Wigan's Thomas Linacre School

Mesnes Road, Cherry Gardenspic

Motto - Progrediamur (May we advance)

picBeing able to attend this wonderful innovitave Secondary Technical School with its inspirational headmaster, William S Brace and his team of dedicated teachers was a most welcome privilege for the majority of its pupils for which they will be forever grateful. From 1954 until leaving in 1960, I and another 400 or so lucky fellow pupils were able to take advantage of the facilities of this experimental and gloriously well equipped laboratory for the academically curious. Encouraged to believe that anything was possible, we had the opportunity to follow our dreams, however modest or bold, into a brave new post-war world and achieve great things. Few of us realised at the time that the country had not yet recovered from the hardships imposed by war and this new school was part of the big plan to provide young people with the education and technical skills required to get the economy moving again into a modern and more optimistic future. However places at these elite schools were limited and consequently although many more children might have had the ability to take advantage of what was considered to be the gateway to university and scholarship, the pass threshold in the eleven plus exam was quite high and many pupils were sadly denied the opportunity others had.
       The school had state of the art (1950s era, CNC machines not yet invented) metalwork and engineering workshops, well equipped chemistry and physics laboratories, maths, english and german teachers second to none and sports facilities to match. After-school clubs also thrived with chess, photographic and swimming clubs and highly successful athletics, rugby and football teams which took part in and enjoyed competition against rival institutions both locally and further afield. Many of the pupils featured in the picture below would go on to achieve success in swimming galas and gain awards for life saving, such as the RLSS Bronze Medallion, Bronze Cross, Award of Merit and Instructors Certificates.
       Culture also featured well in day to day activities with annual drama productions and weekly morning concerts provided by the talented teachers at the school and some local amateur performers. The latter were intended to give pupils a glimpse into the broader world of classical music, mainly from the great composers of the eighteenth, nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Local musicians and vocalists would be invited to give Thursday morning recitals, which included popular classics, opera choruses and parlour songs of the twentieth century, but the stars of many of the concerts were the staff themselves. Mr Livesey, the Chemistry Master who was a fantastic pianist and organist, performed at many of these concerts, and was the accompanist at many a speech day at the Queens Hall, seated at the magnificent organ backing the school choir and making my hair stand on end (Could it have been "Jerusalem"? I can't remember). Mr Pegg, one of the the German Masters and inspiration behind the swimming club, was also a terrific pianist who featured quite prominently at these morning concerts, his signature tune being a virtuoso performance of San Saen's Danse Macabre on the schools grand piano. Mr Holt who taught Engineering and Metalwork and also played the violin was a regular recitalist too as was the school brass band, very ably taught and conducted by art master Mr Hilton.
       The best of both worlds where both the academically gifted and those with practical skills could succeed and prosper, an educational academy of the highest quality and a superb foundation for any career path pupils were later to follow.

Thomas Linacre School Swimming Club c1958?


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Linacre - A Brief History
Thomas Linacre was born in Canterbury in about 1460. He entered All Souls College, Oxford in 1480 and distinguished himself in Greek. He then studied in Rome, gaining a knowledge of Greek and Latin which made him one of the foremost humanistic scholars of his time. He also studied medicine at Vicenza, receiving his medical degree at Padua. Ten years later, back in England, Linacre became physician to King Henry VIII and regular attendant to many of the most prominent people in the country. He was also the close friend of Sir Thomas More and Erasmus. After 11 years as a physician, Thomas Linacre resigned to become a priest.
       He devoted the fortune from his medical practice to the foundation of chairs in Greek medicine at Oxford and Cambridge University and to the establishment of the Royal College of Physicians. After Linacre obtained his charter for the College, no-one except a regular physician could practice in and around London.
       Thomas Linacre was rector of Wigan between 1519 and 1524.

