My Happy memories of Mirfield

by Frank McGinnis

More Good Memories

These stories bring back many of the happier memories of Mirfield.

Feast-days were good as we ate well for a day (not so good for the farm pigs/chickens) and all washed down with real fizzy orange juice.

Having no singing voice my job on such days was to hold one of the six enormous candle-sticks at the special Mass. I was always placed to the immediate left of Eddie Roberts as he swung the incense-belching orb thingy.

Every fifth or sixth swing he would let it ‘just touch’ my hand to ensure the hot overspill from my candle would flow down my arm.

I can still hear his sniggers, a brilliant guy, oh happy days.

Mirfield Priests

I hated Fr Cerea, but he started it. The only nice comment I can muster is the memory of the rich tobacco aroma he emanated as he thumped the back of my head (often).

I liked Fr Grace, he looked ancient & content.

His Anglican minister to Catholic priest story puzzled me.

As a product of the West of Scotland I was sure it was against the rules.

Jumping-ship was unheard of, you had to stick to what you arrived with, you were either Catholic or Protestant.

Father Grace

An Indian kid started at our Primary school when I was about eight, no problem.

He was a Muslim but assured us he was a ‘Catholic’ Muslim. Clever wee guy.

I eventually just figured that Fr Grace must have got fed-up not getting his prayers answered whilst in the wrong outfit.

He was keen to see the Tories win the 1966 General Election so his Catholic prayers didn’t work all that great either.
We had a three day ‘Silent Retreat’ early in 1967. The good memory there is that Pinkie was unable to talk to wee boys about his unique interest in explaining the facts of life. Oh happy three days.
PS We have moved on in the West of Scotland since those days. One is now simply either a YES or a NO. But don’t worry we NO who they are πŸ™‚

If anyone else has any good or bad memories of Mirfield just stick them in the Comments section after this article.

4 responses to “My Happy memories of Mirfield

  1. Good memories Frank.
    Do you remember those table-tennis competitions? You had a canny defence that matched your bat. You used to return shots with a twist of the wrist that imparted a difficult side-ways spin. I made it to the final once and you beat me in a titanic match which lasted longer than it should and Pinkie allowed us to continue playing it out to the end, whilst the rest went into class. We eventually went back into class and everybody was sitting quietly. You walked in poker-faced and I walked in smiling. Everyone thought that I’d won.

  2. Yes, I got to the final of the table tennis tournament once but never won it. I did better at billiards and draughts and I think I won the snooker one once. There was also chess tournaments as well which I didn’t enter as I didn’t know how to play.

    There are some great memories of Mirfield. Let’s hear more of them.

  3. Great to hear from you Leo & Gerry. Yeah I remember the many marathon table-tennis jousts with you Leo. You were so very quick & mobile. Do you remember the day Chester Barnes (British Champ) visited ? I think I won one point against him, when he was tying his laces.
    For me Gerry your prowess on the football field stands out. You were our own wee pocket Cazzorla. Don’t blush now. I read your post on the disgraced Pinkie dropping you from the team in 2nd year. We could have taken the title that year too, had you remained in the team.

  4. hello everyone my name is brian mcginnis ….i just want to let you know my brother frank mcginnis passed away today june 7 2019 he died suddenly …he never forgot hiis time at mirfield or his friends….he kept the secrets of mirfield only admitting that bad things happened there….please remember him in your thoughts and at your reunions he was my brother and my best friend ….he never really talked about what happened there but i know he suffered while he was there ….i just hope he is at peace now …..if anyone wants to say a few words my e mail is

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