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Padgate Community High to Lysander High School


Joanna King
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After receiving a letter through my child who attends the school, may I add it is not often I ever get to see letters.

The school are proposing a name change as well as uniform.

 

They wish to call it Lysander High!!

 

They included the following in their letter to explain why they have chosen the said name.

 

'The 'Westland Lysander' was a well known aircraft used ...by RAF over a number of years; this is relevant as the school was built on the former RAF Padgate site.

The name also celebrates the area's link to William Shakespear.'

 

Does anyone wish to voice their opinion as they have not consulted with the community considering that their name at present is Padgate COMMUNITY High School.

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i cannot see that a change of name would be such a problem. who cares what it is called as long as education standards do not change for the worse. a rose by any other name etc.

 

i would be more concerned at the change of uniform.

a change of the badge would not be too bad as it could be easily replaced,but if they are proposing to drastically change the uniform then i can see that a lot of parents will be annoyed at the expense of having to buy the new ones, especially those who may have just bought the old uniform.

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I understand the link to the former RAF camp - must admit I was unaware of any specal Padgate link to Shakespeare however.

 

But as to whether the name should be changed, I am not sure.

Several schools in Warrington have names not associated with the area they serve - Beamont, Boteler. But they are named after historic figures from the town's past. Lysander, I think, might cause some confusion and is unlikely to make the residents of Padgate any more interested with Shakespeare than they already are.

There is bound to be a suspicion that the name "Padgate" is being dropped because somebody is ashamed of it, and that would be a pity. As far as I am concerned, Padgate is a historic local name, extremely well known (not least because of the RAF camp), the Teacher Training College and the Warrington campus of Chester University. It is also one of the increasingly rare small places to still have a railway station. So the school would be dropping a well-known name in favour of one which, at best, is well known only among aircraft buffs and students of Shakespeare.

 

As far as a change of uniform is concerned, I assume the new one would be phased in so parents need not have to worry about the expense.

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At a time when budgets are being cut, where will the money come from to pay for the change in name? There are signs, stationary books and heaven knows how many other things in a school that have the name on. An expense that could well be spent elsewhere one would guess?

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or the Whitley, Beaufort, Battle, Whirlwind, Firefly, Meteor, Swordfish, Albacore, Tempest, London, Singapore, Albemare, Horsa, York, Auster (Which was a liason and recon plane like the Lysander), Magista, Tiger Moth or Hawk

 

Most of which I had never heard of but there you go!! :lol:

 

I did however used to have a model of a Lysander when I was a kid so I knew what they looked like; funny wheel covers and wings that sat really high up on the planes body!

 

Good link here if you want a picture of any of the above!

 

http://www.pilotfriend.com/photo_albums/timeline/ww2/brit.htm

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Nice link Baz: the Gladiator was a bi-plane, and preceeded the Spitfire and Hurricane: 3 (Hope, Faith and Charity) took on the weight of the Italian Airforce in defence of Malta - and won! :lol: The Swordfish (another bi-plane) was used to sink the Italian Fleet in Taranto harbour; and gave the Japanese the idea for the Pearl Harbour attack! :shock: The Lysander was used to land and pick up our agents in France - wonder if the school kids will be taught any of this? :?:roll::wink:

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I assure you this i no wind up.. just so happens that i received the letter on april 1st from the school.

 

This is an example of how people like to waste money. They are closing one school (woolston) and spending lot of cash on the 're-launch' of Padgate, considering its not broken why try to fix it.....

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3 (Hope, Faith and Charity) took on the weight of the Italian Airforce in defence of Malta - and won!

 

I wonder if they flew in reverse! Like the old joke of the Italian tanks having 6 gears; 1 forward and 5 reverse!! :lol:

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The Lysander was designed by W. E. W. Petter, and was only his second aircraft design. There was no clear idea of what the new aircraft needed to be able to do, and so in 1935 Petter spent some time with the army co-operation squadrons. Even there he found no consensus, but most pilots agreed that the new aircraft would need to be able to operate from small spaces, be able to fly at low speeds without stalling or losing control and that the pilot needed a clear forward view.

 

westland_lysander.jpg

 

From the above description it does appear to be an unfortunate choice of name for a letter issued on the first of April is unfortunate to say the least.

 

Yes the area has a great historical connection with the War years and many of the streets are named after famous Aircraft, including the newly named Lysander Drive.

 

Bennett?s Rec has evidence of a rifle range that the recent report to the Parish Council has highlighted as a feature to be developed and signposted.

 

There is also evidence of the many camps in the area, Canadian, British and USA although more recently a lot have been flattened as the University has redeveloped its Student Union bar, Art Centre etc. My stepfather has lots of memories of the place when he serviced his time there.

 

It does however seem a strange choice of name, gives no indication about where it is sited. How would a visitor find the place or is that what the school is attempting to achieve. What not Fearnhead High School and 6th Form College after all Padgate High is not really in Padagte is it?

 

Hopefully whatever name they go for if that is what is happening then they have a clear idea of what the school is for unlike it's name sake.

 

JoKing apart I think it?s wind up.

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Could it be, that the aircraft was named after the Spartan General in the first place?! :?:roll: Geoff, what's this "there is evidence" buisiness, as if your talking about Roman ruins :? - many veterans who served at these camps, are still alive to tell you all about it! :roll::wink:

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I'm not saying that there aren't veterans around; my stepfather is one. I met another in Peel Hall walking his dog and there are many, many more. This old gentleman had loads of stories about the American officer's houses on the edge of Peel Hall Park and we spent a good 15 minutes chatting about his memories.

 

The topic of the firing range came up during the recent presentation at the Parish Council meeting when the report was presented about the biodiversity of Bennett's Rec grounds and it's potential future. Mention was made of the old firing range used by the vets and whether or not it could be turned into a feature.

 

Ag motioned the research that he was doing and that he was having difficulty in obtaining old maps from the RAF of the area so that they could identify any other features.

 

If anyone does have additional details about the war time use of Bennett?s Rec or even prior to this then please go to Fearnhead Community Centre and share them with the Community Officer.

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