Stripes in Magenta
The Electronic Newsletter of St Augustine's Grammar School, Sharston Mount, M22 4PJ 31 January 2001
Lent Term Issue 1
From the Headmaster News Old Boys Old Staff
Looking Back Miscellaneous Classified Births Deaths and Marriages
Letters to Editor      

Distributed to all old boys, staff and "Friends of St Augustine's" with known email addresses.
Please (print and) forward to any not on emailing list.
The first issue will also be sent to staff with known postal addresses.

"From the Headmaster" Stripes in Magenta
My dear boys,
It is with great joy, that we view the frontispiece of the first issue from the Old Boys of the School , which I note is surmounted by that familiar heraldic crest, which was once worn close to the hearts of the many boys who ascended Sharston Mount and passed through St Augustine's Grammar School. I am touched by the name you have chosen and that the sections are adorned with magenta, a colour which, I am sure you are aware, has many pleasant and memorable associations for the Headmaster.
I must thank you also for your generous contributions to this issue. However, I trust you will permit me to remark that some of you have not yet made your contribution. Please be assured that any contribution will be most gratefully received by the editor, and I do hope you will agree that the newsletter, which is at the heart of our Old Boys, deserves a contribution from all who support the School.
Permit me to say a few words on a subject which is of importance to us all, that is on the appropriate dress for Old Boys when attending functions such as Old Boys' Reunions. You were all pupils at a school which had reason to be proud that it was a uniform wearing school. Whereas for various reasons, Old Boys may choose not to wear their school uniform on such occasions as Old Boys' Reunions, I cannot comprehend why any Old Boy would chooose to wear an anorak. This, you will agree, appears shabby and unworthy of our school. I would hope that Old Boys attending would choose to attend in collar and tie, so maintaining the honour of the school. In the event of inclement weather, a suitable gentleman's overcoat should be worn. It would particularly delight me to see some of the Old Boys wearing the Old Boys' tie which was procured by one of our own Old Boys.
I trust that your worthy endeavours will keep strong the bond that brought you all together on Sharston Mount. I look down with pride on your many and varied achievements and trust that the coming years will continue to give me cause for continuing satisfaction.
It is the start of a new civil year, let me offer you every blessing for 2001.


News Stripes in Magenta

2001 Grand Reunion

It is hoped to hold a Grand Reunion late this year.

This would include ALL entry years and staff; a formidable undertaking but it will happen . . .

There will be an inaugural meeting with a view to organising the Grand Reunion

All interested parties are invited to attend. Just come along!

This venue has been chosen for the first meeting because we will be guaranteed seats, cheap drinks and the opportunity to talk.

It would be useful to have volunteers from each year who are prepared to try to locate their class mates.
(Andrew Stavordale will no doubt pass on the wisdom gained from organising the '69 in '99 reunion regarding the most effective methods.)

Notices regarding the Grand Reunion will be posted on

Contact: Martin Harding (

* Directions, Princess Parkway to the Princess Pub. If heading inwards turn left, if heading outwards turn right. Its then half a mile on the left. The bar area is in the far left hand side of the complex.

'69 in '99 Reunion

Davenport Park Hotel - September 18, 1999

It all started at Bag's 40th birthday party in the summer of '98; we were sat about chatting and I remarked that it would 30 years since we started school together in Sep. '99.  I got that look from Bag telling me I had just volunteered for duty.

Later that summer I persuaded a friend at Manchester Evening News to publish a piece on a thirty year reunion for the Class of '69.  Knowing a few people already gave me enough impetus to start to think how to track down others.

A few replies to the article got us moving more and having a list of all 'boys' from speech day programs, thanks to Mike Lyne, made the job of remembering a little easier.  Meeting up with Mark Brennan and Nick Wall set the trail going in diferent directions and soon we had enough to know that the event was on.

I started phoning names from phone books and trawling through Info-CD which claims to list all people in the UK.  E-mails, phone calls and letters later we had made contact with around 50% of the class and many of the masters. Finding a room was the easy job, advertising was courtesy of word of mouth etc. and the rest is, as they say, history.  A pity that many we contacted could not make it on the night, hopefully next time will be better still.

My thanks to Mark Brennan, Peter Fay, Mike Lyne, Trevor Baglin and all others who helped make the first reunion the success it was.

