Parish History

 

During the Reformation, many Priests served this area: the ones we have heard of were those who died for their faith, but many carried on ordinary jobs so as to disguise their real function. In 1586 Evan and Richard Bamber and a Mr Griestey were the local blacksmiths and striker around the Brindle area.  Others used two names, like Thomas Walton or Cotton (1633),  John Burkett or Gerrard (1680) and John Longton or Baldwin (1684).

 

In 1613 Edmund Arrowsmith arrived in England from Douai and made his way to Denham Hall. Denham belonged to his Mother’s family, the Gerards. who owned a considerable amount of property in this part of Lancashire, including St. Helen1s Well, situated just behind Clayton Green. Making Denham his centre^ he evidently said Mass at a number of houses at irregular intervals.  One of these was St.Helen’s Well,  Another was the house in Gregson Lane now called Arrowsmith House. He managed to continue his Priestly work in this district for nine years until he was arrested in 1622. On this occasion he was released and left the district for a while, only to return in 1624 having in the meantime become a Jesuit.

 

He continued unmolested for another four years. According to tradition his final arrest followed his saying Mass for the last time at The Blue Anchor. He was taken to Lancaster Castle, condemned for high treason (that is, for being a Priest) and hanged, drawn and quartered on 28th August 1628. For some years following Edmund Arrowsmith’s death, there is no evidence of Priests in the district, but a Jesuit Priest was here in 1666, remaining until 1678. By this time the position of Catholics might have appeared to be more settled, for in 1670 a house was built in Brindle Road on land left by Alice Gerard of St.Helena Well. She also left the money to build this house for the residence of a Priest. This is called New House Farm.

 

In the summer of 1644 – so tradition says – the Venerable John Woodcock (a Franciscan) landed from the Continent at Newcastle and made his way home to Woodcock Hall. News of Father Woodcock’s movements had gone before him and on the night of his arrival at Woodcock Hall the house was surrounded. Jumping through a window he ran across Cuerden Green towards Wigan Road, but was caught on Bamber Bridge which crosses the river Lostock just above the Hob Inn,  He was imprisoned in Lancaster Castle, but his trial was delayed for two years – no doubt on account of the uncertainties due to the Civil War.  He was eventually condemned to death for treason and hanged, drawn and quartered on 7th August 1646.

 

Nearly a century later the local Justices of the Peace (H Hoghton, R Molyneux and E N Longwort felt obliged to sign the following public notice –

 

“We whose names are hereunto subscribed, three of his Majesty^ Justices of the Peace and Quoram; in and for the said County aforesaid, do hereby give this public notice that if any person or persons whatsoever shall presume or dare to exercise the Office of Popish Priest or any other ecclesiastical function of the Church of Rome within the township of Cuerden in the said County, shall be prosecuted in such manner as the law directs.  As this likewise give further notice to all persons to forbear to assemble or meet together in any place of Worship within the said township set apart or otherwise to hear Mass or other Office or service performed belonging to the Church of Rome under the like penalties of being prosecuted aforesaid given under our hands the 20th day of August 1740″.

Evidently there was talk about Mass being said at this time in Cuerden Green which prompted the Justices of the Peace to remind local Catholics of the law. It only required some unfriendly neighbour to inform the local Magistrates of the presence of a Priest and the Magistrates would then be obliged for the sake of their own good name to take out a warrant for the arrest of the Priest and the confiscation of the property,

 

New House Farm, the house in Brindle Road with TC1679 over the door is thought to have been confiscated in this way about 1720. The Mass centre was then moved to Stanfield House, which became and still is, the Presbytery of St. Josephs Brtndle,

 

Another such instance of confiscation was Ossun House – probably in Higher Walton.  When possible the Priest changed his name and moved to another district. There had been Benedictines at Ossun House since 1690 – that is the earliest recorded date.  At that time the district was served by Dom Francis and Joseph Kennett, who had been sent from St. Lawrence’s,  Dieuleward, later to become Ampleforth Abbey. In 1718, Ossun House was confiscated. In the records of forfeited estates the Priests name is given as Neville,  It was in fact Dom Richard Placid Nelson, who moved the Mass centre to Cuerden Green in. 1718 and continued to serve the district very quietly. Father Nelson lived in the house called Friars House which is today a farm, but still retains its original name.

 

A few years later, in 1724, another place was found in Higher Walton for a Mass centre by Father William Champney, OSB,, who died at this Mission in 1740 and which is referred to as Little Mosna and sometimes as Hanbridge.  This latter reference suggests that the spot was near the bridge over the river Darwen now marked on the map as Cann Bridge. Then came Father Bernard Bradshaw for whom Mass was still being said in 1930 on his anniversary.  He was followed by Father Thomas Simpson and after the death of Father Simpson there came a Father Oswald Eaves in 1764.

 

The rebellion of 1745 and the Young Pretender’s march through to Derby (causing panic in Whitehall) ill fated as it was, served to bring about a relaxation in the strict application of the penal laws against Catholics and in the year following, 1746, a Chapel was built at Cuerden Green by Father Thomas Simpson, where Mass had in fact been said secretly since 1718.

 

Most likely the Priest at this time lived in a leased house with a Chapel above it or beside it, for in 1780 Father Oswald Eaves found that the lease was running out and he had to find alternative accommodation. Land was found at Brownedge and a new Chapel built roughly on the site of the old Presbytery. The Chapel House at Cuerden Green was leased and rent was paid to the Rector of Brownedge for some years more. The final entry is for 11th July 1785:  “The life of the lease has now ceased”. At some later date the Chapel disappeared.

 

In 1780 Father Oswald Eaves purchased from Mr Richard Goodshaw over three acres of land (for an annuity of £30 for his life) at Brownedge.  There he erected a house and a Chapel behind it, which was opened for divine service on 23rd December 1780,

 

In 1781 he purchased a further four acres of land and also four acres of land and four cottages which later became known as Convent Terrace.  Behind this was built the old girls’ school and the Nuns first occupied a house on Duddle Lane (behind and North of the Terrace). These are now demolished and the land is the Duddle Lane car park.  Later, the Nuns moved to the house and grounds which now constitute St Benedict’s Monastery. Father Eaves died at Brownedge in 1793 and Father J. Atkinson took his place, remaining at Brownedge for 29 years.  He died there in 1822.

 

Father Anselm Brewer, who replaced Father Atkinson in 1822, purchased from a Mr Swarbrick a plot of land for £216.  On part of this land he built the main body of the present Church and a small tower at a cost of £1,652, plus £200 to a Mr Worsley – the Architect.  On 20th February 1827 the Right Reverend Doctor Penswick, Bishop of the Diocese, officially opened with due solemnity this new Church, assisted by 25 Priests of different Orders. He officiated at High Mass and the sermon was preached by Reverend T.F. Fairclough of Liverpool. The Preston Amateur Performers contributed their services in the Music Gallery.  Proceeds from tickets and a collection at the door amounted to £150.  It was reported that the number of Protestants who attended the ceremony was about equal to that of Catholics in the congregation.

 

Father Brewer moved to Liverpool in 1846 and died there in 1849.  From 1846 to1847 Father Anselm Glassbrook was at Brownedge, moving then to Preston where he died in 1883.

 

Father Anselm Walker succeeded Father Anselm Glassbrook as Parish Priest.  This Father Anselm built the spire and put into the tower a peal of bells, at a cost of £1,500.  The spire is 120ft high and the six bells included a tenor which weighed 21cwts. He converted the old Chapel into a house and put up a cloister connecting the house and the new Chapel. Father Walker retired at Brownedge in 1883 but lived there until his death ten years later.

 

Following the retirement of Don Anselm Walker, Father Bernard Pozzi was appointed Parish Priest. Father Pozzi enlarged the Church to its presentsize by adding the apse and both transepts with their side altars. The architect for this major undertaking was Pugin.  The additions and alterations were so great that the Church had to be closed and the old Girls1 School used in its stead. The Church was re-opened in August 1892, the alterations and enlargements having cost a total of £13,000.

 

Father Pozzi died at Llandudno on March 13th 1900. His body was met at the Railway Station by a great number of parishioners and carried in procession to the Church. He was interred at Brownedge on March l6th. The following is an extract from Barratts Preston Directory, 1892, describing Father Pozzi’s great alterations to Brownedge:

 

“In 1891-2 Brownedge Church was almost entirely rebuilt, the exception being the Tower and the spire. The wall at the East end was taken down and the Church carried 100 ft back.  The total length, including porch and chancel being now 192 ft. The nave is 71 ft and across the transept about 100ft. The noble sanctuary is supported by a colonnade of ten granite pillars and a new high altar designed by Pugin is shortly to be erected.  A handsome open Gothic roof replaces the old one and the outer walls are supported by buttresses. On the West side are two new sacristies, Lady Chapel, transept, confessionals and Baptistry. The walls of the nave have been raised and six rose windows with ornamental details inserted. Longridge and Whittle stone from the Thomas Cotton and Co., quarries was used for the extension walls. The Church will now accommodate 1,200 people.

 

The alterations were carried out from designs by Messrs Pugin and Pugin of Westminster and the Contractor was Mr Charles Walker of Brownedge and Preston. The spire is 120 ft high and contains six fine toned bells. The principal bell was given by Reverend F.Cooper

a native of Brownedge”.

 

The Lady Altar was, in fact, not completed until August 25th1900, three months after Father Pozzi’s death.

 

Father Basil Clarkson who had been Father Pozzi’s assistant since 1897 became Rector on 16th March 1900. He advanced the work at Brownedge by pulling down the old Rectory and building the present one in 1906-7, at a cost of £2,600. He also started the building of the Parochial Hall, but left before it was finished at a total cost of £2,000. It opened on 30th November 1912 when another £600 had been spent on furniture and fittings.

 

Father Clarkson was appointed to head a new project in Calgary, Canada, in October 1912 and sailed there with Father Benjamin McLaughlin on November 5th 1912. He returned later to England and died in Leeds, but was buried at Brownedge on 28th November 1913.

 

After Father Clarkson’s departure to Canada, Father J A Turner took over as Parish Priest on 20th 0ctober 1912. He had a large boxroom at the top of the house made into two rooms, one to accommodate a third servant (because Brownedge now had four Priests) and the other to serve as a visitor’s room. According to the Church diary for the period, all was going well. In February l9l3 two rows of trees were planted in the graveyard, the Church roof was overhauled, a small amount of dry rot being found and both transepts painted. Father Turner records, during October 1914, that many of the mills in the district were closing and that in consequence the annual charity sermons were not to be preached. Several Belgian refugees had been received into the district and up to that time some 100 members of the congregation had gone to war. Some were regulars, some were Territorials and others joined Kitcheners Army. By the end of the year this number had risen to 135 but some of the mills were starting to work again and cases of distress were fewer.

 

0n Sunday June 6th 1915, (within the octave of Corpus Christi) a military parade and attendance at Church was held. About 60 recent recruits to the Royal Field Artillery in uniform formed a guard of honour in a procession of the Blessed Sacrament There had never before been a military Sunday. The great crowds of people attending made the procession around the green (now the site of the War Memorial) and back to the grounds of the Presbytery where an altar had been erected, an exceptional display of witness. The number of members of the congregation now serving in the forces had risen to about 200.

The Church records for September 1915 state that ‘. . . cracks have reappeared in the Lady transept over the central pillar and a special Architect and Engineer have been consulted. The result being that it is discovered that the transept is in danger and also that the thrust from the Sanctuary arch and those next to it has caused the external wall next to the cemetery to give outward‘. The pillars and arches referred to are those of the Lady altar. It was also discovered that, owing to bad drainage and poor ventilation, dry rot was frequently appearing.

