Welcome to the Official COBA Website

This Site was updated on the 13th of April, 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 :-

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

or Staff Memoriesr or Founders Day or Dinner or T I E S

For letters about Maurice Derbyshire's Death, see the STOP PRESS

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


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.

S T O P     P R E S S   (13/4/2019)


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

To see a report on another SCHOOL PLAY, please click on HERE

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

Old Boy, Ray Threadgold

Fellow Old Boy, Ray Threadgold, sadly passed away on the 6th February 2019.
Ray had been an insulin dependent diabetic since the age of 25 but recently he encountered a number of health issues. He was a keen golfer and a long time member of West Derby Golf Club and COBA Golf society. In fact he had served as the Captain of the Association and he was also a regular attender at our Annual Dinners.
His normal routine was to attend the Golf club on Monday, Wednesday and Friday each week and join his group for 11am. Having changed and ready for a start he became unwell and officials of the Club were alerted to provide first aid assistance. Despite their best efforts they were unable to revive him.
The funeral took place at Allerton Crematorium on 19th February and was well
attended by more than 120 of his friends and relatives. Ray is survived by his wife, Pat and son Lawrence and Bernice his daughter. Both paid tribute to their father in their address.
Ray was a Public Health Inspector at Liverpool City Council and had an intimate knowledge of the restaurants in the City.
In addition to his interest in Golf he was also a passionate supporter of Liverpool FC seeing most of their games on television. Ray will be sadly missed.


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.


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


Bill McQueen 30.12.30 - 01.05.18

My dad was born in Liverpool in 1930, one of three children, to Florence and Matt McQueen. He spent the first two years of his life in hospital with TB, which resulted in him having severe respiratory problems but this didn't stop him being a keen sportsman enjoying cricket as well as football.

Despite living down South for almost 50 years he held on to his Northern roots and his accent, a lifelong red. If we could have snapped him in half he would have had the words scouse git running through him from head to toe like a stick of rock. And he was proud to be a scouse git!

He worked as a company accountant but he was very involved with local football leagues. My brother played for his school team and local pub teams and my dad was always on the sidelines. He also loved watching my son play (despite him being an Arsenal supporter!)

I remember him taking me to Anfield for the first time. I really wanted to stand on the Kop but I had a fractured ankle so he got us seats just on the edge of it. I loved it! I think he was a bit embarrassed as I sang about Sammy Lee being fat and round and asking Brucie to give us a wave. We won 3-0 so my cheering must have helped.

Sadly in the last few years my mum suffered with Parkinson's disease and despite his own poor health my dad did all he could to look after her. He was determined to outlive her which against the odds he did. He passed away ten weeks after my mum and we gave him a Liverpool themed send off which I'm sure he would have appreciated.

He'll definitely still be watching his beloved Liverpool from his vantage point in the sky and coaching them through every game!

Alison Reynolds.

Dear Alison,

I was at a Collegiate Old Boys' Association Council meeting on 19th September and advised the other members of recent deaths including your

Our Vice Chairman and Chairman of Collegiate Old Boys Football Club Lionel Ross knew your Dad and his brother Doug well and was sad to hear he had died. Is Doug still alive?

I am intending to write a piece on the McQueen family for our annual newsletter next year, although it can also go on our web site

I am now a tour guide in Liverpool and I am a guide on tour buses we take from Albert Dock to Liverpool Football Club. I am particularly interested in the career of your grandfather Matt McQueen, but our members will be more interested to know about your father and uncle.

Please put a tribute together regarding Bill and let me know as much as you can regarding all
three of them.

Yours sincerely,

David Williams
Hon. Secretary


Tommy Farrell's New Book, - "Evacuee's Return"

Dear Webby'

My new book, "Evacuee's Return" has just been published.

This book is a sequel to my previous book - "Tim Oliver (aka Tommy Farrell) evacuee"

It's a memoir (somewhat fictionalised) following my struggles back in Liverpool, briefly at Dovedale Road School, then the Collegiate, in the shadow of my father who had been a star pupil, (1914-21)... free-wheeling at The Prep... then hitting the buffers at the Big School... vaguely dysfunctional... at odds with most of the staff, head-to-head with Ma Hill and Doc Wallace, and falling foul of Ken Crofts the gentle VP... leaving with a heavy heart.

Some success at football, no success elsewhere, until finally turning things around with a surprising moment of truth (denouement?) at Latin, of all things. This is all set against the backgrounds of the last four years of the war, as perceived by a school boy and friends.

It is dedicated to those teachers who didn't give up on me.'
It's available from Amazon; but cheaper from me, signed if required - £10 hard back, £8 soft back, both plus £2 p & p. at :-

- - - - - - tomfarrell@uwclub.net

(N.B. - My previous book "Tim Oliver, Evacuee", also available, same prices and p and p)


Tom :-)


Gents here is a note we have received from former Head Boy, John Lea, who kept goal for the School first eleven. In fact, it appears to be part of a correspondence that he seems to have been having with another Old Boy. Here is his text :-

56_FootieI must first of all thank you for sending the 1st XI picture. I have looked for it for years, and was delighted to see it. The success is something that seemed not to be recognised. I am so grateful for the photo, and grateful too that you should think of me. Merci bien, Monsieur, merci mille fois.

You have asked me to provide detail. Here goes.