Stavors ( )

The Old Boys Website ( )

During the organisation of our first '69 reunion in November 1999, Stavors suggested a year book - I said "It'll be out of date in a year, what about a web site." (Some day I'll learn to keep my mouth shut! )

However one wet Sunday in an island off the north of Scotland, the St Augustine's website was born:

It was initially conceived as just a contact list for staff and '69 entry. However, memories were awoken, box rooms were turned over and photo albums were reopened; the scheme mushroomed. A messageboard and visitor's book were added. Interest and contributions came from all entry years, parents, staff and even relatives. Initially hosted on personal globalnet webspace with a longwinded web address, it moved to the more prestigious:

Eventually, as sources had come from most entry years and several staff members , I was forced to concede that it was no longer a Old boys web site for '69 entry. It is now simply "St Augustine's Grammar School Old Boys".

It is not static and continues to grow. The message board and Visitor's book are interactive, allowing new material to be added without the editor's interference. You can also sign up to the Mailing List to keep in contact (by email).Contributions for the website can be emailed to or posted to Peter Fay, Gorland, Old Scapa Rd, Kirkwall, Orkney, KW15 1BB.

It would be good to have individual pages for years other than '69 but time and available webspace preclude this. If you have some spare webspace and are prepared to maintain pages for your own year, let me know. Pages can be seamlessly incorporated into the existing site even if held on other webspace.

Peter Fay

Manchester Boys' Choir

From News North West, December 21 (sent in by Dave Espley)

Angelic voices:
The acclaimed Manchester Boys' Choir

Tomorrow, Bridgewater Hall, Great Bridgewater Street, Central Manchester, 7.30pm, 7 to 16.


manchester boys’ choir christmas concert

This musical tinsel of the festive season is always a winner. Not only are there the angelic voices of the internationally renowned Manchester Boys’ Choir to enjoy.

but the annual programme of favourite carols and Christmas music promises to whisk frenzied shoppers away from the last minute hassles of Yuletide, and give the credit card a rest for a few hours.

And this year the boys will be singing-in their 20th anniversary as well as Christmas.

Since being founded by director Adrian P Jessett, they have become established as one of the best choirs in the world, launching musical careers in the process and earning the position of choir-in-residence at the Bridgewater Hall. On the programme is "Walking In The Air" from "The Snowman", Panis Angelicus, The Holy City and a tinglingly gorgeous rendition of Silent Night.

Special guest organist for the evening is Nigel Ogden. celebrating the recent milestone of his 1,000th broadcast and 18 years as presenter on BBC 2’s The Organist Entertains.

Karen Joyner

"The Tea Party"

For all those Stockport County Football Club fans:

Read on to find out which St Augustine's Old Boy is the editor of this fanzine

[Ed: Warning: some material in this publication may well be construed as offensive by regular attenders at Old Trafford!]


Old Boys Stripes in Magenta
1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976
Let us know something of what you've been doing since days of Sharston Mount ( )

Paul Power - Captain of Manchester City for many years
Laurence Morgan - Consultant Ophthalmologist, Stockport

Denis Murphy ( ) 66 New Hey Road, Lindley, Huddersfield HD3 4AJ
First Class Consulting (
Tel: +44 1484 319000 (work) +44 1484 511183 (home) Fax: +44 1484 349700 Mob: +44 7802 804408


Franz Collinge ( ) resident in 88662 Ueberlingen, Germany
"I've been living here since 1976 and am working for a central heating firm (what a waste of A levels!).
I usually go back to England with my wife and three children every two years and visit my family ,the most of them living in Stockport.

