Page relevant: Redcliff Endowed Schools, Redcliffe Endowed Boys School history old pictures, St Mary Redcliffe Secondary School history,
St Mary Redcliff Secondary School, St Mary Redcliffe Boys' School, St Mary Redcliffe Secondary Boys' School, Redcliffe old school UK

Welcome to the St Mary Redcliffe Boys' School
Pre. 1970 History Project Website

St Mary Redcliffe Boys' School badge
St Mary Redcliffe Boys' School motto
Glory be to God on high



This page is divided into sections:

Key to buildings in and around the school / maps though time
Timeline / short history | Setting the Scene | Key Resource | School Access
 School Motto | Pre war building additions & re-organisation | Bombed
School Playground | Teaching Staff | Sports |  Royal Visit | Old Pictures
 



Read more about Temple
Colston Girls' School


Read more about St Mary Redcliffe
& Temple School pre. 1970



To leave your comments / memories,
click to Memory Lane

 



WANTED!
- If you have any other pre. 1970 images, memories, stories or other historical information relating to St Mary Redcliffe Boys' School that could be displayed on this page (with a credit to you of course) please commit them to an email now and .
radical_solutions (at) hotmail (dot) com

School frontage taken from Redcliffe Parade (3rd May 1906)

St Mary Redcliffe Boys' School Bristol 1906

Photographs of other parts of the school are quite rare as it was
completely hidden from view by surrounding buildings.


The school buildings shown below were finally demolished in 1971 after pupils
& staff had moved to the new school site in Somerset Square in 1967.

View of boys' School, playground & surrounds circa 1955.
Taken from Church tower over the Lead Shot Tower roof.

St Mary Redcliffe Boys' School  - view from church tower
click image to enlarge

Key: A Parish Rooms | B Bristol General Hospital | C Tickling Bench
D Roof of Mervyn King Hall (b. 1939) | E TA Drill Hall (dem 1988) | F Shot Tower
G Redcliffe Parade entrance | H Original (pre. 1906) main school buildings
K 1906 school extension | M Main 1929 classroom extension
N Smaller 1929 classroom extension | P Woodwork rooms (b.1939)
R The Old Armchair off licence (our "tuck shop")

 

4 area map segments sourced from Know Your Place
Maps shown are circa's 1850 / 1930 / 1949 / 1980

St Mary Redcliffe Boys' School - map 1850 St Mary Redcliffe Boys' School - map 1930 St Mary Redcliffe Boys' School - map 1949 St Mary Redcliffe Boys' School - map -1980
Click to enlarge each



Short History

Queen Elizabeth's Free Grammar and Writing School was first founded by Royal Charter in 1571. The first building measured approx 56' by 26' and was located in the Churchyard of St Mary Redcliffe, near the south porch. The school has moved to various sites throughout its long existence.

Redcliff Endowed Schools (girls and boys) were founded under a scheme of the Charity Commissioners in 1856. It was built on land owned by the Church previously used by the adjacent (first) Vicarage as an orchard. An upper department was added in 1877, The upper dept. provided "higher instruction" with a fee of 6d a week. The girls moved out & the school's name changed in 1879 to Redcliff Endowed Boys' School.

Class photo from 1888 - Headmaster J T Francombe shown left

Circled pupil thought to be Charles Pringle Grierson. Enlisted WW1 in the
11th batt Lancashire reg. in the ranks and worked his way up to be an officer.

Redcliff Endowed Boys' School - class photo 1888
click image to enlarge

The school was located on the opposite side of Redcliffe Hill from the church, in an area bounded by Redcliffe Hill, Redcliffe Parade, Jubilee Street and Guinea Street. It utilised a mixture of several individual buildings of varying age and styles. Notable alterations and extensions were undertaken in 1887,1906 (the 50 Year Jubilee), 1928 & 1938.

A "Certificate of Character" was provided as a reference for employment
Click here to see an example from 1930

In 1947? the boys' school changed its name to St Mary Redcliffe Secondary School. The School finally merged with Temple Colston Girls' School in 1967, creating the co-educational St Mary Redcliffe and Temple School as a comprehensive, voluntary aided school.

I contacted the school in March 2017 to seek assistance with this project but due to time and budget constraints they were unable to offer any help. Should anyone there have a change of heart, I am always interested in new information that could make this humble project more complete, if you have something / anything get in touch, I will be delighted to hear from you.

