Spirit of Birkenhead Institute

HISTORY: 1908 - 1914


The changes necessitated by the adoption of the School by Birkenhead Education Committee did not materialise until 1909. Mr Galloway's premises in Clifton Road had not been included in the sale of the Whetstone Lane Buildings, and the Junior School was accordingly moved to Mr Smallpage's house, where it stayed until April, 1912.

The school was soon to be increaased by the scholarship boys to the number of some 40 boys per year, and an extension to the premises was inevitable. Meanwhile, the School became a pupil teacher centre, and the Sixth Form suddenly doubled itself in numbers, weight, and importance. The football team welcomed new blood, and in March, 1909, the School won the coveted Senior Shield presented by the Everton F.C. for competition among the secondary schools of Liverpool and District. The final match against Liverpool Collegiate at Goodison Park will be remembered for the wonderful runs of H.C. Mann on the left wing, the great display of Tom McNaught at centre-half, and the great defence of F.N. Pyke at right-half. The school were never again successful in winning the shield, although the final was reached on more than one occasion.

The Staff in September, 1908, consisted of Messrs. Galloway, (Second Master), Bennett, Wood, Watts, Hilton, Harris, Fisher, (Who came from the Higher Elementary School to take History, English, and Latin with the Pupil Teachers), McPhie, (Chemistry), Clague, Lewis, (Woodwork), and Pratt, (French), with Miss Farrell in charge of the Kindergarten. Mr McPhie's place was taken in September, 1909, by Mr G.W. Hamilton, who stayed until the outbreak of the war, when he joined the R.A.M.C.. He left in 1919 to take up the post of Maths Master at Ormskirk Grammar School. Mr Pratt stayed for one year only, being succeeded by Mr S.F. Bray.

Of the boys who were in the Sixth Form in 1909, space permits mention of a few only.