Wigan Grammar School
School Houses




The houses were formed in the Autumn of 1926 and were six in number: Bankes, Bridgeman, Crawford, Leigh and Powell were the senior Houses; Linacre, the junior House, originally consisted of forms 1, 2 and 3, but very soon afterwards boys in the third forms were assigned to Senior Houses. All the names were derived from friends or benefactors of the School.

Each House met to discuss its business in its own room every Friday morning for 15 minutes, and each House had its own notice board on the walls of the gymnasium in the old school, as they later had in the entrance porch of the new building.

There were, however, two other attributes of the original Houses which have now been almost forgotten, a colour and a motto. The colour appeared appropriately in the front panel of the school cap which was first seen in 1926, and there were many comments at the time on the rainbow appearance produced by this headgear. The colours and mottoes of the Houses were as follows –

Bankes (Green)
Nunquam Sequimur
Bridgeman (Orange)
Nec temere nec timide
Crawford (Brown)
Bien faire et laisser dire

(Royal Blue)

Nil nisi Fortiter
Linacre (Scarlet)
Parvi sed boni
(Light Blue)
Omne bonum dei donum
Non Sibi Sed Scholae
1956 House Captains

Linacre House disappeared in 1945 with the ending of the preparatory department at the School. Eckersley House, named after the donor of the Fives Court, was constituted in 1935. Eckersley consisted at first of about 30 junior boys, and one House Prefect was supplied by each of the other Houses, to serve temporarily in Eckersley without losing his position in his own House. It was thus at least five or six years before Eckersley were able to compete on equal terms with the other Houses, and there was great jubilation in 1939 when the first House trophy was won by Eckersley – that for School Work. At this time Eckersley House had only one boy in the sixth form.

In the first half dozen years of their existence, most of the Houses held a social in winter and a picnic in summer. Some of the latter were really garden parties, others were expeditions to such places as Ainsdale, Belle Vue, or the Port Sunlight Soap Works. But the most eagerly anticipated event was the social. This word implied a tea of enormous proportions in the dining room, followed by a programme of songs, games, concerted items, and general merriment in the hall. The standard of entertainment provided varied greatly, but the excellence of the feast never. Both picnics and socials ceased inexplicably about 1933. Perhaps tastes changed, or the task or organisation proved too laborious. The last House social was one given by Powell in 1935 in honour of a visit to Wigan of Mr Hickinbotham, their first Housemaster, and from this social came the germ of the School entertainments which were an annual event before the war.