 

In addition, the heating apparatus was wrongly sited. On November 8th 1915, remedial work commenced and by January 1916 these pillars and arches had been taken down and the original foundation found to be most inadequate with coffins near to them. The coffins were removed to the cemetery. The buttresses outside were even worse the foundation of two of them being only 18″ thick, with coffins again very close. As these had decayed and the ground sunk it is a wonder that the Church did not come down. Further excavations found that some walls had no footings at all and it was decided that the only way to save the Church was to go down below the lowest coffins (removing some) and make a retaining wall and buttresses of concrete up to the foundation of the cemetery side of the Church, (20 tons of concrete were used under the buttresses) and put a dry area all around the Church. This work wascompleted by july at a cost of £l,60O. The heating was remodelled with extra radiators and high level pipes around the nave and choir at a cost of £l53. The ventilation problem was not solved until Cctober 1917 when ten new hopper windows were put into the Church. Prior to these alterations, draughts had been a severe problem in the Church making it very cold. This was resolved on 12th February 1916 when the fitting of revolving doors, installed by Colman and Co., of Brighton, was carried out at a cost of £l4O.

 

Shortly after the Armistice of 1918, news came that a member of the Parish had been awarded the Victoria Cross for conspicuous bravery. This was Corporal J. McNamara. Sadly, later information revealed that he had subsequently been killed in action. His wife and four children lived in one of the old stone cottages in School Lane.

 

In September 1918 the Association of the Propagation of the Faith was started. Brownedge can claim a fine record of contributions over the years to this worthy cause.

 

In the same year new windows were fitted, the first being in memory of the Benedictines who had served the district, notably Father Oswald Eaves and Father Atkinson. In February of the following year, a fancy dress ball was held in the Parochial Hall. This event was a great success and was the first of its kind ever held in the area. It was billed as the “Victory Ball” and raised £25.l4.l0 in aid of the new memorial windows. Later in the year the present Stations of the Cross were blessed and erected on June 29th by Father Martin McCrossan, OFM. These had cost £26O. and were given by fourteen members of the congregation.

 

Some years passed without significant changes taking place in the Church until, sometime during April 1927, one of the bells cracked (the fifth), putting out the whole peal, only one bell being rung in consequence. In July an examination of the bells was carried out by Taylor and Co of Loughborough, which showed that the peal required a complete renewal and re-hanging.

The advice of this firm to melt down the six bells and to make from them a peal of eight smaller bells was accepted in July and the bells were taken away in August. The tower clock had had to be removed for this purpose by the Leeds firm of W. Potts and Son. On examination the clock was found to be in poor condition and to renew the defective parts would cost over £l2O. The advice of the clock makers to install a new clock was accepted, the cost being £200. This is the present clock, with a gravity escapement and is in all except size exactly the same as the famous “Big Ben” clock in the tower of the Houses of Parliament in London.

 

During December of the same year, 1927, Father Anselm Turner who had been Parish Priest since 1912 had to leave through ill health. He retired to Birkdale, where he remained until his death on 7th February l928. He was buried at Brownedge on 9th February 1928.

 

0n February 24th Father Philip Wilson was appointed to succeed him and on March 4th, the Church bells now a peal of eight, which had been solemnly blessed on the high altar by Abbot Matthews on Sunday Sth February, were rung for the first time.

 

In May 1929 a Council of the Knights of St Columba was established in the Parish on the advice of the Bishop. This Council flourishes today. At this time work was in progress on the installation of electric lights in the Church.

 

The next significant addition to the Church is recorded on 16th June 1935 when the Abbot of Ampleforth blessed and unveiled five two-light stained glass windows in the ambulatory behind the Sanctuary. In July of that year, the St. Anne’s Guild for married ladies was established and later in the same year the conference of St.V1ncent de Paul was established at Brownedge.

 

During 1939, eight acres of land on the East side of Station Road (part of an area known as “Fourfie1ds”) was purchased at a price of £1,300 as a site for a senior school. War in September prevented any progress with this scheme. In January 1940 Father Dominic Willson succeeded Father Philip Willson as Parish Priest. These were two of four brothers, all having become Priests and several Catholic papers were moved to comment on four brothers having served one Parish.

 

 

Father Ambrose Byrne, Parish Priest at the close of World War II took as his main task the elimination of the outstanding debt on the Church and directed all his energies to that end. Many Parishioners wished to see this debt eliminated so that the long awaited consecration of the Church could take place. Father Byrne was successful in his task, but for various reasons the much hoped for consecration did not immediately follow. In l949, following a major ‘Sale of Work* organised by the Knights of St Columba and well supported by other Parish organisations, he undertook substantial maintenance works. The whole of the Church spire was re-pointed and the clock faces re-painted. The weathercock was taken down from the top of the Spire and re-gilded. This measures 2 ft 7 ins from beak to tail. Many improvements were also made to the paths and Church grounds. August of the same year saw the Cross of Jerusalem carried into Church en route from Calvary to South America. l,30O people were in Church for this occasion.

Father Ambrose died at Brownedge in 1950 and was succeeded as Parish Priest by Father Gabriel McNally. Father Gabriel had been here as a curate, before the second World War, but had seen it as his duty to become a Chaplain in the services. His return to Brownedge as Parish Priest was welcomed by many. His Rectorship was most significant for his diligent work on behalf of the Schools of the Parish, which is recorded elsewhere and for the building of the present Sacred Heart altar. This work was completed in l954. It replaced a wooden altar which had once been the principal altar in the Church (before the Pugin high altar) and before that had been brought from Brindle. At this time also, the wooden steps of the Lady altar were replaced by stone and other small refurbishments effected.

 

On February 5th l958, the Church was almost full, for the requiem and burial of Sister Frances Dalton, the late Headmistress of the Girls’ School. She had been Headmistress for seventeen years and was interred in the Nuns’ grave in the cemetery. The funeral was attended by representatives of the Council, Divisional Education Executive, Police and others including the Methodist Minister – a very great tribute to a very much loved and respected person. Her coffin was carried by six male teachers who had known her well.

 

Like other Rectors before him, Father Gabriel was compelled to wrestle with the problem of dry rot in the timbers of Pugin’s hammer beam roof. This has been a continuing problem.

 

In September l964 Father Christopher Topping succeeded Father Gabriel as Parish Priest and further major work was started in the same year  – once again to cure dryrot in the roof. It was Father Christopher who started the production of a weekly Church notice sheet and, on January 7th l965, a presentation was made to him on the occasion of the Silver jubilee of his Priesthood. The same year brought the centenary of the first hanging of the Brownedge bells and a special peal was rung. Another centenary also took place in the same year: December saw the lO0th issue of “The Brownedge Journal” containing messages from all living past Priests of Brownedge. This journal later, unfortunately ceased publication. In this year, too, for the first time, the Christmas crib was erected outside the Council Offices on Station Road by the Walton-le-Dale Ministers’ fraternity.

 

Like his predecessor, Father Christopher Topping was greatly concerned with the Schools of the Parish and his Rectorship was a period of intense activity. This is described elsewhere. He might be particularly remembered, however, for the introduction to Brownedge of Confratership. When the Benedictine Order spread throughout the world, many of the Clergy and laity wished to become aggregated to the Drder by the reception of the Benedictine scapular. This practice is still observed today in most congregations. The confraternity is a useful means of drawing together men and women in the secular life to a closer unity with a Benedictine community. Confraters share in the prayers and good works of the 0rder. The power of admitting them to this in the interests of a community belongs to the ruling Abbots of each Monastery, or to a Priest delegated by them. On Monday evening, 24th November l969, several members of this Parish were to receive the dignity of confrater from the Abbot of Ampleforth, the Right Reverend Dom George Basil Hume OSB., MA. STL., at a special Mass. A further investiture was held on Friday 9th February 1973, again by Abbot Basil Hume. All these confraters have given many years of service to the Parish in a variety of ways.

 

February 197O saw the conversion of the High Altar to a separate table. The steps immediately behind the High altar were removed, the whole resulting cavity being floored at the same level as the predella. The relief work tablets underneath the altar and the whole gadine, tabernacle mounting and tabernacle were removed from the High altar, thus leaving the mensa (table) free-standing on its pillars. The crucifix had also to be removed and a new one placed on the old Benediction Throne. The tabernacle was put in the space where the Priest formerly stood to reach up to put the monstrance onto its throne. This proved to be an excellent position for general visibility at all times. Two steps and a long shelf supported by the three tablets taken from beneath the altar were built against the back wall of the balustrade. This provided a place for the six candlesticks and enabled the Priest to get to the tabernacle with ease. The old steps were used to make these new steps and the shelf. Some Portuguese marble was obtained (from Stoke-on-Trent) to cover the raw brick work exposed in the balustrade and the old steps removed.

 

The next major work of the Church was a complete re-wiring in April 1970. This was long overdue, since the lighting was poor and the old wiring had become dangerous. All the old cables were replaced by pyrotenax which is virtually indestructible. Several power points were installed and also tungsten halogen lamps.

 

On Sth September of that year, Confraters and friends visited Ampleforth. Father Abbot said Mass and Communion was received under both kinds. There followed a tour of the Abbey, its grounds and of Gilling Castle.

 

In 1976, Father Christopher moved to Warrington and was succeeded by Father Leonard Jackson  who came to Brownedge from Our Lady and St Gerards, Lostock Hall. Owing to extensive redecoration in the Priory, for a while he had to sleep at Lostock Hall, travelling to Brownedge each day. Many innovations followed. The first took place on September 7th that year, when a Parish delegates meeting was held. Two delegates from each organisation of the Parish met the clergy for information and discussions. A lay community was formed and took up residence in the old Convent. Arrangements were made to provide lay readers at Sunday Masses and the first of these took up that work on Sunday March 5th 1979, forming a rota covering several Masses. On 6th March l977, the 4.30 p.m. Sunday Mass was, for the first time, a folk Mass. Cn 1st March of the following year, two Franciscan Sisters took up residence in “Rose Cottage” (the house in between the Priori and the Cld Convent) to assist in the work of the Parish. The following year from Sunday 10th September, the 9.30 a.m. Sunday Mass became a children’s Mass, children between ages 4 and 8 being withdrawn to the Parish Meeting Room for special instruction and returning to form an Offertory procession. During this year, also, the custom of Slnglng traditional hymns was introduced at this Mass. On December lOth l979, Sisters Rita, Josephine and Mary were commissioned as extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist at a special Mass at St Albans, Blackburn. They performed their offices for the first time at the High School end of term Mass on December 2lst.

 

Father Leonard was also responsible for two of the most visible alterations carried out in Church for many years. Because of constantly rising costs for the heating of the Church, an architect designed screen was erected to separate the Sacred Heart transept from the main body of the Church. The heating for this Chapel was transferred to the house boiler and the Chapel only was subsequently used for weekday Mass, the nave of the Church being heated only on Sundays. Shortly afterwards, gasfiring replaced the previous oilfired system, again as a means to economy. Father Leonard also initiated the removal of the Church organ from the gallery to a position in the ambulatory, this undertaking being described more fully, later. During this time thoughts were turning to the impending bicentenary and a special committee was formed to plan and organise bicentenary events. The work of this group and the celebration of the bicentenary of the Church is described in a separate chapter.

 

 

Catholic schooling first commenced in this Parish in two houses in Duddle Lane which stood on part of the land now occupied by St Benet’s Close, adjacent to a row of cottages known as Convent Terrace (now demolished). One of these two houses was formerly a small Convent and lessons were given in this Convent and in the house next door. A school was subsequently built on land adjacent to these cottages and this was the first Parish School. In 1881, this school was enlarged by Father Anselm Walker, who at the same time began the building of the Brownedge Lane School which opened on February 27th 1882. Father D. Firth was the school Manager and Mr Joseph Turner the Headmaster. Mr John Seddon was his assistant teacher. From this time, the earliest part of the Duddle Lane School became an Infants’ School, the later part a girls’ school and the Brownedge Lane School a boys’ school. It is recorded that, on Monday July 28th l884 when the School reassembled after the midsummer recess, only three boys were absent and they were still engaged in assisting in the hayfields. During the week ending Friday August l5th of that year, only nine cases of dirty boots were reported. During November 1896 lessons on the metrication system were commenced and the boys seemed to like the idea of doing away with the English weights and measures and were sure the metric system would be easier.

