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

eCirculation 278 Issue 6
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,
It is always delightful to hear from you all, the achievements made by Old Boys of this great school as you have each moved on in life's varied paths and to this end I have given considerable thought to the reintroduction of what I consider to be one of the finer traditions of this notable academic establishment: I refer, of course, to the customary Letters to the Headmaster.
It would please the Headmaster greatly if each of the Old Boys were to write a letter to the Headmaster, preferably at the end of each academic term (those Old Boys sitting public examinations at that time could perhaps be excused, the Headmaster being ever conscious of the importance of such events in the pusuit of an individual's career).
The precise content of the letters is to be decided by the individual Old Boy, however,
in deciding on the content of their letter, the Old Boys would be well advised to remember the general principle that one ought not to put in a letter anything that one is not prepared to say in person to the recipient.

The layout should be as follows

At the top of the page in block letters — the boy’s full name and year of entry to the school
(those boys who entered the school after the first year should enter the entry year of the majority of their class, that is, a boy who entered 2nd year class in September 1970 should quote 1969 as their entry year).


The Rt. Rev. Mgr. F. J. McGuiness, S.T.L., M.A.,
Head Master,
St. Augustine’s Grammar School,
Manchester, M22 4PJ

Reverend and dear Father,

(letter content)

Asking Your Blessing,

I had the honour to be,

Right Reverend and dear Monsignor,

Your humble pupil,


The length of the letter should not exceed one side of A4 paper and should be presented typewritten or in legible tidy handwriting ( the use of a Word Processor is permitted if the Old Boy considers that his presentation would otherwise fall below the required standard).

It has not gone unnoticed to the Headmaster that the spelling and grammar in some recent correspondence has not been of the standard that would ordinarily be expected of an alumnus of Sharston Mount; the Headmaster would be grateful if Mr Glynn and Mr Scrowston could correct any epistle wherein the signatory is not himself completely assured of the grammatical rectitude.

As the Headmaster's House is no longer occupied, all letters should be addressed via the editor of this erstwhile journal, who has agreed to publish all those accounts which conform to the required standard.

Be assured that the Headmaster will note every word written.

I wish you all the best for the forthcoming academic year.

News Stripes in Magenta Message Board Reunions???

New Material always welcome

1975 Home Page
1975 pages are now autonomously managed by a member of that year - Simon Withers.
Thanks Simon.
1975 additions should be directed to
The 1975 entry now have the potential to to develop this page under Simon's editorial hand, perhaps with an individual 75 flavour. It is anticipated that this broadening of the editorial base will lead to more diverse, more interesting year pages as well as relieving potential webspace problems.

Other Old Boys wishing to develop their year pages:

  • please contact Peter Fay (
  • a bit of free webspace and an ability to write and upload webpages is required

Message Board
The message board has just passed through an interesting phase! The board was hijacked by outsiders with no interest in St Augustine's. This required active intervention: 'shawn' was simply expelled, 'Pooh Bear' was encouraged to examine his own navel whilst the Rourkish Paul Ambrose McNabb had to be treated to Aversion Therapy.

The content of other entries deteriorated at much the same time but that is history...

The board has been harvested and pruned - hopefully all entries of lasting interest now found a new home in various new pages on the website proper (see What's New).

Remember, the board is visible to anyone with a WWW connection so think before you post. Please read the FAQ. Please resist replying to pointlessly provocative posts - this appears to add fuel to the fire - these will now be deleted as a matter of course. To deter casual surfers with no interest in St Augustine's, a password will be required (this has been emailed to known ex-augustianians in separate post).

Anthony Hulse recently asked me the question

What do you want to see with this site? 

  • A scrap book of memories? 
  • A forum for discussion?
  • A community of people with a shared history?

This question is now returned to the readers of this erstwhile journal...


Please let the webmaster of any forthcoming year reunions and any details, worthy of interest, following the event .

Grand Reunions

- Do we try to make this a biannual event - heading for another in 2003?
- if so when and where - who's in on it? (volunteers please form an orderly queue!)

... or should we wait for the 40th anniverary of the opening of the school - 2005?

Opinions please...

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 ( )

Peter Yearsley <>
Canterbury Kent
Occupation: After leaving St.A's I went staight into a career in banking (rather than the University route Spike had mapped out for us all !). After a few years I decided to train as a teacher and eventually went on to two headships in Kent primary schools (not at the same time of course !).
Family: married wife Mary in '82 and we now have two beautiful teenage daughters.

