Version of 5 August, 2020

We presently have 38 photos taken at the school for its opening in 1911 up to 1944. When I started this project, I would not have believed that so many photos would appear. Thanks to the many people who have made all these available for the rest of us to enjoy.

1916, Form 2A. The earliest photo we have is thanks to the Cannon family -- children of Mrs. Dorothy Cannon who taught Latin at the school in the 1950's and '60's. A Patricroft girl, she started as a pupil at the school in 1915, and that's her, dressed in white, with long pigtails, at the left end of the second row. She went on to get a 1st Class Honours degree at Manchester University in 1925. She was a very remarkable lady, many of us being greatly indebted to her.. The teacher is Miss West.

1916 photo, submitted by Dorothy Mercer. It shows her father (William Edward Stafford, born Sept. 1899, back row, extreme left) with an Eccles Secondary School class in 1916. It was probably a leaving picture. The older man in the middle row is the headmaster, "Tic" Cowlishaw.

1916. Photo of teachers "before summer" of 1916. The photo was in the "School review" magazine (shown in its entirety in another section of the Archives page). Back Row: Ms Petford, Mrs Lister, Ms Burman, Ms Haigh, Mr Hollis, Ms Proctor, Ms Sefton, Mr Gunter. Middle Row: Mr Foster Smith, Ms Batchelor, Ms Bent, Ms Wollacott (Senior Mistress), Mr Cowlishaw (Head), Ms Spearing. Front: Ms Brown, Ms Chamberlain, Mrs Boardman.

1920's, early. The Staff of Eccles Secondary School in the early 1920's. Back row, left to right, are Miss Ward, Mr. J. Boardman, Mr. Foster Smith, Mr. Arthur Hollis, Mr. William Shercliff, Mr. Owen, Mr J. H. Gunter, Mr. Frank Pollitt, and Miss Olive Gray, who left thè staff 10 years later to marry Mr. Gunter. She loaned the picture to the Journal. Sitting, Left to Right, are Miss Ida Petford, Miss Sadie Ingham, Mr. T. I. Cowlishaw (the head), Miss C. Jones, Miss Winnie Spearing, and Miss M. Sefton. At the front are a Geography/French teacher, Miss Connie Castle, and also Miss A. Bent, and Miss Gaukrodger.

1922, Form 2S. A young Miss Petford has a prideful look as she assembles her charges. This photo is thanks to Liz (Hinchcliffe) Oliver who was at the School in the early 50's. She had had 3 older brothers in the School, too. Liz's aunt, Bertha Hinchcliffe, who had preserved the photo, is shown by the purple dot. Quite a family connection, eh?

1920's. Photo of teachers, estimated to be in the 1920's. Some of the teachers are guessed on this photo: Back: Unknown, Unknown, Arthur Hollis, unknown, William Shercliff, 6 Unknowns; Front: Olive Gray, J. H. Gunter, Unknown, "Tic" Cowlishaw, Unknown, Foster Smith, Unknown.

1922, Form 4B. Andy Lewis kindly donated this photo -- the first "Form" photo we have, only 11 years after the school came into being. Some of these students would have been grandparents or parents of our own "youngster" generation. Is the teacher Miss Jones?

1922, 6th Form. Another photo kindly provided by Mrs Cannon's family. Mrs Cannon, then a pupil, is second from the left end of the lower row of girls. The Headmaster, Mr Cowlishaw, and the Headmistress, Miss Sadie Ingham, are on the photo, too.

1923, Form 3L. An unknown teacher watches over her class, all the boys in jackets and ties. This photo is again thanks to Liz (Hinchcliffe) Oliver. Liz's aunt, Bertha Hinchcliffe, is also in the photo, indicated by the purple dot.

1923, Form 5B. A second Andy Lewis photo -- the first "Form" photo we have, only 11 years after the school came into being. We can spot a school badge on a couple of the students. Like the piping on the lapels of the jackets ? That was a style that apparently didn't become fashion.

