Stripes in Magenta
The Electronic Newsletter of St Augustine's Grammar School, Sharston Mount, M22 4PJ 30 April 2002
Summer Term

eCirculation 271 Issue 5
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.

"From the Headmaster" Stripes in Magenta
My dear boys,
Whilst the the memory of the First Grand Reunion of St Augustine's Grammar School remains fresh in the memory, I am informed that the 1974 intake have now met together for a pleasurable if not entirely memorable evening. Their later transfer to the `Club MedŽ takes me back to my time at the English College in Rome and latterly my time spent as RAF chaplain during which I was posted to locations all around the Mediterranean.
The fish, as many of you will know, was used as a sign of recognition between the early Christians and is still in use, as a symbol representing many Christian groups today, particularly those of a charismatic nature. It has recently come to my notice that several Old Boys have taken to using fish to identify themselves, so appearing to emulate the activities of the early Christians. However I remain to be convinced that this keen interest in fish by certain Old Boys is any way inspired either by the the early church or any charismatic movement of the latter day church. Whilst acknowledging that fishing is a worthwhile and honourable leisure pursuit (indeed the Headmaster himself has been known to indulge in piscine activities), neither fishing nor pisciculture can be regarded as suitable material for the curriculum of a Grammmar School: the lenient angle taken regarding this subject cannot continue and henceforth all such activities on weekdays should be restricted to after 3.50pm.

"Sharston Mount Poet Laureate"
The Headmaster now has great delight in announcing the first "Sharston Mount Poet Laureate" Award. The successful entrant for this award will take claim to this title for the academic year 2002-2003. He may be required to provide and recite poetry at school occasions throughout the aforesaid academic year.
Candidates for this honour must be former students or assistant masters/mistresses of the school and should submit a qualifying poem in accordance with the guidance outlined below.
The subject should be St Augustine's Grammar School - most facets of this great school would be considered suitable but I must remind all candidates,
that on deciding on the content, one would be well advised to remember the general principle that one ought not to put in writing anything that one is not prepared to say to the intended audience in person.
Candidates are advised to confine themselves to three stanzas of 4 lines each in Iambic tetrameter, for example:-
Be present, Holy Trinity,
Like splendour, and one Deity:
Of things above, and things below,
Beginning, that no end shall know.

Candidates are at liberty to select other forms but they must bear in mind that the verse may be recited at Assemblies of the School and on Speech Days. It is doubtful whether more than three verses will be thought desirable.
The Adjudicators will be The Headmaster, Monsignor McGuiness; Mr. Glynn, Dept. Spoken English and Mr Scrowston, Dept. English.
Entries must not be signed but are to be handed to the Registrar, who will ask the competitor’s name and assign to him a number which she will keep secret until after the Adjudicators have chosen the winning entry. The Adjudicators will not know the identity of the competitors until after they have announced the result.
Entries must be submitted not later than the penultimate day of the Summer Term, i.e., Thursday, 25th July, 2002. The Adjudicators expect to announce the result at the commencement of following Michaelmas term. The Adjudicators reserve the right not to make any award if entries are not of sufficiently good quality.

Staff Retirements Mr Jim McCabe, formerly Head of History and one of the founder assistant masters at this school, will retire from his current post as Headmaster at St Thomas More RC Secondary School, Buxton at the end of this academic year. We wish him well in his retirement and take the opportunity to thank him for his service at this school.

Will the following boys: Keith Prep, Anthony Murray, Peter Phik and Pek Thripe, please report to the Headmaster's office after assembly.

News Stripes in Magenta
74/79 Get-together Website Adrian Jessett  

74/79 Get-together

The 74/79 get-together took place at the Moon under Water on Deansgate, Manchester and moved to Bar Med later. It was attended by about 20 ex pupils and approx 4 apologies were received. The night went excellently and I feel certain it will happen again.

It was arranged by myself with some prompting from Dave Hamnett and the involvement of Andy Brown for his class. Unfortunately I could get no reply for a catalyst from the third class in that year although I think 1 or 2 turned up. I have put my initial memories of the night on the notice board.

