Xaverian College Manchester in the Sixties

Do you remember your old school days? Did YOU go to Xaverian College before it turned into a co-ed sixth form college? Do you have experiences that you think no one would believe today as education has changed so much that those dim far off days seem like another world with different ethics, standards and punishments? If so, please drop me a line and we will include them in this blog.

If you would prefer your contribution to remain anonymous, please let me know and I will include it without your name and this will of course remain confidential. Send your memories to: bcweb01@gmail.com

The opinions expressed in this site are purely personal and idiosyncratic. Please forgive any lapse of correctness in a political sense – this blog is written by an old duffer whose trespasses beg forgiveness. Memories can grow dimmer so apologies for any inaccuracies you may find. Please feel free to contact me if you find any obvious errors.


One of Xaverian College’s most well known alumnus must surely by Martin Hannett. In the 1961 photograph he bears little resemblance to the world famous record producer and partner in Tony Wilson’s Factory Records. He was always interested in the current music scene and me and Fred Wilson once took part in a rehearsal in some church hall or similar building in Miles Platting where Fred was electrocuted when plugging his guitar into Martin’s amp. Fortunately, it wasn’t fatal. We sometimes saw him in the Twisted Wheel Club in Manchester where we would see acts such as John Lee Hooker and T-Bone Walker before it moved premises and became a Soul venue.

Martin Hannett – Wikipedia

Martin Hannett

Brother Cyril’s blank, fish-eyed stare at me whenever our paths crossed said it all really
Terry Wain
Bro Cyril Birtles – with eyes closed

Read Terry’s brilliant memories. The above quote has to be the perfect Brother Cyril pen sketch.


Teachers at Xaverian College – 1961 – Click Here

Were YOU at Xavs in 1961?

If you were, the chances are you are on the splendid school photograph acquired by James Kedian from Tony Knowles the present principal. Please look at the page, tell me which image and your position and I will create a rogues’ gallery of the survivors. The youngest will be 71 or 72 so I am not expecting that many, but who knows?

To view any of the photos just click the image to enlarge. To see ALL the photos we have so far, Click Here.

Click here to see the 1961 school photographs


June at Xaverian College in the Sixties

The end of May and beginning of June was the dreaded time at Xavs when ‘O’ levels were taking place in the gymnasium. I remember it felt as hot as the inside of my father’s greenhouse – not the best atmosphere for trying to conjure up the odd sentence from Henry IV Part One in the absence of having any idea what the play was about.

Occasionally one of the more sensitive boys would end up vomiting, the excitement proving just too much. I was reminiscing with Fred Wilson the other day on one of our annual catch-ups. I really liked French and had no problem remembering vocabulary. However, because I was painfully self conscious, the idea of speaking the language was a nightmare. There was an oral examination which meant we had to engage in French conversation with a complete stranger. This was one of the most embarrassing episodes I can ever recall and I am beginning to feel hot round the neck area as I think about it. My French conversation consisted of ‘Oui’, ‘Non’ and precious little else. The bespectacled middle aged spinster who had to endure this travesty let out a couple of ‘tut’s’ and I knew I was sunk.


Who was the ‘Cool Kid’ in your class?

I think there was always one student who stood out from the crowd in most classes. I remember one – I am fairly sure he went to the Prep School as well as Xaverian. His name was John Scott. Mr McAvoy (who took us for French) came in one afternoon and start to tell us what a wonderful innings he had seen Scott play and what a future he could have as a batsman. I always wondered whether Scottie lapped it up or found it embarrassing. Probably the latter – otherwise he wouldn’t have remained the cool kid. I don’t really like that Americanism – class hero seems much more British.  He was also a good footballer and did okay academically.

Does anyone know what happened to John Scott?