Editor's note: Ray was at Joe's for ten years. (You do less that ten years jail time for murder these days.) Here he talks about his time in the Prep school.

We all wore caps and blazers that seemed too big. Our ages were between 7 and 11 years; about a quarter were boarders. There were 3 classes; Prep B, Prep A and Form 1. Each class had about 28 pupils who came from the Fylde coast and Preston areas. The boarders mainly came from Greater Manchester and Merseyside. One boarder brought his teddy bear though after some initial ribbing it was accepted. The form teachers in my time were: Mr. Lynskey - Prep B; Brother Anthony - Prep A and Mr. McGrahan Form 1. The teaching must have been good because the 11 plus results were consistently excellent. The other teachers I remember were: Mr. Brierly for gym and games, Mr. Priestley for elocution, Mr. Barber for art, Mr. Fife and Mr. Atherton for music, Brother McDonald for
geography and nature study and Mr. McEvoy for gym and games.

The classrooms were in some wooden huts in front of the house and some other wooden huts where the new block was built in 1962. Form 1 was in the main school next to the chapel. I was taught the 3R's, lots of history and geography and we all memorised poetry. Religious studies, mainly catechism and understanding the Mass, were taught every day at noon for half an hour. I remember many of my class mates and other pupils. There was a friendly atmosphere and I made friendships which exist today.

The headmaster, Brother Dolan, made an appearance a few times when one of the regular staff was unwell. He also gave us advice on how to behave when we left the Prep and warned us about sexual abuse. The retrospectroscope often exaggerates memory but to me it was a happy time.

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