The Convent of The Sisters Of Mercy.
( Back of the building in the next picture on the right )
The first St. Oswald's School ( left ) now the Parish Hall and right, the second school building ( now a Youth Club )
As soon as he had the chance, Fr Maddocks built a school between his house and the street. ( see pics above )
This, the present Parish Hall was St. Oswalds first School and it opened in 1845. Children came from the far end of of West Derby, from Knotty Ash and Wavertree. The School was divided into two parts by a wooden partition resting on an iron rail, the part nearest the street being for the boys. There is no record of any teachers in the school for the first few years but in1850, in order to be sure of teachers for the children, Fr Maddocks did a very Charateristic thing, he invited the Sisters of Mercy, who had come to Mount Vernon in 1842 to come to Old Swan.
Here is a note from the records of Mount Vernon:
On the 17th August 1851, Fr Maddocks received the Sisters with the greatest cordiality and after a short visit to the church, conducted them to his own house, which he had prepared for them as well as his slender means permitted. He himself, went to a very small and poor cottage in which he spent several years in the greatest poverty, denying himself almost the nesesseties of life in order to obtain for his flock, the constatnt instructions and asistance of the nuns.
The new convent was very small, consisting of only two rooms on the ground floor and four small cells ( originally two rooms ) upstairs.
The convent was later enlraged and ever since 1851 the Sisters of Mercy have taught in St. Oswald's Schools.
In 1850 the hierarchy had been restored and the Cathedral Chapter of the newly formed Liverpool Diocese, the first to be constituted in England, came into being on the 13th September 1851.
Bishop Brown became the first Bishop of Liverpool and recognising the wisdom and sound sense of Fr Maddocks, appointed him as one of the first memebrs of the Chapter.
One can only marvel that Canon Maddocks had done so much but he seemed incapable of resting. He had built a beautiful church, a school and a house. Then he left his house and went back to the little cottage in Broadgreen Rd and at once began planning another school.
In 1854 this was blessed and opened by the coadjuctor Bishop, Dr Goss.
It was a two storey building providing an infant's school on the ground floor and a girl's school, upstairs. There were two entrances to this school, one at the street side and one at the other side, but near the convent garden. Those who came in by the street paid no fee, but those who came in by th "top" door, paid one penny per week. This money was what the Sisters lived on, it became the Montini Youth Club ( pictured above right )
Time moved on and eventually even the 1854 school became too small for the needs of the ever growing Parish. In 1902 the foundation stone of the Montague Rd school was laid - left
There was a procession, led off by a Brass Band and flag bearing parishioners.
I was proud to be head boy at this school, in my last year. I have very happy memories of the "old" school on St. Oswalds street too.
This school was eventually demolished to make way for the new School in 1980 - right.
St. Oswald's Church
Above - The Interior Above - Nuns Burial Ground
Below - The Sanctuary Below - The Presbytery
Above Left - Bishop Vincent Malone's preistly ordination by Archbishop Godfrey in 1955.
Above Centre - ( L to R ) Fr C Rigby, Fr N Coghlan, Fr T Taylor and Fr G Reynolds, with the Centenary plaque above the church doorway, 1942.
Above Right - The original Font from the old church, brought back into use from 1992.
Left - Canon Maddocks the first priest of St Oswalds and an inspiration for the Parish.
Right - The Memorial to Fr Flynn at St. Oswald's
Please pray for Father Joseph Flynn Parish Priest of St. Oswald's 1980-1990 Died 10th August 1990 Buried in Mullingar Ireland R.I.P.
Preists of the Parish.
V Rev Nicholas Coghlan RIP - Assistant 1925 - 1936, Parish Preist 1936 - 1968
Charles Rigby RIP
Gerard Reynolds RIP
Thomas B Taylor
James O'Reilly RIP
Patrick J McCartney RIP - Assistant 1956 - 1966, Parish Preist 1968 - 1980
Cornelius Mullane RIP
William Bush RIP
Joseph Flynn RIP - Parish Priest 1980 - 1990
Thomas G Wharton - Parish Priest 1990 -
Alan J Saunders
Mass Graves Found on new School Grounds
Scenes from November 1973
From the Catholic Pictorial - 6th September 1981 - by Ben Travers.
The undignified resting place of over 3,000 anonymous bodies remains to this day, a mystery.
But now, thanks to a city council cemeteries official who has assumed the false name "Michael" for fear of a reprimand, much of the truth can be told.
The Story began with the late Fr Patrick James McCartney while he served the Parish of St Oswald's, Old Swan, in autumn 1973.