1923. Miss Ida Petford's Class. Her pupils included Calvert Cook, McCullough, Gaukrodger, Wilson, Ashcroft, Marion Pryor, Jessie Entwistle, Betty Phillips, Nora Bateman. Annie Bentley, Kathleen Earl, Janet Briggs. Peggy Brookes, Nancy Kinnear and Elsie Davies. Marion Pryor (middle row, left end) returned to the school as a teacher of mathematics and had a very long association with the school. John Barlow provided this photo.

1923. William J. Shercliff (in the gown) became a teacher at the School in November 1912 at age 21, and retired in 1951. This was his class in 1923. He lived on Grange Road, immediately adjacent to the School, until some time after retirement. We remember that our tennis-ball football games would sometimes inadvertently send the ball over the school wall into his garden, and were always returned in a kindly way. One of Mr. Shercliff's sons became a Fellow of the Royal Society.

1926-27, Form 5S. Mike Mellor preserved this photo of his mother, Madge Gaukrodger (purple dot), in the class of Mr. Foster Smith. Elsie Davies, older sister of Eva Davies noted in several other photos, is marked with the green dot.

1927. Form 1A. Christine Fairclough's aunt, Eva Davies (marked ED) is on this photo of the first-year class, 1A, preserved by her family. It allows us to date it fairly precisely to 1927. The teacher is not known. It is the first of five photos on which Eva appears, a great help to our chronology.

1928 or 29, Form 6. The headmaster, Mr. Cowlishaw, and Mr. Foster Smith are both in this photo of the Sixth Form class. Madge Gaukrodger, the mother of Mike Mellor who kindly provided the photo, is marked with a purple dot. She and her family became great supporters of the Old Essians after she left school.

1928. Form 2S. Christine Fairclough's aunt, Eva Davies (marked ED) is again on this photo, allowing us to pin it to 1928. The teacher is Mr William Shercliff.

1929 ? Form 2L. The photo appears to be from about 1929, when blazers with coloured piping around the lapels seemed to be all the rage among the girls. Their faces full of hope, many of them would facwed great hardship in the war years that came in the prime of their youth. Martin Baggoley provided this one.

1929. Form 3S. Another in the series of Eva Davies (ED) photos. The teacher is John Ball, a newly-arrived Chemistry graduate from Manchester University. He stayed at the school until his death in 1963, having guided many pupils to distinguished careers in Chemistry.

1930, Form 1A. Bright-eyed newcomers to the ESS in 1930, many destined for great things, no doubt. Can we identify any parents, grandparents ?

1930, Form 2L. The teacher with the 2L form is Miss Olive Gray. The photo was kindly provided by John Barlow.

1930. Form 4S. These pupils, 14- and 15-year-olds,were in Form 4S. The teacher is Mr. Alec Pearson, a graduate in Mathematics from Manchester University. He later became Deputy Headmaster, greatly respected, and stayed at the school until retirement in 1959. Eva Davies (marked ED), whose family retained the photos up to the present day, is marked near the centre.

1930, Form 5L. Mr John Gunter, one of the original teachers at the school since its 1911 beginning, is here with a fairly happy-looking class. The photo was kindly provided by John Barlow.

1931. First-year pupils in Class 1B. Eric Briggs, who preserved this and the following photos in his family, is marked 'EB' in this and subsequent photos. Eric lived in Swinton, and perhaps like many in this photo, served in WWII. He worked at the building company of Gerrards in later years. His son Derek, who kindly provided these photos, also attended the school '59 to '64. Also marked on the photo is Ken Davies, a relative of Christine Fairclough (who put Ken's name on this as well as photos of '32, '33' and '34.)

1931, Form 2L. Teacher Olive Gray with her class. This photo was supplied by Dennis Cooper, as I recall.

