Friends of St. Wilfrid's Church , Cotton - Click Here For News Items
Walk for St. Wilfrid:
Wilf's is closing and local parishioners arranged a sponsored walk from the church to the valley via Doctor's Walk and Cotton Dell. There was access into Wilf's Church , with tea and cake served by members of the congregation. The event took place on Saturday 23rd October 2010. On 24th , the church celebrated Mass for possibly the last time.
Click Here For Film Of The Last Day Of Wilf's :-(
Sadly Fr. Tony Piercy ( Tank) has passed away. He was an iconic figure at the Coll.
The Right Reverend Monsignor Thomas Gavin died on Christmas Morning 2009 aged 87 after a short illness. He was Prefect of Studies at Cotton College from 1950-1967 and Headmaster from 1967 – 1978.
John Brennan (below), who had a long musical association with the school , died recently and his funeral is at 10am on Monday 26th at Holy Trinity , Newcastle-under-Lyme.
RIP Monsignor Peter Stonier who died June 2010 at Salisbury Hospital. Peter (OC , 1944) was ordained in the summer of 1950 along with Francis J. Grady , B. Tarbuck , P.S. Wyles , P.W.Lawler and AJ Snell from the same year.
Frank Roberts' 'History of Sedgley Park and Cotton College' , edited & completed by Neil Henshaw , is the definitive resource for those interested in the origin & life of the Midlands' most important Junior Seminary. Cotton College was described by a boy in the early sixties as "...the most remarkable place in England...". The school had been up and running in a remote part of Stafforshire since 1873. It had produced a thousand clergy for the Catholic Church throughout England , including Archbishops , Bishops , Canons and Priests. Innumerable Catholic Gentlemen went through its corridors. In 1987 , the Archdiocese closed Cotton College forever. The year 2006 sees a derelict site ready for redevelopment.
Canon Buscot's History of the School was written with the permission of his superiors. The tone and substance of his book reflects that. Though a fantastic book , one that is a 'must read' for all Old Cottonians , I have mainly turned to Frank Roberts' History , which tells the full and (almost) unexpunged account of the ups and downs of the College. There were plenty of both. Completed in appropriate style by Neil Henshaw , I have 'cogged' unashamedly from it in order to relay the History of my old school for internet visitors.
www.cottoncollege.co.uk should be the first port of call for any OCs - Dave 'Tug' Wilson's site has brought together old boys and old girls , priests , families , friends and most of all - memories. It has given a massive boost to the St. Wilfred's and Parkers Association. With the click of the mouse , OCs can now email each other. I have been in contact with old form mates I had not seen since the day I left Cotton in 1974. Many OCs retain a massive interest in the old place , hungry for news , and can often be seen referring back to their Cottonian magazines and the Directory of the Midlands Diocese for information on former collegues , teachers and friends. An Annual Golf Tournament at Whiston also helps keep Cotton alive. Tug's site brings together photographs , scans of documents , photos of teachers & pupils , a message board , news & views , and a chat room. Totally superb.
On the right hand side of this screen are various pages relating to aspects of Cotton College. There is a feature on the Presidents / Headmasters, as well as a Teachers page - both these pages have lots of photos. There is a History page that describes some famous Old Boys. Also , as I love lists , I have done a page on the 1881 , 1891 and 1901 Census Returns for Cotton ( thanks to Ian Beech and Wendy Barlow for letting me use their archives) - a lot of interesting characters are noted - and also a Cotton at War page which includes a list of casualties and other Boys who served in His Majesty's Forces in WW1 & WW2. Cotton Life is a page that details some of the memories of the place , including my own. Please email me any of your memories that you would like added.
For a bit of fun , I created a Cotton Visit storyboard whch includes some photos and film I took of a recent pilgrimage to the old place , now sadly lying in ruins.
Finally we have a Guestbook which I hope you will sign.
I hope you enjoy your look around. I am trying to keep the site updated and am adding extra info all the time as it comes in. If you wish me to add something , please do not hesitate to contact me at:
Enjoy the free snow. We did , all year round!
Post Script: Think you had it hard at Cotton College? Check out the Sedgley Park Web Site!