December 2001

Quiz Nights
Two Quiz Nights have been held in school this year, one in April and one in October, and both were a great success. Each event was a joint venture with the Home School Association and Sefton & West Lancs. Deaf Children’s Society.

Those who attended tackled the many tricky questions superbly set by Ed Mainey, a parent and staunch supporter of the H.S.A., so if you found them too hard, he’s the one to blame! Those present also had the delight of sampling the delicious hot-pot supper prepared by Martin Frankland, the school chef. Thanks must go to Martin for making the supper.

We would also like to thank Carol MacFarlin, from the school office, for her help with preparations for the Quiz Nights. Both events raised £239.44 each for the H.S.A. and Sefton D.C.S.. Many thanks to those who supported the event.

Mrs Cliffe Celebrates 25 Years at Birkdale School
cliffeLearning Support Assistant Mrs Veronica Cliffe celebrated 25 years of working at the school in September.

Mrs Cliffe originally came to the school in 1961, but left six years later to raise her family. In 1976, Mrs Cliffe returned and has continued to be a hard-working member of staff ever since.

At the beginning of this term, Mrs Cliffe had a surprise presentation from Mr Hobley, Chairman of the Governors, and Mrs Wood. She was presented with a lead crystal vase.

Peter Ferris – Obituary
It was with great sadness I read of the untimely death of Peter Ferris.

He will be greatly missed by everyone who worked with him. I always found him to be a most pleasant, loyal and trustworthy colleague, and his skills are in evidence around the school. He was a man of great common sense and played his part in helping to create the secure and happy atmosphere in which the pupils can develop to their full potential.

Eileen Tomkinson (ex-Principal)

Swimming Gala Results
medalsAt the 2001 Regional Swimming Gala, held at Irlam in October, the Birkdale team failed to win any of the major trophies. The swimmers, however, managed to win 5 individual medals and 1 team medal in the relay events. There were also two individual 2nd places, four individual 3rd places and one team 3rd place in the relays. Medals in the Regional Gala are only given for 1st places.

Birkdale swimmers joined with other Schools’ swimmers to represent the North in the National Championships at Birmingham in November. In the National Gala, medals are given for 1st, 2nd and 3rd places and so the swimmers came back with 21 medals altogether made up of 1 individual Gold, 7 team Golds, 4 individual Silvers, 1 team Silver, 5 individual Bronzes and 3 team Bronzes.

Subsequently, Christopher Maher has been asked to attend a training day for the GB Swimming Squad next March in Aldershot.

Jack Henderson (ex-staff)

Carol Service
You are cordially invited to join us at Emmanuel Church, Cambridge Road, Southport, at 7pm on Wednesday 19 December.

Refreshments will be served in the Church Hall after the service.

Robert’s Gold Bid Cut Above Rest
robertFormer pupil Robert Asbridge (third left in photo), from Southport, battled for a place in the British DeafBadminton Team in July’s two-week World Deaf Games and took drastic action to help raise funds for his place by having his head shaved at the Style Counsel salon.

It was always Robert’s dream to win a place in the national squad since he was a youngster at the school. Since leaving Birkdale, Robert has won a whole host of medals and trophies in the Southport district team and European Championships. Currently seeded at third in GB rankings, Robert plays for Woodvale Badminton Club, who supported him in his bid to get into the national team.

Message from Pat Mowat
I would like to thank students, parents and staff for all their best wishes sent during my husband’s illness. I’m glad to report he is now on the road to recovery.

I would especially like to thank Anne Wood, Paul Atkins, Janette Gallagher and the team of notetakers who carried the load during my absence from work. Many thanks.

Pat Mowat (BFEDS Co-Ordinator)

Round Table Boost Funds
Southport Hesketh Round Table has raised £5,000 for the school.

Half of this money was raised through general fundraising events and the other half by six members of the Round Table climbing the five highest peaks in Britain in 48 hours. This could be a world record and is being checked.

Thanks go to all at the Round Table!

News in Brief
Former member of staff Eunice Morris (nee Thwaites) gave birth to a baby girl, Charlotte Kate, on 27 August weighing 7lbs 6oz.

Teacher Mrs Sue Clare has broken her Achilles tendon and is out of action resting at home with her leg in plaster. We are hoping she’ll return to school after Christmas.

Ex-pupil David Thomson has achieved his Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award.

Another former pupil, Michael Lumby, has completed 31 years working at the Mushroom Farm in Ormskirk.

Ex-BFEDS student Colin McCann from Cookstown, Co. Tyrone, Northern Ireland, has been successful in obtaining employment with the Department of Education in Belfast as an Administrative Officer.

Garden Fete 2001
The annual Garden Fete held in May was a great success despite present pupil numbers. The event raised nearly £1,500.

The popular ‘Balloon Race’ brought in extra funds for the H.S.A. We thank Mr David Brayshaw from the Southport Rotary Club for organising this fundraising activity and for bringing along some of his members to help out on the day. The winner of the ‘Balloon Race’ was Anne Mainey of Crosby. Her balloon was found in Anlaby, near Hull.

The Home School Association Committee will be starting to think about next year’s Fete after Christmas. If you have any ideas or are able to help at this event, please let us know.

Upgrade for Home Economics Department
homeAn upgrade to existing equipment in the Home Economics Department has been made possible by a donation of £10,000 from the Jo Torrington Trust.

This money will be used to replace older equipment with newer models and a change to the Phonak Microlink FM radio system, which is used for sound processing and miniaturisation.

Reunion – September 2002
The Birkdale Reunion Committee wishes to announce there will be a Reunion for former pupils and staff at the Floral Hall, Southport on 14 September next year. This event will take the form of a Buffet Dance.

Further details will be published in the next newsletter, but if you wish to reserve your place now, please contact the Editor or one of the following:-

Billy Lamont – Chairman
Steven Brayshaw – Treasurer

Email from an Ex-pupil
My name is Alan Fox. I used to be a pupil at Birkdale from 1991-1993, and I left to go to Oldham College to obtain both a BTEC First Diploma in Business and Finance and a BTEC National Diploma in Information Technology.

From here on, I went to Huddersfield University to obtain a BSc (Hons) Computing Studies Degree with 2.2 classification.

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