On 13th June the University Archives and Special Collections are hosting the St Paul’s Practising School Old Boys’ Association reunion. This year there will be a special memorial service in the Chapel dedicating the St Paul’s College Practising School Second World War memorial board, in honour and memory of the Old Boys who lost their lives during the conflict. A special tribute will be made to Ron Prewer, the organising force behind the Old Boys’ Association who sadly passed away last year. Much of the effort and fundraising behind both this board and the restoration of the First World War memorial board can be attributed to Ron.
|St Paul’s College Practising School World War II Memorial Board|
There was a practising school on site at what is now Francis Close Hall campus from the nineteenth century until the early 1950s. Local boys from the St Paul’s area would attend classes until the age of around 14 when they would then enter the world of work or progress on to further study, some attending St Paul’s College on the same site in order to complete a teacher training qualification.
|St Paul’s Practising School pocket watch c.1900 (University Archive reference D524/1)|
This month’s item is a pocket watch kindly donated to the University Archive by Mr Bishop, whose father attended both the Practising School and later St Paul’s College to complete his teacher training qualification. Interestingly Mr Bishop’s mother attended St Mary’s College to complete her teacher training also. The pocket watch was presented to his father, Albert Bishop, upon leaving the Practising School at Christmas, 1900. It is in fantastic condition, complete with winding key, and still in working order after almost 113 years. It was made by the Lancashire Watch Company, Prescot, and is inscribed “T.C.P.S. O.B.S. Cheltenham. Presented to Albert Bishop, Christmas 1900”.