Jil HOLMES contacted me. He found that Mr NAYLOR (Bill NAYLOR) was my uncle. Jim writes:
ALL HALLOWS S.M. BOYS SCHOOL, Speke, Liverpool 24.
I left school in 1970 when Mr. ROBERTS was the Headmaster and Mr OAKLEY the Deputy Head. Mr. NAYLOR was the woodwork teacher (we found this 'funny' that a woodwork teacher should have the name of Nailor! but he had a great philosophy to life.)
I have often wondered what became of all these old teachers. One was an art teacher whose name was.....Mr. ART! I think he was a gifted oil painter and some of his pictures may have hung in our school corridors. If they were his - and it was accepted that they were - then what he was doing teaching us lot I don't know!!
I think all of the teachers were strict in those long gone days but they were mostly fair to us.
Mr NAYLOR once told the class (Woodwork room, work tidied up,moments before class left) that we should 'Never carry a chip on your shoulder, boys' (lads?) and proceeded to tell us of how he had built his own boat...and that vandals had come along one night and set fire to it. All gone.....but no 'chip on shoulder'.....he simply started again. Now whether that was just a story to steer us by or total truth, I do not know......but never forgotten and one of those 'yardsticks' that we try to remember when all around us has lost its sanity.
There was a Mr. McCABE (not sure about spelling) who took the Geography class and was hard of hearing and also had a wooden leg from the war. You could hear him coming down the corridor long before you could see him. Strict, yes....but a kindly man whose heart knew the poor people and our weaknesses. My mum (our mam, in those days!) met him at the local shops and he told her how one of the schoolboys of the school had been killed while in Liverpool town on a night out in the city. A fight or something. Anyway, he knew that all the school would attend the Mass if only we knew of what had happened He had a high respect for 'us' but I can't think why. It was the holidays and no school announcements. I didn't want to go; it wasn't at our church.....wouldn't know where to sit......who to sit with......but mum kept tugging at my heart - as mums of old once did -......'Go on.....you might be the only one there.....his poor mum" Well I went and it was so 'Truth laden' that I have always remembered it. I think God was there too, I am sure that I could feel him there. He was probably not far from Mr. McCABE.
There was a Mr. McCORMACK (spellings?), English Teacher, and Mr. LEONARD, English Teacher.
Mr. KELLY, Mathematics Teacher. I can hear him now....'The trouble with you lot is......that you don't know your tables!!.........now, what are they!!!!
The Pottery Teacher was a Mr. REED, I think. I am sure his accent was from Cornwall...possibly.
The Deputy Head was Mr. OAKLEY. He was the real Headmaster, really. We were all frightened of him......the whole school.......but TOTALLY FAIR........When he was out of the room (Maths) there was the usual messing about from the boys.....noise......commotion......and someone would be keeping an eye out for him returning......when he did return it was to a silent class..........and then he would call out EXACTLY the names of all those who had been troublesome........all were caned! I would sit with my work because I had great respect for someone who knew us so well.....that even when he was absent.....he was there or as good as! He was a Sergeant in the Army and took the boys for boxing. He was square framed and solid. A square jaw....and solid......smoked a pipe and you could smell the sweet aroma along the corridors......pipe tobacco 'Condor' flake in a brown oblong packet!
All this and I was never in school much! My school reports say 'Conduct Excellent'....and.....'If only he were in school more often'.....!