Welcome to the Official COBA Website

This Site was updated on the 21st of November, 2019

This Association was formed in 1909, following the transfer of the Shaw Street Schools to the Liverpool City Council, and it maintained a strong connection with the "Liverpool College 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).

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 Founders Day or Dinner or T I E S

Of course, for the very latest, check out the "STOP PRESS", below.

S T O P     P R E S S   (22/10/2019)


F O U N D E R S' - D A Y

This year, we were very badly missing the hard work of Richard Thwaite; who died earlier this year. Thus, we do not have a report covering every aspect of these proceedings with an extremely detailled listing of all aspects of the music that was played. To make up for this (very slightly) there is a printout of the pages of the the programme, below:-

Please note - Any member who would like a better copy of these pages, should contact the Webmaster.


We are pleased to bring to your attention to the following information:-

Former School Captain , JOHN LEA , has today announced the launch of his 8th novel.
John is now resident in France but is still passionate in all things "Collegiate".

His latest book, which was published on the 19th June, is now available on Amazon Kindle:-

The Title is "Miendrac People (7) - Ernest Gayrard And La Libération"

(A life in the French Midi)

By John Lea.


Ernest Gayrard is without pretension. Having worked on his family’s vineyard for forty years, he thinks of himself as no different from the hundreds
of other independent vignerons in Languedoc. Like them, through long hours of physical labour, subject to the vagaries of weather and nature,
he has learned the wisdom of being stoic and taciturn. But Ernest is different. Being dependable, he has been appointed Deputy Mayor, with responsibility
for welfare in his village; thoughtful by nature, he enjoys the company of his special friend, the village baker, a committed socialist and republican;
and he speaks German well, having worked on a Saxon farm while a prisoner of war from 1914-1918. This in 1942, when Hitler’s army had defeated and
occupied France two years earlier. The occupation intensifying and turning brutal, Ernest persists in his attempts to alleviate its consequences, his
character being increasingly tested as he and those near to him are exposed more and more to cruelty and terror, and he finds he has allowed himself,
despite his accumulating fear, to be drawn into the plans of those preparing to confront the brutal enemy.


David Williams

Dear Webmaster,

I’m writing yet again, to inform you all of the untimely demise of yet another Collegiate Old Boy.

David Williams, possibly better known as 'Skull' or 'Daffy (Duck)' to those who knew him, (due to his unerring good looks) died yesterday (22/08/19).

He was my age. with his School Years between 1969 and 1974 or 5. I didn’t really know him too well, or move in his circles, but we became FB friends following what is now becoming an all too familiar path, as I announced the death of our mutual friend 'Richard (Piglet) Paterson', another COB 18 months ago. I remember David as a devotee of ELP and YES. Long haired and way too cool for me to knock around with. I think he hailed from West Derby and spent his years in the C stream. He went on to work in retail I gather. I remember Pig seeing him in Comet on Edge Lane prior to its closure. We said we’d call in but it never happened. Dave was married and had a daughter (Sarah) that I know of and grandchildren. Looking at recent photos of him it would appear his health was deteriorating and he was unable to walk unaided. I’ve no idea how or why he died. But, like all Collegiate Boys, it’s just a pity he has done.
RIP Dave.

John Paul Caton.


Hi John

Sorry to hear your news - I'm sure that you would want to go to the funeral - For the sake of other members, who would also want to attend, we would be interested to know the time and date. If you are informed of this information, we would appreciate the chance to print it out as an addendum to this

Regards - Webmaster


Colin Glyde Noble

Our Secretary receives quite a few letters of this nature (see below). As usual, he has replied to Rosemary, suggesting that she contacts The Liverpool Record Office.

From: Rosemary Critchley [mailto:bigcritch@blueyonder.co.uk]
Subject: Colin Glyde Noble 21.11.1932 - 20.07.2009 Attended the Collegiate 1944 - 1949

Hi there - as you can see, I am not trying to join the old boys’ network - but I wondered whether you could point me in the right direction ….

My name is Rosemary Critchley - I am 72 years old and - like many another granny - compiling family details to pass down to future generations.

