Preston Catholic College
Entrance to the former college, pictured in 2007
|Motto||Latin: Fides (faith)|
|Type||Direct grant grammar school|
Coordinates: 53°45′22″N 2°42′11″W / 53.7562°N 2.7030°W
|Local authority||Lancashire County Council|
Preston Catholic College was a Jesuit grammar school for boys in Winckley Square, Preston, Lancashire, England. It opened in 1865 and closed in 1978, when its sixth form merged with two other schools to form Cardinal Newman College.
The college began in 1865 in a house in Mount Pleasant (a narrow passage between Winckley Square and Mount Street). In 1879 it moved to 29 Winckley Square and expanded over the next century until, at its peak of 915 pupils in 1970, it occupied the whole of the west side of the square from the northwest corner (number 34) as far south as Garden Street (number 25), with the exception of number 25a and numbers 29 to 32. Classrooms, science laboratories and a swimming pool were built along neighbouring Mount Street in the 1930s. A gymnasium in Garden Street opened in 1970. The college also possessed extensive playing fields one mile (1½ km) south of the college, to which boys walked via the Old Tram Road, a disused tramway.
The introduction of comprehensive schools in Lancashire forced the school, which had become a direct grant grammar school, to stop admitting under-16 pupils from 1978. In that year, its sixth form merged with the sixth forms of the other two Catholic direct grant grammar schools in Preston, namely Winckley Square Convent School and Larkhill Convent Grammar School, to form Newman College. Initially both Winckley Square sites continued to be used, but by 1986 the new college was concentrated at the Larkhill site.
Some of the Mount Street buildings have been demolished. The buildings on Winckley Square are used as offices. However the gymnasium and playing fields are still used by Newman College. A blue plaque commemorates the college at its original entrance, number 34.
Alumni and staff
- Mark Lawrenson, television football pundit;
- Gregory Doran, Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company;
- Joseph Delaney, author of The Wardstone Chronicles;
- Leo Baxendale, cartoonist, creator of The Bash Street Kids and Minnie the Minx;
- Patrick Kelly (Archbishop of Liverpool).
Former staff include:
- 1950s footballer Eddy Brown, after his retirement from the game;
- Jesuit hynmwriter James Quinn, Classics Master, 1944–1948;
- Mersey poet Adrian Henri, who taught art 1956–57.
In 2010 the school was sued by a former pupil over allegations of abuse. The Jesuits were held liable for the abuse by Fr Michael Spencer and the claimant was awarded £55,000 damages. Other contemporaries have also brought sex abuse claims against the Jesuits.
- Preston Catholic College Magazine, 143, January 1973, p.15
- Garlington, pp.76–77
- Sartin, p.42
- Ross, D. (2002) "Mark Lawrenson; Confessions of a soccer", The Independent, London, 27 May 2002, accessed online 27 November 2007
- Jones, M. (2004), "Exclusive: My Catholic School Hell by Lawro", Sunday Mirror, London, 23 May 2004, accessed online 27 November 2007
- "Gregory Doran" in A Dictionary of the RSC by Simon Trowbridge, accessed 27 November 2007
- "Othello: The Director" on the RSC website, accessed 27 November 2007
- "Joseph Delaney", Preston City Council website, accessed 24 October 2009
- Baxendale, Leo (1989), On Comedy: The "Beano" and Ideology, Reaper Books, ISBN 978-0951327715 extract on line accessed 10 June 2012
- Elson, P (2009), "Archbishop Patrick Kelly reflects on 25 years of sweeping change", Liverpool Daily Post, retrieved 6 May 2009
- "The Big Interview: Eddy Brown", Lancashire Evening Post, Preston, 14 July 2003, accessed 13 July 2007
- James Quinn, The Canterbury Dictionary of Hymnology, Canterbury Press, accessed 15 August 2015
- Adrian Henri Biography Chronology 1932–1959, accessed 2 August 2016
- Bowen, Phil (2008), A Gallery to Play to: The Story of the Mersey Poets, Oxford University Press, ISBN 9781781386620, p.30
- Riazat Butt (27 August 2010). "Catholic church using time limit to suppress child abuse cases, says lawyer.". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 August 2010.
- Garlington, J. (1995, new edition 2006), Images of England: Preston, Nonsuch Publishing, Stroud, ISBN 1-84588-307-1
- Sartin, S. (2002), Preston in Focus, Landy Publishing, Blackpool, ISBN 1-872895-59-X