St Mary's College, Crosby
|Motto||"Fidem vita fateri"
(Latin: Show your faith by the way you live)
|Type||Independent day school|
|Principal||Mr M Kennedy|
|Chairman of Governors||Mr C J Cleugh|
St Mary's College is an independent Roman Catholic coeducational school in Crosby, Merseyside, about 11 km north of Liverpool. It comprises an early years department "Bright Sparks" (age 4 and under), preparatory school known as "The Mount" (age 4-11) and secondary school with a 6th Form (age 11-18). It was formerly a direct grant grammar school for boys, founded and controlled by the Christian Brothers order. Notable alumni include John Birt, Roger McGough, Tony Booth and Cardinal Vincent Nichols.
- 1 Founding and affiliation
- 2 Location and buildings
- 3 Academics
- 4 The school song
- 5 Notable former teachers
- 6 Notable former pupils
- 7 Alumni association
- 8 In fiction
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Founding and affiliation
The college became a direct grant grammar school in 1946 as a result of the 1944 Education Act. Post-war alumni describe "a heavy emphasis on rote learning and testing, underpinned by the brutal punishment that the Christian Brothers favoured", "the carrot-and-stick method—without the carrot", "a hard, disciplined education ...generous with the strap". "But it wasn't a bad school; they took working-class Catholic boys, gave them an education and got them to university," "the school was good, and still is", and "the sixth form at St Mary's was an altogether different experience". An article was published in The Guardian in 1998 surrounding alleged sexual abuse at the college. 10 years on the school have yet to make a statement on these allegations.
When direct grants were abolished by the 1974–79 Labour government St Mary's became an independent school and is a member of the HMC. It began teaching girls in the sixth form in 1983 and became fully co-educational in 1989. The college is now administered by laypersons, ceasing to be a Christian Brothers' school in January 2006 on becoming an independent charity (St Mary's College Crosby Trust Limited) that "exists to educate children and welcomes families from all faiths".
Location and buildings
St Mary's College is based in Crosby, a suburb of Liverpool, in the Metropolitan Borough of Sefton. The college originally comprised a mansion, Claremont House, on Liverpool Road, Crosby and the neighbouring property, Everest House, until the purpose-built school was built on Everest Road in 1924. Science blocks were added over the years and an assembly hall in 1978. Claremont House is now occupied by the early years department. The Mount preparatory school is located a short distance away in Blundellsands.
The college has its own multi-gym and sports hall, formerly the Mecca Bingo Hall on Liverpool Road, which is open for public use as well as to the students. There are seven laboratories, two workshops and a library. In 2005 a new Sixth Form Centre was built, consisting of a new common room (including a cafe and vending machines) and two computer rooms. Until 1987, the college had a smoking room for the use of Sixth Form pupils who were smokers.
20 acres (81,000 m2) of playing fields are sited nearby on Little Crosby Road.
Exam results consistently exceed national averages achieved by state funded schools, The school aims to develop the person as a whole, not just academically but in many areas: spiritual, moral, intellectual, physical and cultural.
The school song
The former School Song, composed in the 1920s by music master Frederick R. Boraston (1878–1954) was sung by former pupils, most notably at the annual Speech Day, which were once held at Liverpool's Philharmonic Hall.
The song is written as a march, with repeated crotchet notes in the opening melody. The unusual seven-bar phrases, and alternating major and minor keys, produce a feeling that is at once rousing and wistful. The words anticipate the day we leave school, and the "broad highway of Life" lies before us. We look forward to reaping "a golden harvest not yet sown", but shall "sometimes pause a moment" to think of yesterday, and the old school and its associations will find a place in our hearts "most wondrous kind". Thoughts of games, songs, and the friends we made give way to thanks that the school has taught us wisdom in both thought and deed. In the soaring finale, pupils past and present raise their voices to cheer St Mary's, and wish her long life, with the repeated Latin exclamation Vivat!
In the 1980s the song was replaced with a completely new song, with words more in tune with the School's co-educational, lay-teacher status.
Notable former teachers
- Eugene Genin MBE (1903–1983), music teacher, pupil of Arthur Catterall; former lead violist with the RLPO; played in the pre-1933 Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool; remained a teacher at the college until he was almost 80.