 

On November 30th 1899, Father Clarkson gave the boys a holiday to go and see the South Lancashire Regiment start from Preston to go to South Africa. The boys were given extra playtime on September 6th following the discovery of a dead cat under the school and the unbearable conditions in the school consequential to its removal. On May 5th 1909 the boys of the top class were taken to the Telephone Exchange and shown the manner of using the instrument.

 

During the recreation period of the morning of May 4th 1915, all the boys observed the progress of a British airship on its journey to the North via Preston. During September 1925, a combined effort by the teachers and children raised a sufficient sum of money to purchase a gramophone and some records – these to be used for musical appreciation lessons, demonstration and pattern lessons and for the cultivation of an intelligent appreciation of music in its general forms.

 

On Friday October 16th to inaugurate and celebrate the acquisition of this new “His Master’s Voice” gramophone the ordinary timetable was cancelled from ll to l2 p.m. and a recital was given to the whole assembled school. This was greatly enjoyed.

 

Things looked brighter after the midterm holiday in both schools in October 1930, as electric lighting was installed during that holiday. On August 25th 1931, the boys of the upper school attended the Requiem Mass for Father Dennis Firth OSB, the first Manager of the school.

 

February 1937 brought a double jubilee to the Parish schools: during this month Mr Richard Billington, known affectionately as *Little Dick”, completed 25 years service as Headmaster and Miss Agnes E. Pedley 21 years as a member of the teaching staff. The school closed for the Christmas holidays of that year on December 23rd and during the morning before ‘breaking up’ a presentation was made to the Headmaster who was then retiring from the position he had held with great distinction for almost 26 years. After the first Headmaster Joseph Turner (1882-1884) there followed F.Cox (1884-1891) Thomas McGuire (1885-1891), William McMellon (1891-1900), R.E. Walmsley (1900-1912). Mr Billington was followed by Francis McMellon, who on his retirement was succeeded by Sister Alphonsus prior to Mr William Pearson, the present Headmaster.

 

During the whole of this period the mixed Infants School and the girls‘ school in Duddle Lane had Head teachers  and sometimes assistant teachers drawn from the Nuns of the Order of Sisters of Charity of St. Paul who resided in what is now St Benedict’s Monastery.

 

 

8

In September 1964, the girls and boys junior Schools were amalgamated. The school in Brownedge   Lane, now extended, became a mixed Junior School and the Duddle Lane establishment was given over entirely to the Infants. Plans were afoot to build a new Infants School adjacent to the mixed junior School in Brownedge Lane. The first phase of this work was completed by the end of 1967 with the building of a hall and two classrooms, which were occupied in January 1968. Miss Alice Mills was appointed as Headmistress of the Infant School in March of the same year in succession to Sister Canice. A further two classrooms and a staff room were added in readiness for occupation in May 1973 when the children from Duddle Lane transferred to the new premises. The Duddle Lane premises were then demolished.

 

Abbot Basil Hume blessed and formally opened the school in October of the same year. By this time the Sisters of Charity had left the Parish and all the teaching staff in the schools were lay masters and mistresses.

 

During this period also, the population of the Parish had been increasing quite considerably and it became evident that there was need for additional schooling accommodation. In the late l960s plans had been drawn up and put into operation for the building of an Infant and junior School in Brown Lane. Building was commenced in l970 and a map was put up at the back of the Church showing the line of division between the areas served by the new School and St Mary’s Infants and Junior Schools in Brownedge  Lane. The new school was to be called St. Benedict’s and in l97l, the proposed opening was to be in the Autumn of that year. Mr A.B. Clensey was appointed the first Headmaster. By August, St. Benedict‘s School was almost complete, but disaster struck when, due to bad roofing technique causing bitumen to block downspouts, the floor of the Assembly Hall was completely ruined by rain flooding in from the roof. The whole floor had to be renewed. The school, however, opened as planned and was blessed and dedicated to its Patron Saint on October 2lst by Father Abbot.

 

The history of the present High School, which is situated on the corner of Collins Road and Station Road dates back to the end of the l950s. Changes in the education system were demanding the setting up of new secondary modern schools to cater for those boys and girls who had not achieved entry to the direct grant Grammar Schools in Preston. Accordingly  Brownedge  St Mary’s Secondary School opened its doors on January 4th l96O, with Bishop Butler conducting the ceremonials. At that point there were 324 pupils on the roll with fourteen teachers led by Mr W.L. Moxham, who remained in office until his untimely death in l974.

 

During the years of his headmastership the school grew in numbers and appropriate buildings were added. The present Headmaster, Mr P. Winders M.A. (Oxon) was appointed at Easter in l975. He has steered the school through the difficult process of reorganization as a comprehensive school now catering for boys and girls of all abilities in the age range 11-l6 years. This change of status involved a further large building programme which leaves us currently with a well-equipped school which has 900 pupils and 50 teachers.

 

Parish records report that on 30th  July 1921, the choir had a charabanc outing to Whalley and Chipping, with a knife and fork  tea a   t Goosnargh. 0n 28th August the choir returned to Goosnargh to sing at the High Mass (at the charity sermons) and also at Benediction. At that time and for many years longer, Brownedge choir had a great reputation for its excellent singing and was often invited to sing at reunions in the Public Hall, Preston and also to special gatherings of the Preston Catenians. This all male choir is remembered with happy memories by many of the older Parishioners.

 

The 23rd September was another big day at Brownedge when the War Memorial was unveiled by Bishop Casartelli at 3.30 p.m. The choir sang most excellently, it is recorded, the 18th century motet by Dr Calcott “Peace to the Souls of the Heroes”.

 

December 29th 1952 saw work begun on taking down the old organ with which this choir must have sung for many years. It seems to have been in the Church for about a century. In an earlier form it may have been in the Church much longer, for the small swell organ is said to have come from Chipping and to have been built into the existing organ by Father Walker. Some parts of it may have dated back to 1668. It was a handblown two manual ‘built for utility’ type, with few stops. It had served its purpose well, but except for some good pipes was thoroughly worn out and very difficult to play. In February 1953 work started on the installation of the new organ bought from the Congregational Church in Cannon Street, Preston. Designed by Dr J H Reginald Dixon of Lancaster Priory and built between l920 and l924, for £l,700, it was purchased for St Mary’s Brownedge by Fr Gabriel McNally for £2,300 and installed for a further £700. This new organ was blessed and played publicly for the first time on l7th April.

 

The opening recital was given by Father Laurence Bevenot, 0SB, a Monk of  Ampleforth Abbey. The present choir was formed in 1954 on the death of the previous organist, Richard Billington, who had held that post for 66 years. The former choir was much reduced in numbers and most of the remaining members were of advanced years. The new choir was at first ladies only and originated in a group of singers gathered together by Fr Raymund Davies OSB to provide vocal music for a Passion play. It is now mixed. For many years it has been active in membership of The Royal School of Church Music and is thought to be only the second Catholic choir (after Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral) to take up membership of that organisation. The choir has, by invitation sung vespers on several occasions, in Blackburn Cathedral and the Sunday Mass in Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral. In order to keep pace with the changing needs of the liturgy which stemmed from the second Vatican Council, the choir, in l972 moved to a position in the ambulatory adjacent to the high altar. This separated them from the organ and just before Christmas on December 20th l973, as a consequence of this move, the first new organ in the history of the Church was installed. This instrument was an Allen model l00 and contained a small computer which carried a mathematical model of the recorded tones of the Müller baroque organ. This instrument was used continuously for all services from then on because the gallery organ had deteriorated following the installation of a new central heating system capable if lifting the temperature  in the church by some 20º in the sapce of an hour or so. In 1979, however, the gallery organ was dismantled, completely refurbished and re-erected in the apse opposite the site occupied by the choir. Much voluntary work was involved in this transfer and many thousands of tea bags were consumed by the volunteers. The work was carried out under the supervision of Francis Kitts, then proprietor of Henry Ainscough, Ltd., of Preston, the first which originally built the instrument and installed it in St. Mary’s in 1953. At the time it had 47 stops and the rebuild and extension increased this number to 79.

 

The first Men‘s Club in the Parish was built adjoining  the Brownedge Lane School and opened in1900. In February 1913 the members set to work to make a bowling green. The members did the rough work during the evenings and a specialist was engaged to level off and turf. The cost of making the green was £9l. l3.8d. In November 1925 several members approached the Parish Priest asking permission to have a bar in the Club. The Rector refused to grant this permission, whereupon a number of the members formed a committee with the intention of forming their own club. They bought Brook House in Brownedge Lane shortly afterwards, adding a large wooden extension to serve as a games and concert room. The new Club flourished whilst the old Club slowly faded away and in the early 1930’s the once upstart Club took over the running and maintenance of the Bowling Green.

 

Relations remained with the parish clergy cool for several years but time, goodwill and common sense on both sides healed the rift. The club remains catholic in constitution but independent from the Priory although the link with the Church is strong in spirit. During the 1960’s the Club was beginning to bulge at the seams and work began on a much larger new building at the rear of the old Club and adjacent to the Bowling Green. On January 29th 1986 the new premises were officially opened by Abbot Basil Hume in the presence of Mr Peter Mahon M.P. for Preston South and Councillor J. Schultz, Chairman of Walton-le-Dale Urban District Council.

 

CLUB PRESIDENTS

  1. Livesey, December 1925 to January 1930
  2. Hornby, 1930 to l937
  3. Pedley, 1937 to l947
  4. Tunstall, 1947 to 1963
  5. McCarthy, 1963 to 1973
  6. Howe, 1973 to December 1979
  7. Carling, December 1979 …..

 

 

A committee of parishioners under the Chairmanship of the then parish priest, Father Leonard Jackson, was formed to prepare for the bicentenary celebrations in 1980. The first event to take place was an 01d Tyme Dance on 8th March 1980, which was a great success and this was followed on March 22nd by a sponsored hymn sing by the choir to raise funds to support the bicentenary programme. The choir sang from 10.30 a.m. to 7 p.m. continuously, singers taking hotpot lunch in the Sacristy in shifts in the middle of the day. Everyone concerned seemed to enjoy themselves and the event was well patronised, raising £523 towards bicentenary funds. Spiritually also, the day was a success: confessions were heard all day and the Fathers seemed pleased with the results.

0ne of the most important events of the year started on 5th June in the shape of a Eucharistic Festival. Forty hours started on 5th June after the evening Mass and continued (with all night watching) until after the evening Mass on Saturday. 0n Sunday morning about 60 children from both St. Mary’s and St. Benedict‘s made their first Holy Communion at the 9.30 a.m. Mass. At lunchtime Father Abbot arrived (from Fort Augustus) to officiate at the Blessed Sacrament procession, which started from St.Benedict’s School at 2.30 p.m. after a holy hour and proceeded via Collins Road and Brownedge Lane to St Mary’s Junior School, to the accompaniment of pre-recorded hymns and live devotion led by Father Jonathan.

 

Father Abbot carried the monstrance and accompanied by Father Leonard and Father David rode in an open landau. On arrival at St.Mary’s, over 100 sick people were blessed and the proceedings ended with Benediction. The whole afternoon was a tremendous success and made a profound impact. The weather was perfect – it had rained all day on the Saturday – and it is estimated that about 2,500 people took part, including a special contingent from Brindle, where the church procession was abandoned to enable them to attend.

 

Later in the month, on 28th June, a field day, masterminded by Mr M. Delaney, was held in the fields behind the Brownedge Lane Schools. This was a very ambitious programme with two arenas and the day was a great success both socially and financially. The event was opened by Dr M.J. Ryan.