Two stories were prominent, one being the fire which unfortunately involved our year, but it was interesting to hear the different memories people had of it.

The funniest though had to be the blind student french teacher when we were first years. He came in the class with Mdme Fairhurst over a number of weeks to learn and over these weeks we noticed he was hard at work "manufacturing" something in braille!! He spent every minute of every lesson hard at work and one by one each pupil became more intrigued with this than the actual french lesson itself [hardly surprising!!]

To everyone's surprise we found out that he was eventually to be allowed to teach us on his own [was that a wise thing to do?]. Nevertheless it happened, and on his first solo flight we all understood what he had been manufacturing! it was a braille desk plan with all our names on it!! so he could impress us by looking in the right direction when asking a question!

So after the first lesson, we all moved places for each lesson. What fun to see his confusion as he looked one way only for the reply to come from another!! all that work for nothing, but you have to be cruel to be kind, don't you??

Thanks to Mike Duff for remembering that story to me! [BBr]


Although still more has been promised, there has been relatively little new material on site since the last issue of "Stripes". There has however been much discussion on the discussion board and strong feelings expressed about what the content of this board should be. I do not think that anyone has any real appetite for censorship and provided the FAQ rules are adhered to there should be no requirement for this (The FAQ rules are there, not to impose webmaster's or any other view of St Augustine's, but merely to protect the webmaster)

Web space remains tight and it is possible that the site may need to move away from its current provider (freenetname). If this becomes necessary then it is hoped to continue with the same domain name although this is not without cost and possibly involve some temporary upheaval. If anyone wants to take over the development and maintenabnce of their year's pages then this would alleviate the space problem and have the benefit of broadening the ownership. The separate year pages could then be linked seemlessly into the main site using the existing frame layout. [PJF]

Adrian Jessett, pleaded guilty last month to eight sample charges of indecent assault on a boy from his Manchester Boys Choir. The offences dated back to 1996. He has now been jailed for four years.

Further details

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 ( )

Godfrey Reilly-Cooper
Occupation: Merseyside Police

Steve Sweeney < >

Edward Tickle < >
Worked for BT (Post Office) since leaving school in 1973.
Married since 1975 to Jenny.
Three children - aged 26, 23 and 13.
Finally gave up playing the bagpipes 3 years ago and started learning piano. Grade 4 exam next month.
Expect to be Ashkenazy standard in 40 years' time. (Never too late.)

Joe Gillen (previously Gillan) < >'Bamber'
Bangkok, Thailand
Occupation: Chartered Civil Engineer
Family: Single
Other Information: A degree at Surrey University got me into civil engineering.
Have travelled extensively working in many places, particularly south east asia.
Last long spell in the UK was 5 years on the Channel tunnel, then I got itchy feet again. Currently in Bangkok on new airport, but Feb 2002. I am just about to go to Turkey for new Bosphorus crossing.
Keep well in touch with a few of my class, including Andre Bilyk & Roger Kearney and still follow MCFC ardently wherever I go. Expect to contact some more of old class mates in due course.

Barry Dare < >

Alan Wilson < >< > 'cuddles'
17,Westminster Avenue, Hartshead, Ashton-u-Lyne, Tameside.
(H): 01613441254 (W): 07887632686
Occupation: Regional Compliance Adviser
Family: 3 children aged 24, 21 & 16
Interests: Swapped the rugby for 5 a side football but still watch the odd game
Other Information: Numerous jobs in different industries until I went in to the Insurance industry in 1984 and am now settled with the good old co-op and have been for the past four years.


