Welcome to the Official COBA Website
This Site was updated on the 15th of August, 2019
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 :-
Of course, for the very latest, check out the "STOP
IT'S THAT TIME AGAIN :-
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
From: Rosemary Critchley [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
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 cant give my cousins the father they should have had. I cant change the past. But I would love a chance to put the record straight for them all.
Sorry to bother you - if there isnt anything - fine - but for their sakes - I had to ask.
GOOD LUCK!, Rosemary.
John Lea's New Book
John Lea, (a former School Captain) has today announced
the launch of his 8th novel
Below are details of my latest book, which was published on the 19th June, and is now available on Amazon Kindle. It is titled:-
"Miendrac People (7), Ernest Gayrard And La Libération"
A life in the French Midi
By John Lea
Here is a Summary of the book :-
Ernest Gayrard is without pretension. Having worked on his familys 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 Hitlers 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.
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 <email@example.com> and 'all will be revealed', including the fact that you can pay by Pay Pal.
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.
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).
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 onand then click on "STAFF TALES" and look under "S"
The funeral was held on Monday 3rd December
Whatever does happen, I promise to keep you in touch with the end results.
I WILL TAKE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO CANVASS ALL MEMBERS (AGAIN) TO BRING FORTH ANY DATA THAT THEY THINK MAY BE SUITABLE FOR OLIVIA. - THANK YOU!
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
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,
Kind Regards and Many Thanks, Olivia
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.
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.
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:-
Hi Ms. Woolley
Good luck with your quest - WEBBIE
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
Sir Iain Hall - C.E.O. Great Schools Trust
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.
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.
© Liverpool Collegiate Old Boys' Association (2018)