The Air Gun Incident

My brother, Bernard Cummings, attended Xaverian College from 1956-62 approx. He attended the sixth form and left with ‘A’ levels and took a degree in geography at Manchester University. That meant in effect that he was on the same bus route, just had to get off a few stops earlier. He told me the following story which may or may not have appeared in the Manchester Evening News when the lid came off the story.

Bernard was stood in assembly which took place in the ‘quad’ (playground to us younger scholars). He was in line with the rest of his class as prayers were being taken by the teacher unlucky enough to have been assigned assembly duty. On this particular day it was Mr Halsted (Latin?). Bernard’s best friend was A.W. (he may still be alive for all I know) who kept repeating ‘I’m going to get him, I’m going to get him’. My brother looked in amazement as A.W. brought out a Webley from under his gabardine and took aim. He shot Mr Halsted in the neck. From what I can remember, A.W. was expelled, the police weren’t called and he was allowed back in school to take his ‘O’ levels.

Mike Ramsey remembers…

Who can forget one of the teachers being fired at by a lad with an air rifle? We were all lined up after lunch time outside in the playground. The teacher was taking us through the usual prayers when he suddenly grasped his forehead and staggered off towards the door.

We later discovered that a lad with a bit of a grudge ,had entered the sixth form block and from an open window used an air rifle to shoot at the teacher. I never heard what happened but I think the teacher was OK and the boy expelled.

4 thoughts on “The Air Gun Incident”

  1. I remember the incident but I thought Larry Halstead was shot in on his forehead.He was not my favourite teacher that was Mr. Price.

    • Hi Ged

      The information I had was that he got it in the neck but of course, we have no way of knowing for certain this far in the future. I do remember there was a report in the Manchester Evening News at the time but finding this might be a bit ambitious!
      Thanks for you input – let me know if you find yourself on the 1961 photo.



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