Colin was my uncle. I remember him very clearly - he was always very kind to me as I was growing up. My mum, his older sister, was 11 when Colin arrived and the two were very close. Colin always felt that my mum had brought him up more than his own mum because he then had two younger sisters who kept my nan very busy. Despite their difference in age - and indeed upbringing - my mum and Colin were always close so I always remember him with affection.

He joined the Royal Navy at 17, lying about his age to enlist.

However, being human, Colin did several things in his life which were not especially admirable. We are in many ways a very colourful family!

Colin Noble married young, had two sons - and deserted his family to remarry - had another son and adopted son and daughter - and deserted this family too to finally remarry in the States where he eventually died. Throughout all that time he kept in touch with my mum - but not his children.

Now I am very much in touch with his sons, grandchildren and great grandchildren - who call me Granny Rose as do my own grandchildren - they know the basic facts of his life - and I am trying to show them the whole picture - if such a thing is possible ...

It is only this week that I discovered he had attended the Collegiate and I wondered if it was possible that he could have been mentioned in Collegiate history at all - are there any registers, records - exams - school photos - oh, anything. When he started school my mum was nursing as a VAD in Singapore so she never knew anything about his actual school days. I can’t give my cousins the father they should have had. I can’t change the past. But I would love a chance to ‘put the record straight’ for them all.

Sorry to bother you - if there isn’t anything - fine - but for their sakes - I had to ask.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

GOOD LUCK!, Rosemary.
There is a chance that one of our members may have been in the same class as Colin and has some memory that you might appreciate.
.Webmaster :-)

(COBA Ties

As you can guess, from our title, we have finally got COBA Ties in stock. You'll be pleased to know that we managed to beat down their price to only £12 each (Including Postage). Of course, this means that you can all FLAUNT your nice new tie and be the envy of ALL your friends.

All it takes is an email to <ron@liverpool-collegiate.org.uk> and 'all will be revealed', including the fact that you can pay by Pay Pal.

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. 

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.

To the TOP

For an opportunity to spot old CCFschoolmates, and tell us about them, click on "STAFF TALES" and look under "S"

For an item about Bryan Short , click on Index and then click on "STAFF TALES" and look under "S"


Maurice Derbyshire

The funeral was held on Monday 3rd December

Hi Olivia,

There should be no problems with making documents available to you. The holiday season may be having a negative affect on the members who do have documents. It may well be, that we do not get much response until we are into the new year.

Whatever does happen, I promise to keep you in touch with the end results.



Hi Webby,

I hope this email reaches you well. My name is Olivia Gower, I'm granddaughter to Maurice Derbyshire, who was a physics teacher and Head of Science at the Collegiate. His dementia had claimed any lasting memory he had of his career in the collegiate - the only memories he had clung onto for the last few years since the onset of his dementia. The reason I am contacting you today is to, firstly, ask permission to access the staff photo of the School Masters in 1976. This is to hopefully show to him, or at the very least give as a gift to my grandmother (Patricia), and mother (Jacquelyn). Secondly, if permission was to be granted, I'd massively appreciate the original scanned file from whoever had the physical copy so I can print at the best possible quality. Lastly, I'd like to thank you for the work you have all put in to keep the memories of the collegiate alive with your association, it's been a massive comfort reading through some of the memories. My personal favourite was the one where a pupil caught a glimpse of his teaching notes! Any more stories would be massively appreciated too, if possible.

I await your response.

Kind regards, Olivia

Hi Olivia,
It appears that the source of the photo was Rob Blaney. We had hoped that you may have been able to make contact with Mr Blaney. Wedon't have an address for him, at the moment, but are making enquiries in the hopes of obtaining it.

However, We do have a policy of not providing people with an address such as this, willy nilly. But, we would be prepared to send your email address to any corespondent - WITH YOUR PERMISSION - if we find one.

