Birkenhead Institute Grammar School, Wirral



Very many thanks to everyone who has sent in their memories, pictures, information, and history items relating to Birkenhead Institute. I have included all of these in the sites shown below, and because of space, this new site will include more of your contributions. Here are two of four pictures sent in by former pupil Richard Hill, and the pictures are all shown on the "Your Memories" page.

Please note the NEW number for contacting the site from May, 2017 is:


         07522 554855 

I did not expect such a positive response when I set up the original Spirit of Birkenhead Institute site in 2008, but your help in providing information and memories has been exceptional, so thank you all.

On the BIOB page, I am pleased to add some original B.I. school reports for former B.I. pupil William Kenneth Wood, which date from 1930, when Mr E. Wynne-Hughes was Headmaster at the B.I.. They are well worth a look, and these are excellent examples of  historical documents of the B.I. from the 1930s, showing some interesting comments from the B.I. staff of the time.

Please also see an excellent article about Mr Wynne-Hughes, written by former B.I. pupil James Stewart, on the E. Wynne-Hughes page of this site. Also included are some pictures and information about Mr Wynne-Hughes and his career,  prior to coming to the B.I. as Headmaster in 1929:-


Here is a link to the Spirit of Birkenhead Institute Web Directory Site, through which all elements of this site can be found:-


Please also feel free to join my Birkenhead Institute Grammar School group on the professional web site called  Linkedin, which can be found via the following link:-


On the "Your Memories" page, there are also some items of local interest which pupils may recall from their time at the school, for example, "Aerowata" mineral water, which was a locally produced beverage. There is also a picture below a a blue Birkenhead Corporation bus from the 1960s, along with a couple of other vintage advertisements:

I hope that you will continue to sent in more items, which I shall add to this site, and, as always, the email address to send them to is:-


Let's continue to keep the spirit and memory of Birkenhead Institute alive!


(Birkenhead Institute Grammar School Pupil, 1960 - 1967)

"Memory is the treasury and guardian of all things"  : Marcus Tullius Cicero

Below:- Philip Ronald-Price in a group photograph,  as part of the GEC-Plessey Telecommunications Business Improvement Team in 1997, and also below in 1966 and later in 2005


This site follows on from my earlier one, which is now almost full, and owing to space, I have created an additional site for your memories and pictures of Birkenhead Institute. I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to the site,including former pupil Richard Hill, who has provided some excellent pictures from the 1950s. Similarly, I would like to thank Rose Valerie Hunt, who has provided some excellent memorabilia and memories of her husband, the late Ted Hunt, who was Caretaker at the B.I. in  Tollemache Road Special thanks also go to former pupils Todd Russell and James Stewart, who have provided some excellent memories of their time at the B.I., including an exceptional article by James Stewart about the B.I. Junior School in the period 1937 - 1939. James has also sent in some excellent photographs and items from his time at the school, which can be seen on the "Your Memories (2)" page. Here is one of the pictures which James has provided, showing the B.I. Junior School pupils and staff from 1937/1938, including Miss Bowers and Miss Booth:-


Also, very many thanks go to Dean Johnson, former B.I. pupil and musician. Dean has recently opened a permanent gallery in Birkenhead for Wilfred Owen, and Dean has provided many items about his musical tribute "Bullets and Daffodils" to Wilfred Owen. Here is a link to a great You Tube video,  which Dean has set up for Wilfred Owen and Birkenhead Institute:-


Please also see below a special portrait of former B.I. Art Teacher Dave Jones, which is being displayed at Dean Johnson's new Gallery. More details can be seen on the Dean Johnson page of this site:-

The Dean Johnson page on this site has been created to include Dean's Wilfred Owen Gallery information, and to celebrate the outstanding work Dean has completed in memory of Wilfred Owen.  There is also information about Dean's musical production "Bullets and Daffodils",  for which Dean has written the music and lyrics. Here are some pictures from this excellent musical production, including Wirral actresses Chloe Torpey, who plays Susan Owen, and Charlie Griffiths, who plays a waitress:-



 Also shown on this page are details about Janet Holmes, who has constructed a detailed model of the Birkenhead Institutte buildings which used to stand in Whetstone Lane. Please see below the finished model, and also the earlier model, (On the right), partly completed:-

I would also like to thank the family of Glyn Norman Richards, B.I. pupil from 1921 - 1929, for providing me with some excellent items from his time at the school. There is some special archive material dedicated to Glyn, showing his admission papers to the school, as well as some interesting photographs of Glyn in the B.I. Cricket Team, on the E. Wynne-Hughes page of this site.  Also, there is a photograph of Glyn's elder brother, Trevor Harmon Richards in the football team.  Very many thanks again to Glyn's family for giving me this rare insight into a pupil at th B.I. in the early days of the school. I am sure that Glyn's family are very proud of him. Also, I would like to thank Ben Johnson, former B.I. pupil, who has provided an excellent and well-written article about the B.I. morning assembly, which can be seen on the Your Memories page.


For Voice Mail and Text Messages relating to Birkenhead Institute,  please send them to the following contact number:-



                                                07522 554855


I am very pleased to add the link below to the B.I. Old Boys site, (BIOB),  which you can click on,  to go to this excellent site, which is run by Harry Burkett. There are over 500 former pupils of the B.I. on the BIOB register, and a regular newsletter  "The Ad-Visor" is issued every year to everyone on the register, which contains interesting articles and information from B.I. Old Boys. If you are a former pupil, please add your name to the register and find out more.

Former B.I. pupil Keith Dutton has recently set up a new BIOB site, and there are now many excellent photographs and interesting information about Birkenhead Institute, its pupils, and its staff included on this new site, so it is well worth a visit:-

LINK TO BIOB SITE:- http://www.biob.co.uk

The special B.I. cuff links above are available to purchase from Keith Dutton at the BIOB at £10 per set, plus £2 postage. Please contact Keith to purchase a set of these great cuff links!