Building Plans were already well in hand for the Parish's £400,000 new school but before would-be contractors moved in, Fr McCartney thought there was something they really ought to know.
He told them that about six or seven unidentified graves lay at the bottom of the garden, where the new school building would start, recalls Michael "It is against the law for any structural work to be done on land which contains human remains - so Fr McCartney was tipping off the builders that the graves would have to be transferred before work could start.
That "tip" amounted to some 18 months before a single new brick could be laid.
As workmen exhumed the seven or eight bodies from Fr McCartney's garden, they realised that there were more coffins placed there says Michael.
He ws assigned to the operations that winter and worked with the eight man shifts on the mysterious graveyard.
The exetent of the discovery became more horrific: thre feet beneath the surface of St Oswald's scrubland there lay 3,561 corpses, piled at places, in columns of up to 16 deep and across an area of 40 yards.
The area was immediately sealed off recalls Michael, We used 10 ft high strips of corrugated iron to seal off the area not bordered by the church and school walls and the public health officials began their daily rounds of the site which were to last for nearly two years.
Then we called in the security men to patrol the site day and night. You see we didn't want to let the story out. People get easily worried and the policy on discovering graves was always to keep silent.
At times we got inquisitive phone calls. Some peopel were determined to know exactly what was going on, so we told them that we were preparing the ground for the foundations of a new school.
Naturally, the secret could not be kept from Whitehall. If building was really to start on the new school, the city council had to have Government approval to exhume bodies.
The secrecy of the operation left little time for historical investigation of the mass grave.
Soon the order to exhume and cremate arrived from the Home Office.
In mid 1975, the last unknown corpse from St Oswald's, Old Swan unofficial cemetery was burnt, it's ahes with those of the others, buried in Anfield Cemetery.
To Liverpool ratepayers, the cost of an exercise they knew mostly nothing about had reached £50,000.
In a sense, we were lucky, remembers George Spall, parish accountant at St Oswald's since 1974.
If the church had decided to build a chool without council help, then we would have faced the costs of exhuming the bodies.
The Council were to supply 85% of the building costs so they bought the land and soon afterwards they discovered the coffins.
For the cemeteries expert with more than 25 years experience, the parish's mystery has lost none of it's intrigue. Could it have been the plague of the 17th centuty or one of the country's many cholera epedemics ? he still queries.
Ironically, the only clue lies in the coffins lack of identification. They would have had to have been buried before 1840 he says because after that date burial registration was compulsory.
The fact that they were buried before 1840 is all we know, we have no record of the grave and we have no possibility of finding out withtheir being cremated.
Any hopes of clue searching amid the wet soil of parish land is now gone forever, St Oswalds opened in Septwmebr 1981.
The Wesleyan Methodist Chapel was built in 1845 in St. Oswald's St on a piece of waste land donated by a member of their congregation.
The initial meetings were well attended but debts were soon incurred that led to a Mr. Stewart buying the building and leasing it back to the Society.
Unfortunately, the idea proved unworkable and in 1866, Mr. Stewart was forced to sell to the highest bidders, who turned out to be St. Oswald's Roman Catholic Church. The Methodists moved to other premises ( St. Paul's ) in Greenfield Rd in 1868.
The building was used as a school during the day, throughout the building of the new St. Oswalds School ( 1970's ), during the night and weekends, it was the St. Oswalds Parochiall Club.
This has since closed down in 2007 and as of 2009, now lies abandoned.
St. Oswald's Street, "Cookson's", established 1845, now sadly gone.
This was where you could get your School Uniform, whilst pawning your silver and buy a new pair of braces ! They used to have those old style cabinets, with glass tops and long drawers. Along this row of shops could be found a "Joneseed" a Pet Shop, There was a "Health Shop" too, where we'd get our "Sticky Lice" ! Like a branch of wood you'd chew, tasted of aniseed. "Ray's" the china shop was on this row of shops too, there was also an off licence amongst other things.
Left: St. Oswald's St on September 4th 1952, showing the old Rope Works on the left, which was demolished in the mid 60's. The Church wall is on the right, beyond that, the Ropers Arms and the start of the row of shops would have been "Cookson's". Between the tram and the rope works, in the distance is Barclay's Bank.
Right: Same view 2009.
Opposite The Fantastic St. Oswald's Church -
Here we have 4 views of St. Oswald's House ( The Flat's ).
Bertie's was a popular supermarket up until the mid-late 1970's.
"Under" the flats, the shops remembered are, Jones's Pet Store, Nurseryworld, Berties, a chemist's ( later ) Pic 'N' Mix, Peacock's the Butchers and a Newsagent's.
