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Our Oral History Project is a new venture for Blue Coat School to record for posterity the memories, opinions and feeling of Old Blues and anyone else with interesting stories to tell about the School.

As part of the Blue Coat For All project’s aim to engage the community with outreach events, twenty-one students were trained by professional oral historian Christine Gibbons in how to interview subjects in the appropriate manner.

Three special Reminiscence Events were held at the School for the interviewees, who included borders from the 1950s and two of the first girls to join the Sixth Form in 1989.

The idea was to compile a colourful word picture of what the School was like in days gone by, as it has changed so greatly. Until now, most of these vibrant memories have been lost to posterity. The material will be held in the new Blue Coat School Archive and the National Museums Liverpool Archive.

The first interview took place with the oldest surviving Blue Coat student, Kendrick Rannard, now 103 years, who was visited at his home by Chris Gibbons and Year 12 student Simon Cheung. After Mr Kendrick’s father died he boarded at Blue Coat aged eight. Sharing his memories of standing on a box during his entrance interview so the panel could see him above the Board Room table, to performing with the Blue Coat band on the School cruises to North Wales, have helped us to create a more personal history of Blue Coat.

Ms Gibbons said: “The interview with Mr Rannard exceeded our expectations. He had fabulous recollections of his time at Blue Coat in the 1920s, including playing in the School Brass Band at garden parties around south Liverpool.

“The students we trained all worked hard and really responded to the occasion. Their interviews were first rate and they recorded some excellent stories about the subjects’ experiences at Blue Coat School.”

If you have memories of Blue Coat School you would like to record for us please contact Peter Elson, Blue Coat For All Project manager, on tel: 0151 733 1407 ext 207 or email: p.elson@bluecoatschool.org.uk.

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