Setting the "Scene"

School frontage taken from a work room atop the Shot Tower

St Mary Redcliffe Boys' School - view from lead shot tower

(pic. extracted from a video displayed further down this page)
 

Aerial view around 1930 - Shot Tower top left. This was before
new school buildings & playground replaced the Vicarage, its gardens
and a whole row of terraced houses in 1938/9. Note the rail tunnel
exit to docks just visible in bottom right corner, the tunnel went
right under the playground and I never knew!

St Mary Redcliffe Boys' School - aerial view
click image to enlarge


AV 1934 showing the rear of the school with 1906 (green) /
1929 (red) extensions indicated by arrows. Shot Tower
top, Vicarage center, Parish Rooms bottom right.

St Mary Redcliffe Boys' School - aerial view
click image for magnified view of school


AV 1947 - Playground now replacing Vicarage.
Parish Rooms buildings prominent top left, Shot Tower bottom left.

St Mary Redcliffe Boys' School - aerial view
Click image to visit the Britain From Above web site

Note bomb damage still visible on roof of Mervyn King Hall
 

A view from Queen's Square over bascule bridge showing Church / Shot
Towers and frontage (part) of School on Redcliffe Parade extreme right.


Click image to enlarge


View from Church Tower in the early 1960's


Click image to enlarge

Note activity around the "tickling bench"?

The School made creative use of serveral off-site facilities to enhance the education of pupils, these included Broad Weir Swimming Baths, the TA Training Hall (PE) in Jubilee Place, the Day Industrial School (metalwork) in Temple Back and of course the Parish Rooms (French and other subjects), just across the playground.

AV 1950 Taken from over Bristol General Hospital
Shot Tower is top center, Parish Rooms lower right side

St Mary Redcliffe Boys' School - aerial view
Click image to enlarge

Note the nice new roof on the Mervyn King Hall, repair works were
in progress in playground, the repairs were completed in 1951.


Similar view to above taken in 1971 - Desolation!

TA Training Hall can be seen to far left of cleared area,
the hall was on upper level of the building

Key Resource

Cover of rare 1956 Booklet, purchased in a bric-a-brac market for £2 by my
wife, it contains unique content, some of which, is shown on this page.

The Booklet also documents the Queen's visit in 1956,
conducted as part of the centenary celebrations.
 

2 example pages scanned from Booklet


Click image to enlarge


School Tie year 1 & 2 | Senior Scarf | School Tie years 3+

St Mary Redcliffe Boys' School - school tie St Mary Redcliffe Boys' School - school scarf St Mary Redcliffe Boys' School - school tie
Click each image to enlarge

The above are a little moth eaten and tired, just like their owner.
The year 1 & 2 scarf had a similar design to the tie shown,
mine probably ended up around "Frosty's" neck.
 

School Access

The main school entrances were from Redcliffe Parade through a fairly small, I always felt imposing, door then via a cloakroom area up some dark enclosed stairs directly into the main school building. The other via Jubilee Place adjacent to the TA Drill Hall (Jubilee Hall) directly into the playground.

Plaque that was above the school entrance in Redcliffe Parade

Just a theory - Arrangement of the wording into the 2 panels shown above is strange. There were 2 sets of cloakrooms inside the door, I suspect that the original plaque may have read "Redcliff Boys" on the left side, "Redcliffe Girls" on the right. The right side of the plaque would possibly have been changed some time after 1879 when the girls moved. (it took 90 years to get them back! - worth the wait? well I thought so.)

St Mary Redcliffe Boys' School - twin towers

On leaving school heading down to Redcliffe Hill I could look
up to see the "twin towers", sadly only one now remains.

There was also small alleyway entrance between the shops on Redcliffe Hill but this was strictly for Masters, any boy caught using this entrance earned himself a detention. The Redcliffe Hill alleyway entrance to the playground seems odd but was built as a trade off when the first Vicarage (b 1701) with its wide entrance to Redcliffe Hill were lost when the rail tunnel was built in 1868.

School Motto

The Redcliffe Boys' School used the Motto "Punctuality,
Perseverance, Practice, Prayer", known as the 4 P's
Introduced by J T Francombe MA Headmaster 1872 - 1909.

Motto was displayed on the Mervyn King Gym Hall's wall but in a different order and less flowery typeface. Practice and Perseverance apply well to netball and most sports, the other two quite possibly. (pic taken just before Hall's demolition in 1971)

The above plaque was retained at the new school
I'm not sure if it is still displayed?