Vincent J Pagent < > 'Vinny'
07968114061 (W)
Occupation: Director - Engineering Consultancy
Family: Married with 3 Daughters born in Cyprus, Germany and Hong Kong

John Chelsea < > 'chips'
2, Biddall Drive Baguley  M23 1PF
01619988418(H) 07971806849(W)
Occupation: self employed lift erector
Family: 3 kids,2 boys,1 girl  rory 21, chloe 19, jordan 18,  2nd marriage to rose
Interests: man united

Steve Newton <>

Philip Montgomery < >
Occupation: Past 18 years teaching science, before that research engineer
Family: married to Karin (15 years). children David 13, James 10 and Sara 6.
Interests: climbing, archery, mountain biking
Other Information: like drinking west coast malts.

Brian Davies <>
Occupation: Firefighter
Family: Wife Kay, daughter Nicola 24, son Matthew 20

Pete Greenwood <>

Bill (Billy) Evans <>
Perth, Australia
Family: Married with 2 kids
Occupation: Left school after 4th form in 72, worked in shop for 18 months before emigrating to Australia.  Various jobs in labouring and clerical, joined RAAF and did 6 years as electronics technician.  After military, did 2 years marine seismic surveying, 5 years in remote controlled subs in oil & gas industry.  Changed career into conservation, studied as forest officer, 8 years as park ranger.  Short stint as consultant botanist, now lecturing in environmental science.

Roy Mannion < >
Occupation &
Family: Have a vine nursery which I help my wife run and an internet business.
Married to Nikki from Phillipines,almost 6 years,2 step sons,Daniel,15,and Steven,13. Was an electrician for a few years before getting into sales and eventually becoming Sales Manager of top half of UK for a company in Gillingham,Kent.
Got divorced from 1st wife who moved to Scotland and took our daughter, Kelly, almost 18 now.
That event really took its toll so I decided to travel a bit and ended up here in Australia almost 9 years ago.
My goal ... retire in 5 years as a millionaire ... 

Dave Haworth
Now located back to Thailand after being made redundant at the end of last year. Still trying to find a position in the Far East. Currently building a house 800m from the beach and next door to an Elephant farm...! Nadia recently celebrated her 2nd birthday and Dee Dee has just begun crawling - this and the house mean I have no time for golf and would find it difficult to fit in a job...!
Email -
Tel - +661 900 2701
Resident in Pattaya, Thailand (about two hours drive from Bangkok and the airport should anyone be passing through!!)

Carl Brennan - email change - < >

Dispatched to Siberia
Just to let you all know, I am based now in Novosibirsk (Siberia) struggling to learn Russian (it gets better proportionately to the consumption of vodka) and about to get my balls frozen off.

Alan Johnston


Paul Coffey < >
Heald Green, Cheadle
Occupation: Estates Manager for Topps Tiles
Family: Married to Catherine for 12 years. 2 Kids Philip (8) and Caitlin (5)
Interests: I am still a West Ham fan unfortunately I did not grow out of it. Also watch Sale Rugby Club and have now stared running (Great North Run 2001 & 2002 hopefully)
Famous Moments: None whatsoever. I was too quiet and nobody will remember me
Other Information: Various jobs within the Property industry including Crown Berger Paints and Manchester Corn Exchange


Keith Foster < >
still in Wythenshawe
Family: Married with 2 children

Anthony Flanagan < >'Flannie'
132,Pickford Court, Clayton Close,off Bold Street, Old Trafford, Manchester, M15 4AZ
0161 226 4304(H) 07736026965(W)
Occupation: Whatever pays the bills - currently in Warehousing
Family: One Son, "Paul"(18 in Nov.>November really did create a monsta!)
Interests: Homebrew Stout, Underground Radio, Homebrew Bitters, Music (generally), Homebrew Ales, Watching Altrincham FC (Unibond Premier), Homebrew Lagers, oh, and the occasional pint (even if it's in ' pub)
Famous Moments: Zilch
Other Information: Labourer up to '86-92(enlisted into REME as a sparks)- since then I've tried to be a creative doley-bum with more than just a passing interest in observing Life through the eyes of a Grinning SwillHead

John Morgan-Evans < >
Charlton, London
Occupation: Trade Union Officer (Amicus)
Family: partner, Joanne (unmarried); son, Lewis (aged 3 in 2002)
Interests: MAn City & Millwall football clubs/Web design/Playing guitar/punk & after (inc Buzzcocks and the Smiths!)/Detective novels /food (naturally)/drink (likewise)
Famous Moments: Several stinkbombs in the stairwells!
Other Information: School/Art School/unemployed/printing City & Guilds/Printer/unemployed/BA/MA/PhD (not yet complete!)/Trade Union Officer...

