B.I. EARLY HISTORY
Welcome to this special site which covers early history of Birkenhead Institute, in Whetstone Lane, Wirral. The site is named after The Whetstonian, the first school magazine for the Junior School of Birkenhead Institute, which was introduced in the 1920s. This magazine existed prior to The Visor, which was introduced as the main school publication in 1929, and covered the whole school. There are, however, two spellings of the magazine in the The Visor, including "Whetstonian" and "Whetsonian", but the original magazine is called The Whetstonian, and a copy can be seen below from 1928.
Here is part of the original magazine, which uses the former spelling, which was only the 4th Whetstonian magazine published, and this is from Summer, 1928:-
In the "Early Images" page, I have included some innteresting photographs of the playground and the classrooms from the early days of the school. I have also included some pages from the 1908/1909 Birkenhead Institute School Prospectus, which provide some fascinating facts about the school fees, its Governors, school rules, and homework requirements.
Above is shown the proposed Birkenhead Institute building, with the old property "Brooklands", which used to stand on the site. The drawing was made in 1886, three years before the school opened in 1889.
I have also included some images on the 1939 Visor page from a special year in B..I history, the year when the Second World War began. The front cover of The Visor at this time had a buff colour, as opposed to the characteristic red colour which was used for most of its life. I would like to thank Paul Alexander Mclean, former pupil, for providing this complete 1939 Visor copy, which provides an excellent reflection of pre-war life at the Birkenhead Institute.
I would like also to thank James H. Stewart, former pupil, for providing some excellent snapshots of the B.I. staff from the 1930s and 1940s, which really do give an insight into the staff and their life at the school at that time. These memories are shown in the Staff Memories page, and many thanks again to James for taking the time to write, compile, and send these in to the site.
ABOVE : First XV, 1950/1951, with Mr Webb on the left
On the 1908 - 1914 page, I have included some interesting information about the Birkenhead Institute in the years leading up to the First World War. This includes details about staff and pupils at the school during this period. More information will be added to this page shortly.
Former B.I. pupil Dean Johnson and Wirral musician has also sent in some interesting items about his tribute to Wilfred Owen, which can be seen on the Wilfred Owen page. Wilfred Owen is one of the school's most famous pupils, who wrote many poems about the futility of war, and Wilfred was a pupil of Birkenhead Institute in its early days.
I have also included some fascinating items kindly sent in by the family of former B.I. pupil Glyn Norman Richards, which can be seen on the "Early Images" page. Glyn was a pupil at the school in the 1920s, and below is a copy of the award of a book for a Form Prize, which he received on March 8th, 1926 when Mr J. Smallpage was Headmaster:-
Please also see below the links to the other parts of my Birkenhead Institute history and heritage sites, which I hope you will find of interest. The site email address is also shown below if you would like to send in your memories of the school, or any general comments about the site.
There are also two FLICKR sites which I have set up, where I have added many of the Birkenhead Institute photographs from my B.I. History and Heritage site. The photographs can be seen via the following links:-
ABOVE: Late 1950s Birkenhead Institute Staff
2014 marks 125 years since the Birkenhead Institute opened in 1889, and this web site looks at some of the important history of the school in its early years.
I hope to add more photographs and information about the early days of Birkenhead Institute shortly. Please keep looking for further additions, and thank you for visiting this site.
(Birkenhead Institute Pupil 1960 - 1967)
EMAIL ADDRESS FOR THE SITE:-
LINKS TO OTHER SITES:-
SPIRIT OF BIRKENHEAD INSTITUTE WEB SITE :
BIRKENHEAD INSTITUTE VISOR WEB SITE:
BIRKENHEAD INSTITUTE PUPILS' WEB SITES:
WILLIAM SANG CONNACHER, WEB SITE:
Above are two pictures at different angles, showing the front of the Whetstone Lane school.
Mr William Sang Connacher, the first Headmaster of Birkenhead Institute, 1889 - 1904 :
I would like to thank everyone who has helped to create this site with donations of pictures, articles, and memories of their time at Birkenhead Institute. A special thanks goes to former B.I. pupil and Wirral musician Dean Johnson, for allowing me to use many of his pictures and articles about B.I pupil and war poet Wilfred Owen.
BELOW: FORMER HEADMASTER MR J. SMALLPAGE
DEDICATION : THOMAS PRICE
This special Whetstonian Birkenhead Institute web site is dedicated to my Grandfather, Sergeant Thomas Price, MM, who was awarded several distinguished medals for his bravery during World War One, including the Military Medal for his conspicuous gallantry during the 1914 - 1918 World War :-