 

A photograph exhibition  “Brownedge  through the years” was mounted in the Parish meeting room from July 6th until the end of September. 0ver 300 photographs were on display. This display was much appreciated and created a good deal of interest among parishioners.

 

The high point of the bicentenary celebrations was marked by the visit of Cardinal George Basil Hume on September 5th. The Cardinal arrived at about 12 noon and after an informal lunch with his Brethren he rode with Father Leonard in an open landau with mounted police escort and motor cycle outriders, by way of St Mary’s Road, where the school children were gathered and Station Road to the High School. He stopped the landau and dismounted several times along the way to talk to the adults and children assembled to cheer him. It had been raining in the morning, but the sun was shining by 2 p.m. when the drive started.

 

0n arrival at the High School he was met by the Headmaster and Governors and then visited about l00 sick and elderly parishioners in the dining rooms. After this, he went to the Sports Hall to address the School, hear a specially composed Calypso and be presented with a recording of this, a paperweight and a copy of the first day cover issued in honour of the event. After requesting an extra day’s holiday for the School he then went to the School Hall where, in the presence of a large number of invited guests he blessed and dedicated the new Chapel to our Lady and the Lancashire Martyrs. After mingling with guests over a cup of tea, he rode  back in the landau.

 

By the time a buffet supper was served in the Priory  about 20 monks of  Ampleforth  had assembled to greet him. After a brief choir practice there followed a concelebrated Mass of St Benedict. Before this Mass the three local Anglican Ministers and the Methodist Minister were presented. During the Mass there were about 60 altar boys present and at the offertory they mounted the steps up to the Throne and formed an angelic frieze around the top of the altar. There can never have been so many people on the altar at any one time before: the concelebrants numbered about 20, altar boys 60, choir 36 and clergymen of other denominations, four.

 

The Cardinal processed from the side door to the front entrance of the Church and the Knights of St. Columba mounted a guard of honour. A special peal was rung by visiting bell ringers. During the Mass the Cardinal exchanged the sign of peace with the non-Catholic Ministers present. After this Mass he went to the Junior School where he was presented to the Mayor and local Councillors, before proceeding to the Hall for a very brisk public reception. It was a very full, happy and memorable day. The Lancashire Constabulary were commended for their smart turnout and escort arrangements. The Cardinal departed the following morning before 5 a.m. and Father Rupert Everest was the early bird who saw him off with his secretary, Father Crowley.

 

After the summer holidays, the next bicentenary event was the Parish party held in the Club on Thursday October 23rd. Excellent hotpot, good artistes and good company ensured a happy time for all – not least for Father Leonard who was presented by the President, Mr W. Carling, with a magnificent cheque for £2,000; a gift from the Club to defray the cost of the renovation and alterations to the Lady Altar. This work was carried out during November and involved bringing forward the Lady altar so that Mass could be said with the Priest facing his congregation. This work and the cleaning and some painting in the transept, was completed for the visit of Bishop Holland on December 8th, Bishop Holland blessed the new altar and declared the Church consecrated.

 

The actual bicentenary date, December 23rd, was marked by a special concelebrated Mass at which the chief concelebrant was a Brownedge  born monk, Father  Wulstan  Livesey and this Mass was followed by a sherry reception in the Priory for all present.

 

It had been intended to hold a Mission as part of the bicentenary celebrations, but it was not possible to arrange this during the main period of celebration and the Mission took place between March 22nd and April 5th 1981. The final event in the planned bicentenary series took place on April 11th 1981, when Preston Cecilian Choral Society, with professional soloists, a boys’ choir and an invited orchestra under the  conducter-ship  of Robert Hull sang “The Passion of our Lord according to St. Matthew”, set to music by J.S. Bach. A  tremendous musical occasion for the Parish.

 

 

 

Additional info about St Benedicts may be already in but was in separate email from Raymund

The part about the junior schools is appended below. The whole history is as a Word attachment above.

 

Bringing it up to date is, I think, desirable in the long term, not just for the Fete so any contribution any time is welcome.

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jrl

 

 

Catholic schooling first commenced in this Parish in two houses in Duddle Lane which stood on part of the land now occupied by St Benet’s Close, adjacent to a row of cottages known as Convent Terrace (now demolished). One of these two houses was formerly a small Convent and lessons were given in this Convent and in the house next door. A school was subsequently built on land adjacent to these cottages and this was the first Parish School. In 1881, this school was enlarged by Father Anselm Walker, who at the same time began the building of the Brownedge Lane School which opened on February 27th 1882. Father D. Firth was the school Manager and Mr joseph Turner the Headmaster. Mr John Seddon was his assistant teacher. From this time, the earliest part of the Duddle Lane School became an Infants’ School, the later part a girls’ school and the Brownedge Lane School a boys’ school. It is recorded that, on Monday july 28th l884 when the School reassembled after the midsummer recess, only three boys were absent and they were still engaged in assisting in the hayfields. During the week ending Friday August l5th of that year, only nine cases of dirty boots were reported. During November 1896 lessons on the metrication system were commenced and the boys seemed to like the idea of doing away with the English weights and measures and were sure the metric system would be easier.

 

On November 30th 1899, Father Clarkson gave the boys a holiday to go and see the South Lancashire Regiment start from Preston to go to South Africa. The boys were given extra playtime on September 6th following the discovery of a dead cat under the school and the unbearable conditions in the school consequential to its removal. On May 5th 1909 the boys of the top class were taken to the Telephone Exchange and shown the manner of using the instrument.

 

During the recreation period of the morning of May 4th 1915, all the boys observed the progress of a British airship on its journey to the North via Preston. During September 1925, a combined effort by the teachers and children raised a sufficient sum of money to purchase a gramophone and some records – these to be used for musical appreciation lessons, demonstration and pattern lessons and for the cultivation of an intelligent appreciation of music in its general forms.

 

On Friday October 16th to inaugurate and celebrate the acquisition of this new “His Master’s Voice” gramophone the ordinary timetable was cancelled from ll to l2 p.m. and a recital was given to the whole assembled school. This was greatly enjoyed.

 

Things looked brighter after the midterm holiday in both schools in October 1930, as electric lighting was installed during that holiday. On August 25th 1931, the boys of the upper school attended the Requiem Mass for Father Dennis Firth OSB, the first Manager of the school.

 

February 1937 brought a double jubilee to the Parish schools: during this month Mr Richard Billington, known affectionately as *Little Dick”, completed 25 years service as Headmaster and Miss Agnes E. Pedley 21 years as a member of the teaching staff. The school closed for the Christmas holidays of that year on December 23rd and during the morning before ‘breaking up’ a presentation was made to the 17thHeadmaster who was then retiring from the position he had held with great distinction for almost 26 years. After the first Headmaster Joseph Turner (1882-1884) there followed F.Cox (1884-1891) Thomas McGuire (1885-1891), William McMellon (1891-1900), R.E. Walmsley (1900-1912). Mr Billington was followed by Francis McMellon, who on his retirement was succeeded by Sister Alphonsus prior to Mr William Pearson, the present Headmaster.

 

During the whole of this period the mixed Infants School and the girls’ school in Duddle Lane had Headteachers and sometimes assistant teachers drawn from the Nuns of the Order of Sisters of Charity of St. Paul who resided in what is now St Benedict’s  Monastery.

 

(3)   June 19th  1958     head Sister Patricia.

 

                      (Summary Infants Jan. 1939  —  June 1958)

 

59/60

Jan.   Two new estates being built are causing an increase in numbers.  145

 

 

60/61

Dec. 10th.  On Saturday the children from Brindle Road  Reception Centre came to the

Christmas party which was thoroughly enjoyed.

Jan. 11th.   Many absences because of measles and influenza.

May 19th    Sister Patricia went on a pilgrimage to Lourdes  (retirement present)

Aug. 31st.  Sister Patricia retired.

 

 

61/62

Aug. 28th.  New Headmistress Sister Canice,  130 on roll.

Mar. 1st.   Telephone  installed.

Apr. 3rd.    New class established, housed in the boys school in Brownedge Lane.

 

 

62/63

Sep.18th. PE organiser came to discuss possibility of large apparatus to be obtained.

Dec. 7th.   Poor attendance through measles and colds.

New schemes of work for Maths and English, other subjects under

Consideration.

Jul. 9th.    An Open Evening was a great success.

 

 

63/64

Jan. 7th. Now 176 on roll.

Mr. Jeff HMI visited , said we should press for alterations and improvements at

 

Duddle Lane to make it more suitable for Infants.

Mar. 16th. Numbers 180.

Apr. 16th.  Now 3 classes in Duddle Lane and 3 in Brownedge Lane.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In September 1964, the girls and boys junior Schools were amalgamated. The school in Brownedge Lane, now extended, became a mixed Junior School and the Duddle Lane establishment was given over entirely to the Infants. Plans were afoot to build a new Infants School adjacent to the mixed junior School in Brownedge Lane.

 

 

                GIRLS  LOG

1964

August 24th.   Brownedge Lane opened as a mixed junior school with Sister Alphonsus as headmistress ,

8 members of staff and 250 children. Infants remained in  Duddle  Lane.

 

Sept.  22nd.    Fr. Topping  took  over from Fr. Mc. Nally as Manager.

A Tape recorder was bought out of school funds.

 

29th       Abbot Hume visited the school.

 

 

1965

August 31st.  Miss Knapton retired after 37 years, presentation by Fr. Topping, Fr. Vidal was also present.

 

 

1966

 

 

1967

August 31st.  Miss M. Clarke  &  Miss E. Mc. Donnell retire, presentation by Fr. Vidal.

 

 

 

1968/69

Sept. 29th.    Bishop Holland visits.

 

June 24th.    100 children, 6 teachers and some parents visited the shrine of Our Lady at Fernyhalgh.

 

July 18th.     Sister  Alphonsus retired as headmistress.

 

??????????

69/70

August  25th.   Mr Pearson took over as headmaster.

January 23rd.  Meeting about  accomadation  problems.

 

May 3rd.           Procession in honour of Our Lady, so many children only girls allowed to walk.

31st.         Corpus Christi Proc. only boys  allowed .

 

 

70/71

April 26th.         Sandwiches allowed in school for the first time.

 

Nov. 28th.         Repairs for dry rot

 

July                  64 children leave to move to the newly opened St. Benedict’s in September.

 

 

 

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71/72

Sept.              The first year of  non  streaming  throughout the school.

 

Nov. 26th.         Mr. Dowbakin retired after 33 years.

 

Dec. 10th.         Mrs. Harkin appointed deputy head.

 

 

72/73

Sept.  1st.         Closed for Preston  Guild  Week

 

Nov 20th.          Closed for Queen’s Silver Wedd. Ann.

 

Feb.  15th.       Visit by Fr. Damian.

 

Mar.  25th.       First Folk Mass sung in Brownedge by the school children

 

July 19th.         Close for Summer  plans  for improvements and decorating.

 

 

73/74

Improvements and decorating  still in progress, with classes having to move around.

and use the parish centre.

Oct. 17th.        Completed.

 

19th           Official opening of the infant school by Abbot Hume, yr.1 assisted with singing at Mass

 

Mar. 26th.        Roses from the convent garden planted along the driveway. (still thriving)

 

 

74/75

Sep. 3rd.        Still high numbers  75  children  admitted from the infant school.

 

Nov. 6th.        Children from years  3&4  Confirmed by Bishop Burke

 

June  5th.       Closed for The first  Referendum in  British History (do we remain in Europe.)

 

 

 

75/76

4Feb. 24th.   4th. Yr. children sang for the requiem of Francis Mc. Mellon who served  the

School for more than 40years.

 

Mar.  25th.   Sung mass , extended play times  to celebrate Abbot Hume becoming Archbishop of

Westminster.

