Welcome to the Official COBA Website

This Site was updated on the 13th of January, 2018

Here is a set of LINKS to recent changes to the Site - They are in sequence (Time-Wise) with the most recent being "S T O P    P R E S S".

To view the associated item, just click on a link :-

SEE:-  The Fire or Evacuation or Facebook or Farrell (Olympics)  or Gallery(Lunch)

or Staff Memories or GOLF or LUNCH or Jim Railton or Founders Day or Dinner (2017)

or for news of our next LUNCH, just click on HERE

or, the latest email (from Frank Williams), please click on HERE.


Webmaster - Chairman - Vice Chairman - Secretary - Treasurer - Lunches

President - Vice President - Newsletter - Annual Dinner - Membership - COBA Ties

If your computer does not accept the above links then, to contact members of the Council, please click on EMAILS.


S T O P     P R E S S   (13/1/2018)



I have been able to arrange another informal get together and lunch is being arranged, at the Artists Club on Thursday, 22nd of February 2018 at 1.00pm. All COBs are welcome to join us and you are free to invite other COBS who may have missed this notification. Dress code is jacket and preferably accompanied by a tie.

The Artists Club is situated in Eberle Street,  which is opposite North John Street, off Dale Street. (See map opposite.)

Previous lunches have proved to be popular and provide a wonderful opportunity to meet many folk who you may not have met since leaving School. I need to provide numbers to the Club in good time before our get together and I would appreciate confirmation from you if you are proposing to attend. I have received notes from one or two already which I have noted and they will not need to take any action. 

I ought to mention that we meet on an upper floor and regrettably no lift is available in the building.

Looking forward to another successful and enjoyable meeting,

Regards and best wishes,

Norman Kennett - (1957-62)

One of the many advantages of the 'Artists Club' is that it is located within a few hundred yards of the Moorfields Underground Railway Station.  (See below).

This station can be accessed by all local trains and (via 'Lime Street', 'Central' or 'South Park' Stations) all other mainline trains.

This will (of course) allow our members to leave their cars at home and thus be able to sup (say) a "Half pint of shandy" :)


Death of Frank Harris

We are late reporting on this event. The funeral is past. Frank would have drawn a cartoon of all our troubles and excuses. We remember Frank as not being too pleased, when we compared "Curly Wee" with "Willie" :-) We're surprised that neither he nor Ben ever mentioned "Count Curly".

We would like to hear some school (or career) memories of Frank from our members. He worked for "The Corpie", didn't he?

More-the-case - We would like to show more examples of "Willie" - If any of our members have any of these, would it be possible for them to scan them and send us a 'jpeg' of it, for publication (credited with the Member's name, of course.)

More to the point, what about an obituary of the man's whole life? Come on now - fill your inkpot with "Qwink" and fit a new knib (spelling) in your penholder (from Woolies on London Road) and produce a masterpiece to make your old teachers proud - Overseas contributions would be especially welcome. :-)

Below, we have a little write-up from the Echo and a sample of his work, that is our favourite



Taffy Jones

TO: David Williams - Hon. Secretary - COBA

DATE: 02 October 2017

I’ve just had word from Carla Jones that Taff had a fall and died in hospital. The family had a quiet funeral, so paying respects to the old boy, will have to be in the mind.

Later this month, I was going to have a 'get-together' with him and John (Long known to others as Joe). It has been so long since we last met, that the prospect of seeing Dave – and John – getting to be exciting. I had assembled memories to go through at the bar before the OB dinner - and there would inevitably have been a lot of Taff stories to come from him. He was the school expert in anecdotes. If he had been to a 'Bob Hope and Bing Crosby' film, his re-enactment the next day was always far more detailed and funny than if we had been at the cinema too.

Dave was one of my oldest friends. I returned from a year’s exile in North Wales in August 1942 and had to get boost from the “two multi-age classes and two languages in a single room” situation that Mr Hitler had forced on us. Having been with three families in Pandy Tudur – all named Jones - it was inevitable that I should assume that this David Jones (Never “John”!) should be a Welshman. That is why I christened him Taff. He didn’t mind and has always credited me with it.

This was in the Collegiate Prep , in an annex – Sandheys – at Holly Lodge, West Derby. We then went up to the main school and stayed together - 3D, 4C, Remove C and 5C - until he chose the Modern sixth and I the Maths. Although we both went up to Liverpool University, we remained in that bias. Then – inevitably - we lost touch until I returned from the USA and sought him out. The Old Boys dinners have been our contact since – with the occasional phone chat – but I have been happy that we did this.