Dom Delia < > Delilah
Hendon, London
Occupation: Accountant
Family: Married 13 years, 3 kids - Joshua, Esther & Samuel
Interests: Part of local Church leadership team, Music



Paul Ford < > 'fordy'
(H): 07989 405074
Occupation: publican
Family: one son aged 14

Kevin White < >
back in sunny stockport
Occupation: Macmillan Clinical Nurse Specialist
Family: married to Dominique 11 years, 2 pan lids
Other Information: crossed the pennines for 5 years to do nurse training, then withington, stepping hill and now macclesfield as a professional mourner but having a great, if "sick", laugh about life

Old Staff Stripes in Magenta

BANNED before Arrival

To the Editor's memory, several lads were banned from the school during their stay.

However the honour of being banned before arrival rests with a certain staff member - indeed it is alleged that this action was personally overseen by the headmaster...

It is a fact that, directly after my interview, the Headmaster checked that my wedding bans had indeed been read. He subsequently ascertained that my marriage had actually taken place before I took up post - achieved by generously providing a fine pupil organist  to provide the church music for my big day. He was then satisfied that his boys and/or his staff were thus safe from whatever he imagined were my designs!

...perhaps a rather short sighted and naive concern by the Boss

I reached my 40+10 birthday around Christmas last...
Now, anyone who might have been eligible for a TOTF team would now be able to work out a then close guarded secret - how much older was I than the Sixth Formers when I taught at St. Augustine's...

...Or were we just more concerned with other statistics ;-)

More on The Headmaster:
His fears re my nonconformist tendencies were confirmed when I refused to send boys to The Green Room, preferring to organise my own classroom management; a concept he found extremely difficult to comprehend, especially as my way was effective.
God rest him, they certainly broke the mould with him.

Excerpts from Christine Dawson

BT during a walking trip through a field full of cows:-
"Hello,Daisy!"  ,  "Hello, Ermintrude!"  ,  "Hello, Claribell!"
A First Year's reply:-
"Sir, how do you know all their names?"

Looking Back Stripes in Magenta
I was the youngest person in the class of '76, which was the final year of Augustine's intake.
...therefore being the youngest survivor of Oflag 4PJ

Dave Marsland

Who is the oldest surviving pupil from Oflag 4PJ...?

On the "Gatley" ...

liked or loathed, some things just haven't changed

We used to start around the fire exit of the gym (near Spikes house). We then exited thru the gates there, turned left and went along Stancliffe Road, we then used to cut thru Hollyhedge Park and out onto Hollyhedge Road, then onto Ogden Grove, then Halstead Grove, then down the infamous slope with the handrail along the middle of it. As I recall this was treacherous after a rainfall as it used to get very slippy and I fell on my a*se at least once!

Out onto Styal Road, along Park Road to the junction with Altrincham Road and then passed the front of the school, back up Stancliffe Road (past the Farm(!)) and back into the school perimeter via the same gate we left. We all used to then pass out on the grass area in front of Spike's and the Caretaker's Houses. I seem to remember we were not allowed to lie down to recouperate as this was not the most effective way to regain our badly missed breath. Not that this journey is scarred on my memory or anything ...! I have no doubt it was somewhat more than 1 imperial mile!

I remember one run, maybe 2 half Gatleys, not the full Gatley, that required passing the pavillion on Hollyedge Park, twice. 25 lads started the race and about 15 of us , encouraged by Gazz (Gallagher)(R.I.P) stopped there on the first pass. One of the crowd noticed Mr Mcguire trotting across the park to the pavillion (obviuosly concerned at the amount of smoke billowing from the back. As the dedicated runners made their way past for the second time we joined in and, due to lack of experience of this particular scams, I cocked up and came in 2nd. That following Friday I was running round Mersey Bank in 4 inches of mud.

Commentaries from the Message Board
Photos from Bernard Booth

lumpy mashed potatoes was memorable ...


Once, in assembly  a lad a few rows in front of me was obviously being kicked through the soft chair bottom. Spike noticed and said "See me later, that boy bouncing up and down. I want you to be keen but that's taking it too far!"