That 1st X1 won the Shield in a season when it did not lose a single match. The last game I played in, was against Manchester Grammar School, and we beat them (for the first time ever?) 5-2 at Holly Lodge. As every year, we played an Old Boys'scratch X1 between Christmas and New Year, a match usually lost, but we won that year (according to the photo 1956). COBA asked for a return match, for which it turned out its full first XI, and we beat that too.

The final was against Alsop. It was played at Goodison Park. Much against expectation it ended in a 1-1 draw. We scored early on, but that was overturned by a Brian Labone own goal later. His attempt to clear an attack into touch, struck the knee of the Alsop centre forward and ricocheted past me like a bullet. The replay was at Fazackerley (I don't recall where precisely). We won 3-1, having been 0-1 down. Jones (forename forgotten), the Holly Lodge groundsman and our self-appointed trainer, played hell with me for not staying on my line and advancing to narrow the angle. I thought at the time he was wrong, and I have not changed my mind since.

Interestingly there are 13 players shown on the photo, the squad we would call it today. I recognise the faces of some but not the names, the rest I remember names and faces. I do recall that Dean played on the right wing, and was susceptible to injury. Hence the need for at least one substitute periodically. Presumably that means some of the others were substitutes too, who will have played frequently if not regularly.

I am puzzled by the absence of one player, whom you know well. Tom Lacey was in the team, perhaps, now it seems, the year before. Nevertheless, he is someone who stands out in my mind as one of the most dependable members of the team I played with. I am sure he could correct all my mis-memories for you.

One thing I do remember well - Square Ball! Our mascot, which I kept in goal was a table tennis ball, purloined from the Prefects'Room, heated and reshaped square. It materialised, because often when attacking, someone would yell for a Square Ball, to change the line of play and turn the defence onto itself. Square Ball became our motto and mascot.

G.R. Edwards, Master O I/C soccer 1st XI, I have always remembered. He taught Spanish. A mild mannered man, he was kindness personified to me. I played in a yellow polo necked sweater, and at that time could not afford another. He had a part in getting me into the City Grammar School's team, and the County Team, for which matches, he provided me with a navy blue sweater, I have always assumed one of his navy service kit. Incidentally, the City Team played return matches against Cologne. I recall there were enough Collegiate players in the City Team for the Prefect Room to be festooned with stolen (tutt tutt) trophies.

On the subject of kit, the photo shows our strip as white, but I recall it as deep blue and light blue in halves, but as in all things, I may be wrong.

You have asked about someone called Gerard, whom your correspondent says scored twice. I do not recognise the name at all. I am wondering if there is some confusion over the Under 15s Junior XI, which won the City Shield at Anfield about the same time. I recall leading with the Prefects the chanting and cheering during the match. If so Gerard is likely to have played in the 1st XI after I left, because 1957 was my last year, before National Service that October.

Hope this helps, and you get to see it. If you need anything more, let me know



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Hi John,

Thank you very much, for this iteresting contribution. Your memory is terrific, for your age. I suppose, there will be members who fancy that their memory is superior to yours :-) and will write in to correct you {rightly, or wrongly ;-) } - I wonder if Li Ross has a point to make, here ?

I am poking my nose in here, to stress (once again) the value of sending in images in emails, with an emphasis on clarity, by SENDING THEM IN AS JPEG ATTACHMENTS :-)

The example above, was just a picture in the middle of an email text. It is worth looking at; but I feel that there may be some 'tired-old-eyes' (like mine) that find the team names a bit difficult to see.

Cheers, to all our Members - Webby


Collegiate Teachers - 1976

Teachers_76 Dear Webby,

Here is a photo of Collegiate teachers in 1976. This includes Manning Fox, can you spot him? This photo has kindly been provided by former staff member Rob Blaney. It was taken by a teacher, Brian Fitton, who has since died. I have relied on former teachers and former master, John Grimbaldeston, to provide the identities of the staff.

I only know a couple of the teachers as it was taken after my time. I would suggest that it is printed on the "Gallery" Page of the site, to allow for more screen space to be available for this (rather large) picture. THIS WILL ALLOW MEMBERS TO COVER UP THE NAMES AND SEE HOW MANY OF THE STAFF THAT THEY CAN (STILL) NAME :-)

Incidentally, it appears that the the school changed from a Grammar to a High School in circa 1976.

Derek Corlett

N.B. To see the picture on the Gallery Page, click on Here

Richard James Peterson

Peterson)I attended the funeral yesterday of one of my oldest and dearest friends Richard James Paterson. We met at LCC and became firm friends during our time in those hallowed halls (1969-75). That friendship sadly came to an abrupt end on Friday 16th March, when Richard fell to his untimely death on the slopes of Sgurr na h-Ulaidh in the Glen Coe region of the Scottish Mountains. Piglet, as he once called himself, died with his boots on. Doing what he liked doing best. Dick and I shared the same passion for the great outdoors and the same sense of humour. Caving, Climbing, Cycling, Mountaineering and laughing together for nearly 50 years. We'd often reminisce about our school days and it's abundantly clear we never grew up. He unfortunately never will. Both 60 on the outside, but still 15 on the inside. It was a huge privilege to have known him, and to be regarded as one of his many close friends. My family, our friends and I will miss him beyond words. One less /I\ on today's register. It's all olo's from here on in Paterson me old mate.

John Paul Caton



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.



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

  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) :-)
St. Joan

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


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


To the TOP


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.

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.