It seems that Mr Blaney was a TEACHER at the school FOR ONE YEAR. Though he does not seem to be a member nowadays, he did play football for the SCHOOL OLD BOYS 5th ELEVEN

Regards - Webby,

Hi Webby,

I apologise for my late response, I regret to inform you that my granddad sadly passed away on Monday morning. It would be massively appreciated if you could contact Mr Blaney for me in any hope that he has access to the picture. Also, please pass my thanks on to Gwyn for hhi best wishes. With regards to my granddad's funeral, it will be held on Monday 3rd December at 10:45 at Burscough Crematorium, with the wake being held at the "Bull and Dog" pub in Burscough afterward, likely around 12. If anyone in the association would like to join us in remembering him, it would be massively appreciated, we know how important the Collegiate was to him and still is to all of you. Hope to see some of you there.

Kind Regards and Many Thanks, Olivia


Hi Webby,

Just a quick email (a few weeks on - it's been hectic, as you can imagine) to say thank you again for your kind words and for sharing the sad news of my Granddad's passing. My Grandmother, Patricia, would also like to extend her greatest appreciation for everyone's kindness, especially those who attended the funeral. She would also like to thank someone by name, who she remembers to be called 'Mr Collet' (forgive me if this is incorrect, I'm sure you know who you are) for getting in touch with her. One of the things that touched us the most at the service is that when we played the CD of the old boys singing the collegiate anthem, we could hear many people singing along at the back - it was a great comfort to us.

Hoping you are all well.

Kindest regards,

Olivia Gower and family.

Hi Olivia - I'm sure that our Mr. CORLETT will forgive your spelling of his name - I am sure that your letter will be mentioned at our meeting, next month. I am afraid that your plea for data (see below) about your Grandda's career, has not produced any correspondence that has croosed my desk. The omens do not look too healthy.
N.B. - If you have a (spare) email address, that you don't mind risking getting some strange mail (shall we say), then we could publish it on this Site, allowing Members to contact you that way.

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


Or, try :-


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


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.

(7/4/2019) A letter about a Member

Mary Woolley wrote:-

Dear Sir,

I’m trying to find out anything about my father Kenneth Walter Wadsworth who I believe was a pupil during the 1930s and especially if he went on any of the school trips to Belgium and Germany in the mid 1930s. I have found photographs of him in Belgium and Germany with a large group of people. He was the son of Walter Wadsworth who was the Captain of Liverpool FC and led the team to become league champions in 1922 and 1923. Ken later went on to join the 2nd Parachute Regiment and was one of the men who fought with John Frost on the bridge at Arnhem.
There is also a chance that my great grandfather John W Marshall either worked at, or was, a pupil at Liverpool Collegiate.
I live near Stratford on Avon and wonder if I will need to visit the Records Office in Liverpool to continue my research. I would welcome any advice or information that you could pass on.
Yours sincerely - Mary Woolley (nee Wadsworth)

Hi Ms. Woolley
I see that your letter is worded "There is also a chance that.............................................
I suppose that the reason that it was printed, was that my family were all fans of LFC at that time; and the name WALTER WADSWORTH was often mentioned to me, a young child. As I remember, He was known as "BIG WADDIE" with a kid brother known as "LITTLE WADDIE" or "OUR KID"

Good luck with your quest - WEBBIE

To see a report on another School Play, please click on HERE

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


A letter from Sir Iain Hall - C.E.O. Great Schools Trust

To David Williams, COBA Secretary

Dear David, I have always been reticent about joining COBA as, although I attended the school from 1954-62, I was also the headteacher of Breckfield Comprehensive and took over the school when it amalgamated after the fire and, as such, was held responsible (incorrectly – it was a City Council decision) by some of the school governors at the time for its demise.

I have spent some time on the COBA site tonight and was sad to read of the deaths of Maurice Derbyshire who both taught me physics and became my Head of Science at Breckfield and Brian Fitton who also joined the staff of Breckfield. Both were excellent teachers and valued colleagues.

At the age of 76 I am still deeply involved in the profession and now am CEO of a small local trust of schools. I take pride attending their award ceremonies each year and reminding the pupils of how they should treasure school life and usually end by reciting the first verse of Paean Esmedunensis to their mild amusement as a measure of how a good school can live long in your memory.

Thank you for a great evening of long lost memories

Best wishes

Sir Iain

Sir Iain Hall - C.E.O. Great Schools Trust


COIRLETTS PALSOur 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


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

President - Vice President - Newsletter - Membership - COBA Ties

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

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 :-


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.