Wigan Grammar School
The Fourth School


The Fourth School

The new School, designed by Mr. A.K. Munby was opened on the 11 th October 1937 by the Rt. Hon. Oliver Stanley, President of the Board of Trade. Thanks were given to Mr. G.A. Christopher for the gift of the organ and to the Old Boys Association for providing the School Clock, and to Mr. J. Noble and Mr. S. Parkinson for the chairs for the use of the Headmaster, the Second Master and the Third Master. Alderman Farr accepted the building on behalf of the governing body and Mr. Stanley then unveiled a commemorative plaque and the School War Memorials on the main staircase.

Mr. W. Taylor was Headmaster during the war years. The School started the war with six weeks extra holiday, as there were no air raid shelters. For the rest of that term the senior school attended from 8.30 a.m. to 12.30 , and the juniors from 1 to 5 p.m. – an arrangement which seemed to please both boys and staff. With the war came an influx of female members of staff, fire-watching, the Air Training Corps, farming camps, shortages of paper and textbooks and a general damping down of many sides of school life. The passing of the Education Act in 1944 abolished fees for pupils (previously fee-payers numbered about a third of the school) and also regrettably ended two pleasant features of school life, the Wednesday afternoon half holiday, such a boon and a blessing for the last fifteen years , and the Preparatory Department of the School for boys from 8 to 10 years old, with which went Miss McCartney after nearly 40 years service on the Staff.

The War Memorial

One of the first events when Mr. L.W. Warren became headmaster in 1948 was the dedication of the Old Boys’ War Memorial in February 1949. Shortly after this came the change from the old School Certificate Examination to the new General Certificate of Education. Mr. Warren reorganised the time-table, particularly in the sixth-forms, and his successor, Dr.J.W. Ashley Smith, increased the time-table options very considerably, especially in the middle school, and , for the first time, organised games appeared as a school subject. It was during this period too that the provision of school playing fields – a sore point for at least 50 years – reached its lowest ebb, so that the soccer team found themselves playing home matches in some deserted field near Parbold. In 1962 the first minibus was acquired and the Adventure Club came into being.

The most important recent change of all was the amalgamation with Thomas Linacre School on the appointment of Mr. W.G. Merriman as Headmaster in 1963. Under him options of all sorts, both in work and play, increased enormously. The permutations of subjects possible in theory in the third forms would be frightening to the older generation and over twenty subjects were taken at Advanced Level. In 1963 the School was nearly 950 strong, with nearly 200 in the sixth form and 54 staff, and ever since then it was necessary to hold a separate morning assembly for seniors and juniors in the two halls.



The School now in 1972 faces probably the greatest challenge in its history. Experience already shows that comprehensive reorganisation is not automatically assured of success, and sometimes it is difficult to see where the gain lies, but it has also shown that good schools with tradition behind them and the support and affection of the community to sustain them can do as well or better as comprehensive schools than they did in a more limited role. Wigan Grammar School is such a school.

L.W. Warren, Headmaster 1948-53



Entrances to Fourth School
Main Hall
Lecture Room and Gymnasium
History & Geography Block


Foundation Stone
Foundation Plaque