Trevor Baglin
- Consultant Haematologist, Cambridge (and father of five)
Mike Beesley - Civil Servant MOD
John Bennett - Mechanical Engineer
Paul Blaydon - Team Leader IT Systems (British Airways)
Carl Brennan - Group Purchasing Manager Siemens UK
Mark Brennan - GP Wilmslow. Director "Integral - Private GP Services"
[Archivist - hoarding all things Augustinian]
John Brennan - Planning Manager - Royal Hull Hospitals
John Cameron - Bank Manager (Barclays)
Andrew Carroll - Business Advisor
Kev Faure - communications department (Cathay Pacific, HK)
Peter Fay - GP Skerryvore Practice, Orkney.
[Webmaster for St Augustines Old Boys. Current Editor for this rag!]
Stephen Gaughan - Vet, Appleby-in-Westmorland
Con Gregg - BP (Brussels)
Martin Harding - Police Superintendent GMP
[MC for 2001 Grand Reunion]
Dave Haworth - Satellite Communication company in S. Africa
Alan Johnston - Project Manager - BP Amoco (Chemicals)
Chris Jones - HSBC Financial Adviser
Damian Kenny - GP in Dursley, Glos.( the expert on BUMPH )
Steve Leahy - Financial Services, Didsbury
Mike Lyne - IT Barclays Bank
Kev McDevitt - Quantity Surveyor, Stretford
Mike Maguire - Social Services, Manchester
Paul Martin - Consultant Anaesthetist, Aberdeen
Andrew Matthews - Solicitor (Clifford Chance)
John Murphy - Company Director (ICE ltd)
Dave Payne - Publican
Roman Pronyszyn - Civil Service: Audit Manager, DOH
Ian Pryce - Principal, Bedford College
Robert Simcox - UK OEM Manager for a German/French pump manufacturer
Chris Start - Proctor and Gamble (Brussels)
Andrew Stavordale - Project manager for International Paper Information Services
[MC for '69 in '99 reunion]
Laurence Tottle - Learning Mentor at a secondary school in the Wirral

Fuller personal updates with contact information held on 1969 individual boys pages on


Steven Johnston ( STEVEJ@MFGL.COM )- Financial Adviser
Anthony Flannery ( )- now lives in New Zealand
Gerry Doyle ( ) - MRCP 1987,  radiology 1988 Newcastle,  fellowship 1993 Toronto,  consultant 1995 Hartlepool ,  consultant Radiologist Chester 1999 should have stayed in Toronto!   married 1989  3 girls 2 boys  Caitlin Colette Anna Peter and Finnian  


Paul Fay ( )- Accident Analysis with Ford, Basildon

Richard Fay ( )- Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL), Manchester University
Mark Lythgoe ( )- Senior Research Fellow in Neurophysiology
RCS Unit of Biophysics, Institute of Child Health, University College London,  30 Guilford Street WC1N 1EH
[ ]

Dave Espley ( ) - 1 Sheldon Road, Hazel Grove SK7 6HA
Webmaster for Stockport MBC.
Also Editor of the Stockport County fanzine "The Tea Party"
and Author of the book 'Saturday Night and Thursday Morning' " (about going to every County game, home and away, in the season we got promotion '96-'97). Has a few copies left; if anyone wants a complimentary copy, contact Dave.
Andrew Murphy ( ) - has been in USA for some time
Johnny Maher (Marr) and Andy Rourke were the guitarist and bassist in the 80s rock band "The Smiths".

Steve Bellis ( ) - now the marketing manager of Stockport County Football Club. Would love to know what happened to some of his former class mates


Old Staff Stripes in Magenta
Allen Addis is still teaching Art at St Paul's High School.
Geoff Beeley has now retired to Kinsale in Ireland.
(Rev) Roger Callan is Head of Religion (Bishop Kearney High School, Brooklyn NY (for girls!)
Neil Creighton is Head of Modern Languages in Buxton (his books are still in print)
(Rev) Phil Griffin is believed to be in Ireland
Tony Hartley has retired and lives in Holmes Chapel
Denny Howells has retired and lives in Sale
Adrian Jessett is director of the Manchester Boys' Choir
Mike Kearney is retired and lives in Heald Green
Jim McCabe is Headmaster in Buxton
(Rev) Gerard McGuiness is a PP near Shrewsbury
Kelvin Paisley is believed to be crofting in Scotland
(Rev) Peter Phillips is now PP near Shrewsbury; prior to this was lecturing at Ushaw
Richard Scrowston now lives in Bristol
Harry Stratton is PP in Macclesfield
Barry Thorpe runs the Stockport branch of a charity for the homeless 'Nightstop'
Christine Wood runs her own translation agency


Looking Back Stripes in Magenta
A Staff Member recalls:

Ted Hughes was invited to talk to the sixth form. He was on an Arts Council list and with his new wife (Sylvia Plath was dead by this time) a writer of short stories for children, he was touring. The Mons. did not like the look of Ted Hughes. He was wearing a leather jacket and jeans, while he had long black hair and spoke in a thick Yorkshire accent.

