A time of transition

After the first year at St Joseph's, the normal procedure was to move to Jersey for the remainder of one's training - right up to becoming a Novice.
At St. Joseph's these were referred to as the 'Jersey Boys' and all the Juvenists aspired to become a Jersey Boy.
When we went to Jersey, Bro Alphonsus stayed for the new intake at St Josephs and Bro James accompanied us to Highlands.
He stayed with us then until my departure (at St Edwards) in January 1952. However, during the year I was in Jersey, the Brothers acquired St Edwards and of course it was not cost effective to send the Juvenists to Jersey when they had this dedicated training school ( i.e. no boarders ) in Shropshire.

Meal arrangements

We sat at tables of five or tables of six. In my early days at Ches the brothers sat at a long table in front of the windows of the main refectory (later they moved to their own dining room at the end of the parlour corridor).
Breakfast was eaten in silence unless it was a special feast and we got a 'Benedicamus Domino' from the Superior with our enthusiastic reply of 'Deo Gratias'.
During the meals the only person who could move from his place was the 'Assistant Server' whose job it was to collect the table's food from the trolley and on request go and get the teapot from the table we shared with. This was not an easy task because there was an ethic whereby when collecting the teapot from another table you had to top up the drink of anyone requesting it. The person asking for the top up would demand a 'surface tension' i.e. the cup had to be filled to the very brim so you could see the meniscus.
Whilst this was taking place the other boys would be quickly drinking off their tea in order to make the same demand - this was referred to as 'swigging'. Often the teapot was emptied before the Assistant Server could get it back to his own table.

Post St. Edwards Legacies

Many agree that experiences we undergo when young make a strong impression and are sometimes formative in how we ultimately live our lives.
When you reflect on your own time spent with the brothers, do you find that you have inherited a legacy of some kind?
It is strange to have had no contact for all these 50, or so, years and then suddenly within the last few days of being connected to this wiki to re-establish a strong link to my past.
An interesting one this. Life at St Edward's, 1966 - 1969 (included the last year at Ches and the first at Liverpool) has had a profound effect on me.
I never intended going into teaching but a failed law degree left me with looking for something else and after fourteen unprofitable years, in every sense, I did an OU degree and am now a primary school teacher so I am in the position, like the brothers, of having the opportunity to make a profound difference on young lives. (MB)

Further recollections

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