I still intend to go to the OB Dinner, later this month, and John and I will reminisce – with Taff a prime subject. Taff was a great and lovable guy to me and many others. Yo

Best wishes to you all.

Henry ( Charlie – if you like)

Hello Charlie (I'm sure that Taffy called you that)

We are all shocked at this news. Certainly, especially other 'Prepites'. Their memories of Taffy, would be very welcome :-)

Would it be possible for someone to organise an Obituary for Taffy? There is already 14 Obituaries on the Website and one for Taffy would be very welcome.

Looking forward to seeing you at the Dinner,




To see the Obituary of Mr. Brian Keith Jones, a former Master at the Collegiate, please click on HERE.



Our member, Derek Corlett, has sent in the following memoir which we hope will provoke comments from lads who knew him at school and can offer their memories of those years and those classes and (maybe) some of those teachers. Read it and write in :-

On one dismal day on 8th February 1955 when 8 inches of snow lay on the ground, a large group of junior school students descended on the Collegiate School in Shaw Street. Their purpose was to sit the 11 plus exam to qualify for entrance to the senior School. About 180 were successful and I was amongst them. I started my scholastic career by entering in form 3D.

The entry forms in that year ran from 3A to 3F and after a satisfactory first year I was allocated to the classics form 4A. That form included many very bright scholars who were well qualified to master the principal subjects of Latin and Greek. I experienced the utmost difficulty in keeping pace with the rest of our form and eventually left to take a job in 1960.

Having witnessed the devastating fire in the early 90's I was invited to join the Association in 1999 and this presented an opportunity to meet up with some former class mates for the first time since 1960. Progressively I have met more and more of my fellow pupils and have been amazed at the successful careers that they pursued. Many have held high office in their chosen fields.

One such person who I had not met was Michael Suter who moved to Spain following his retirement as Chief Executive of Shropshire County Council. Through the medium of our website he has expressed a deep interest in the affairs of the Association regretting that he is unable to attend the Annual Dinners. This week he returned to the UK for a short break and asked me to arrange a lunch meeting with a small number of former pupils. This meeting took place at West Derby Golf Club on 14th August 2017 and a team photo is shown herewith. Those present thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to reunite with their long lost colleagues. Some 60 plus years had passed since joining the School and hardly any communication since leaving. All in all, this was a wonderful occasion and I would encourage any member of the Association to consider organising a similar meeting for any number of their choice. The meal was top quality and the Club house is a perfect venue for a reunion. The cost of an excellent three course meal is less than £20 pp.

If you are interested in arranging an event please feel free to contact me using my details on the website.

Cheers - Derek Corlett

As you can guess, from our title, we have finally got COB Ties in stock. You'll be pleased to know that we managed to beat down their price to only £12 each. Of course, this means that you can all FLAUNT (that word is paid extra for use at our Dinner) your nice new tie and be the envy of ALL your friends (both of them) :-)

As usual, we will be making our effort to get a picture onto the Website of all the attendees - This time, we will be seeking out ties that have that 'glamour and glitter' that can only come from having just been purchased :-)

On a more practical note, you can get the purchasing ball rolling, by clicking on the words "COBA Ties" several lines above, on this page.

Do you see this picture on the right? See if you think that you can spot yourself (or a pal) on this mini version of the cast of the school play (St. Joan). If you click on it, all will be revealed in a letter, from Dave Barrow. Have a go and impress ALL your friends (both of them) :-)

The following is an excerpt from the COBA Facebook Site :-

Derek Corlett and Jackie Griffiths posted in Collegiate Old Boys Association .

23 September at 19:29 - Derek Corlett - I am proposing to post a copy of the Dinner Ticket which shows the words of the School Song ( in Latin) which we use to sing at the conclusion of proceedings. Also the school chant is shown which we also recite. A number of folk have not known that the chant existed and others have made a good effort in recalling the exact words. To avoid any misunderstanding I have submitted an application to our Administrator for this to be incorporated on the Facebook site. I hope also to have this recorded on the COBA website.

Derek Corlett


We have been advised that our members, Ian Ferguson, (John) Brian Blades (1940/47) and Alfred Lawrence Lloyd (1940/45) have sadly passed away. Our condolences are expressed to all the members of the families. We do not have any further details about this and would welcome hearing some memories of them from other members.

Replacement Officers

Here at COBA, we are still looking for a reserve team of members who would be capable of taking over the duties of certain present Officers of the Council, when the time comes for them to pass on their duties.