- Hugh Rank (1913–2006), Viennese-born Jewish teacher of German literature
- Raymond "Bodge" Boggiano DFC (1920–1985), French master; former Lancaster bomber pilot who took part in the raids on Dresden
- Joe Rigby DFC (1924–2002), Maths teacher; former bomber pilot
Notable former pupils
Politics and industry
- John Birt, Lord Birt, Director General of the BBC and advisor to the Blair administration
- Sir Brendan Barber, General Secretary of the TUC
- Kevin McNamara KSG, Labour MP
- Michael Carr, Labour MP
- Therese Coffey, Conservative MP, Deputy Leader of the House of Commons
- John O'Sullivan CBE, conservative political columnist and pundit; former adviser to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
- Kevin Morley, businessman and former MD of Rover Group
- Phil Kelly, journalist and former editor of Tribune; mayor of Islington
- Sir David Rowlands, Permanent Secretary, Department for Transport, 2003–07; Chairman, Gatwick Airport
- Anthony Redmond, Chairman and Chief Executive, Commission for Local Administration, and Local Government Ombudsman
- Brian Quinn, Director General, International Institute of Communications
- Eric Nevin, former General Secretary NUMAST
- Ray O'Brien CBE, Chief Executive of Nottinghamshire and Merseyside County Councils, Severn Trent Water and FIMBRA
- Mark Gibson, Director Whitehall & Industry Group
- Michael Cunningham, Inspector, Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary; former Chief Constable Staffordshire Police
- Chris Shead, Assistant Chief Constable Thames Valley Police
- Peter Wilding, Director British Influence
- Terry Hughes, corporate financier
- Vincent Nolan, management consultant, Chairman, Synectics UK 
Diplomats and the law
- Ivor Roberts KCMG, former HM Ambassador to Ireland and Italy; current President of Trinity College, Oxford
- Andrew Mitchell, former HM Ambassador to Sweden
- Richard Pratt, QC, barrister; leader of the Northern Circuit
- Vincent Fraser, QC, Dep. High Court Judge
- Vincent Nichols, Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, leader of the Roman Catholics of England and Wales.
- John Rawsthorne, Roman Catholic Bishop of Hallam
- Father Gerard Weston MBE - Roman Catholic priest, killed by the Official IRA in the 1972 Aldershot bombing
- Father Brian Foley - Roman Catholic priest and hymnist
Authors, journalists and broadcasters
- Roger McGough CBE, poet, playwright, broadcaster and children's author
- Laurie Taylor, broadcaster and sociologist, presenter of Thinking Allowed; reputedly the inspiration for Howard Kirk in the 1970s novel The History Man
- Professor David Crystal OBE, broadcaster and professor of linguistics
- Nicholas Murray, biographer and novelist, Kafka, Matthew Arnold, Aldous Huxley, Bruce Chatwin
- Will Hanrahan, BBC TV reporter
- Kevin Dunn, journalist, political and defence correspondent ITN 
- Major John Foley MBE, military author and broadcaster
- Joe Ainsworth, scriptwriter Brookside, Holby City, BAFTA winner
- Sean Curran, journalist and presenter of Radio 4's Today in Parliament 
- Danny Kelly, BBC WM radio presenter
- D. F. Swift, educationist, sociologist
- Tony Booth, actor; the "Scouse Git" in Till Death Us Do Part; father-in-law of Tony Blair
- Tom O'Connor, comedian and former game-show host
- Chris Curtis, Tony West and John McNally, members of the 1960s pop group The Searchers
- Dave Lovelady, member of the 60s pop group The Fourmost
- Ray McFall, owner of The Cavern Club, who first booked The Beatles 
Sportsmen and women
- Mick Murphy - Rugby League footballer; played for Wales, Bradford Northern and Wagga Wagga.
- Francesca Halsall - British Olympic Freestyle and Butterfly Swimmer.
- John Cain - A second row forward with Waterloo was capped and played for England in that position in the early 1950s. He was employed by Barclays Bank.
- Ralph Rensen - Grand Prix motorcycle racer was killed in the I.O.M Senior TT on his Norton in 1961.
- Trent Alexander Arnold - Footballer for Liverpool F.C.