Many thanks to Harry Burkett and Keith Dutton for the above information



Here are links to the other areas of my Spirit of Birkenhead Institute sites:-


Link to the sister site for the Birkenhead Institute Visor:


Link to the Pupils and Staff Memories site for the Birkenhead Institute:


Link to the Whetsonian, early history of the Birkenhead Institute:


Link to the William Sang Connacher site:



Link to the main Spirit of Birkenhead institute Site:



This web site is dedicated to the first Headmaster of Birkenhead Institute, William Sang Connacher, who played an important role in setting Birkenhead Institute on a firm basis from his appointment as Headmaster in 1888 through to his death in 1903.  His contribution at the very start of the school's history is very important, because through his management and teaching skills, he ensured that the school went on to greater success. The school continued to provide excellent education on Wirral for over 100 years. Mr Connacher's name is therefore a key part of the B.I.'s history.

Mr W.S. Connacher, the first Headmaster of the B.I.  :  Born: May, 1853.  Died: February, 1903.


As many of you will be aware, there is a Planning Application with Wirral Borogh Council to build up to 100 houses on the former B.I. playing fields in Ingleborough Road. I urge everyone to oppose this scheme, and I am grateful for Keith Dutton, Dean Johnson, and Helen Dodd for their support, and for keeping me informed about the plans to obliterate this special site, and I attach below some information, along with pictures of Helen Dodd at the playing fields, along with the dedicated stone, laid at the site in 1906.

Dean Johnson has also discovered two excellent Birkenhead News articles from April and November, 1926 about the B.I. Memorial Playing Fields, including the laying of the foundation stone, as well as the opening and handing over of the new Sports Pavilion, which can be seen on the Ingleborough Road page of this site. These articles are reproduced courtesy of the Birkenhead News, and are the strongest proof that the Ingleborough Road Memorial Playing Fields were dedicated to the fallen soldiers from the school, and that the fields and pavilion should be maintained as a permanent memorial to those who gave their lives in the Great War, 1914 - 1918.

Helen Dodd:-
In a time when our soldiers in conflict abroad are recognised and supported by the wonderful 'Help for Hero's' charity, fallen hero's from the Great War are about to be obliterated from Birkenhead's history.

 Houses are set to be built on a site which was originally established as war memorial to honour the Birkenhead Institute’s WW1 heroes.

Tranmere Rovers have submitted plans to build one hundred houses on Ingleborough Road Memorial Playing Fields which the football club had previously used as their training ground. The memorial plaque at the site is shamefully neglected and vandalised with graffiti.

  The Great War poet Wilfred Owen who lost his life at the age 25 fighting for our country is one of three soldiers awarded the Military Cross among the 88 old boys commemorated at the ground. Each man is represented by a tree at the boundary of the field, four of which will be removed in the proposed plans.

Wilfred attended the Birkenhead Institute and lived in Tranmere and was known to support the local team, now it seems that a memorial dedicated to his fellow brave Birkenhead Institute pupils is set to be changed forever.

 I started doing volunteer work for the Wilfred Owen Story and Gallery in April this year and when I first heard of this planning decision made by Tranmere Rovers I was extremely shocked. I think it shows a total disregard for those who lost their lives fighting for our country. It is very important that we honour such heroes in our hometown as much as possible for the sake of future generations. 

There are some things in life which are more important than money. Preserving a heritage for the First World War in the form of memorials is something that should be a priority. It is such a shame to build houses on these playing fields and for that to be an end to it. I think more people need to know what is actually going to happen to this historical site. It is a registered memorial which was established to honour those brave soldiers who gave their lives so that the children of today can play on this green and hallowed field.  

Building houses on the land is not a good way to honour those people. I think more needs to be done to find an alternative solution so the heroes can still be honoured in the way these fields were originally meant to do or the real purpose of these fields and all they should stand for will indeed sadly be forgotten



There are two Flickr web sites which include the best pictures and images from my B.I. history and heritage sites, and these can be found via the folowing links:-




The Ingleborough Road Preservation Society was formed to help protect the B.I. Memorial Playing Fields in Ingleborough Road.


However, it now appears that the fields are to be sold for the development of houses on the site, which is a great shame, in view of the history of this land, and its dedication to the 88 fallen soldiers from the Birkenhead Institute.



If anyone knows any information about Stanley Holland Morter, a pupil at the B.I. before 1915, please see the MEMORABILIA page for more details and an article about him as a casualty of war in 1915.



I am sad to report the death of former B.I. Art Teacher Nancy Price, who died on 27th December, 2011. More details can be found on my NEWS page on the Spirit of Birkenhead Institute main site. (See site address above).  My thoughts and best wishes go out to all of Nancy's family at this sad time. Here is a marvellous tribute to Nancy from former pupil James Stewart, (aka Seamus Stewart), who has written the folowing elegy to Nancy:-

                                    ELEGY TO NANCY



                                   She lit a thousand lamps

                                                that will shine until our dyings.


                                    She kindled inner fires

                                                that will burn to our worlds endings.


                                    She opened our eyes

                                                to beauty,

                                                to meaning,

                                                to joy,

                                                to pain,

                                    in the passage of life.


                                    She told us to seek,

                                                to find,

                                                     to remember.


                                    To pass on the flame to those

                                                who may see or not see

                                                      what we see,

                                    their seeing or not seeing is no matter.


                                    And now she has gone.

                                                But for us the fire still burns,

                                                and she still remains,

                                                and cannot die.


                                                                        Seamus Stewart.


                                    Nancy Price, Art Teacher Extraordinary,

                                    died on the 27th December 2011.