Hamilton Street School was opened on 31 January 1887. It was built in 1886, closed around 1972-3 and demolished after April 1976.
The photo, above, was supplied by Albert Hickson for exclusive use on mywarrington. It was taken from Birchall Street after demolition in 1976 and features the Parish Church of St. Elphin in the background on the left. The British Road Services distribution centre is also shown to the left of the school on Battersby Lane. Their site was later occupied by Mayne's coach company and is now the location of Greenings Court apartments. The site of the school is now occupied by St. Peter's Way housing estate and St Peter's Park - St Peter's Place was originally off Margaret Street, the side street to the right of the school in the photo. Stevenson Street is the side street to the left of the school. The space between the school and Battersby Lane in front of the white trucks once contained houses.
If you have any memories of learning at Hamilton Street School, or memories of the area in general, then please email me and I will be happy to add your stories to this page or the Memory Lane page. Any other photos of the school would be very welcome. Nearby on Birchall Street was St Peter's Church, after which St. Peter's Place was named. Does any reader have a photo of the church? Warrington Library does not, and I would love to see one.
The original purpose of this section was to see if anybody could identify themselves from this class photo (below) from 1970. Dave Thompson (now Williams), who is the third boy from the left in the second row from the front, has given me the photo and has named the ones he can remember, or partially remember, and wonders if readers can fill in the rest of the names. The photo was taken in the school yard and the headmaster's office was to the left of the group as we view it.
Names we think we have identified so far:
Since the launch of this page on 16 August 2011, I have been sent memories of life at the school. So now I invite you to add your own contributions. I will add some of mine when I can recall them, but in the meantime have a read through the reader memories further down the page. if you would like to add your own memories, please email me. You can also email me for inclusion on Memory Lane.
In December 2012 I was supplied with a wonderful set of photos taken in the 1950s and 1960s of class photos and activities at Hamilton Street School, which I now present for your enjoyment. I am extremely grateful to John Mather for making the photographs available for mywarrington. They are the first four photos and numbers 1-33. The first three have captions naming the pupils (John's brother, Ian Mather, is featured in the Class Three photo from 1955). The fourth photo has a caption naming some of the teachers. Photos 34-35 were supplied by Bill Crutch, a former pupil of Hamilton Street School, who now lives in Australia. Bill also supplied some names for Photo 29 and would love to hear from anybody who remembers him from the school or in later life. Get in touch with me here at mywarrington and I will be delighted to pass on your emails to him.
If you are featured in any of the photos, or recognise others in the photos, also get in touch. It would be nice if any of you are still out there. I would also like to put names to the unnamed teachers in the photos. Also, if you are featured and named and do not wish to have your name mentioned, I will be happy to remove it and if requested, I will also pixel out your face.
I was not born until 1963 and attended the school between 1968 and 1972.
Don't forget to email me if you remember Bill Crutch and I will pass on your emails to him. He would love to hear from you.
Other Photos of Hamilton Street
These next two photos were supplied by Ken Jackson for use on mywarrington. The descriptions are his.
We won a team shield in the school sports day at Victoria Park. Probably 1953.
This is a photo of a rugby team that we had in Tilley Street about 1953 - almost all are Hamilton St pupils.
Margaret Foy (nee Lowe): I have many happy memories of Hamilton Street School. I loved school and also the staff. I started there in May 1939. Almost immediately I learned to read. Miss Birch was the head and my lovely teacher was Miss Darbyshire. I was still an infant when in September a large air raid shelter was built in the playground and war was declared. I lived in Vere Street [off Chorley Street and no longer in existence] so was a "going homer" which meant when the siren went I ran back to our house. In November my father died of a heart attack so life was then very different.
I recall one incident when the sirens went, I decided to pick up my new red blazer from the cloakroom. Miss Birch, doing her sweep of the school for children, found me. She was not impressed when I told her "I don't want my new blazer bombed". I received the slipper on my hand when the raid was over. The blazer must have been fated because a dog chewed a big hole in it when I lay it on the grass in Orford Park.
My infant days over, I proceeded to the class of Miss Singleton. She was a very strict teacher but a very good one. She expected us to pay attention, work hard, learn our spellings as well as being neat and tidy. She was known by the boys as Gertie and always dressed very well, permed her hair and wore make-up - much to our amusement. I have to say that I got on with her very well.
Each Thursday morning she took us for hymn practice, which she conducted by standing at the piano. At the end of the practice we all had to line up and she examined our nails and checked if our shoes were clean. She had a cane which she used to "dust the boys' pants". She also took us for needlework and knitting. I remember knitting my first socks on four needles when I was eight. She had high expectations from us all.
The last class was taken by Mr. Dale, the headmaster. He was a dapper little man of uncertain age, always very clean and smart but kind to the very poor children in school. He worked us very hard. As soon as we sat down each day, there was a cross check on the blackboard. I still add up the way he taught us. I never knew if the less able ever did one. I know one boy was allowed a sleep in the afternoon. Mr. Dale could get annoyed and the boys had to go behind the screen for the strap. This was the year of the 11+ and two of us were favourites to pass. That year eight passed - the most ever - and I was not one of them. Mr. Dale was sure that there had been a mistake and went down to see the education office but it was true. I moved on to Oakwood [School] but in the second week they decided I should be at the High School. I went the following September.
My friends were Joan Jolley, Hilary Evans (died very young) Dorothy Chamberlain (married an American and moved to the states) and Barbara Griffiths whose parents had a chip shop on the opposite corner to the school.
Although I now live in a different part of the country, I still think of myself as a Warringtonian and always reply to the question "Where are you from?" Warrington.
Lloyd (nee Lawless): I
lived on the corner of Lythgoes Lane and Birchall Street until 1970 when the
area was demolished and new houses were built. My family had lived in that house
for many years, my great-grandfather being the first tenant (most of those
houses around there were rented). I went to Hamilton Street School from
1956-1964, then to Bewsey Secondary School for five years. I spent my working
life at Warrington Hospital.
My very first memory of
Hamilton Street School was being in the nursery class. We were all assigned a
picture as an easy identification. This picture was on our coat peg, the blanket
and bed that we had an afternoon nap on and probably other personal items too. I
was a cow and I hated it. I wanted to be the house or the doll. There was a
caretaker called Mr Morgan and my everlasting memory of him was that he used to
come round when anyone had been sick and sprinkle purple crystals over it and
then sweep it up. I have no idea why this sticks in my mind.
When I was in the 3rd
year juniors, a teacher left and four classes were merged into three. I went
upwards into a higher class and my form teacher was "Pop" Bennett. He
was also head teacher at this time, which meant I had him as my form teacher for
two years. I remember that he had a leather strap called the Cat O Nine
Tails hanging on the wall in his office. I only recall him using it once when 2
boys in my class climbed over the school wall and allegedly broke into the
school. They both got strapped for what I am sure was just a schoolboy
adventure. I don't think they were bad boys. I know who they were but won't
spill the beans.
he was strict, he was a good teacher and he taught us how to write
"properly". The style was reminiscent of calligraphy and I still write
quite similar to that today. We used nib pens and ink and I was the ink monitor.
Not only did I refill the ink pots, but I also had to clean the blotting paper
out that kids used to stuff into the ink pots.