Stumbled across this site completely by accident and what a lot of powerful memories have been unleashed as a result. Seeing the pink and purple stripes once again on the Home Page has transported me back 30 years in an instant.I was one of the first intake in '65 and remember the sight of Spike greeting all and sundry at the entrance on the first day.I haven't clapped eyes on the place since the day I left in June '72 (I don't remember it being called 'Gussie's' at all !). I and my family moved to Devon in August '72 and gradually lost touch over the years. I was shocked to learn that the school has been demolished - what a terrible waste. Believe it or not I still have my old stripey scarf and badge from my blazer - how sad is that?After leaving St.A's I went staight into a career in banking (rather than the University route Spike had mapped out for us all !).After a few years I decided to train as a teacher and eventually went on to two headships in Kent primary schools (not at the same time of course !).Those supposed 'Leadership' courses at Loyola Hall in the Autumns of '69 and '70 must have done some good after all - does anyone else remember the high jinx that went on there,particularly the day Spike was rumoured to be visiting.All the windows of the study bedrooms immediately flew open and the column of fag smoke which rose up could probably have been seen from Liverpool city centre.I marriedmy wife Mary in '82 and we now have two beautiful teenage daughters.
So many memories,so many good friends - where to begin ?
Where are you,my old mates ?:

Andy Kay (loony in residence - we were in touch up to the mid-'80's. You were my best friend over the years. Thanks forall the eccentric laughs !)

Martin Peach (why did we fall out? You were a great mate for several years, but there again I was such a plonker in thosedays.We must have explored most of the Cheshire countryside on our bikes and your Mum made such brilliant dinners!)

Roger Donbavand (I've just seen your entry in the Visitor's Book - Hello again !Do you remember the endless badminton games in your back garden ?)

Stephen McCann (Such a kind & generous guy)

Johnny Sale (of the unusual hair style & wild taste in music - Flaming Groovies anyone?)

Ged 'The Ted' Hutton(Elvis-style quiff, wild boogie-woogie piano on the hall piano when Spike wasn't around)

Stephen Twist (Later 'Smith'-do you remember our Friday night sessions at the Bluebell in Wilmslow,getting slowly sozzled, listening to old blokes talking about the war)

Johnny Sefton (Quietly subversive,and very funny)

Jimmy Swain (John Lennon lookalike,who carried a bag of 'drugs' around which he used to snort in assembly - I still maintain it was soap powder. Jimmy was an exam genius who used to write all his notes down on shiny loo paper. He had a complex that Spike was after him about his long hair - he probably was !!)

Paul'Rocker'Rochford (who had a very unusual file and specialsed in 'Rockerees', a very strange series of noises directed at a member of tho office staff as she passed the form room)

Godfrey Reilly-Cooper (Hello again- I've seen your message. I remember befriending you on your first day in '69 and spending each break just walking round the school grounds.You kept telling us how marvellous Yorkshire was compared to Lancashire AND you supported the dreaded Leeds United. But we let you off because you were a funny guy)

Most vivid memories :
1.A bunch of us singing 'Oh God our help in ages past', one of Spike's favourites, in a Cockney accent at a Speech Day practise ie.''Oh Gawd our 'elp in oiges pawst etc.''

2.A row of us cracking up at the Bishop's 'singing' at the Solemn Blessing in '69 (Jimmy Swain's fault) and then getting bollocked by Mr Rice at the end.

3.Father Arthur's 'Model Answers' in RE which seemed to go on for ever.He went ballistic one day when we drew an affectionate cartoon of him on the board .

4.Michael Rothwell accidentally kicking the bell across the altar during one of Father Abbott's masses and trying desperately not to laugh for the next half hour!

5.Me serving at Mass and not having a clue what to do!

6.Sharing a caravan in Wales in Autumn '71 with Ged Hutton and Andy Kay,and having to walk back 10 miles to the caravan site in the pitch dark from Bangor (we'd missed the last bus).You never heard so much moaning from 'The Ted' in all your life!

7.Michael Legierski being asked to see if the Physics books were in the lab, 4 floors up. After 20 minutes he returned and said to the master (I forget his name) :''Yes Sir,they're there !'' Cue whole class creased up! Sorry if you get to read this Michael,but it WAS very funny.

There are loads more memories - I'll add a few more when time allows.Just one small thing,and it's bugged me all these years,I was meant to have received a prize at the 1970 Speech Day for 6th best performance in the GCE's. However on the night I was informed that my book hadn't arrived yet so I received - nothing. I'm still waiting for my prize (the only one I have ever received) 32 years later! Typical of St.A's - a weird experience from start to finish, but one I wouldn't have swapped for anything.

Please feel free to e-mail me.

Peter Yearsley (1965-1972)  

Miscellaneous Stripes in Magenta

Space Oddity (revisited)

Can you hear me Major Kip.Can you hear me Major Kip.

Here am I, sulking in my soup can
Far from the board
Mannion and Booth you were true
So I hate the both of you.