I recall that he talked about the ouija board sending him messages from "King Lear" and that some of his animal poems had been written by the ouija board - "Second Glance at a Jaguar" being one. So, the Mons. glided in and out of the library in full regalia - magenta cummerbund, mortar board etc. Finally, at the close of the talk, seeing our evident enthusiasm, he stopped and gave Ted Hughes the full florid thankyou (having failed to greet him at all).

Ted was invited back for dinner and he returned with his wife by taxi from his hotel. The kitchen staff laid on a full Italian meal (It was that lovely lady who left to work at Wills Hall). There was plenty of wine and the evening didn't finish until after midnight. Apparently they talked about J.F.K. about whose assassination they shared a mutual interest *. They also talked about Dante**. Ted Hughes was fascinated by the Mons.: his knowledge of languages, theology and music. Most of all (the cook told me) he could not get over the perfect sentence structures our Head used all throught the long evening. So much knowledge, so beautifully articulated despite being high. They parted in the early hours of the morning great friends. [RS]
* (on one occasion the Mons. took a taxi into the Gatley cinema to see the Oliver Stone film buying drinks for the whole audience at the interval)
** (our final staff meetings consisted of large chunks of
Dante in Italian typed out by Vera Warren after Monsignor had intoned passages from "The Divine Comedy" into the dictaphone. The school business took ten minutes at the end, after a further discourse on the "Beatific Vision".)

I think Terry McSweeny had left, while Barney Quinn had not arrived from St Ambrose. It was the guy from
Altringham Grammar, who went back having driven us to Stratford to see "Cymbeline" in the afternoon with "Richard II" in the evening. Unfortunately, all the boys got drunk, most not turning up for the evening performance. Nevertheless, we could hear in the auditorium alternative shouts from our boys plus a group from Leeds of, "Leeds are shit!" and "Man. U. are cunts!" The poor man never recovered. He was particularly annoyed as we had to continually stop on the way home for piss-stops. One boy (MM), I recall being sick all over the road after an emergency halt (The same boy, by the way, suddenly got up from his seat at the back of the stage in the University Theatre and walked across the playing area in the middle of a performance of O'Neill's "Long Day's Journey into Night", so that he could pee). [RS]

On the Monsignor (mun - seen - yur) :

At one speechday, he exited from one end to play the organ, lost his way, and came back up on the platform from the place he had departed.

What caused us all to fall apart was his admonition to the ladies to "Spread yourselves out among the men, my dears!" He did not see the funny side of that at all.

The Mons. had two ways of entering the staff room. He would come in through the inner door, adjacent to his office; pretend to look at the class photographs as we all fell silent; go out the way he had come in; and then, suddenly, reappear through the outer door opening on to the corridor to see if he could catch us talking about him. Incidentally, looking at the photographs, he would often say - I don't think with sexual intent - "Oh those boys, so delicious. I could eat them." I doubt if he would say that if he was alive today.

Another saying of his to me was, "Now dear boy for another late Victorian Assembly. I love them." [RS]

From our Correspondent in Germany:

Who remembers when Father Gerard McGuinness used to drive to school in his old Renault 4.
He used to drive in the back way past the wood/metalwork rooms and then do a lap of honour on the school playground!

There used to be a painting on the top floor (I think next to the Biology classroom), called "Whistlers' Mother". It's the famous one of the old woman sitting in the armchair. Someone attached a piece of paper in the corner with the words "Who nicked the telly?!"

I also remember the day someone wanted to play a prank by loosening the top of the salt shaker.
Unfortunately Mr.Scrowston was the first to use the salt, the top came off and his whole meal was covered in salt!



Miscellaneous Stripes in Magenta
In the year comprehensive education was introduced in Britain, St Augustine's Grammar School first opened its doors.

