St Francis Roman Catholic Grammar School

For the school of the same name in Quetta, Pakistan, see St Francis Grammar School.

St Francis RC Grammar School
Motto Cervus ad Fontes
(Latin for The Hart to the Font)
Established 1956
Closed 1973
Religion Roman Catholic
Founder Father Francis Dunne
Location Hartlepool
County Durham
Gender Boys
Houses 4 houses
Final Headmaster Canon Bell
Diocese Hexham and Newcastle

St Francis RC Grammar School, also known as St Francis Xavier Grammar School,[1] was a Catholic grammar school for boys, in Hartlepool, County Durham, England. It opened on 17 September 1956[2] and was subsumed into The English Martyrs School and Sixth Form College along with St Joseph's Convent School and four more local Catholic schools in 1973.[3] It was run by the Xaverian Brothers.[3]

Head Teachers

Headteacher Start year End year
Brother Anselm BA[4][2] 1956 undated
Canon John "Dickie" Bell.[3] undated 1973

Teachers and Brothers

Teacher Subject(s) Additional notes
Father John Bell[3] Latin Became a Canon and Headmaster of both St Francis and later The English Martyrs School and Sixth Form College.
Brother Aiden[4] RK
Brother Ambrose[4] Latin
Brother Brendan[2] unknown
Brother Chrysostum[3] unknown
Brother Cuthbert[4] Maths and Football
Brother Francis[4] French
Brother Osmund[3] Geography
Brother Oswald[4] unknown
Brother Plunkett[4] unknown
Mrs Shirley Corcoran[3] Biology First full-time female teacher at the school. Many pupils considered her an inspirational teacher.
Mr Wm. Lanford BSc[2] unknown
Mr Chris Lawton[4] Chemistry and Geography
Mr Gilles Legal[3] Russian There were rumours of aristocratic ancestry - ie that he was a Count.
Mr Patrick (Paddy) Alley. Maths An ex. Irish hurling player who would slam your desk lid on your hands if you were slow getting a book out - and would hit you with the rotating black board (shins first and then your back when you bent to rub your shins) - an all round decent fellow who left under a cloud.
Mr Ian Bewick Art
Mr David Hudson Chemistry
Father Fred Martin unknown
Mr Jack McCabe[4] P.E., English & History For many pupils the most influential teacher in the school's history for others he was a sadist who enjoyed power over the young
Father Frank McCabe Latin Brother of Jack and held 20 question tests every week where for every question you got wrong he would whack you over the knuckles with the edge of a ruler - many were whacked multiple times since he couldn't teach and was not willing to answer questions - the welts took a day to subside
Mr Derek Mylroi[3] History Had a false leg - which did not prevent him from playing in goal for the annual teacher-student football match. Many pupils considered Derek an inspiration.
Mr Patrick Naughton English
Mr Vin Shanley[5] History Later became Headmaster at St Michael's Roman Catholic School in Billingham as well as publishing several books containing "hilarious stories".
Mr David Turley Maths
Mrs Bell[4] Dinner Lady


There were four houses within the school: Percy, Swalwell, Errington, and Thirkeld. In the same way as the later English Martyrs School and Sixth Form College would name its houses after the English Martyrs, the houses of St Francis Grammar School were named after the following:








Notable Alumni

Reunion Groups


  1. 1 2 (2008).Canoe woman Anne Darwin 'one of the greatest actresses in the world'.The Telegraph.
  2. 1 2 3 4 The Catholic Church in Hartlepool and West Hartlepool, 1834-1964, A Souvenir of Progress. Glasgow: John S. Burns & Sons. 1965.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Hall,G.(2005).Saints and sinners.The Hartlepool Mail.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 (2007).Will you be mentioned?.The Hartlepool Mail.
  5. (2000).BIG LAUGHS DUE TO SMALL TALK .The Hartlepool Mail.
  6. ST FRANCIS GRAMMAR SCHOOL.Museum of Hartlepool.
  7. 1 2 (2011).The White House, Hartlepool.The Telegraph.
  8. (2010).Wherever I go in the world, people tell me how impressed they are when they visit Durham, and I feel the same way..The Free Library.
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