Florence Melly School, Walton opened in 1927. The award winning design based the school around a courtyard, with glass walls and a verandah all around. It was described as an ‘open air school’.

The Florence E Melly after whom the school is named was born in Liverpool in 1856, the daughter of George and Sarah. George was a merchant shipowner. For most of her life (certainly from 1861 - 1901), Florence lived with her family at 90 Chatham St, at its corner with Oxford St. Florence is always described as ‘living on her own means’ in the census; she gave her life to education in the city, and is listed in 1903 as a member of the Technical Instruction Committee. Some of her correspondence - for example with the wife of Philip HOLT, who was on the same committee - remains. She visited the school shortly after it opened; she died in 1928.

George LUCY attended the school in the 1930s before going on to the Liverpool Institute and later becoming a teacher in Liverpool. He remembers what he now knows to be a Montessori approach to teaching at Florence Melly. The Headteacher at the time was Miss WOODS.


The school had its own ‘post office’; the postman was one Johnny Williams who trundled around school every day in a little green pedal car, delivering birthday cards to lucky children. One day George and his friends Harold Grimes and Benny were asked to paint the car red, in an attempt at increased authenticity. They were outside on the verandah, appropriate precautions in place. Harold, a stickler for detail, insisted on painting the inside of the car. George and Benny accidentally painted Harold’s head red in the process! Harold was liberally doused with turpentine and dispatched with his friends who were to explain to his mother why his hair was pink. However, they never had the opportunity to tell her; she took one look at the hapless Harold, decided that he was the culprit and dealt with him accordingly.

Most of George’s classmates went on to Alsop (named after colleague of Florence MELLY!), and he lost touch with everyone although he still has very fond memories of the school and his fellow pupils.


The school has kindly provided a wealth of photographs of the original building - how fantastic they are! Thanks again to the staff, particularly Mrs Evans - for taking the trouble to scan and send.


Norman BRIDGE was appointed acting Deputy Head of Florence MELLY Secondary Modern Boys’ School in the late 1940s. He was told that Florence MELLY - related in some way i’ve not yet ascertained to George MELLY - would announce herself to the head by banging her stick on the staircase! He recalls that the school had woodwork rooms, laboratories and other facilities arranged around quadrangles, separated by halls and gymnasia. Headteacher at the time was W S BUCKLEY, an English specialist. Staff took the boys on summer camp to the Isle of Man annually, and hosted trainee teachers from Malaya - there was a Malayan Teachers’ Training College at Kirkby, at the time.

In 2001 the old infant building was demolished and the infants moved into the junior building. The construction of the new school began! This school opened in September 2002. The school has its own website,


The photos give both interior and exterior shots of the building. I love the fires, and the allotments.


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