Henry Dillon <> ? invalid email
portsmouth, hants

Peter Dunne < >
Warsash, HANTS
Occupation: Ops Manager
Family: Jennifer 17, James 13, Jossie 7
Interests: Got back into running (staving off old age I suppose)

Michael Wallace
< >
30 Westminster Road, Failsworth, M35 9LQ
0161 953 8201 (w)
Occupation: Senior Manager, City Treasurer's Dept, Manchester City Council.
Married from 1979 - 2000
Daughter Claire ( 17 ) attends St. Augustine's of Canterbury, Oldham.
Currently doing A-Levels. She was top GCSE pupil achieving  5 A stars, 2 A's. She is hoping to go to University to study Medicine.
I played football in the Lancashire and Cheshire league until aged 36 for Moston Brook HSOB
Played Badminton at my local club until aged 40. Still play cricket for Failsworth Macedonia in the North Manchester League.

Andy Slater <>

Brian McGuire < >
Thames Ditton, Surrey
Occupation: Product Manager
Family: married with 2 children and another due in April 2002!
Interests: Golf plus all the usual - beer, football, avoiding DIY
Other Information: Since my pyjama days I have mainly lived in or near London working in telecoms.

David Smith
Occupation: Stock Manager for Mail Order Company
Family: Wife, Carol, married 20years. Daughter of 17, Kate

Stephen Wyatt < >
87 Ainsdale Drive, Lea, Preston, PR2 1TU
Family: Married to Susan, the gorgeous mother of our five children (she is reading this as I type) 
- Peter (24), Nick (20), Russell (19), Neil (17) and Benjamin (15).  (We did want a girl, but enough's enough...)
Occupation: Teacher (in a school for dyslexic children).
Interests: Football (well, Stockport County...), drinking (apparently obligatory), astronomy, aviation and fell walking.
Other information:  After totally messing up at Christ's in Liverpool, spent 14 years working for the local bus company in Preston as Personnel Officer before receiving the dreaded white envelope; took a degree in astronomy at UCLan, and a PGCE at St Martin's; worked for two years at a mainstream school and hated every minute of it; fell firmly on my feet when offered a post at the Red Rose School - this is what teaching is all about!  

Paul Grainger <>

Liam Heffernan<

Paul Coffey < > (new address)

Trevor Madden <>
Occupation: Social Worker
Interests: Still Man U
Other Information: Working as a social worker with adults with a learning disability.
Living with Theresa (ex Loreto, St Albans)

Ian Houghton < >
Heaton Moor
Occupation: IT consultant
Interests: Fellwalking, cycling, Manchester City
Famous Moments: Dropping a Maths books during assembly, I was on the front row underneath the pompous one. Invited to attend his office afterwards !
Other Information: Xaverian, Mcr Univ, ACA, now work for the yanks

Adrian Bibby
Fujitsu Consulting

Patrick O'Neal <>
Lasted 6 weeks at xavs!... army, Africa (~16years), now flying 737 out of Manchester.
fav place: somalia; scariest place: outside spikes office.
...going back to the bush at first opportunity.

Patrick Aherne < >

Jimmy Lavin <
Occupation: Accountant
Family: Married to Heather - kids 2 boys & a girl
Interests: playing in a band (with Billy Brennan)
Famous Moments: Still waiting/trying to be famous
Other Information: Working as Finance Director for healthcare company in Stockport (it's very exciting...)

John Kirwan < >
Other Information: Loreto college, Liverpool University

Andrew Murphy < > new email address

Keith Prep< >'Ray Tuna M'Horny'
Glasgow Anthony Murray 'The Kipper'
07799535192 (M)
One cat
Occupation: Aspiring Hack (Special correspondent for HMP Dunnoncin)
Interests: Crosswords, sleeping, waiting for trains and a smoking cure

Paul Donnelly < 'Paddyplateface'

Antonio Garrido < >
Cheadle Hulme

St John Plessington

Peter Clark < >
Andrew Lane < >
John Mazzitelli < >
Gerard O'Brien < >

John Higgins < >
Paul Ravenscroft < >
BSc Biology from the University of Salford, currently reading for a PhD in Microbiology, also at Salford

Bernard McIlroy < >

Old Staff Stripes in Magenta
  • Linda Dolata - University College School
  • Jim McCabe - retiring this summer
  • Remember "Peabody" ... and "Vesuvius"?