From a Latin Dictionary:
-i m.
(1) a nail or spike
(2) a tiller, helm or rudder
(3) a stripe of purple on a tunic, worn broad by senators, narrow by knights

From our Hong Kong Correspondent:

Still time for me to wish you a Happy "Year of the Snake"

One of these days, on a trip to Bredbury, I'll raid the attic at my parent's home and dig up the 1L Subutteo League folder! Well, mostly 1L - Andrew Carroll is in there, too. Alas, it's about all I can offer, but it might lightly amuse Ged Battle, John Murphy and various other "Flick to Kick" stalwarts. I won't be back until at least late summer though.


From our Korrespondent in South Africa:

I think I'm beginning to get the hint......but not sure if everybody wants to hear how bad my golf is these days??



Classified Stripes in Magenta

Serious and less serious adverts carried free of charge to friends of St Augustine's Grammar School.
Please submit to


For the website on

  • Matching remaining staff to subjects taught
  • Names for faces on 1971 Formal Photo
  • Any Letters from the Headmaster
  • Class of '69
    • News of "Lost Boys"
    • Any 70s photos
    • Personal + contact details for personal pages (ie what you been up to and what you're doing now)
    • Current photos
    • Memories and viewpoints (esp the amusing and controversial)
  • Staff
    • 70s photos
    • Current Photos
    • Personal + contact details for personal pages (ie what you been up to and what you're doing now)
    • Memories and viewpoints (esp the amusing and controversial)
  • All years
    • Missing names for entry years 1973-76
    • Speechday Programs pre 1969 and after 1977
    • Additions to lists of "boys" esp 1974 & 1976
    • Links to any other St Augustine's Sites
    • your email addresses
    • Memories and viewpoints (esp the amusing and controversial)
    • Any information re Television Top of the Form
      • Date of Transmission
      • Top of the Form Year quiz book (apparently with St Augustines team as frontispiece)
      • Photos of any of the team
  • Formal school photos
  • Any other photos re school, staff and boys
  • School roll numbers
  • Any Speechday tapes

Situations Vacant

Sub-webmasters for entry years 1965-1968, 1970 -1976.
The successful applicants should be able to create basic webpages. They should have enthusiasm to maintain updates and contact information on personal pages for their own year linked by a common index page. The ability to include JPG images would be advantageous but not essential. Suitable starting templates will be provided and their contributions will be seamlessly incorporated into the main website. The candidates should provide some webspace for this purpose without pecuniary implications.
Applications to


Births Deaths and Marriages Stripes in Magenta


Nadia - born 21 August 2000 to Kaew and Dave Haworth ('69)


Rt. Rev. Mgr. Francis J McGuiness †1980
Rev D A Smith †1982
Rev Phillip Sherrington †~1994
Mr John Dennison †1997
Mr Harry Rigby †1997
Mr Eric T Morris
Mrs Christine Fairhurst †
Mr Jon Hall † 2000
Mr Alan Shaw † ~1991/2

Brian Kirwan †1979
Anthony O’Gara †1979



Letters to Editor Stripes in Magenta
All letters should be addressed to the editor
Of particular interest would be feedback on this issue and how you would like to see it develop

Dear sir,
Regarding your proposal for a regular newssheet covering aspects of the past, present and future lives of those of us unfortunate enough to have had to wear pyjamas all day, every day. I personally feel the idea to be creditable and will certainly while away the hours when the rest of the world is lost to us and solace is sought in what can only be described as 'another plane'.
The proposed content of the newssheet appears very user-friendly which, in my case, is a must and will no doubt spark great debate in the future. Yes! Please rush me my copy now together with my five-year supply of leather 'thwacking' belts so as I can re-live those golden memories of my education.
Yours in anticipation,

avid reader.

Dear sir,
Regarding school meals. Are you people insane? Has the passage of years numbed your senses?  - there was no nice food available at the canteen at SA/SJP - the food was dire and was was dominated by root vegetables.
Every day would involve queuing up for at least 10 minutes to be served up with something undecribeable which would usually contain swede or parsnips.The only good pudding was when they would do a crumble but this would usually involve some stodgy gunk masquerading as custard.