 

 

76/77

Sept. 14th.    Bishop Holland  visited.

.

19th.    220 children Confirmed years 3 & 4 inc.  St. Benedict’s

 

Jan.  19th    Terrible smell in hall meter cupboard, investigations by  Environmental health,  Gas board,

P.H.I. who confirmed a dead rat which couldn’t be found. Kitchen staff very upset, joiners

apprentice  sent under the floor – no  trace, several other inspectors.

 

31st.   Smell begins to diminish.

 

 

April  5th.   Classes resume daily Mass in the newly adapted Sacred Heart Chapel.

 

May 21st.   Children sang for Agnes  Pedley’s Requiem, she  taught in the boys school from 1912/39,

then in the Girls school  till  retirement.

 

Jun. 25th.   Infant and Junior, Queen’s  Silver  Jubilee  Fete on school field

 

Everything points to the end of 11+ selection, grammar schools in Preston to amalgamate into a 6th. Form college, they have accepted  their last intake. The end of an era!  Is this the beginning of the end of catholic education in Preston.

 

 

77/78

April 21st.  Two Nuns who have come to work in the parish,  gave a talk about Africa  and Borneo

(Josephine and Mary.

 

 

78/79

Oct 1st.      Confirmations by Bishop Burke.

 

9th.     Cleaner Mrs Hyland hands in her notice, (Historical note Ass. Cleaner  11 hours per week

Rate  £1 – 06 per hour) will cause a giggle in 2078.

 

20th.     New curate Fr. Jonathon Cotton visited.

 

Nov. 15th. Bishop Holland Celebrated Mass for the feast of “ All Monks”.

 

Dec. 5th.   Dedication of Statue in memory of Rhonda Thompson ( pupil  killed in road accident)

By Fr. Leonard.

 

Jan 8th.    School reopens with all staff and good attendance from children in spite of many schools

In the area closed through lack of oil and bursts caused by strike of petrol delivery drivers.

kitchen struggling to provide because of no deliveries, headmaster brought in 2 sacks of potatoes.

Problems continued for next few weeks.

26th     Very heavy snowfall , massive snowball fight on the field at lunch time

29th.     More snow , Snowman competition.

 

Feb. 16th.   Worst winter for 30 years one of only a handful of schools in our district that hadn’t missed a

day.

 

79/80

Jan. 22nd.   Children attended “Church Caring Week”  at the high school.

 

April 24th.   Abbot Ambrose Griffiths visited the shool.

 

May 7th.     Sad  Farewell to all the Kitchen staff – voluntary redundancy – due to lack of job satisfaction

And drastic cut in  hours  because of the introduction of snack meals brought about by cuts in

government spending..

 

June 8th.     Procession of the Blessed Sacrament  from St. Benedict’s  to junior field for the Blessing of

The sick and Benediction by Fr. Abbott as part of Bi Centenary Celebrations.Several

thousand in procession.

 

9th.     B.C. celebration day for Primary school children, Mass/party/dancing/film/entertainment.

 

 

 

80/81

Sep.  5th. Brownedge St. Mary’s Bi Centenary, 1500th. Anniversary of the birth of St. Benedict.

Visit from Cardinal  Basil  Hume.

 

Dec  1st.   Cheque for over £500 presented to Fr. Rupert  for Lourdes fund (Philip Moon Memorial fund.)

 

5th.  Visit from Bishop Burke

 

Jun.  1st.   Staff informed of amalgamation of  Infant and Juniors, with Miss Mills as head.

22nd.Joint staff meeting.

Jul.    8th.    Mass, presentation and buffet for Mr. Pearson.

 

Sep.  81 still no firm date for amalgamation/

 

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BOYS  LOG

 

1956/57

Aug.        New gas water heater,   new dual desks.

 

Nov. 23rd   Hall used for Police Ball.

 

Mar 28th.  Music Festival at ST. Saviors.

 

Apr.  2nd.  Official inspection  not  too good.

 

11th.  A Gas point fixed for physics lessons

 

May  8th.  School leavers in all age school brought into line with the Secondary schools

 

9th.  Hall used for District School’s Music  Festival.

 

 

 

57/58

Aug.   New furniture.

 

Building improvements started, hoping to be completed in 12 months, new kitchen to start soon.

 

Good religious inspection report.

 

Oct. 7th. New school chaplain  Fr. Rimmer.

 

Jun. 18th.  Bishop Beck laid the Foundation Stone for the Secondary School.

 

 

58/59

Aug. 25th. New accomadation and furniture in use,  though  toilets will not be ready till kitchen

complete in 2 months.

12 week  Swimming course, Chorley baths.

Fortnightly,  full day Manual Training instruction at St. Vincent’s  school in Fulwood

1000 square  yards of  land adjacent to the rear of school to be developed into a garden and

nature  study plots .

 

Feb.  18th. National Savings Group committee addressed the school.

 

Mar. 23rd.  County pilot experiment for selection at 11+

 

May 5th.   With re- organisation in the near future, the  transfer of 14+ children from other schools to this

officially terminated.

 

 

59/60

Aug 31st.  No 14 + entrants,  5 children selected for grammar school.

Manual Training at St. Vincents discontinued, children will have transferred to Secondary

School in January.

 

Dec. 23rd. Headmaster  W.L. Moxham  resigns.  Moved to Secondary School.

 

 

Jan.  8th.    School reopens   as    A Junior Boys School. (Mr. Dowbakin acting head.)

74 boys transferred to new secondary school,  10 enter industry, number  on roll  134.

Exchanges of furniture.

May   6th. School closed for Princess Margaret’s Wedding.

 

10th.   10 boys passed for Grammar school,  3 recommended for GCE  at Sec. school.

 

22nd.  Mr. Dowbakin & Miss Mc. Donnell  attended the  Opening of The Secondary School.

 

Jul.  15th.   46 boys leave , 10, for Catholic College, 1 to study for Priesthood, others to St. Mary’s Sec.

1960/61

Sep. 12th.  Brian Joyce left to go to Roxburgh to study to be a white Father.

 

Apr. 17th. HM inspector’s report

It is intended to amalgamate this boys school with the girls school as soon as accommodation

is  available. With this in mind a minor project was completed in 58 and the next phase has

been submitted. Meantime the boys are enjoying  very much improved conditions. Also revised

schemes of work, hoping to encourage  and motivate the boys.

 

Jul. 10th. Congratulations from the Bishop on a very good religious report.  14th. Closed for Summer.

 

61/62

April 9th.  8 boys proceeded to Brownedge Close  to plant shrubs in conjunction with the Urban District

Council.

 

62/63

Aug. 31st.  Mr. Seamor visited  to give a talk on the evils of  Alchohol.

July 7th.     88 Boys were Confirmed, the headmaster was sponsor  for all of them.

 

 

62/63

Jan. 23rd.   Fr. Cullan (White  Father) talked to children about Missionary work in Africa.

July 17th.    Fire Brigade called to extinguish fire in the air raid shelter started by unknown teenagers.

 

 

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63/64

Aug. 24th.   Mr. Dowbakin reverts to Deputy head on the amalgamation of the boys and girls schools

 

 

 

 

 

The first phase of this work was completed by the end of 1967 with the building of a hall and two classrooms, which were occupied in January 1968. Miss Alice Mills was appointed as Headmistress of the Infant School in March of the same year in succession to Sister Canice. A further two classrooms and a staff room were added in readiness for occupation in May 1973 when the children from Duddle Lane transferred to the new premises. The Duddle Lane premises were then demolished.

 

Abbot Basil Hume blessed and formally opened the school in October of the same year. By this time the Sisters of Charity had left the Parish and all the teaching staff in the schools were lay masters and mistresses.

 

 

During this period also, the population of the Parish had been increasing quite considerably and it became evident that there was need for additional schooling accommodation. In the late l960s plans had been drawn up and put into operation for the building of an Infant and junior School in Brown Lane. Building was commenced in l970 and a map was put up at the back of the Church showing the line of division between the areas served by the new School and St Mary’s Infants and Junior Schools in Brownedge Lane. The new school was to be called St. Benedict’s and in l97l, the proposed opening was to be in the Autumn of that year. Mr A.B. Clensey was appointed the first Headmaster. By August, St. Benedict’s School was almost complete, but disaster struck when, due to bad roofing technique causing bitumen to block downspouts, the floor of the Assembly Hall was completely ruined by rain flooding in from the roof. The whole floor had to be renewed. The school, however, opened as planned and was blessed and dedicated to its Patron Saint on October 2lst by Father Abbot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

St Benedict’s

 

St. Benedict’s opened  September 1st.  1971 with seven Members of  staff, Mrs. P. Ascroft, Miss M.Atkinson, Mrs. P.Clensey, Mrs. L. Bibby, Mrs. M. Munnery, Mrs. J. Lees, Mr. P..Lewis and

Mr. Arthur Clensey, headmaster. The number on roll  160 children, 68 infants and 92 juniors.

 

Sep. 20th.  Mr. Newhouse , Divisional Education officer visited and  met the staff.

 

Sep. 28th.  Mr. Skellie  assistant Divisional Education Officer visited.

 

Flooding in the school and  playground  caused problems in the first few weeks.

 

Friday October 22nd.   Dom Basil Hume, Abbot of Ampleforth celebrated Mass in the

school hall and blessed the building, the school managers were present along with the

head teachers from the other schools in the parish.

 

Nov. 10th. Mr. Farington  Music Advisor came to advise and discuss requisition

 

School life soon settled down with all the usual activities and events, concerts, outings,

visits and outside speakers relating to the curriculum. Also teacher’s courses.

 

Jan 5th. Top juniors attended ( Sleeping Beauty)  at Oswaldtwistle town hall.

 

Jan !8th.  Talk by Mr. Barton about his milk round.

 

Jan. 24th.  Mrs. Sellers (Nursery assistant.) began  part time duties.

 

Jan.  26th.  Group of children visited Council Offices to talk to chief Building Inspector.

27th.                 “        “                 an Estate agent’s office.

28th    Salemsbury  Hall.

31st     A local building Site.

 

Feb. 3rd. Five students from Chorley College of Education visited  and will visit every Thursday as  part of their teaching practice in May.

 

Feb. 18th. meeting with parents to give information about the Trip to the Isle of Man..

 

February 24th.    After  inspection,  Fire officer reported that the alarm  system  was inadequate.

 

Feb 28th.  Mrs. Clough a 2nd. year student from Chorley began a 4 week teaching practice.

 

March 2nd.   Clerk of works for Cassidy and Ashton visited re – six months maintenance check.

 

22nd.  Top infants to Knowsley  Safari park.

 

“8th.  All infants to Goosnargh to see cheese being made.

 

April 17th.  Staff  lecture (including 20 from other schools) on Cuisennaire Apparatus.

 

25th.  Proff. Codman gave a talk about The History of Puppets, and  did a Punch and Judy

show.

26th.  Miss Bowie, Advisor in Primary Ed. Visited.

 

May 1st.   Five first year students began school practice.

 

3rd.  Third year juniors visited Winmarleigh  agricultural college.

 

4th.   Top inf.  Visited, Liverpool museum, Birkenhead Ferry and Liverpool  C. Cathedral.

 

10th.   Juniors to Chester Zoo.

Mr. Newhouse  D.E.O.  visited.

 

16th.  Vice Principal of Chorley college visited, very impressed with children and building.

 

20th.   24 children  received  First Holy Communion.

 

20th. Mr. Bamber  Playing fields Supervisor,  accepted   grass surround on behalf of L.C.C.

Not including playing fields.

 

22nd.Infants to Heysham.

 

27th/28th.   Open days for infant parents

 

28th.  Mr. Garner,  Biology Advisor visited, requested to borrow some of the children’s

work  to display at the opening of  the Penwortham field study centre.

