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Thread: Does anyone remember Abbeyholme School,Wavertree?

  1. #16
    Re-member Ged's Avatar
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    Well done everyone, yes, what a great thread this has been to bring so many people who had something to do with the school back together.

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  2. #17
    Newbie Colin Scholfield's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grahamfairfax View Post
    When i was a child in the early 1950's my cousin went to a school in Church Road Wavertree which was on the corner of Hunters Lane/Church Road next to the Liverpool School For The Blind.I remember it well(and still have an old school tie) but cannot find any trace of its existence-it has simply dissappeared off the radar.Possibly it was a small private school but there still ought to be records somewhere.Can anyone shed any light?
    Interesting stuff Graham, have enjoyed this thread on Abbeyholme school, it has put yet another piece in the Jigsaw for researching my family tree. I am trying to get clarity on the particular house you mention for Abbeyholme, was it the house inbetween the Blind School and the house on the corner of Hunters Lane & Church road?

    Your right in it disappearing off the radar, If it is the house inbetween both above, I cannot understand why it was demolished, surely it was not in such a bad way!

    ---------- Post added at 10:33 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:24 PM ----------

    Hi Marky,
    The Scholfield Home was called 'Greenfield' before the Scholfield sisters took it over and a Mr & Mrs Killick, (nee Scholfield), lived there until 1891 when it was passed over to the Waifs & Strays society, the home was used to train 30 x homeless girls of varying ages in domestic services, e.g. Laundry, Ironing etc, the home was taken over in the late 30's by the scouts I presume until it became 'Abbeyholme School', the girls where re-located to Ormskirk.

    I am researching my family tree and it is fascinating story regarding the Scholfield sisters and their father and mother and the Scholfield home, thanks for posting.

  3. #18
    Newbie Colin Scholfield's Avatar
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    Who where the trustees, and why did it require demolition??

  4. #19
    Newbie Maddie's Avatar
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    Hi Chantelle - it was a pleasure to write about such wonderful memories - in fact I have now caught up with Kees by telephone and that was wonderful beyond all hopes - I am hoping to viist Kees in gthe very near future.

  5. #20
    Newbie Maddie's Avatar
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    Just before the New Year I had the greatest of pleasures when I finally met up with my former sports master at Abbeyholme High School, Kees Velkamp. It has been near on 45 years since I last met with Kees and then I was just a young rip of a boy who was quite distraught at the thought of leaving the school when it was announced it was closing.

    The meet up was arranged through a former ‘Abbeyolmer’ Ted Beattie, who had been at the school earlier than myself and left around about 1958 - so for both of us it was a wonderful few hours to take the opportunity to reminisce about the school, and also to catch up on some forgotten school pal names and to look at Kees’ collection of school notes, including football and cricket records.

    Kees and Ted

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    Kees has not changed much in the missing years - of course, older like all of us but I can still see the young school master which taught me all those years ago - amazingly, I had never realised how young Kees must have been at the time of his schoolmaster days but the years have served him well - still the the same sense of humour which made him so popular to all the boys at Abbeyholme. From our conversations a number of topics were talked about...

    Abbeyholme School closed in 1966 - it appears that growth in the power of school inspectors was too much for Mr Veltkamp Senior, and although Mr Cumberlidge - nicknamed Cumbo, but we never dared to even whisper this moniker such was the fear he instilled into us - thought about taking over the school, but it never worked out.

    The school was sold to the Liverpool Royal School for the Blind, which had its main building adjacent to the Abbeyholme school site in Church Road - many was the time a wild drive on the yard football pitch from one of the Abbeyholme kids would see the ball fly majestically over the neighbouring wall and the shamed footballer would have to sneak in (or climb over the wall) and get it back - of course, this was out of bounds and punishable but didn’t stop us.

    Bereft of school children the now vacant school stayed empty for a while but was raided on two or three occasions by proverbial thieves in the night, except these proverbial thieves in the night also had a proverbial white van and took upon themselves to steal the lead from the roof and then on a return visit completed the job in good style by stealing copper from the building. Apparently in those days it was far too expensive to repair so the decision taken to demolish the building - at a mind boggling cost of 1,500. From the Royal School of the Blind 214th Annual Report (History):

    1968 The Abbeyholme Preparatory School adjacent to Wavertree School closed and was purchased by the Trustees. It unfortunately required demolition but
    became the site of the School's adventure playground and mobility area.

