St Philomena_Naylor_106

In the 1940s, after the war, large numbers of people were relocated from bomb-damaged inner city areas (Vauxhall Rd and Scotland Rd) to the newly built Sparrow Hall estate in Fazakerley. This was the site of the first multi-storey block of flats in Liverpool - Coronation Court. Although the majority of residents were catholics, there was no suitable school for the children. The parish priest of St Philomena’s, Father McLOUGHLIN, arranged to rent the local Board School from the Council. Pupils had to bring in a penny a week for rent. The school was for children of all ages, but grew very rapidly. Children cultivated the land on which the school was built to grow vegetables to supplement rations; these were sold to parishioners.

Eventually, separate infant and junior schools were built, headed by Minnie DOHERTY and Joe DONNELLY respectively. The photo is of Fred NAYLOR, my grandfather, Headteacher until the 1960s.

The secondary school closed in the 1983 Catholic Reorganisation, the boys going to De La Salle and the girls to St John Bosco, The Head at the time, Mr J DAYBELL, joined the staff at De La Salle. There is still a Primary School on the site.


Photographing schools in the holidays - lots of shutters! This really is a lovely school. My mother also taught here, in the Infants’ Department, in the late 1950s. My first school placement - before I was even born!

John HUTCHINSON remembers Fred NAYLOR. He wrote to me:

I recall your Grandfather owning an old black Morris 1000. I also well recall the the time he asked me on my way home to Hursley Road to act as a sort of 'look out' for him  as he tried to drive in the thick fog up long Long Lane - with me inside and the passenger open we drove along Long Lane. I recall saying  "LEFT MR NAYLOR ER ER NO RIGHT MR NAYLOR , SORRY RIGHT AGAIN MR NAYLOR ".
He mounted the pavement several times,  almost hitting a group of girls from Queen Mary High School - they were posh and we lads from the school did not like them. Come winter,  they were often the target of our snow balls and verbal abuse etc.
I concluded my help by waving him across Stopgate Lane and he then followed a 61 Bus towards the Black Bull in the thickest fog you had ever seen.
The following day, Mr HART,  Mr McEVOY and Miss REID told John that Mr NAYLOR was not very happy with me. Mr SINNOT suggested I take an holiday or keep my head down for the next six months, which I did.

John went on to serve in the police force, and now lives in Cheshire. He has also told me much about life on the Sparrow Hall estate.

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