 

Jul.  5th.  Open evening for parents of juniors.

 

 

12th.  Group of ch.  attended official opening of Pen. F.S. centre to answer questions about

Their work on display.

 

 

14th. Closed for the summer holidays after their first year as a very  successful educational

establishmentl .

 

 

72/73    August 29th

Sep. 1st.   Closed for the week of Preston Guild.

 

Mrs. Bishop joined the staff.

 

Oct.12th.   Mr. Brownlee Phys. Ed. Advisor visited.  Also 12 students from Chorley college.

 

2oth.           “   “     attended and observed  Junior P.E.

 

26th.   Infant Harvest Celebration, produce delivered in the parish.

 

Nov.  9th.    Visit from Mrs. Weir Chorley and 5 students.

 

20th    closed for The Queen & Prince Philip’s Silver Wedding anniversary.

 

Dec.15th   . Visit from Bishop Burke, auxillary Bishop of Salford.

 

19th.    Christmas concert and  Nativity.

 

 

Jan. 19th.  Police dog handler talked to infants, gave demonstration to whole school.

Hearing tests for new admissions.

 

March 1st.Blackburn Community Theatre gave presentation of “The Princess and the Swinherd.”

 

9th.   Eleven plus tests.  2 second year students from Chorley started T.P.

 

14th.  Infants open day.

 

22nd.  Infants to Blackpool Zoo.

 

28th.   School Concert.

 

Apr.  5th.   Police  –  Road Safety.

 

30th.  Mrs. Fisher,part time teacher commenced duties.

 

7th.  Fire Officer  Inspection

 

Jun. 21st.  School closed for Corpus Christi. Fourth year leavers  day out in Blacpool.

 

25th.  Mr. Mess & 12 Chorley C. students visited to plan environmental work project,

including visits to a dairy farm and  a piggery.

Jun.  26th.   Rounders  Rally.

 

Jul.  6th.      Year 6  visited The High School in preparation for Sep.

 

9th.      Juniors open afternoon ,    10th.   Evening.

 

July 12th      two teachers from Norway visited  to observe how an open  plan school functions.

 

17th.   Sports  day.

 

July 19th.     Closed for the summer hols.   Mr. Bannister (caretaker)  retired. Mrs Fisher finished.

 

New caretaker, Mr V. Fry.

 

 

 

73/74.    September 5th.

 

Mrs. M. Cole,  new  part time Temp. teacher,  afternoons.

 

22nd.   50 Juniors evening trip to Chorley to see  “Finians  Rainbow”.

 

25th.    Infant Harvest Celebration,  parish  SVP  distributed gifts to needy.

 

Nov. 5th.     Two Ch. Students began second year T.P.

 

14th.  Closed for the wedding of Princess Anne & Mark Philips.

 

15th.  Group of ch. Visited Penwortham  Field Study Centre.

 

22nd.  J 3 Library  visit.

 

28th.  Visit from Mr. Newhouse   D.O.E.

 

Dec11th.Parent’s  evening for J 4.

 

13th.  School  Nativity.

 

1974

 

Jan 14th.  2 CH. 3rd year students began T.P.

 

Jan. 18th.  Mrs. Clensey resigned.    Supply, Mrs. Fisher.

 

15th. 11+ exam.

 

28th    J2 & 3  open evening.

 

Mar. 4th.   4 Ch. Students began 1st. year T.P.

 

6th.    Religious Inspection, Fr. Birmingham & Fr. Waters were well satisfied.

 

7th.  Reception visit to  Preston  railway station.

 

12th. Infant open afternoon.

 

19th.  38 children made their First Confession.

 

April 1st.  Local government re-organisation, this school now in South Ribble,  Division 7

school num. 11.

 

3rd.  Break in ,  2 boys caught on the premises.

 

Mr. Lewis absent for 4 weeks Degree study.

 

May 8th.   J. 1,2 & 3 to Fleetwood (Fishing project)

 

13th.  Cycling proficiency.

 

22nd  Meeting for First H.C. children’s parents with Fr. Topping.

 

Jun. 6th.    Mr. Mess from Ch. Coll.  brought in sheep for children to see them being sheared.

 

8th.    38 ch.  received their First Holy Communion.

 

13th.  School closed for Corpus Christi, fourth years trip to Fleetwood.

 

18th.  Infants afternoon trip to Worden Park.

 

24th. Mr. Mess with 10 students from  Ch. C. worked on an environmental  study week with

50 children = theme –  “The clothes we wear”.  Traced the growth of various materials,

had spinning demonstration, visits from people in different uniforms eg. Police/firemen

etc. Visited a spinning & weaving museum and a fabric shop  — very successful week.

 

25th.  Rounders  Rally.

 

July.  8th.   Open Evening for J 1, 2, & 3.

 

11th.  Sports day,  Display by the Country Dance team.

 

July 18th  . Closed for the Summer.

 

 

 

74/75    Sept. 3rd.

 

16th.   Visit from Mr. Newhouse.

 

Oct. 10th. Playground accident , clash of heads resulting in hospitalisation of Michal  Goonan.

Appropriate procedures followed, a solicitor’s phone call …..

 

Nov,6th    Jr. 3 & 4 children Confirmed by Bishop Burke at St. Mary’s Church.

 

11th. Mrs. Weir, lecturer from Ch. C. talked about Mathematics to parents.

 

Dec. 8th.  Break in – Police informed.

 

12th.  Nativity play.

 

15th. Another break in.

 

!975

 

Jan. 6th. Attended  Mass at St. Mary’s  (Epiphany)

 

13th. 4  Students from Ch. commenced T.P.

 

20th.  Top infants visited Manchester airport.

 

Feb 19th    Visit by Fr Richard Calcutt White Father talking about missionary work in Africa.

 

22nd.  5children sat the entrance exam for Lark Hill School

 

28th.   11+  exams.

 

Mar. 17th.  Football tournament.

 

18th  Won Net Ball Rally at the Methodists.

 

20th. Meeting for parents of First H. C. children with Fr. Measures.

 

21st.  St. Benedict’s Feast day.

 

24th.  Another break in.

 

Apr. 21st.  34 children began cycling  proficiency training.

 

23rd.  Visit from Mr. Birnie – Advisor.

 

May 5th.  A group of juniors visited a farm at Euxton..

 

6th.  A second  group visited Hutton Agricultural college.

 

8th. Ascension,   school closed .  5 boys and  3 girls passed 11+

 

10th.  35 children received their First Holy Communion.

 

15th.  Mr. Fry taken ill and  rushed to hospital for an operation.

 

May. 19th.   Infant trip to Blackpool   Zoo.

Fire Inspection.

 

20th.   Mr. Smith started as part time, temporary caretaker

Mr Lewis resigned from Aug. 31st. having successfully applied for Dep. headship.

 

23rd.  Mr. Elleray started as part time, temporary caretaker

 

June. 14th.    A group of juniors joined in a Country Dance display on Avenham Park

 

17th. Girls won the Rounders  Tournament at W. Le D. primary.

 

18th.  Mr. Winders and  Mrs. Ormson came to talk to the children who will be going to

The High School in September.

 

20th.   Leavers taken out for a treat.

 

July 1st.   Junior Parents Evening.

 

7th.    Sports day.

 

8th.    Local Athletics meeting at Lostock Hall , good results.

 

Closed July 17th.

 

75/76     Sept. 1st.

 

26th.  School meals register, bank paying in book and stock book sent for Audit.

 

Oct.3rd.   Fire Inspection, recommendations made relating to the boiler house.

 

Dec. 8th. school closed, Parish feast day.

 

15th. Nativity Play.

 

 

!976

Jan.5th.  2 break ins over the holidays, police and office informed.

 

19th.  Mrs. Coogan  student of  Ch. C. began final T.P.

 

 

Feb.4th.   4th. year record sent to office for  11+ purposes.

 

Feb.20th.   11+  exams.

 

21st.    Lark Hill and  Winckley  Sq. entrance exams.

 

23rd.   J 1 and  2 Parent’s  evening.

 

Mar. 8th.   3,  2nd. year Ch. C. students begin T.P.

 

10th.  Fr. Kennedy from Salford  R.E. centre talked to Ch. preparing for First Communion..

 

11th.  J 4 ch. visited Lewis Textile Mill at Blackburn.

 

16th.   Infants Open Evening.

 

May 3rd.   Police – Road  Safety.

J 3 & 4  Cycling  proficiency.

 

10th.  Mrs. Ormson came to talk to the children  going to the High School in Sept.

Chorley First year students started T. P.

 

22nd.  28 ch. received their First Holy Communion.

 

Jun. 8th.   J 1 & 2 visited Knowsley Safari Park.

 

9th.  Meeting at All Hallows High School.

 

10th. Infant trip to Marineland at Morcambe.

 

17th.  School closed for Corpus Christi.  Leaver’s trip to York.

 

19th.  Sixty ch. took part in Country Dancing display at Avenham  park.

 

21st.   Rounders  rally at W.L.D. primary.

Headteacher from Moor Hey to see Mark Dixon, view to transfer.

 

24th/25th June   St Benedict’s together with St Mary’s Infant school, St Mary’s Junior School

and the Secondary School put on a concert to raise money for a gift for Fr Topping

Chairman of all four schools governors and Parish priest on his leaving to be replaced

by Fr. Leonard Jackson.

 

Jul. 3rd.  Swimming Gala t Leyland.

 

5th.   Sports day.

 

6th.    Athletics at L. H.  success in 5 out of  8 events.

 

7th.   Three violinists attended seminar at Ch. C. with music advisor.

 

Jul. 8th.   Children going to the High School in Sep. went to visit and look around..

Parents Evening for J 1, 2, & 3.

 

15th. closed for the holidays.

 

 

1976 / 77

Sept.6th.

14th Sept.    Bishop Holland visited School and spoke to the Staff and Children.

 

19th Sept.   Children from Junior years 3 and 4 Confirmed by Bishop Holland in St Mary’s

Church.

28th.            Medicals for all new admissions

 

7th Oct.      Religious inspection by Fr’s Birmingham and Foster, both were very satisfied.

 

20th.           Short listing for new deputy.

 

27th                  Mrs.  Joan Wood appointed as Deputy Head to start after Christmas.

 

Nov. 1st.     All Saints    Mass in school.

 

9th.              Signatures for school fund changed.

 

Jan. 5th.       Mrs. Wood commenced duties.

 

10th.            Temporary caretaker Mr. Mclaughlin commenced duties.

Simon Gornall  referred to social services.

 

Feb. 11th.     11 +  exam.

 

12th.            W. Sq.  &  L. H.  entrance exams.

 

Mrs. Johnston part time cleaner started.

 

Mar. 17th.     Vaughn Hay theatre group presented    “Rumplestilksin”

 

24th.              34 children made their First Confession.

 

25th.              Infants  Open Evening.

 

May 28th.      34 ch.  received their First Holy Communion .

 

Jun.  1st.        All infants visited, Wrea Green, Lytham Windmill and Blackpool Model Village.

 

3rd.        During half term, 32 ch.  went on 4day trip to Whitby.

 

 

1st July       All School party to celebrate the Silver Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

children received a specially minted 25p piece to mark the occasion.

 

14th.           Closed for summer.

 

77/78      Sept. 1st.

 

Sep. 29th.    Mrs. W. Leaver appointed      Nursery Nurse

Mrs. J. Rishton       “     “        Ancillary  Assistant

 

 

Dec. 15th.   School concert and Nativity.

1978

Jan. 19th.   Mrs. Livesey appointed to vacancy in the infants.

 

 

26th.        Railway officials  talked to ch. about the dangers of  trespassing on the Railway line.

 

31st.        School photographs.

 

Feb.27th.   Meeting for parents of ch. preparing to receive the  Sacraments.

 

Mar.9th.   Mr. Winders came to talk to ch. going to the High School in Sep.