Other mottos used through the years include Gloria In Exelcis Deo (Glory be to God on High), Floreat Redcliffe (Let Redcliffe Flourish). Mottos in the modern era (after 1970) Steadfast in Faith and A Christian Community Committed To Excellence.

Pre war building additions and re-organisation

In 1928 the Vicar of SMR appealed for £7000 to build extension classrooms. Old boys, friends and scolars were quick to respond. Alderman Gilbert James erected a new wing in memory of his father, Sir E B James who had been a school manager for many years and a staunch Redcliffian. The final bill for the works was £8000.

Some pictures of plan from 1928 for the extension classrooms


Click image to view slideshow

A plaque was placed on the wall of the main extension which read..

This wing was erected by his family in memory of
Sir Edward Burnet James
A manager of this school and a friend of all Redcliffe boys


Click image to enlarge

In 1937 Redcliffe Schools were re-organised. The boys under 11 years were separated from the older boys and joined with the girls under 11 years in a mixed primary school located in Ship Lane. The senior girls were taken out of Ship Lane and absorbed into Temple Colston School.

This re-organisation meant that Redcliffe Schools were responsible for boys throughout their school life and girls (at Ship Lane only) from 5 - 11 years. (and I thought the move in 1967 was complicated!)

In 1938 members of the Colston (Parent) Society were concerned about the need for further extensions and improvements to school facilities. In particular, it was felt essential to provide a large playground, two large woodwork rooms and an assembly hall / modern gymnasium.

The Vicarage, its gardens and a row of terraced houses were leveled to make room for the new development.

Mr Foster G. Robinson was then President of the Society and, inspired by Mr. Mervyn King, undertook to be responsible to raise the £16,000 required to fund the new works.

Bombed

During the 2nd World War Bristol was devastated by bombing. The worst raid to hit Redcliffe was the Good Friday Raid (11 April 1941) - 153 German planes dropped 193 tons of high explosives and 36,888 incendiaries; five bombers were shot down and 180 people killed.

One of the bombs from that raid fell in the playground, the photograph below shows interested parties standing about the bomb crater. The rear of the Mervyn King gym hall, woodwork and store room show the damage severity. When bombed, the gym had only just been completed and had still never been used.

Mr Fryer was the Headmaster (4th from right) Also in the photograph
is Mrs Florence Brown ?, a councillor who later became Lord Mayor (1963).
The teacher (3rd from the right) was called Mr Reece.

A week or so after the bombing, when the building was being made safe, a school cap was found sitting on the top of a chimney completely undamaged. Was this divine intervention or more likely a dangerous schoolboy prank? The crater became a draw for the boys but they needed to be careful, you got the cane if you were caught climbing over the wooden picket fence that surrounded it to get your ball back. The crater was finally filled in when the hall was restored in 1951.

Bristol Guard Home D Company
(Taken late war? - well armed / dressed)


Click to enlarge

Photo taken in school playground in front of the 1929 main extension.
Note the Shot and Church towers to rear. Some bomb damaged
windows can be clearly seen on the enlargement.
(Cricket team photo further down this page was taken in similar position)

BBC article about the bombing

Aerial View of school taken from the south in 1946
(Redcliffe Parade runs along the very top)


Click image to enlarge

Note Bomb damage to Mervyn King Hall's roof, 1906 extension to
left of main building, 1929 extension built in front of main building


Redcliffe Primary School Ship Lane - Blitzed!

Compared to the primary school we got off lightly!

The Playground

On the east side the playground went almost to the back of the shops on Redcliffe Hill, the playground was enclosed there by an eight foot high brick wall. (this would have probably originally formed part of the old Vicarage's garden boundary)

Aerial View of school taken from the south east in 1946
(Redcliffe Hill traffic jams bottom left)


Click image to enlarge

Note Single storey shops on RH bottom left (entrance to playground just
left of the awning, better view of the Mervyn King Hall (with damage)

Another AV (1946) of school taken from the south.

Shows playground exit to Jubilee Place (far left) + bomb
crater and damage to the Mervyn King Hall. Rare glimpse
of Woodwork and Art classrooms to the left of the crater
"Old Armchair" tuck shop location shown by arrow.

On the north side the playground backed up to the main school buildings, mainly the newer woodwork/art classrooms and Mervyn King Hall. To the west the playground backed mainly onto a small garage/repair shop in Jubilee Place.

Redcliffe Parish Rooms - Frontage on Guinea Street shown.

