I’m a north Liverpool boy! I was born and grew up in Clubmoor, close to Liverpool’s northern boundary and surrounded by the better-known districts of Walton, Norris Green, West Derby and Anfield. I went to St Matthew’s school, just across Queens Drive from the house where I was born, and then to St Edward’s College, at that time a boys’ grammar school.
In 1967 I accepted a place at Nottingham University to study English. However, I had a few months to fill before taking it up so I applied to work as an unqualified assistant teacher in Kirkby, just outside Liverpool. Well, I loved teaching so much I decided to give up that place at Nottingham and go to teacher training college instead.
And what a game changer that turned out to be!
I qualified as a teacher at Christ’s College (now Hope University), Liverpool, in 1971 and went on to teach in Kirkby, Knowsley Village and Huyton, all part of the borough of Knowsley, just to the north of the city. It was at St John Fisher School in Knowsley Village that I wrote my first children’s musical and followed that up with more of the same in St Aidan’s, Huyton, where I was headteacher for twelve years.
And it was whilst I was at St Aidan’s that I met a fantastic teacher called Michelle Ford, who is now my wife! We have two beautiful and brilliant daughters, Julia and Rosanna. I still live in Liverpool although I have ‘migrated south’ to the Allerton district.
The photo at the top of the page shows me standing next to the street sign for Dublin Street, down by what’s known in Liverpool as ‘The Dock Road’. Dublin Street was where my maternal grandfather grew up. His family settled there near to the docks when they arrived in Liverpool as Irish immigrants.
Dublin Street is a very special place to me and soon it’s going to be part of the exciting new ‘Ten Streets’ project that will be home to a creative businesses hub in the North Liverpool docklands regeneration programme.
My dad’s family also arrived in the city as Irish immigrants. They lived in Dane Street, close to Goodison Park, Everton FC’s ground, which may explain my lifelong (and often very frustrating!) allegiance to that team!
So my roots are mainly in Ireland, stretching from County Down just south to County Louth and then further southwards to Carlow and on to Waterford. As one of my songs says, I’m Liverpool born and proud to be that way – but I’m equally proud of my Irish (and some Scottish!) heritage.
Frank Ravey: from Liverpool, out of Ireland and Scotland. Sounds good to me!