1931. Form 4S. Eva Davies and Mr. Alec Pearson both appear again on this photo of Form 4S. Apart from Eva, all other pupils are new to this form, though the plaque tells us it's the same Form another year later. A little mystery for the detectives among you!

1931, Form 5L. John Gunter, already in his twentieth year at the School, has a fatherly look about him. He was already widowed and had five sons to raise on his own. He stayed at the School until after WWII. Photo supplied by John Barlow.

1932. Class 2A. Photos like these tell many stories. Despite these years being economically challenging, these young people look happy and focused in their lives. I wonder how their lives progressed ?

1933, Form 1A. Derek Briggs acquired this (and later photos) through his cousin, Ian Morris. Derek's aunt, Olive Briggs, the girl with the shining smile (marked with the dot), was a pupil. She obviously enjoyed her time at school.

1933. The 3A class. The teacher is Miss Baker. She became headmistress in in 1944 probably, and stayed at the school into the mid-1960's. She taught many of us the intricacies of Shakespeare. In her later years at the school her house faced Monton Green and she rode her bicycle to school, a vigilante of her age, detecting students walking to school who were not wearing the school cap or conducting themselves with 'proper comportment' ! She was also reputed to check, when necessary, that naughty girls weren't wearing other than the regulation bottle-green knickers !

1934, Photo of Class 4A. A lot more boys than girls in this class for some reason. Derek points out that this photo suggests school badges weren't as common at that time, though his dad is proudly wearing one. The teacher here is thought to be Mr. Foster Smith, who served the school for many years.

1934 photo of Class 5A. The teacher is Mr Gunter, who had been at the School since its founding. He came to serve as Headmaster during WWII when Mr. Fairweather got deployed, then retired after the end of it.

1935, Form 3A. Another Derek Briggs photo showing his aunt, Olive Briggs (marked with dot). A young Mr. Pearson, a wonderful influence on the mathematical skills of many of us, accompanies them. Who can forget Mr. Pearson's "Shirley Trick" ? and the minus sign he always inscribed at top left of the blackboard?

1935, Class 4S. I can't locate who must have sent me this photo. I wonder why it was "S" instead of A, B, C, D (or in later times E, W, S, N) ? Scholarship maybe? or So-so ? The teacher is Frank Pollitt who everyone knew as "Tiny". He served the school for many years.

1935, Class 5A, now with plenty of girls again The teacher is that school legend, Mr. Shercliff, noted on earlier photos.

1936, Class 3A. This was preserved by Jack Howarth (identified on the photo), and came to us via his daughter, Moira Howarth (who married Chris Orr). Jack won his Form Prize in the 1938 Speech day programme. Smart people those Howarths ! Back Row: Collier, Yarwood, Day, Knight, D. Cowap, Burgess, Acton, Baker; Next Row: Mr McLaren (Latin teacher), Joyce Entwistle, E. Lowe, J. Wallwork, J. Johnson, H. Bancroft, Joan Shepherd, Renee Wolstenholme, Millington; Next Row: Leatherbarrow, Cox, Irene Hollinshead, J. Beswick, J. Wallwork, Horridge, R. Fare; Front Row. Smith, Jack Howarth, Ryder, Hewitson, W. Naylor, Robertson

1936, Form 4A. Olive Briggs (later became Morris) again shown (with dot). The teacher is P. G. Holt, who the students, ever inventive, gave the nickname Piggy. First at the school in 1931, he served in the R.A.F. during the War and was awarded the O.M. (Poland).

1936, Form 5A. Mr. William Shercliff poses with the students of Class 5A. Only three years before WWII, so many of these young people must soon have been devastatingly affected by the war. This photo was again submitted by John Barlow.

1946, School Hockey team. Our very earliest School sports team photo, and a very happy-looking team, too. This was kindly provided by Audrey Barlow, who was at the School 1942-46. Judging by Audrey's lucid communications, I wouldn't be surprised if she's still playing hockey ! She added a few names, too.