SPIRIT OF BIRKENHEAD INSTITUTE

Birkenhead Institute Grammar School, Wirral

B.I. MEMORABILIA

I have included some more B.I. memorabilia items below, and if you would like to send in more items, the email address is below, or alternatively leave a voice mail at the number shown below:-

biwirral@yahoo.co.uk

  VOICEMAIL NUMBER :     07522 554855     

I very much look forward to receiving your memories, recollections, thoughts and impressions of a very fine Grammar School: Birkenhead Institute. I hope to be able to add some more interesting items from former pupils and staff shortly.

BIRKENHEAD INSTITUTE CUFF-LINKS

THE B.I. STAFF, 1957/1958 ARE SHOWN ABOVE

 B.I. CRICKET TEAM, 1956,  IS SHOWN ABOVE;  ADVERTS BELOW:-

Above are some great local advertisements, taken from "The Visor", which show the prices and offers being made at the time! Please note especially the Dr. Teasdale Griffiths advertisement,  and the old Birkenhead telephone number BIRKENHEAD 1977.  There are also two great photographs of Mr Shaw in the basement music room, and a Prize award ceremony at Ingleborough Road playing fields.

I would also like to thank Mike Worthy for providing me with some excellent photographs from the BIOB Annual Dinners, which are included on the BIOB page. Similarly, very many thanks to Dean Johnson for the copy of THE ADVISOR below from 1965, which is a special edition dedicated to Wilfred Owen and the horrors of war.  I would also like to thank Gill Niblock for sending in some very special memorabilia, including the 1938/1939 B.I. Old Boys' Fixture List, (Shown above), along with some early copies of The Visor.  

Here is a link to the main Spirit of Birkenhead Institute Web Site:

http://birkenheadinstitute.webs.com/

I also see that many of the contributors from the 1965  Advisor issue, (Below), are fellow pupils of mine, when I was a B.I. pupil in the 1960s!

Very Many Thanks,

Philip Ronald-Price

B.I. PUPIL, 1960 - 1967

 

MR W. S. CONNACHER

 
MR WILLIAM SANG CONNACHER M.A. (Edin.), F.E.I.S.
 
Birkenhead Institute Grammar School was founded in 1888 in Whetstone Lane, Wirral by local business man George Atkin. He built the school on the site of a large house "Brooklands" which used to stand adjacent to where "Beechcroft" currently stands in Whetstone Lane. The choice for the first Headmaster of the school was unanimously Mr William Sang Connacher:  The post of Headmaster had been advertised in September, 1888, and 184 applicants showed interest in the position. A short list of 25 was then selected, and out of these, a final 4 were chosen to meet the Directors of Birkenhead Institute. Mr Connacher was chosen, and became the first Headmaster of the school on 31st October, 1888.
 
Mr Connacher was 35 when he came to Birkenhead, having been born in Perthshire in May, 1853. He was an ideal candidate for the post of Headmaster, and he had a strong personality and excellent character. He actually came from a relatively poor background, and during his time at Edinburgh University, he helped to maintain his finances by coaching other students, and after three years, he had successfully completed his M.A.
 
Prior to coming to Wirral, Mr Connacher began his career as an Assistant Master, and in 1877, he became Headmaster of Canvin's Institution at Duddleston, near Edinburgh, where he stayed until 1883. He then went abroad to work as Headmaster of St Andrew's School in Buenos Ayres, having been recommended for the post by Dr. Laurie, Professor of Education at Edinburgh. Mr Connacher was in this post until 1888, when he was offered and accepted the position of Headmaster at Birkenhead Institute.
 
Mr Connacher began immediately in his new post, and set about managing the new school, including organising new staff, and finalising the completion of the playground and gates, and furnishing of the school, in readiness for the school to be opened in January, 1889. Two Assistant Masters were also appointed, one for Classics, Mr J.V. Thompson, B.A., and one for Mathematics, Mr J.H. Crofts, B.A, as well as a Drawing Master, Mr J. Towers,  a Kindergarten Mistress, Miss Farrell, and a Janitor, Mr A. Johnston. It should be mentioned at this point that the school originally consisted of a Junior School as well as a Secondary School.  The Junior School building was situated in Whetstone Lane immediately to the right of the main Birkenhead Institute buildings.
 
The school duly opened in January, 1889, and thanks to Mr Connacher's excellent teaching and management skills, became one of the finest local schools. Mr Connacher remained in his position until his untimely death in 1902 from kidney failure, having been a key figure at Birkenhead Institute for 14 years.
His contribution to local education on Wirral in setting up Birkenhead Institute Grammar School is exceptional, and is a prime reason why the school continued to provide first class education for over 100 years, finally closing its gates in 1994.

FORMER B.I. PUPIL CHARLES TAYLOR

Former pupil Alan Jones has kindly given me a  sports medal which was his wife's uncle's medal.

Alan's wife had an uncle Charles Taylor, who was a B.I. pupil in the 1930s, and this medal was his award for his sporting achievements..  I shall shortly add a picture of the medal to this site, and wish to thank Alan and his wife Margaret for providing this excellent piece of memorabilia.

 

ADVISOR, JUNE 1965 COURTESY OF DEAN JOHNSON

Here is a special Wlfred Owen version of the ADVISOR from June 1965, which Dean Johnson has kindly provided.  My apologies if the pages are not in the right order, but I believe that it is possible to gain a flavour of the magazine, its excellent drawings, and its articles about Wilfred Owen and about war from many of the pupils whom I knew in 1965 when I was a B.I. pupil:-

SOME EARLY ITEMS OF INTEREST

Here are four examples of early items, including a copy of the front cover of The Visor from 1944, a special book about the B.I. and its foundation and growth, a commemorative Jubilee edition of The Visor, featuring the period 1889 - 1939, and a booklet featuring the unveiling and dedication of the B.I. School Memorial from December, 1949:-

WIRRAL NEWS,  30th JANUARY, 2013

Courtesy of the "Wirral News",  here is an article about this web site from January, 2013. Many thanks to the Wirral News for printing this article :-

SOUNDS OF THE 1960s

Here are some vocalists who were popular during the 1960s: Do you remember any of them? They are: Barbara Ruskin; Brenda Lee; Long John Baldry; Scott Walker; Steve Lawrence & Eydie Gorme;  Danny Williams; Connie Francis; PP Arnold, Helen Shapiro;  Francoise Hardy; Brenda Lee; Petula Clark; Jackie Trent, Wayne Fontana and Tammi Terrell:-

 

 

 

COLIN RANKIN, FORMER PUPIL

Former B.I. pupil Colin Rankin has kindly sent in two pictures of the First X1 from 1948/1949, and Colin was a pupil 1945 - 1950.  These pictures can be found on the B.I. Whetstonian Web Site at:

http://whetsonian.webs.com/

 

STANLEY HOLLAND MORTER

Ian Turner has asked if anyone knows about former B.I. pupil Stanley Holland Morter, (See below), who was reported in the Liverpool Echo as a war casualty in June, 1915 but does not appear on the B.I. Roll of Honour.

If anyone knows any more information, please email the site and let me know, as I do not have any further details, and the article below says he was a B.I. pupil:-