Rear of building backed on to school playground used by
school for dining facilities and additional classroom space
(I remember "learning" French there with Mrs Freeman)

To the south The Redcliffe Parish Rooms formed most of the boundary, they were directly accessible from the playground.

Rare photo view of Parish Rooms Taken though bomb damage gap
in Guinea Street from Bedminster Bridge circa 1960

------------------------------------------------------------------

What is this?

Note netball ring just visible by school building

What was the low level rectangular structure (marked by arrow) sticking out into the playground? It appears on many pictures / maps of the area after circa 1850. Could it have been for ventilation / light to the rail tunnel which ran directly under?

Where would this structure have been today?

Answer = Yellow shaded area on above image.
(Position is estimated from an overlay of a 1947 OS map and a
fairly contemporary aerial photo of the hotel complex
)

The new hotel was built almost perfectly (90% avoidance) around it, virtually the complete structure footprint is within a tar-mac car park, nothing has been built on it.

Teaching Staff

J Woodcock Headmaster 1856 - 1870

T Randell M.A. D.D. Headmaster 1870 - 1872
(subsequently Vicar of Ryton-on-Tyne and Principal of the
College of the Venerable Bede, Dyrham
)
 

James Thomas Francombe M.A. Headmaster 1872 - 1909


1888 (aged 45)


1909 (aged 66)

Mr Francombe (1843-1924) lived at 22 Somerset Square and always came to school wearing a top hat, frock coat and kid gloves. A collection was made on his retirement on the 19th November 1909, it totaled £1,000.


Click image to enlarge

JTF stood for Parliament in the General Election of 1910, he lost to Sir W H Davies by 138 votes, not dis-heartened he went on to become Lord Mayor (1919) and Chief Magistrate of Bristol.  Read more - click here

 


 J J Clibbens Headmaster 1909 - 1924
 



G Holgate M.A. B.Sc. Headmaster 1924 -1934
(subsequently Deputy Director of Education Blackburn
and Director of Education Bedford
)
 

R R Fryer | Ralf R Fryer Headmaster Redcliff Endowed Boy's School
Ralf R Fryer F.R.G.S. Headmaster 1934 - 1954
 


Stanley Lowes M.A. - Headmaster 1955 - 1967*
(* this school closed, Stan took over as Head at the new school)

 

For a complete list of School staff in 1956 - click here

For a list of full time School staff in 1967 - click here

Further Staff listing, obtained from many sources (ongoing project)

Teacher name

Nickname

Subject

Year(s)

 

 

 

Mr Davies

Dai Davies

6th Form Tutor?

1948 - ?

Mrs Fletcher

Fanny

Dept. Head?

1968 - ?

Mr Wakeford

 

?

1948 - ?

Mr Turner

 

?

1948 - ?

Mr  H O Grant

 

Handyman?

1948 - ?

(Chatterton Housemaster - Green)

Mr Wyn Davies

 

?

1948 - ?

Mr L Davies

 

 

1956 - ?

(Colston Housemaster - Red)

Mr R Williams

 

?

1948 - ?

(Proctor Housemaster - Blue)

Peter Atmer

 

Languages

1965 - ?

Mr Jeffries

Jake

?

1957 - 1970?

Neville Boundy (Curate)

RE

1968 - ?

Mr Codrington

Coddy

English

?

Mr Caswell

 

English

1965 - ?

Mr M Roe

Joe

 

1956 - ?

Rev Cyril Edwards

 

RE

1965 - ?

Mr Grant

 

RE

1957 - ?

Scrutch Schurch

 

Physics

1970 - 1971

(Taught briefly, then he left for a posting on Tristan da Cunha)

Mr Stevens

 

History

?

Mr Phillips

Noddy

Art

1965 - ?

Mr F N Vaughan

Fred

?

1948 - 1965

(Canynges Housemaster - Yellow)

Peter Fowler

 

Music

1957 - 1970?

Mr Ferguson

 

Engineering

1965 - ?

Mr Dando

 

Geography

 

Col. E W Tuite Dalton

 

French / History

1967 - ??

Mr Dash

Ben 

Geography

1957 - 1970?

Mr Jones

 

Chemistry

1968 - ?

Mr Wilcox

 

Chemistry

1957 - ?

Ms J Gwyn Williams

 

Maths

1967 - ??

Mr Lawrence

 

Sport

1965 - ?

Burt John

 

Sport

1965 - ?

(Canynges Housemaster - Yellow)

Mr Jordon

Joe

Woodwork

1957 - ?