 

14th.         Top infants made their First Confession.

 

16th.         Third year Juniors took  Lancs. Ed. Comm.  9+ test.

60 ch. attended  a Music/Drama and dance event at Preston Charter Theatre.

 

17th.        Fr. Osmund organised a penitential service . Vast majority of children attended                            Confession afterwards, Fr. David and  Fr. George attended.

 

Apr. 10th. Cross Country  and  Games rally, excellent results and boys won football leage,

Girls runners up in the Netball.

 

6th.          Top infants received their First Holy Communion, followed by breakfast in school.

 

11th.      Police informed us  that  2 windows  left open , had been entry but no damage.

 

25th.     School closed for Corpus Christi,  leaver’s trip to Chester.

 

Jun. 5th.Mrs. Brown infant Advisor visited.

 

14th.     Infant Trip to Wheelton  locks and Worden Park.

 

17th.      Country dance  team performed at Avenham  park.

 

19th.      Boys  team won in Rounders  Rally at Severn Drive.

 

June 21st.   Mass and Exposition of The Blessed Sacrament  in school all day. Very well received

 

22nd.   J 3 Visited The Harris Museum

 

29th.   School closed, P.P.    36 children went on a 4 day visit to Bristol and Bath.

 

Jul.10th.  Sports day.

 

12th.   School  Leaver’s  Mass.

 

13th.  School  closed,  Mrs.  Lees left to become Dep. H. at Seven Stars.

78/79     Sept.6th.

 

18th.   J 4  commenced  Cycling   Proficiency instructions.

Union members informed  about Safety representatives for Health and safety at work,

 

27th.  Cracks in the outside wall of Infant toilets, Architects  informed.

 

Oct. 1st.  Confirmations.

 

3rd. Letter from Ed. Office saying we had no Safety officer.

 

13th.    Harvest  celebration,  produce delivered to local needy  people.

 

Nov. 23rd.  Necessary books to Education Office for audit.

 

30th.   Manager’s  meeting in school.

 

Dec. 1st.   2 boys left school without permission , the matter left with parents.

 

13th.   Concert and  Nativity,  afternoon and evening.

 

21st.   School  closed  for Christmas  Miss Atkinson and  Mr. Eastham  left.

 

!979

 

Jan. 8th.   Mrs. Millar and  Mr. Lees commenced duties a supply teachers.

 

9th.      Signatures changed at the bank.

 

10th.     Requested  estimate for an electric fire alarm system.

 

 

Jan.18th.    Break in.

 

20th..          School closed because of industrial action.

 

24th.         Rogers, baby ( Bernadette )  was  Baptised in school.

 

25th.          Another  break in.

Religious  Inspection

 

Feb. 16th.   Mrs. Millar  appointed  head  of  Inf.

 

15th.          Meeting for parents of children preparing to receive the Sacraments.

 

26th.        Top infants made their First Confession.

 

Apr. 4th.  Penance  service in school.

 

May. 2nd.   Meeting  with chief  E.O.  at All Hallows.

 

21st.        Another  break in.

 

22nd.       Meeting for Parents of children due to start school in Sep.

 

24th.      New Ancillary assistant appointed (Mrs. Sandra Finch.)

 

31st.      Appointment of assistant teacher  Mrs. P. Devaney

 

June 6th. Top infants  received First Holy Communion.

 

28th.     38 children went on a 4 day trip to London.

 

Jul. 11th.   Trip to Knowsley Safari Park.

 

12th.     Open day for  Infants and  J 1.

 

13th.     Open day for  J 2,  3,  &  4.

 

17th.     Sports  day.

 

19th.    School closes,   presentation to Mrs. Penswick the cook who is retiring.

 

 

1979 / 80

Sep.3rd.   Mrs. P. Devaney  commenced her duties.

 

Short listing for deputy head.

 

11th.    Mr. Metcalf appointed as deputy.

 

18th    Open Evening for Juniors.

 

15th.   Meeting for parents of ch. due to start in January.

 

26th.  Meeting with  Andrew Chester’s parents, suggestions to help progress, permission to refer

Andrew  was given.  Fr. Rupert informed.

 

Dec.8th.   Fund raising for Blue Peter Fund to help Cambodian  ch .  = £350

 

16th.   Nativity Tableaux , lessons and carols in church.

 

18th.   Penance Service in school.

 

21st   School  closed ,  Mrs.Wood  left.

 

1980

 

Jan.7th.   Mr. Metcalfe  took up duties.

 

Andrew Chester had a medical in the holidays.

 

Books taken to office for audit.

 

28th.      Some confusion about health visitor meeting with Andrew  Chester’s  parents.

 

Feb5th.   Andrew Chester,  hearing test.

 

7th.         Received estimate for fire alarm, Fr. Leonard suggested further estimates.

 

28th.   Mrs. Livingstone  Ed. Psychologist  interviewed  Andrew Chester.

 

Mar.11th.  Meeting for parents of First Comm. children.

 

19th.    County assessment tests  for J 3.

 

24th.    Top infants made First Confession.

 

Mar.28th.   Mrs. Bishop commenced maternity leave.

 

Apr. 28th.   Visit from Abbot Ambrose  from Ampleforth.

 

May.8th.     Fire inspection.

 

20th.   P.C..Pickles  talked to ch. about Road Safety.

Infants  Open  Evening.

 

Jun.8th.   Children received First Holy Communion with St. Mary’s.  In the afternoon the

Parishioners  processed from St. Benedict’s to St. Mary’s  for the blessing of the sick

and  Benediction.

 

9th.        Fr Abbot celebrated Mass with the children of the parish.,  had a party in the afternoon.

 

10th.      Health visitor suggested home tuition for Gavin Holmes.

 

12th.     School closed,  junior classes trip to York.

 

17th.    Inter schools  Rounders  Rally at Severn Drive.

 

26th.    Open Evening for Junior parents.

 

Jul.7th.  Mr. Winders came to talk to children going to the High School in Sep.

 

8th.      Infant  trip to Southport botanic gardens and model village.

 

9th.     J 4 trip to the lake District.

 

11th.    Celebrated the Feast of St. Benedict with Fr. Rupert saying a special Mass as leaver’s

Mass  each leaver was given a blessed St. Benedict medal and Fr. Rupert blessed a

picture of St. B. which Fr. Jonothan had presented to the school. Many Parents attended.

 

14th.    Sports  Day.

 

16th.    Fr. Leonard  came to a special lunch for the retirement of Mrs. Millar.

 

17th.   Sad goodbye to Mrs. M. who offered to have The St. B. picture framed.

 

This year 1980 is the 200th. Anniversary of the founding of Our Parish, Celebrations are planned and Cardinal Hume will be visiting on Fri. Sep.5th. There has been several joint fund raising events to cover the cost.

 

1980 / 81

 

Sept 1st.    School reopened with Mrs. Cole filling in for Mrs. Millar.

Seventeen new admissions,  9  reception, 2 from St. Patricks and six transferred from

Samlesbury  R.C. which closed in July. (2 needing to be Confirmed.)

Sep.5th.   Cardinal Basil Hume’s  visit,  the ch. lined the route leading to the High School where

the Cardinal dedicated  the new chapel, he stopped  the carriage several times to speak

to people particularly the ch.

 

11th.        Beginning of year Mass.

 

Oct.1st.    Head of Science from  the  High School  visited to offer their services.

 

5th.          Bishop Burke Confirmed  the 2 children from Samlesbury.

 

30th.       Concert/ displays  to show the children’s development in non  academic subjects,

Very successful and well received, with plenty od encouraging comments. . It was

announced that school intended to start a Parent’s  Association.

 

Nov.4th.    Managers  Meeting, Annual  report accepted,  Chairman expressed gratitude for all the

good work

 

17th.      Parent’s  Association first meeting.

 

24th.       Film  –  Christmas  Carol.

 

26th.       Confirmation meeting for parents.

 

Dec.3rd.  Mr. Drew came in to talk about Stewart Rogers  – in court for blackmail, theft and

Assault.

 

5th.         Bishop Burke visited  infants and  J 1 & 2.

J 3 & 4 went to see him at St. Mary’s.

 

7th         Confirmations for  J  3  &  4.

 

9th.       Mr. Clensey suffered a stroke.

 

10th.     Mass at St. Mary’s  for  Mr. Clensey  &  Mr. Pearson who was also ill,  Mr. Metcalf

& 5 ch.  attended.

 

11th.     Mass at St. Benedict’s  for Mr. Clensey & Mr. Pearson.

 

15th.     Christmas concert  –  Scrooge   and  A Nativity – No room at the inn.

16th.                   “                                “                                  “

 

17th.     Christmas  Party.

 

21st.      Children joined in St. Mary’s Parish Carol Sevice.

1981

Jan.9th. Lisa C’s  watch went  missing  found in Maria Birtwhistle’s  pocket.

 

12th.     Parent’s  Association meeting.

 

20th’    Cassidy and Ashton  brought in contractors to report on the roof.

 

25th.      2 lengths of lead flashing missing from the roof.

 

29th.     Stuart  Rogers court appearance  –  placed in care.

 

Feb.10.   Break in.

 

11th.    Celebrations for the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes including parents and senior citizens.

 

16th.     Parents A.  meeting , constitution accepted,  formed a committee.

 

Mar.2nd.   Mr. Clensey returned to school.

 

14th.        Mr  Clensey died at home.

 

16th.   Mr. Metcalf  appointed acting Head..

 

17th.   Mass in school for Mr. Clensey & family, children and many parents and friends attended.

 

20th.  Funeral of Mr. A.B. Clensey (Headteacher) at St. Mary’s Leyland.

Attended by all staff and most of J 3  & 4 children.

 

24th.   9 +  Maths  tests

 

25th.  9 +   English  tests.

 

30th.  Parent’s A. meeting.

 

Apr.1st   Leaks in the roof  in 4 places.

 

2nd.   Meeting for parents of children preparing for the Sacraments,  followed by Benediction

 

6th.   36 ch. took part in High School music festival.

 

7th.   19 ch.  made their first confession.

 

8th.   C.A.T.  tests for High School.

 

9th.   Passion Play in St. Mary’s church  2pm & 7pm.  attended by 200 parents and 10 senior

Citizens, great success  £260 given to Fr. Rupert for Lourdes fund.

 

10th.    £112 to St. Joseph’s Penny.

 

Apr. 13th.   Governor’s meeting, last year’s report.

? New roof & exterior painting planned.

Consideration of  overstaffing.

 

27th.   Headship advertised.

Parents A. meeting to discuss floats for B.B. festival.

 

May.5th.   Boy’s Cross Country  Coupe Green.  2nd in group.

 

6th.          Girl’s Cross Country        “    “       Wendy Nightingale came 1st,

boy’s  &  girl’s 3rd   overall.

 

8th.         Meeting for parents of First Communion children.

 

11th.      Parent’s A.  meeting  – floats / crowns for wedding.

 

16th.     B.B. Festival, 2 floats.

 

17th.    May procession  (90 ch. attended )

 

19th,    Mr. Troughton came to talk to the children going to the high school in Sep.

 

Jun.1st.    Parent’s A. meeting.

Shortlisting for Headship.

 

2nd.     P.C. Pickles came to talk about Road Safety.

 

6th.       Thirty ch. took part in Leyland Festival, Country Dancing.

 

9th.      Junior trip to Chester Zoo.

 

10th.      First Communion Celebration.

 

12th.  Cheque for £6 to HCPT  from Mars Bar  wrappers collection

 

15th.   Mr. Winders came to talk to parents and teachers  about the High School.

 

16th.   Rounders Rally cancelled

 

18th.   Corpus Christi Mass , attended by 14 senior citizens and 60 parents.

 

19th.   Quarant Ore at ST. Mary’s,  J 4, the Choir and staff went down.