Belly Dancing Dennison

John Dennison taught me music for one term before he moved to St Elizabeth's, Peel Hall, Wythenshawe. Initially we were all terrified out of skins of him. He could make you blood run cold with just one glance. However, before he left we learnt to respect him as a top quality teacher, while still being wary of his reputation as a strict disciplinarian.

In later years he taught my young daughter music about  the same time as my brother taught at the school. My daughter, at 6 or 7 years of age, was a bit wary of him to say the least.However, one day she came out of school and beamed "Mr Dennison actually smiled at me!"

My favourite story concerned the staff night including my brother. They went to a Turkish restaurant, complete with belly dancer. After doing her routine she came over to the teachers to get one up for a dance. They all virtually hid under the tables...All except John Dennison. He got up on the dance floor and really got stuck into the dancing; while laughing and loving every minute of it. I thought this showed his vivacious and gregarious side,and how he lived life to the full.
To any old boys he taught Music, it may seem more than a little surprising !

Looking Back Stripes in Magenta

Hymn 159 was always sung in assembly during the week of All Saints, 1 November. It was the one hymn which the whole school really belted out with gusto. The most poignant rendition I can remember of it was when it was sang at
David Score's funeral which was held at the school. Spike really knew which hymn would be the biggest and loudest and he was right. My wife told me that it was the official school hymn for All Hallows, Peel Hall, yet it was never sung with any less apathy than any of  the others.

In 4th year our form room was the music room. One morning Paddy Bennett actually brought a dead cat into the school. One by one he put it in our desks just to see the reactions. Even more bizarre was the fact that he had kept it fresh overnight in his mum's fridge.

One time the soccer first eleven were playing at home during school hours, and the entire sixth form were allowed to watch it.
During the game Spike appeared at the top of the slope and proceeded towards them pitch. When he arrived there he found that the entire crowd of spectators were on the opposite side of it. So he walked around to talk to everybody.As he did so the crowd moved en masse so that they were also directly opposite to him. poor old Spike- subtlety just wasn't in it.


Forged 30 years ago:

The drop forge handles we made out of aluminium for our hacksaw projects...

Yes - my proudly created hacksaw of c1972 - still in active use 30 years later! [PJF]

Miscellaneous Stripes in Magenta

Benefits of a Cambridge Scholarship...

OK... who was that turned up at the Greater Manchester Police Sports and Social Club on Saturday 10th November?

"Numbers not your strong point then
...what did you graduate in?"

[There's really no value like loyalty within the clan, is there!]


The heaviest element known to science was recently discovered.

The element, tentatively named Administratium, has no protons or electrons and thus has an atomic number of 0. However, it does have 1 neutron, 125 assistant neutrons, 75 vice neutrons and 111 assistant vice neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 312. These 312 particles are held together in the nucleus by a force that involves the continuous exchange of meson like particles called morons.

Since it has no electrons, Administratium is inert. However, it can be detected chemically as it impedes every reaction with which it comes in contact. According to the discoverers, a tiny amount of Administratium caused one reaction to take over 4 days to complete when it would normally occur in less than 1 second.

Administratium has a normal half-life of approximately 3 years. At this time it doesn't actually decay but instead undergoes reorganization in which assistant neutrons, vice neutrons, and assistant vice neutrons exchange places. Some studies have shown that the atomic mass actually increased after each reorganization.

Researchers at other laboratories indicated that Administratium occurs naturally in the atmosphere. It tends to concentrate at certain points such as universities, government agencies, large corporations, and schools. The element can be found in the newest, best-appointed and best-maintained buildings.

Scientists point out that Administratium is known to be toxic at any level of concentration and can easily destroy any productive reactions where it is allowed to accumulate. Attempts are being made to determine how Administratium can be controlled to prevent irreversible damage, but results are not promising.

Keep fighting the spread of this deadly element.

and more...

Classified Stripes in Magenta
Pyjama Boys - 'Official' Tie

Specially procured for the Grand Reunion
featuring the full heraldic crest on navy with vertical stripes of Magenta

A few are still availble from
Peter Fay, Gorland Old Scapa Road, Kirkwall, KW15 1BB
at the cost price of £15 including postage.