These were all demolished for Tesco's.
St. Oswald's Flats - 1960 - From the LRO
To the right is Barclays Bank on the corner of Derby Lane and Prescot Road.
Left: St Oswald St - Circa 1910. Looking up St Oswalds St towards the church. Hoult's Corner on the right including a cafe and Bakery.
Centre: Now ( 2009 )
Right: Two Trams by Hoults Corner, one advertising Crawfords.
Left - The Potato Market, part of Hoult's Corner
Middle - Hoult's Corner, the Potato Market is far left on this pic.
Right - Another view of Hoult's Corner.
You can just see the corner of the White House pub on the left and the Bank on the right ( top of Pemberton Road ).
Behind Hoult's Corner are St Oswald's flats now demolished for Tesco's !
Hoults Corner ( Pic from the LRO )
From Left To Right:
Old Swan Potato Market, Hoults Hardware Store, Chandlers, Off Licence, Newsagent, Bakery, Cafe and Butchers.
Who'd have thought ALL this and more could be found in one shop - Tesco's, to be built right behind Hoult's Corner !
Close up of Old Swan Potato Market and Hardware Store ( which sold Toys too ! )
Around the Corner, onto Prescot Rd - Hoults Corner also had Photography Equipment, Medicines, Sweets and something which Tesco's haven't got - A Chinese Laundry !
All Gone - Pic from the LRO.
Hoults Corner once stood in direct line with the Church from this view.
Right up the middle of St Oswalds Street.
Old Swan Glasworks stood behind where the Tesco's is now, just off St Oswalds Street.
Below Left is a bottle from the Old Swan Glassworks, with the old stopper in. It has the inscription "J. Dewar", an anvil trademark and "Ellison Street Old Swan".
Below Right is the Glassworks - Cone.
The manager was Tipton. He lived in the top house in Edge Lane. At one time there were three Glass houses, with cones. Mr Lancaster, the Cheif Librarian of St. Helens, has an excellent water colour of "A View Of Old Swan" in which two cones are shown and a church in the background.
Text from the book by James Hoult circa 1913.
Trams - In and around St. Oswalds Street.
The No 40 Tram on Edge Lane with ST Oswald's St in the background to the left. Hurst Gardens are in the view too.
Picture courtesy of Ged Fagan.
Another picture - courtesy of Ged Fagan.
This time Hurst Gardens are visible to the left ( Top of St Oswald's St ) and the wall of the corporation yard to the right.
6A Tram, going along Edge Lane, passing the flats, towards the Rocket.
Mill Lane is in the background, with the old "Swan" cinema ( Oakhill Picture House ) with it's domed roof. Opened on October 26th 1916 and closed on July 22nd 1956.
Taken from inside the cab of a Tram, this view looking down St Oswald's St, towards Prescot Rd. The Flats on the left are no longer there. The gap in the row of houses on the right is where the Omnibus is. St Oswald's old school is a "blur" on the right, in the distance.
1957 and the last Tram in Liverpool, makes it's way down St Oswald's St, towed by a Pickford's Truck, past the flats.
Still picture taken from the video, No Trams to the Pier Head, credit Alfred H. Jacob.
Just past the White House, on it's way to town.
St Oswald's Flats in the background.
Now Tesco dominate this scene.
Tram outside the White House Pub on St. Oswald's St, 1950's.
Behind the tram would have been the white house Off-Sales !
To the right is Ray's China Shop, which was still going strong in the 70's and 80's.
A No 10 Tram, passing St Oswald's St to the left and Derby Lane to the right. The Cygnet pub is on the right. Where are the traffic lights !
If you looked up St Oswalds St from the Flats in 1950, this is the sight you would behold !
to the left is Hurst Gardens, then the Queens Arms, the Corpy Yard, Rathbone Road, the Prefabs, that are on what is now known as Rathbone Park.
Rathbone Park stands on the site of Swan Hill Farm.
The next set of pics are the demolition of the flats, from Phil's Aunty off Facebook.
St oswalds st yards at 16-18 in 1937 - Ged Fagan
St Oswald st Nos 24-32 in 1937 - Ged Fagan
St Oswald st old and new 12.6.39
St Oswald st ropeworks 8.12.37 - Ged Fagan
St oswalds st -rock hse & engineering works 1937
- Ged Fagan
1940 St Oswalds St - Newly Completed St Oswalds Gardens left
12 years later - 1952, from more or less the same spot as above
Junction with Prescot Rd, the buildings haven't changed.
I do question why the 10 Tram is coming "from" Edge Lane way !