 19:33

Posted by: whups (7279) 

not sure as he lives in newton heath now.

Replied: 4th Feb 2014 at 00:27

Posted by: massumbula (62)

ah yes, i thought so, its been many a year brian, i have lived in golborne since i got wed 33 year ago, where have the years gone, bumped into karl twenty year ago, not the same now he is a jeehova, also worked with wilf for a while, he has never changed,get up ashton now and then on a sunday afternoon but never see any old pals, keep the arm throwing pal.

Replied: 6th Feb 2014 at 17:29

Posted by: whups (7279) 

not played for over 20yrs now john . we are in golborne on another walk for the pit on the 16th march . goin to the catholic club afterwards .i see tony pilling pretty regular in ashton .

Replied: 7th Feb 2014 at 00:48
Last edited by whups: 7th Feb 2014 at 00:50:54

Posted by: massumbula (62)

will be doing the walk myself , will look out for you mate.

Replied: 7th Feb 2014 at 19:13

Posted by: whups (7279) 

ok john.

Replied: 8th Feb 2014 at 00:37

Posted by: graneyjoseph (4618) 

whups and john good luck with the walk

Replied: 8th Feb 2014 at 18:43

Posted by: whups (7279) 

thanx joe.

Replied: 8th Feb 2014 at 20:22

Posted by: daves (5) 

What a blast from the past to read the above posts. I started at Old Boston in 1974 as an apprentice fitter and went to Notre Dam collage for the duration of my apprenticeship. I certainly remember Mr Dooley and Jimmy Dumican, does anyone know if these guys are still with us and if so where they are now. It would be great to see these characters again. if you have any info...

Replied: 11th Mar 2014 at 11:15

Posted by: graneyjoseph (4618) 

good days dave.

Replied: 12th Mar 2014 at 17:58

Posted by: tuddy (1172)

Somebody has posted a photo of Ken Pye on the album page of photo's of Wigan. Ken was a mining lecturer at North Road College. The photo shows Ken when he was the mayor of Wigan.

Replied: 25th Jan 2016 at 19:57
Last edited by tuddy: 25th Jan 2016 at 20:04:01

Posted by: tonker (24215) 

We had the good (?) fortune of having Mr.Dooley for Mining Science.
As you'll be aware, he was the St.Helens equivalent of the sweary chef, only he didn't f****n' cook!

Replied: 26th Jan 2016 at 20:37

Posted by: graneyjoseph (4618) 

tonker your right there,he must have been even firier when he was younger.

Replied: 27th Jan 2016 at 05:30

Posted by: tonker (24215) 

graneyjoseph Replied: 27th Jan 2016 at 05:30

Ast' pissed i'bed?

Replied: 27th Jan 2016 at 17:45

Posted by: graneyjoseph (4618) 

tonker I dont think so I will check, after a lifetime of getting up at 04:30 05:30 is a lie in..

Replied: 27th Jan 2016 at 18:15

Posted by: spud1 (inactive)

Peter Dooley was the undermanager at Parkside when I started there in 1961,he was has mad as an hatter,but he was ok,and he did'nt hold any grudges as far as I know.

Replied: 28th Jan 2016 at 18:13

Posted by: tuddy (1172)

There was an undermanager at Golborne Colliery with the same temperament as Peter Dooley. His name was Geoff Blackburn. He was a big bearded 17 stone bear of a man, with a booming voice and a temper to match. He always reminded me of that Sir Lancelott Sprat character that James Robertson Justice played in the old doctor films.

Replied: 28th Jan 2016 at 19:51

Posted by: tonker (24215) 

Read this post that I did a couple of years back, re: Peter Dooley and his behavioural problems.
It's the one next to the last .....

Click Me ↠ ↞ ɘM ʞɔilƆ

Replied: 28th Jan 2016 at 19:57
Last edited by tonker: 28th Jan 2016 at 20:00:02

Posted by: spud1 (inactive)

One saturday evening about 7pm,we were on the surface at Parkside,on call in case a pump broke down,and having a makeshift cricket match,fitters and leccies plus others,when Pey Dooley turned up,he only lived at the bottom of the road, he had come to get somethimg made,anyway he had a fit,smashed the wicket,a wooden box,sacked all of us and stormed off,the next time we saw him,he never mentioned it.