Mr Ball

Benny

Woodwork

1957 - 1970?

(Francombe Housemaster - Green)

Mr Morgan

Moggy

TD

1957 - 1970?

Dr Glasgow

 

Biology

1967 - ??

Michael Rosenberg

 

Science

1962 - 1965

Mrs Coulson

 

Biology

1965 - ?

 

 

 

 

Part time staff

 

 

 

Mrs Freeman BA

 

French / Spanish

1967 - ??

Mr J H Adams

 

Art

1967 - ??

Mr G Andrews

 

Spanish

1967 - ??

Mrs D A Hill

 

Music

1967 - ??

Revd. F H J Hurford

 

English / RE

1967 - ??

Mr C J Wilding

 

History

1967 - ??

Mr L I Young

 

German

1967 - ??

 

 

 

 

The 4 school "house" names refer to notable civic dignitaries,
ecclesiastical benefactors and local educational pioneers.

CANYNGES (yellow)
William Canynges, (1399 -1474) local politician and benefactor of St Mary Redcliffe Church. 5 times Mayor of Bristol

COLSTON (red)
Edward Colston, (1636 - 1721) slave trader, merchant and founder of Temple Colston School.

FRANCOMBE (green)
J.T. Francombe, a former headmaster of the school and Lord Mayor of Bristol.

Originally know as Chatterton
Thomas Chatterton was a locally born poet (1752 - 1770)

CARTWRIGHT (blue)
Possibly after Canon R F Cartwright?

Originally know as Proctor
Thomas Proctor (1846 - 1877) was a benefactor of SMR church in the mid 19th century. Also funded building The Mansion House in Clifton.

Rev. Cyril Edwards (I remember his saying "fail twit!" - I didn't)

Send me more teacher's names / details to add to the list or
additional info / corrections you may have.

Sports

Rugby - Cup Winners & Champions of "A" Division 1913-14


Click image to enlarge 

Headmaster J J Clibbens? far left
 

Cricket team 1914

Headmaster J J Clibbens? far left
 

Swimming Team 1946


center back row R R Fryer F.R.G.S. Headmaster
 

Ronnie Collins - Boxer 1955


 

Junior Rugby Team 1955 - 1956


back left - Stanley Lowes


 

Bristol School's Championship Cricket Team 1955

Photo taken in playground - (Stanley Lowes left / back)
Note the Church & Shot Towers visible in the background

Royal Visit in 1956

Queen's visit to site of original Grammer School

School's Royal Charter 1571 as inspected by the Queen

Old pictures of the Redcliffe Hill area

The Old Armchair (our "Tuck Shop") June 1939

Small shop and off licence at the junction of Jubilee Place and
Guinea Street. Still open in the mid 60s. Lots of unhealthy goodies
for just a few pennies  50 yds or so from playground's entrance, just
past the van (bottom right) and across the road, very convenient!

Was originally a Public House, between 1863 - 74, the landlord was
Samuel Webb who also made a crust as a chair maker.

More Pictures can be found on the Paul Townsend "Redcliffe" page
 

Around the Redcliffe Hill / Parade junction (then and now)

  
Mouseover to see how this part of Redcliffe Hill looks now.

To the south of Redcliffe Parade (top and bottom left pictures) the Mercure Hotel now occupies pretty much the whole of the old school site. On the south side of RP the interesting, historic Shot Tower and Ship Inn have been replaced by the box-like Colloseum public house (prev. The Merchant Venturer). Pic. 3 (new) shows the side of the Mercure in RP which now replaces the old school main entrance (see Jubilee Enlargement Brochure cover pic on this page)

Video has brief view of School taken from top of Shot Tower

A sad sight - the school building just before demolition in 1971

Inscription on closest / center wall reads "ENLARGED AD MDCCCCVI"
(1906), the one on the furthest wall "St Mary Redcliff Endowed Schools"

For a slideshow of more pictures from this sad time - click here

 


WANTED! - If you have any other pre. 1970 images, memories, stories or other historical information relating to St Mary Redcliffe Boys' School that could be displayed on this page (with a credit to you of course) please commit them to an email now and .
radical_solutions (at) hotmail (dot) com


Page posted by Dave Powell, Roll 393, attended between 1965 and 1970, Francombe House
Greetings to anyone who knew or taught me in those, now distant, days.

Thanks to Geoff Duck (Roll 481), Martin Wallis, Stuart Donadel
and John Scully for info received


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