Some More Happy Memories by Another Old Boy Who Wishes to Remain Anonymous

Neither Kevin Deignan nor Mark Murray are the author of this posting.

I do have some happy memories of Mirfield . I loved playing football.I probably wasn’t all that good at it but I loved it.I would run ’til I was exhausted and then run some more. I even loved the early morning PE and especially the games we played in the copse at the bottom end of the football pitch.
I remember the long walks we would go on through the snow and I remember the freshly baked bread.
I remember when,on occasion,some man would visit and bring a large bag of chocolate bars,and I remember laughing at the wrong moment when watching a play,’A man for all Seasons’. The executioner,with a pot belly, in profile, silhouetted against the backdrop,lifting his axe,was not the time to laugh,but some of us giggled at the scene, bringing displeasure to some .
I remember the candle-lit processions and crawling through a coal mine to a coal face and visiting Fountain’s Abbey.
I remember the smile on Fr.Grace’s face when I came top in Eng Lit. And I remember the orange juice.
And I remember one of my friends putting his arms around my shoulders and telling me not to cry.

8 responses to “Some More Happy Memories by Another Old Boy Who Wishes to Remain Anonymous

  1. It should be mentioned that we learnt later that the chocolate bars were ones that had fallen on the floor of the Macintosh factory in Halifax and had been condemned for human consumption and sold as animal feed!

    • I can’t believe that Mr.Hughes would bring any confectionary into the school that was unfit for human consumption. Sounds like another vicious rumour from those who like to paint Roe Head blacker than black.

      • I can’t believe that Mr.Hughes would bring any confectionery into the school that was unfit for human consumption. Sounds like another vicious rumour from those who like to paint Roe Head blacker than black

      • Hi winopens
        How about this for another vicious rumour.
        Can anyone remember the incident of the Labrador and the goats ?
        Let me refresh your memories.
        One of the black Labradors, either Fr Hick’s or Murtagh’s ,killed one or two of the goats that were kept on the smallholding . Having dragged and mauled the carcass around the grounds, unknown to the boys, the meat ended up in a stew !!!.The stew was going down very well until one boy fished out a complete tongue !.Word went round the refectory and once the lads put two and two together everybody stopped eating .Dinning only continued when we were told that we would not be aloud to leave the refectory until the meal was finished . Later that evening myself and one or two others went into the kitchens and discovered what remained of the goat in the chest freezer .
        I am sure that there will be old boys out there that can verify this.
        So I am sure that there maybe a slight possibility that the sweet seconds that were destined for animal feed may well have finished up inside a seminarian.
        PS I loved my time at Mirfield and would do it all again ,But it is now very apparent that we were the lucky one’s .The darker side of Mirfield has cast a very long shadow indeed.
        thanks for your contribution keep them coming
        all the best

        Degs (kevin deignan)

      • Thanks for your entertaining post. The slaughtered goat was certainly after my time. We always did moan about the food. If it wasn’t for the odd caterpillar in the cabbage it was rumours of eating horse meat. We lived on 4 prescribed meals a day…..they clearly wanted to fatten us up for the mission field. I recall some preacher coming to tell us what the characteristics of a good missionary were. The two I remember were having ‘ the knees of a camel ‘, for obvious reason I suppose as they were impervious to any pain. The second was ‘the stomach of a pig’ mainly for its ability to eat everything and anything. Clearly a discerning palate was something the Mirfield meals tried to rid us of.
        I agree Kevin the memories of my time in Mirfield (and Allanton & Sunningdale) are delightful ones and the unhappy moments were few and far between.

  2. “Then there was Fr.Rector, I can’t even remember his name. All I remember of him is his face. A face that would appear out of no where and almost paralyse you with it’s cold stare”.
    That was Ambrogio, normally a very cold character who seemed devoid of all feelings, except when he took us for lessons in appreciation of art, a subject he was enthusiastic about, when he seemed to warm up and become a completely different character. He was rector from about 1963 till at least 1966.

    • You’re absolutely right about the ‘face that appeared from no where’!
      He loved his art though and I recall sitting in the library watching his slide shows of famous paintings which he taught us about.

      In the summer of 68 a group of us went to Italy, in a minibus driven by Fr McCaul. We went to Rome and guess who turned up? Fr Ambrogio, who’d left Mirfield for Rome a few years previous. He had his guide books and was ready to be our personal guide of The Sistine Chapel.
      But all we wanted to do was go to the beach and eat ice cream. He was sadly disappointed. He was quite a nice chap but a bit serious.

  3. I too remember all these things, the visit to the coalmine (and being laughed at by the miners as we were all or nearly all wearing our football boots to keep our shoes clean), Fountains Abbey and “A man for All Seasons” (Also the WW1 play, “Journey’s End”) – they bring back memories!

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