Replied: 29th Jan 2016 at 10:19

Posted by: graneyjoseph (4618) 

aspergers comes to mind .not being derogatory of people with this.

Replied: 29th Jan 2016 at 12:09

Posted by: tonker (24215) 

Mentalism comes to mind for me!

Replied: 29th Jan 2016 at 17:30

Posted by: graneyjoseph (4618) 

tonker your not that bad.

Replied: 29th Jan 2016 at 18:21

Posted by: Handsomeminer (1775)

I think the medical term is crackers

Replied: 29th Jan 2016 at 23:32

Posted by: graneyjoseph (4618) 

couldnt put it better myself Colin.I think tonker needs a carer I suggest bunkermouth.

Replied: 30th Jan 2016 at 05:59

Posted by: tonker (24215) 

graneyjoseph Replied: 30th Jan 2016 at 05:59

05:59? Di't o'ersleyp?

Replied: 30th Jan 2016 at 15:32

Posted by: tuddy (1172)

tonker, Did you study Latin as well as mining science?

Replied: 30th Jan 2016 at 17:41

Posted by: graneyjoseph (4618) 

tonker no just got in from a girlfriend swapping party I got a DeWalt drill.

Replied: 30th Jan 2016 at 17:43

Posted by: tuddy (1172)

There's a notice in today's Wigan Evening Post announcing the death of an Alastair McMillan, 1933 - 2016, born in Dunfermline, and lived more than 40 years in Wigan. It looks like Mac has passed away.

Replied: 20th Dec 2016 at 12:49

Posted by: graneyjoseph (4618) 

Sad news.

Replied: 20th Dec 2016 at 16:27

Posted by: chris southworth (609)

Aye, sad news indeed. RIP Mac. He was a belting fella.

Replied: 21st Dec 2016 at 09:17

Posted by: tuddy (1172)

Mac's funeral took place yesterday, 21st, in St Helens.

Replied: 22nd Dec 2016 at 20:56

Posted by: phred (349) 

Peter Dooley was deputy manager at Parkside when I worked there from '60's,big influence on my career,great personality!

Replied: 23rd Dec 2016 at 18:05

Posted by: spud1 (inactive)

I was at Parkside from 61 to late 66,and in the first couple of years we saw Peter Dooley most days,and he was someone,once met never forgotten,he had loads of tantrums,and was like a mad man at times,but he was ok.

Replied: 24th Dec 2016 at 11:19

Posted by: Bill1971 (2)

I did a BTEC in 1989 with Mr Devanie teaching electronics and Bob Saunders teaching electrics. Bob was a hand grenade who did not suffer fools.

Replied: 19th Oct 2021 at 11:03

Posted by: phred (349) 

I remember Peter Dooley as my Deputy manager at Parkside until I left in 1981 to move to South Africa!

Replied: 19th Oct 2021 at 14:40

Posted by: tonker (24215) 

If Peter Dooley was 'yours', phred, you should've had him sectioned !

Replied: 25th Oct 2021 at 20:08

Posted by: PeterP (8919)

I went to St Helens (Mining ) college from 1969-71 and P Dooley was there then. When was he deputy manager at Parkside? Bit of a come down from Deputy Manager to College Lecturer.

Replied: 26th Oct 2021 at 10:16

Posted by: tonker (24215) 

PeterP said, "Bit of a come down from Deputy Manager to College Lecturer."

But, I can imagine being a college lecturer was cleaner, less stressful and better paid!

Replied: 10th Nov 2021 at 17:46

Posted by: tuddy (1172)

I remember Alastair McMillian telling me that he and a lot of other mining engineers left the pits and went into teaching in the 1960s when the industry was being run down. Mac was a physics teacher at a school before he taught mining. We had two science and maths teachers at school who were ex pit men.

Replied: 11th Nov 2021 at 22:02


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