Martin Wilson

Dear sir,
The  "school  pub"  was  always  the  "Horse  and  Farrier" - visited after every term end, leaving  do, play/ carols/ funerals  etc - not the " Red Lion", from  which  we  were  banned  very  early  in  L6 -  and of  course  a  hard  core  of  drinkers  continued to meet in the H+F every  Monday  night for  nearly  3  years (even  after  we  left)
Mark Brennan

Dear sir,
I shall be over from the end of July this year - to attend my nieces wedding -and will be staying three weeks. Maybe I'm lucky and the reunion is at the same time. I hope to make more contributions to the Web-site - maybe I can come up with more names for the photo. It would be nice to hear from old pupils or masters who remember me. I was delighted to see that Mr. Howells still appears to be in good health as he was one of my favourite teachers.
That's more or less it for now I have passed the Web-site address on to the brother of my sister-in-law. His name is John Gerighty and was in the 70 intake so he must be on the photo and maybe can put some names to the numbers, especially as there are a lot of the younger ones unidentified.

As to school dinners ,everyone wanted to be in charge of dishing the meals out when chips were on the menu so that they could get the biggest portion!
Franz Collinge

Dear sir,
Some one told me of the Saint Augustine's webpage. I have found it and just spent some time looking at many of the entries, all of great interest.   I am "Spike's other brother", and like him I also am a school head, but a school very different from your Alma Mater mine being a special school. Just for interest, I copy below an information sheet. I have been head here for twenty years but now in my last term as I am now at retiring age.

SAINT CATHERINE’S is a special school for Zimbabwe girls and boys aged five to eighteen with learning difficulties, moderate, severe and profound (mental handicap). The official enrolment is 105.

In the early 1960’s the centre - the property of the Anglican Church, who gave it the name Saint Catherine’s - was donated as a junior training centre and workshop to Hopelands Trust, an association for the care of the mentally handicapped. Then in 1981 Hopelands Trust was absorbed into Zimcare Trust, an amalgamation of all the country’s societies for the mentally handicapped. At the same time Saint Catherine’s was registered with the Ministry of Education as a special school.

Saint Catherine’s has boarding facilities for 50 children. These places are reserved mainly for children living outside Harare. The other girls and boys, Harare residents, travel to school each day, Monday to Friday.

The school day begins with Assembly, hymns and prayers. Classroom time starts at 8.30 am and goes on until 12 noon, with a half hour break at 10.30 am for recreation. The school provides a drink and something to eat for each child just before break. At 12 noon the children prepare for lunch which is a cooked meal. At 12.30 pm the children have a rest period until 2.00 pm when they get ready for their afternoon activities. At 3.30 pm the children have tea, and the school day finishes at 4.00 pm.

Work at Saint Catherine’s involves the teaching of self-help skills, communication, domestic skills, occupational training and socialisation. When possible the children are introduced to the academic skills of the normal school.

The school timetable includes art and craft, music and movement, domestic science, games and swimming, and a variety of special occasions and outings. In the hostel the children have television and films; and often of a weekend a school or church group comes to entertain the children in residence and maybe take them out for a picnic.

Saint Catherine’s has a school committee which has overall responsibility for the centre’s income and expenditure. Income consists of school fees and some government assistance. However the centre does rely heavily on charity without which it could not manage to maintain its high standards of comfort, care, education and training. Accordingly any support, in cash or in kind, is always very much appreciated.

I have recently learned that my son, John, a music student at Columbia Union College in Washington, has also discovered your webpage - I don't know who told him of it - and plans to make an entry in your Visitors' Book.

Very best wishes for the planned reunion.

Charles J. McGuiness
(Head, Saint Catherine’s Special School)


"Stripes in Magenta" is best viewed in electronic format. Clicking on blue underlined links will take you to specified WWW page or another point within this news letter. Printed copies wll not have this functionality.

Sadly, the Monsignor did not live to see the fruition of his work - "From the Headmaster" is, of course, entirely fictitious.

Please let the editor know if you do not wish to receive further issues.
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contact the editor with your email address

If you've enjoyed this issue, then keep it in press by submitting your contributions
These may include text, pictures, video and sound clips
Deadline for Summer term issue: 21 April 2001
preferably by email to but if you've not yet moved into the 21st century:
Gorland, Old Scapa Rd, KIRKWALL, Orkney, KW15 1BB
or FAX 01856 870043 (Health Centre)

This news letter is produced in good faith but may contain inaccuracies.
Thanks to all those who have contributed.