    1973 An adjoining property, Clifton House, was purchased and converted initially to become a nursery unit but later the Secondary School on the expansion of
    this Department.

    Going back even further, during WWII the Abbeyholme building and grounds were used as a naval training centre by the Royal Navy - after the war when the navy left two large lifeboats used for training were found and later repatriated after two years by the navy at a later date. Originally, Abbeyholme was known as Westwood High School and was located in Lance Lane - it was a mixed school in which Mr Veltkamp Senior worked in - at during this time he had applied to the Home Office to become a head master.

    One of the great quirks about the Lance Lane based school was that the great Liverpool Football Club legend, goalkeeper Cyril Sidlow (1942-1958) took some PE training sessions - this is the modern equivalent of Pepe Reina having a part time position as a gym teacher in a school.

    When an amicable split happened, Mrs Steel (headmistress) took the girls to Windsor High School, which was the large building in Penny Lane, and Mr Veltkamp Senior took the boys to the new Abbeyholme High School in Church Road. Now for a private school Abbeyholme was very popular and by the fees of the day relatively inexpensive, this was mainly in part to Mr Veltkamp Senior taking on retired teachers.

    When Mr Veltkamp Senior bought the building in Church Road from Liverpool based property agents, Sykes Waterhouse - this would be around 1948-1949 - it was originally known as Schofield House and was used in days gone by as a girls home - this home was formerly established at the private residence of a Mrs Killick and her sisters, the Misses Schofield, with the dedication and formal opening being carried out by the Bishop of Liverpool in May 1897. When the sisters moved away in 1906, they decided to donate their old house to the Waifs and Strays' Society for use as a children's home.

    see image of former Abbeyhome location following demolition and landscaping

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    Names such as Dickie Downham - who actually caught Kees smoking twice when he was a pupil at the school - downright rebellious Mr Veltkamp Junior!! - Jack Stokes (sports master), Mr McCoy, Miss Muir, Val Bennett, and Phil Jackman. Apparently in the pre-Beatles days Jack Stokes became a hero to the school kids when, at a carol concert at Trinity Hall (the hall opposite the church across the road with the mounting steps) he produced a trumpet and began playing - very impressive.

    These and many other names formed the history of Abbeyholme, with such things as outings - yes they were outings in those days - to places such as Chester Zoo, Denbigh Castle, Rydel Hall, Lake District - such outings were so exciting and innocent for post war children in those days. Sadly Mr Veltkamp Senior passed away in 1972 at the ridiculously young age of 66 - very sad.

    I mentioned in a previous post about the football and cricket which went on at the school - outside of Kees teaching of Geometrical and Engineering Drawing - yes that’s right Geometrical and Engineering Drawing!! - the sports were his passion and some of the records about our matches in both sports and the results are highlighted in some photos taken during my visit to see him.

    He recalled a cricket match against Holt School when Abbeyholme won and Holt complained that we had been playing a non- school person by the name of Geoff Parker - nonsense, he was just very gifted cricketer. One of the images shows a youthful Seven-A -Side team in 1965 which made the semi finals of a school competition - the names of the very nearly champions? Well for posterity here we go -

    back row: Graham Simm, Tony Sumner, Keiren Dunne, Tony Martin
    front row: Morrison, Peter Heptonstall, David Edwards, Frank Robotham, Steve Butler

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    Brilliant lads and well done!

    In other images you see some of the written football and cricket records kept by Kees, some cuttings and even older newsletter covers etc, a picture of the old assembly hall - all stored lovingly away and a wonderful collection which I hope will help restore some memories of times gone by for all the boys - I am sure you will recognise some of the names. I also took a picture of Kees Veltkamp and Ted Beattie, and although photography is a passion with me this is one of simplest but most pleasing images I have ever taken and as I stated when I started this piece a great, great pleasure

    see images of sports records as attachments

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    If anyone can add to this it would be appreciated so we can continue to build up the history of this great school - Abbeyholme.
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