Did you go to Colomendy Centre for Outdoor Education in North Wales like generations of Liverpool children? If so you may remember this Totem Pole, which is now on display in the Museum of Liverpool. It was made in 1967 at Sefton Park Secondary School by teacher Ken James and his students. Ken was a woodwork and technical drawing teacher at the school from 1963, until 1978. The Totem Pole was made from a telegraph pole provided by Liverpool GPO. The carvings represent local animals, real and imaginary – including a Welsh dragon on top and a mother and baby bird. Moyra James, Ken’s daughter remembers that it was a close knit school with a great cast of characters, both pupils and staff.
“Colomendy was a chance for both the staff and kids to enjoy being outside the constraints of the classroom and the school contributed a lot to the site. There were also lots of pranks including persuading the kids that they needed altitude tablets to climb Moel Famau, in reality they were extra strong mints!
Sefton Park School class photo featuring Ken James, 1966. Bob Tudor helped to make the Totem pole as a 4th year pupil.
Dad would have been amazed to think that the Totem Pole ended up in the Museum and it’s a real shame he didn’t get to see it, as he died in 2009”.
“I helped to make the wings of the Totem Pole - they were made from old desk tops. Ken loved to recycle. Norman Smith and I had to relocate the wings about 3 or 4 times! The whole school was involved in painting it. I think each class had a section”.