This month’s archive from the past contains some of the photographic material I have collected from working with the High School since 1972. Some from my role as liaison Headteacher, leading staff from local Primary Schools and working with CHS Staff on many and varied projects. Also from having both my son and daughter attend the school. It is intended to go alongside the tribute I wrote with Phil Hodges, following the death of our great friend Les George in 2012, the major figure in the success of Christleton High School. This is published on the website in the February 2023 History File.
The school opened as a Secondary Modern School in 1958, built on what had been the Rectory Field in Christleton, an area called” The Park”. In the 1950’s Christleton was situated in the administrative district of Ellesmere Port and Chester Rural, an area stretching from Ellesmere Port to Malpas, and skirting the eastern edge of Chester, which at that time had its own Education Authority. Christleton Secondary School was one of many school’s built in post war Cheshire to cater for an expanding population. Shell, ICI, Ford & Vauxhall amongst other Companies built new plants and factories, and employees moved into the rural area, especially Upton, Guilden Sutton, Vicars Cross, Christleton, Waverton, Barrow and Saighton, so new schools in particular for Secondary Education, students aged 11 to 16 years were needed.
The new Secondary school in Christleton led by Les George covered students from a catchment area of 75 sqare miles. Initially they came from over twenty feeder primary schools including; Oldfield, Cherry Grove, Huntington, Saighton, Barrow, Waverton and Christleton, each with their distinctive teaching styles and traditions.
Les George had great passion and commitment, and his enthusiasm for the school, his staff and students was contagious. I think this quote in the 50th Anniversary Book wonderfully sums up his influence.
“He has a quiet authority about him and a sense of fair play- qualities much admired by his former pupils and colleagues who then, as now held him in such high regard and affection. He is a man who wins respect and admiration effortlessly”
The photographs in this part of the collection include the school logo designed by Phil Hodges, the 50th Anniversary Gates, and lots of the activities creating a team ethos. A staff netball match from the 1950’s, a staff fund raising day with staff in the playground, with another picture of staff dressed as students taken in the school Hall. There are a couple of images taken in the old Swimming Pool, together with the picture of the mature tree, which miraculously fell onto the school playground, narrowly missing the school office. It also happened just before the fleet of buses were arriving to transport children home. The timing was remarkable, as was the angle of the fall of the tree. It could have been such a catastrophe.
There is a picture of Phil Hodges as a “Bus Driver”, on the day he retired. The double decker was kindly loaned as a very special surprise for Phil by the late David Clarke, Chester City Transport Manager, a parent, and friend of the school. Image the surprise of everyone seeing a favourite teacher driving a bus around the playground. I’m sure it couldn’t happen today.
There are also some images I took following the refurbishment of the school in 2016. This really brought the old building out from its utilitarian past. There are also a couple of photographs taken at the launch of the Christleton Great War Voices Project, when the school History Department worked with the Christleton Local History Group on a valuable local project to tell the story of Christleton in the Great War.
More to follow.....
IF YOU LIKE YOU CAN LISTEN TO RYAN READING THE ARTICLE