A review of Arrowe Hill Primary School by Adam Easterbrook written on Tuesday 16th of August 2011
I was a pupil of Arrowe Hill primary & junior schools (remember when they still called them 'junior' schools?) from 1975 until 1980, at which point I was whisked away to the far corner of the world (well, Greasby) & never got the chance to finish my schooling there.
I have only fond memories of the place; Mrs Cheshum was the headmistress & my form teacher was Miss Hesketh (apologies if I have any marital status wrong, but it was over 30yrs ago). Back then, it felt like a small, typically English school; I mean, we still wore school caps (which I no longer possess sadly), short trousers & a rather snazzy, green, silver & gold striped tie.
There was plenty of space & playing fields for us to roam about on (only during the summer term, mind) & the view of the Oxton ridge was (& still is) magical. My contemporaries were Gerald Adams, Michael Hodgson, Ian Roche, John Siggins, Lee Rafferty, Paul Price & Mark Mountford, to name just a few; there were obviously girls there (it was a mixed school), but this was back when speaking to girls* was like being rude to teachers- simply not done.
Eventually, we moved across to the junior school, which had a bigger playground & where we were actually expected to knuckle down & work- no more toys at playtime. There, we encountered Mr Lloyd, a rugged young teacher fresh from college who all the girls (& their mums) obviously developed a crush over. There was also a splendid chap who taught French who's name unfortunately escapes me (he began each lesson by shouting "Écoute!") & another called Mr Hertsberg (sic) who we all thought was German.
It was here that I developed my burgeoning interest in drawing & picked up the guitar (which was far too big for me) for the first time.
Alas, this idyllic time soon passed & when my mother re-married I was supplanted from the 'Hill to a rather more hide-bound school up the road in Greasby.
This 'county junior school' pretended it was still 1953 & did the 11+, something we hadn't bothered with back at Arrowe Hill. Everyone there took the mickey out of my accent & it was the first time I became aware of what the word 'class' really means to the English.
Anyway, many more years passed under the bridge & ended up graduating from Liverpool Polytechnic with a degree in Graphic Design & eventually made my way down to London. Once there, I began playing in a psych-band with a bunch of exiled Scousers in the last year of the 20th century. We were struggling for a name until someone suggested something they'd seen scribbled in one of my notebooks...
A couple of years ago, I made a rather-more-emotional-than-expected return to Arrowe Hill. I was surprised at how small everything was; the climbing frames, the dining hall, the classrooms. Mr Lloyd was still there, loyal to the last. I sat in on an assembly & was welcomed with interest & no little surprise by the teachers & pupils. The headmistress gave me a (old) school tie, which was exactly the same design as it was when I was a pupil there, thirty years before.
Sadly, the school was closed down not long afterwards due to falling class sizes. But it lives on in the band. We're still going strong & we're up to our fifth album.
What was that? Oh, the name of the band?
of Arrowe Hill.
*(except my dear friend Paula Wharton, that is)..
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Map showing Arrowe Hill Primary School on Woodland Road