- Frank McLardy - WW2 traitor, Liverpool District Secretary of the British Union of Fascists; founder member of the Waffen-SS British Free Corps; later served as SS-Unterscharführer in the Waffen-SS Medical Corps. Sentenced to life imprisonment (reduced to 15 years) on his return to England. Served seven years and later emigrated to Germany, where he worked as a pharmacist.
The club carried on under the name of St Mary's Old Boys' Club. A further court case, Stringer v. Smith and Shaw followed in 2000 when the committee attempted to change the club's constitution to allow illegal functions at the club premises. Again the committee capitulated, incurring £3000 in costs. In 2000 and 2004 Merseyside Police raised objections to the continuance of the club on the grounds that it was 'improperly run' and for 'blatant disregard' of the licensing laws. Additionally, the Police did not believe the club was operating as a 'bona fide' members club. In March 2010 St Mary's Old Boys' Club closed when the police revoked its licence on the grounds that it was not a bona fide club operated in good faith. Simultaneously, the former club trustees found themselves being sued by their landlords for £72,000 of unpaid rent dating back to 2005.
While not explicitly mentioned by name, Anthony Burgess's posthumous novel, Byrne, makes reference to the Christian Brothers, and Crosby; the author had relatives who attended the school, although Burgess himself was educated by the Jesuits.
- John Birt (15 October 2002). "I felt ill at ease with well-to-do people". The Times. Retrieved 9 May 2009.
- Jonathan Sale (18 March 1999). "Passed/Failed: Roger McGough". The Independent. Retrieved 9 May 2009.
- Emily Moore interviewing Will Hanrahan (5 January 1999). "New class barriers". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 May 2009.
- Pamela Coleman interviewing Roger McGough (30 November 2001). "My best teacher". Times Educational Supplement. Retrieved 9 May 2009.
- "Introduction". St Mary's College, Crosby. Retrieved 10 May 2009.
- the property was originally owned by the wealthy de Costa family, Liverpool shipowners and Unionist sympathisers during the American Civil War. American eagles can still be seen engraved on the gateposts of the house.
- Crosby Herald, Feb. 1963, from Friends of St. Mary's website
- BBC Education League Tables: St Mary's College, Crosby
- Official College website
- School Song
- "Obituary: Hugh Rank". guardian.co.uk. 15 December 2006.
- 156 Squadron Aircrew details
- British Microlight Aircraft Association photo
- Who's Who 2012
- Crosby Herald 16 February 1989 from Friends of St. Mary's website
- Islington council press release
- Obit. Nautilus International Report 2011
- Obit. The Guardian, 30 May 2010
- Daily Telegraph 25 March 2009
- British Influence
- Obit. Oxford Today, 2013
- Obit. The Times, 4 November 2013
- Obit. The Guardian, 13 Nov 2014
- "How St Mary's drove me to succeed". Retrieved 23 May 2009.
- "Remembering excellence - eventually" (PDF). Retrieved 1 September 2009.
- Kevin Dunn biography from zoominfo
- ITN's top forty videos
- Crosby Herald 24 April 2008
- BBC biography
- Obituary The Independent, 28 January 1997
- Obituary The Stage, 29 November 2010
- Obit. The Telegraph, 8 January 2015
-  obit., The Guardian
- St Mary's College website Archived 14 January 2013 at Archive.is
- Gleanings 1949 college magazine
- St. Mary's College Yearbook 1934[permanent dead link] pp 15,35,37,39
- Liverpool Daily Post 9 September 2002
- Daily Mail 22 March 2010
- The legal name of the club was changed to St Mary's College Association in 1987, under pressure from the School to reflect its now co-educational status. Few, if any, female pupils joined, and the club remained known by its former name, and colloquially as The Old Boys.
- School to 'divorce' club, Crosby Herald, 20 May 1999
- Axe threat to historic club, Crosby Herald, 14 October 2004
- Old boys' club ticked off, Crosby Herald, 18 November 2004
- Creditors swoop on St. Mary's ex-Trustees as Sefton Council confiscate license Crosby Herald, 8 April 2010
- Byrne, Chapter I, by Anthony Burgess, 1996
- Friends of St. Mary's
- Early Years Department
- The Mount prep school
- "When our boyhood days are over", a karaoke version of the School Song, played on a digital church organ. (plays with Windows Media Player)
- Class of 1973 website with reminiscences, photos and a rendition of St Mary's school song