7.30.  Vocations Mass ,  the children’s choir sang and played, very moving.

 

20th.    Swimming Gala at Leyland

Jun.21st.   First Communions am.   Blessed Sacrament procession pm..

 

22nd         Party for First Comm. children.

 

23rd.         Parent’s evening for Infants and J 4.

 

26th.  Fourth year,  3day  visit to Kiln Barn at Keswick.

 

30th.  Parent’s A. meeting to organise Summer Fayre

 

Jul.2nd.  Mr. Winders,  Mrs. Colgan and  Mrs. Cullis  came to talk to pupils going to the High

School  in Sep.

 

5th.        Successful Summer  Fayre,  raised £353 for a colour Television

 

6th.       Fourth year Medicals  /      Field  Athletics – 2 winners.

 

7th.       Mr Adrian Metcalf appointed as Headmaster.

Track Athletics,  won 2 relays and 2 800m races.

Evening mass for the Disabled at St. Mary’s, parents transported people .

 

8th.       Infant trip to Southport.

Mr. Metcalf and six children represented  the school at Mr. Pearsons retirement Mass

 

9th.     Leaver’s Mass and presentation of  St. Benedict  medals.

 

14th.  Sports Day

 

15th.   Royal Wedding Party , ice cream and Royal Crowns distributed to children and all the

staff

 

16th.    Infant Mass,  presentation and lunch for  Mrs. Hall , leaving today.

 

 

1981/ 82

Sept.     Intake only 4 children

 

5th.       Fitst Prize in Brindle Flower and produce show, collage section

 

9th.       Decided to refer Alison Worswick

 

10th.     Mass for ch. and parents.

 

14th.     Parents A. meeting

 

16th.     School photographs

17th.     Reception medicals

 

22nd.    Visit for new admissions

 

28th.     P.A.  clothes party

 

Oct.8th.Arrangements for school masses,  Brusselmans and Memorial for Mr. Clensey

 

12th.     P.A. annual general meeting.

 

15th.     Harvest Mass, food distributed.

 

Meeting at high school to discuss Parish Carol service

 

Anne Bishop left, meal and presentation at Corporation Arms.

 

27th.   Governors meeting ,  headteacher’s  report accepted,  Consideration about new brochure,

In the light of 1980 E.A.. recommendation Mrs. Cole made  permanent,advertise Deputy.

 

Nov.2nd.  Mass for Holy Souls.

 

9th.       Joseph and his Tech. D. C. 15 children + 13 staff and friends  – great success

 

12th.     P.A..  Bingo and dance,  great success

 

17th.     R.E. meeting to discuss new teacher’s centre at  Blackburn

 

19th.     Alison Worswick referred to special school

 

23rd.     Roofing firm started repair work.

Children’s theatre presented Scatty the Scarecrow, most enjoyable.

P.A.    –  Christmas activities

 

Dec. 3rd.Mrs. Livesey appointed deputy headteacher

 

4th.       Visit to Ormsbys to buy chapel furnishings/ vestments.

 

7th        The Arthur Clensey  Memorial Mass and Cantata”The Donkey” in church, all children

and 400 people attended,   mince pies & sherry, great success.

The Memorial of Mass equipment cost £330 pounds

 

11th.     25  senior citizens attended C. concert rehearsal – tea and cakes

 

14th.     School closed, deep snow, Mr. Metcalf walked 14 miles to shool.

 

  1. Christmas Concert

 

18th.     Christmas dinner,  school closed

 

 

1982 

Jan.6th. Mass for children, parents and senior citizens

 

18th.     P.A. meeting, agreed to buy  Jumbo typewriter, Medals for Pope’s visit and pay insurance

 

Feb.1st.P.A.  Bingo raised £123

 

2nd.      Mass for Candlemas.

 

4th.       Architects/painters came to discuss internal painting

 

11th.     Mass for Our Lady of Lourdes, ch. parents and senior citizens

Parent’s Evening

 

15th.     Internal painting started.

 

23rd.     Meeting to discuss Pope’s Visit.   P.A.  to discuss B.B.  festival.

 

24th.     Mass for Ash Wed,

 

25th.     First Comm. meeting.   Renewal of Baptismal Rites.

 

Mar.1st. P. A.  meeting

 

Mar. 16th.   N.&S,  theatre group presented The Magic Mystery Tour.   very good

 

19th.  P.A. Jumble sale,  £85

 

23rd.  Mass and meeting for parents and  ch.preparing for  Fist Comm.

 

25th.  Mass for all  – Annunciation

 

2th.   Children made their First Confession at St. Mary’s.

 

29th.  Confessions for all juniors.

 

Apr.1st.  Passion play, afternoon and evening, very well attended.

 

2nd.  ST. Joseph’s Penny £120.

 

5th.  Meeting with Mrs. Carrol  – replacement for Mrs. Bishop.

 

20th.  P.A.  discuss floats.

 

23rd. Notice from the office,  allowed  4 . 5 teachers next year

 

26th.  P.A. – B.B. festival / Fayre.      Boy’s  Cross Country.

 

27th.    Girl’s Cross Country,  both teams placed 4th.

 

29th.    School Mass

 

30th.    Hosts to Local football final.

 

May 3rd.   Visit for  New children.   First Communion  meeting.

 

6th.   Mass at St. Mary’s for First Communion parents

 

9th.    Mr. Metcalf   ran  the London Marathon.

 

12th.  Mr. Metcalf met Mrs. Carrol to discuss staffing and  Mrs. Cole becoming scale 2

 

15th.  2 Floats in BB festival  well supported

 

17th.   P.A. discuss  Summer Fayre and First Communion.

 

20th    Ascension day Mass

26th.   Mr. Metcalf  met the Mayor of Preston to present a £388 cheque for  Moorfield  special

school , half  the sponsorship from the London Marathon, the rest donated to school funds.

 

Mrs. Livesey + 6 children attended the Requiem Mass for Michael Love a past pupil of St.

Mary’s killed in the Falklands

 

27th.  Benediction at church for both  schools, part of celebrations for the Pope’s visit.

 

28th.  Pope arrived

 

Jun.2nd.  Pope departed                Mrs. Cole scale 2 from Sep.

 

6th.   Hall flooded.      Severely damaged,  architects  +  informed

Break in  –  football and a bottle of altar wine.

 

8th.   Mrs. Colgan  and Mr.. Stott from High school visited J 4

 

10th.  Corpus Christi Mass very well attended by the community

 

11th.  Hall floor needs to come up,   still leaks in the roof.

Evening Mass at church, 30 ch. attended

 

12th.   Country dancing at  Avenham  Park

 

13th.  First Communions, sadly it was decided that the school’s choirs were not wanted.

Breakfast in school.      3.30  Corpus Christi procession

 

  1. Rounders Rally at Severn Drive.

Mr. Metcalf ‘s  wife had a little boy.

 

An assessment was made on the roof   by Cassidy and Ashton.

Work continued on the hall floor  –  roof   £2.200 .    floor  £4.000   Okayed/

 

17th.  Swimming Gala

 

20th.  Summer Fayre.  Raised £ 325

 

21st.  Two pupils from the High school for a week on  work experience.

 

22nd.   J 4  Residential trip to Keswick

 

26th.   Break  in

 

28th  Hole found in the roof, caused by a roll of felt being pushed down

 

29th.  Break in foiled by police.

Mass for St. P. & P. well attended  – 50 parents/senior citizens

 

Jul. 1st.  Top infants went to ST. Mary’s for joint First Comm.  celebration

 

2nd.   Problem

 

5th.   Break in         P.A. meeting  funds stand at £500.

 

7th.  Junior trip to Blackpool Stanley Park /Circus

 

8th.   Infant trip to Southport and Worden Park

Mr. Metcalf & Mrs. Livesey  attended  High School prize night

 

  1. The school went to St. Mary’s for concert rehearsal Mr. M & Mrs. L. attended in the

evening

 

13th.   Leaver’s Mass, ch. presented with  St.Benedict  medals also Fr. David, Brother Bede &

Ann Swarbrick. Fr. David was also given an LP of the Pope’s visit.

Sports Day

 

14th.  Mr. Kennedy Maths Advisor, came to discuss implementation of SMP and problems

 

Problem

 

1982

 

Sep. 1st.  A further reduction  in staff  down to  3  & ½  Num. on roll Sep. 1st  95  /   Jan 1st.  102

 

Crack in the wall of infant toilets,  movement presumed

 

9th.        Mass for Our Lady’s Birthday and start of the new year. Well attended

 

13th.     Infant taken to hospital, had pushed a crayon in his ear.

Two boys stole £4 from Mr. Fry’s room, reported to police.

  1. A. meeting

 

15th.   Jackie Green  went over on her ankle, next day father reported she had chipped a bone.

 

21st.  Problem

Bl & W  tv  bought for computer work

Infant Mass,  very well supported by parents etc.

 

Successful  again in the Brindle Art Competition

 

 

30th.   Lower junior Mass

 

Oct. 6th.   Liason  meeting at the High School, Mr. Metcalf concerned about Maths  the

incompatibility of the syllabus and materials / in change over

 

Oct.7th.  Mass for Our Lady of the Rosary, celebrated by Fr. Ian Petit.

 

Football team lost 2 – 1 to St. Mary’s

 

11th.  P.A. AGM   new committee,  representing  ¼  of parents

 

13th.  Football team  lost  4 – 3 to Ingol

 

School  received a K. Infotec photocopier

 

Mr. Ken Whales came to discuss a review of Educational provision in Walton Le Dale,

further discussion at staff meeting

 

14th.  Catholic teacher’s meeting at St. Theresa’s

 

15th.  Notice  received of further meetings to discuss staffing  “Reviews”

 

Mr. McMullen  English Advisur agreed to provide £100 in April to purchase Ginn 360

 

18th. P. A. meeting  agreed to buy  B&W television / Some Ladybird books & Paschal Candle

 

20th.  Document concerning reorganising of Educational provision in W.L.D. distributed to all

staff

 

21st.   Netball team lost 11 – 0 to Clayton Brook, new skirts made by parents worn for the first

time

 

22nd.  Farewell mass for Fr. Rupert, superb turn out of parents and old people to say thank you

for  his  tremendous work and  to wish him well. He was presented with an attaché case

and a St. Benedict medal and a large card from all the staff and children.   Followed by

lunch  with the staff , school owes Fr. Rupert a fine debt of gratitude for all he has done.

 

The County  E. Review   document distributed to parents.

 

Nov.1sr. Mass for All Saints celebrated  by Fr. David.

 

4th.  N & Sc. Theatre group presented  The Dream Man ,  very good

 

Important Governors meeting, accepted Head teacher’s Report and Financial Report of

School funds.   Agreed to a new light at the school entrance.  Considerable discussion about

the planned  reorganisation of  schools  in W.L.D.  A letter will be sent to the E. C.

supporting  total housing of  St. Aidans  in Larch  Grove.

 

5th. 29 ch.  preparing for Confirmation went to St. Mary’s  to meet Bishop Holland form Salford

 

7th.  150 were Confirmed during 10.30 Mass

 

8th. Football team lost  5 – 2 to St. Theresa’s         P. A. meeting

 

Nov. 11th. Infant Mass said by Fr. Jonothan

 

18th.   P.A.  dance at Brownedge club,  £99

 

19th    Junior Mass  Fr. Leonard

 

26th.  £50  donated to CAFOD as part of parish commitment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mr. Sugden appointed .

 

 

 

87/88

July   5th.     Visit of Sr. Carmel to talk about the new  Sacramental Programme of Initiation.

 

8th.     Visit by Bishop Burke.& Sc. Theatre

 

 

90/91

Oct. 9th.    Fr. Jonathon became school Chaplain.

 

 

91/92

Sept. 23rd.   Staff  access to a computer.

 

 

92 to  Dec.

Fr. Francis Vidal became school Chaplain

 

 

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