We have identified two of the offices that could suffer most, from an hiatus due to a retirement. These are Secretary and Treasurer. With this in mind, we are trying to prepare for all eventualities, by:-

(a) Keeping a set of (up-to-date) ‘Backup Data’ for each of the jobs.

(b) Inviting volunteers from the membership who would be prepared (at this time) to acclimatise themselves as to how the duties of a retiring officer are performed and how the data is organised. This, of course, is with a view to taking over the duties when a retirement occurs.  Thus, we are inviting interested members to contact our Chairman, by clicking on Chairman for further details. 

For an interesting snippet from an early Esmeduna, click on Here

Any members who fancy themselves as budding Sherlock Holmes should click on this Facebook link :-


where they can try to solve the latest in the “Guess the Year” Puzzle , They are not easy but then again, they are not too hard. Have a go and see.

  To LISTEN TO a 'Snippet' about T.P.Gleave, Click on Guinea-Pigs

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The Association was formed in 1909, following the transfer of the Shaw Street Schools from the Liverpool Collegiate Institution to the Liverpool City Council, and it maintained a strong connection with the Liverpool Collegiate School up to the time of the School's closure in 1985. Since then the Association has kept a watching brief on the future use of the Shaw Street building, which is Grade II listed. The building has been converted now for residential use, containing some 90 very tasteful apartments. We hold a service on Remembrance Day, the 11th November each year, in the Entrance Hall of the Building. (Click on"Memories", for details).

COBA  Facebook

The Collegiate Old Boys Association now have an official Group on the social media site Facebook. You can visit the Group page by clicking this link:-


The Group page is relatively new and we hope to generate more interest by posting regular articles and news about the school and the activities of COBA. It is also meant as a platform for discussion.  Feel free to either contribute or just browse.

N.B. - When you use the above link, you will be requested to sign in, using your Facebook Password or to join Facebook - This is a requisite, in order to access the entries.

If you want to join the Facebook Group you need to have a Facebook account. You can get a Facebook account (at no cost) by clicking on:-


We look forward to meeting you there.

Death of Brian Wilkinson

Dear all

Sadly, Brian Wilkinson (an ex-pupil of the Collegiate) died of cancer shortly before Xmas

He loved the school (which he attended from 1947 to 1953) and often shared his fond memories with his family

I am writing a biography about him and would like more information regarding his time at the school

If any of your members have any information or memories of Brian, would you please let me know

Please forward any comments or help to:


Thank you

Rob Probin - son in law

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N.B.  We have been getting reports that some of our members have not had any luck, when using the above (email) links.  We are aware that the successful members seem to be the ones who use "Outlook".  It is possible, that the unsuccessful ones may be using "Gmail" or "Thunderbird"  etc.  If some problems do seem evident, you might try using your usual email procedure and an address of :-


In response to requests from members (particularly overseas Cobs):-

to view the Shaw Street Apartments click on Flats

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A Cri de Coeur.

It has been pointed out to us, that what we need (on our site) are some definitive articles about periods in our history, that are often referred to,  but exact details are not commonly known.   Accordingly, we would like to put together a page covering exactly what did happen, at any one of these times

What we need, is data, from our readers including, of course, photographs (Preferably scanned at 300 ppi and be in JPEG form with accompanying text).  Any of our readers, who have memories of such incidents can contact us by clicking on HERE

Such topics, might include :--

Bangor - The school was evacuated to Bangor - Where? (exactly) - When? (exactly) - For how long? - Did ALL the school go? - Which members of the staff went? - Did "The Prep" go? - Was the Shaw St. building closed down? - What Sport was available?

The Fire - What we need, is a definitive article about the disastrous fire that caused closure of the school.  We do have quite a few photos of the damage that was done - but no description of the events. We don't expect - "I was sitting there reciting some Latin, when I felt a blast of hot air rising up the back of my chair ......." - What were people doing when it occurred? - What did people say, to each other? - Did anyone rush down to see the flames? - Or next day to see the ruins? - Did you go inside? - Did you see any souvenir hunters, picking through debris?

Colomendy - (Sometimes referred to as 'Colomenditz') - Many Liverpool schools used this 'Outdoor Centre' - Contributions from Non-COBs would be considered (to stimulate memories )

School Camps (and CCF Camps) Where? - When? - How long? - Who went? - Which staff went? ETC.    ETC.    ETC.    ETC.    ETC.    ETC.    ETC.    ETC.    ETC.    ETC.    ETC.    ETC.