The Liverpool Blue Coat Old Blues' Association - Founded 1838
The first is for Peter Arnold-Craft, headmaster of the Liverpool Blue Coat School from 1968 until 1989. He passed away in July 2004 at the age of 78.
IN MEMORIAM - H. P. ARNOLD-CRAFT
As you entered each Assembly we would note
Your lustrous gown, your light step (you were scaling
Unseen ladders, showing us our failing
To visualise what ancient Masters wrote...)
Sometimes we stood, stupid with guilt, by rote
Just remembering to breathe. Exhaling
Smoke-drifts, red musket-flash of words, impaling
Faults, you uttered your last curt pity: "Now get out."
We survive, forget .... Grow old, make money....
Death-reminded, humbled, we seek whom then we saw
Dales' baby; youth, Spitfires' roar; gold Oxford seam:
Renaissance man! As on a shaded fresco, sunny
You stand, prince among your people, teaching awe;
Your hard bright smile deep in Salvation's scheme!
Alan Gleave taught English at the Blue Coat School from 1975 until 2005. He succeeded Bill Crebbin who had held the post since 1941.
Alan has spent some of his retirement in the composition of poetry, and his sonnets on this page remember two long-serving teachers who, sadly, have both departed this life.
In a rather ironic twist, Alan got together with a student from his first-ever "O" level class recently to co-write one of the Brotherly Society's "Tricentenary Series" books - ("Return to the Blue Coat" - by Tony Salmon & Alan Gleave). The book is available on the "Gift Shop" page of this website and looks at Blue Coat life in the 1970s from the perspectives of both student and teacher.
Alan is pictured (left) in 1978, his jacket reflecting the "fashion" of the time, and (right) in 2007.
The second is for Dai (Taffy) Davies who joined the school in 1953. He taught Physics until his retirement, after which he lived in the school until his sudden death in February 2000.
IN MEMORIAM - J. L. DAVIES
Your benevolence was the only fact
We fully learned, despite ourselves. Adrift
In your chapel-bare lab, we could at last react
(No, not to maths, that dull, gritty shift
Towards dead matter inhumanly Just So;
Nor Newton's Laws, which like rosary beads,
To our unbelief mumbled of Long Ago)
But to your gruff contenancing of needs
Your gravity that grounded us in truth!
Strange as a saint, part-scientist, part hwyl,
You, implacable, roared peace into our youth;
And now grown weak, and worse, and out of school
We recall your calm farewell: "Good-bye, God bless" -
Last unction of your proud raw singleness!