Source: University of Oxford, Linacre College web site.

picArley Hall Garden, Cheshire

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God's Choir

One Man's Musical Journey


The Lindsays of Haigh

An Oridinary Wigan Family


Thomas Aspinwall

Miners Agent Skelmersdale


It's a Funny Life

A Tale of the Folly of Youth


Wigan Old Bank 1792

A Wigan Dynasty and a Boating Accident


Little Ships at War 1918

A Daring Raid on Zeebrugge


Private Walter Turton

Memorial - Jubilee Park Ashton in Makerfield


Not Much of a Warrior

Memories of a Golden Age of Rugby


A Cricket Calypso

The West Indies Tour of 1950


Boat Song

A Fine Poem by Walter Scott


A Walk in the Hills

A Nice Walk in the Lake District


A Lancashire Linear Walk

Eccleston (Chorley) to Upholland

picFarthingale Publications:... Is a hobby web site containing articles of local interest to Lancastrians, some favourite walking and cycling routes, selected words and poetry, and some writings of more general nature as well as the authors own picture gallery. Access is available via the homepage and menu at the head of the page.

picLocal Interest: Richmond Hill Dairies; Mind Your Language; John Lancaster Wigan MP; Thomas Aspinwall Miners Agent; Thomas Aspinwall Obituary; Upholland Telephone Exchange; Thomas Linacre School Wigan; God's Choir; Scot Lane School Wigan; The Lindsays of Haigh; Dust Upon God's Fair Earth; The Nurburgring 1960; Wigan Advertisements 1960; Wigan Soldier Missing in Action; It's a Funny Life; Private Thomas Whitham VC; Isaac Watts 1674 - 1748; Wigan Old Bank 1792; The Brocklebank Line; John Byrom 1692 - 1793; The Holy City Liverpool; Jubilee Park Memorial, Ashton in Makerfield; Little Ships at War 1918; A Cricket Calypso; Not Much of a Warrior; Peveril of the Peak.
Walking & Cycling: Moss Eccles Tarn; Abbey Lakes to Coppull Moor; Chorley Ice Cream Walk; Douglas Valley Dawdle; Three Counties Cycle Ride; Haigh to Borsdane Wood; A Lancshire Linear Walk; Blackrod or Bust; Cycle the Sankey Valley; Cycle the Monsal Trail; Wigan Circular by Bike; Freshfield to Crosby; Irwell Valley Trail (Bury to Rawtenstall); Irwell Valley (Bury to Salford).
Words & Poetry: Only a Cranky Owd Foo'; Martin Chuzzlewit; Dover Harbour; Rogue Herries; The Heart of Midlothian; King Cotton; The Family Man; The Pickwick Papers; The Fair Rosamond; The Fair Rosamond Comic; A Legend of Montrose; When Winds Breathe Soft; The Wreck of the Hesperus; God Bless these Poor Wimmen that's Childer; Dombey and Son; Aw've Turned me bit O' Garden O'er; On Th' Hills; Four Favourite Poems; The Darkling Thrush; The Glory of the Garden; The Rolling English Road; The Antiquary; Hymn Before Action; Dust upon God's Fair Earth; Mind Your Language; Jeff Unsworth's dialect poetry; Martyrs of the Arena; Th' Coartin' Neet; Boat Song; Toddlin' Whoam; A Lancashire Mon; Calm is the Sea; The Bride of Lammermoor; Redgauntlet; A Tale of Two Cities.
Wallgate Chronicles: Hugo Boss comes to Wigan; In the footsteps of the Manchester Rambler; Fun with Trigonometry; Surprise at the Philharmonic; The Marriage of Figaro; Cat Bells; A Walk in the Hills; Eay Times Uv Changed; Fidelio; The Ravioli Room; Desert Island Discs; Travels in Time 1960; Travels in Time 2010; The Spectroscope; The Bohemian Girl; Bookcase; Barnaby Rudge; Romance on a Budget; The Battle of Solferino; The Getaway Car; The Switchroom Wigan; The Force of Destiny; Adolphe Adam; The Fair Maid of Perth; Ivanhoe; Semele; Lohengrin; The Old Curiosity Shop; Hard Times.