This is ground control to Major Kip
You never made the grade
And your paper doesn't want to know if you're there
Now it's time to address the board
If you dare

This is Major Kip to ground control
I'm feeling very scared
I don't think I've ever known which way to go
And no one down there loves me very much

We know

Ground control to Major Kip,
Your brains gone dead
Is there something wrong
Can you hear me Major Kip
Can you hear me Maj...
Can you hear....
Can yo........

Houston to ground control
Yes,come in Houston,
That's him fucked!

Latin Vocabulary

Eheu ("pronounced like a good hard sneeze......."): Alas

Immoral! Impossible!

Immoral! Impossible! God only knows
How basses, sopranos, tenors, and altos
Who gather on Sunday are never the same
As those who on Wednesday to choir practice came.

Unready, unable to sight-read the notes,
Nor counting, nor blending, they tighten their throats:
The descant so piercing is soaring above
A melody only a mother could love.

They have a director, but one wonders why:
No one in the choir deigns to turn him an eye.
It's clear by his flailing, he wants them to look,
But each singer slouches with nose in the book.

Despite the offences, the music rings out.
The folks in the pews are enraptured, no doubt.
Their faces are blissful, their thoughts appear deep,
But it is no wonder, for they are asleep.

St Denio

Original, verse 1, by Austin Lovelace. Verses 2-4 added by Ron Hodges.

The Castrato's Lament

Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away
Now it looks as though they're here to stay
Oh I believe in yesterday

8va "Falsetto"...
Suddenly, I'm not half the man I used to be
I have had an orchidectomy
Do I believe in surgery?

Yesterday, both my nuts seemed as they should
Now it looks as though they're gone for good
Oh I believe in yesterday

Why they had to go I don't know
He wouldn't say
I sang something low now I long for yesterday

Yesterday, I could get her in the family way
Now it seems as if it's not that way
Oh I believe in yesterday

Yesterday, love was such an easy game to play
Now I need a place to hide away
Oh I believe in yesterday

Yesterday, my lad would rise to higher realms
Now it falls down like Niagra
Oh, Oh Oh I believe in Viagra

based on original verse 2 by John Leveckis AKA "The Count" c1980 with apologies to Sir Paul McCartney

Classified Stripes in Magenta

Skerryvore Software Ltd

A small company mainly concerned with software for the health service.

Also available to download:

  • Simply Calenders - create and print calendars/planners in many different languages.
    Never purchase another calendar or year planner again!
  • Iconoplasm - a freeware icon editor.
  • Treesaver screensaver - fractal trees
  • A General Practice Library - library database for General Practitioners especially those involved in training
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
Ian Mannion  April 2002   St. John Plessington intake c.1983  
after tragic accident
  much beloved brother of Roy, Andrew, Colin and Philip
Letters to Editor Stripes in Magenta
Letters should be addressed to the editor

Dear Sir,
Thanks for your work and dedication.   What do you want to see with this site?  A scrap book of memories?  A forum for discussion? A community of people with a shared history?

Anthony Hulse

Dear Sir,
How pleasant it was to read that a product of the St. Augustine’s workshops is still in use after 30 years. I too have a junior hacksaw. In fact I have several, each stamped with the initials JDS or SIR in an attempt to prevent unauthorised acquisition. It would be interesting to know how many other workshop products are still in existence.
My metalwork lessons obviously failed in at least one respect. The handles were not drop forged out of aluminium, but were cast in low melting point alloy poured into an aluminium mould. Sorry to sound like a teacher, but it’s a hard habit to drop!

Yours, from the 20th century,

Derek Smith.

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

Adrian Bibby < > mailbox unavailable
Joe Greevy < > mailbox unavailable
Jonathan Box < > mailbox unavailable
Paul Booth < > mailbox unavailable
John Boyle <> Invalid recipient:
Aidan Columb < >not reached after a long failure period
David Hamnet not reached after a long failure period
Adrian Cameron Unknown local part
John Brennan Unknown local part
Tim Matthews  
Robert Sullivan unrouteable mail domain
Peter Foley unrouteable mail domain
Dave Marsland unrouteable mail domain
Anthony Greenwood unrouteable mail domain
Chris Mazzitelli <> addressee unknown
Louie Gregg < >
John Ross<> User unknown
Peter Dunne <> User unknown
Frank Connel  local delivery failed
Willy Burke retry timeout exceeded
Andy Slater retry timeout exceeded
Damian Hickey retry time not reached
Kevin Allen retry time not reached
Terry McCarthy retry time not reached

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

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

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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 Lent term issue: 21 January 2003
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.