"Against the Odds"

The History of the Hollies and Women's Education

Copies available from
Win Gleeson, 8 Dene Court, Stockport, Cheshire SK4 2JB
@ £12 + £2.50 P+P
(P+P:£5 Europe, £9 rest of world)

or from a bookshop near you!

Serious and less serious adverts carried free of charge to friends of St Augustine's Grammar School.
Please submit to
Births Deaths and Marriages Stripes in Magenta


To Dave Haworth (69), Kaew and Nadia (now relocated to Thailand)
Baby Sophia (aka Dee Dee) arrived into the world at 09:39 on Thursday, 21st February at Pattaya Bangkok Hospital.
3.35kgs All Well


Paul Jarvie Christmas 1995


Jim McCabe retires this year.
Retirement do at the Moorside Hilton Disley on July 18.
Contact Kate Lamb

Letters to Editor Stripes in Magenta
Letters should be addressed to the editor

Dear sir
There I was at the start of the Wilmslow half-marathon having travelled all the way from Southampton to do the run with my brother Mike when it occured to me that there must be some other ex pyjama boys somewhere in the 4,000-ish participants. I should have thought to post it on the site for a bit of a reunion. So, were there any other 'mid-life-crisis runners' (my kids take on my efforts to keep fit)  and are any of you participating in any other runs in the near future?
I completed the run by the way in 1hr 37 minutes - a record for me but well down the field of even older runners.
Regards to all - especially the class of '68.

Yours, Peter Dunne

Dear sir,
Over the last few months, and when I have had the opportunity, I have greatly enjoyed  many recent contributions to this remarkable website. Occasionally, I have felt that it has been overshadowed by rather hostile dialogues between
those who, in my view, quite legitimately, want to discuss their negative experiences at St. Augustines, and the alumni who feel that such memories should be laid to rest. For a while I wondered about whether we should be trying to resolve matters in some sense. Some have suggested censoring the site, whilst others have recommended a code of conduct. Whilst it seems perfectly reasonable that, as in other walks of life, we might temper our language, ideas, comments, even our anger, in the interests of fair discussion, I feel we might fall foul, in the process, of lapsing into outright censorship.
Democracy, it seems to me, relies on many principles, the most fundamental of which is the principle of adversarial political debate; that being the ability to engage with one's opponent in the hope of winning the argument. If therefore we stifle those we do not want to hear, we have, it seems to me, abandoned the notion of free discussion. On a personal level, I find the the contributions of those who choose to adopt nom des plumes quite intriguing, as maybe wartime resistance members might have done. Indeed the tradition of writing incognito goes back at least to the late 19th century where contributors to such organs as the London Times regularly wrote under pseudonyms (Dickens, to cite one famous example!)
As a final point, I would suggest that, if this site is to continue, this site that has provided us with the very means to air our opinions, be they fair or foul, we should at least remind ourselves that true, enjoyable, informative and balanced debate is based on respect for each others' opinions and not on some quasi-consensual notion of what is 'right'.

Yours,   Paul O'Sullivan

Possible invalid/changed email addresses
The following email addresses bounce and no longer appear to be valid

Harry Davies User unknown
Dave O'Reilly ... could not be delivered
Karl Merlin    ...user account inactive
John Murphy  JPM@ICELTD.CO.UK... User unknown
Peter Booth Invalid recipient:
Peter Philips Recipient unknown
Steve Clark mail domain ""
Paul Cartwight spcmc@earthink ...    unrouteable mail domain "earthink"
Henry Dillon mail domain ""
Mike Fox <> ...unknown user: "mjfox"
Nick McKie (unknown local-part "nicholasmckie" in domain "")

Please let webmaster know of any email changes if you wish to receive further copies of "Stripes"

"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.
If you are not on the distribution list and would like to be . . .
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 Michaelmas term issue: 21 September 2002
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.