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GREAT HARWOOD

Schools

At the beginning of 19th century there was only one school in Delph Road for children who's parents belonged to the Church of England which was most people at the time. Built by Roger Nowell in the 17th century legacies were the chief source of income but it was often without a teacher as there was no money to pay them. In 1820 William Hindle of Burnley bequeathed £120 to the school providing it was matched by the townsfolk and £173 was raised within the prescribed 12 months the interest on the money being used to provide a schoolmaster.

Over the next hundred years the town's population was to grow from around 1,500 to almost 14,000 obviously the school would not be able to cope.

National School, Queen Street, Great Harwood

National School, Queen Street, Great Harwood

In 1821 there were 25 scholars attending the Delph Road School but by 1831 this had increased to 42, thirty boys and 12 girls. The school was becoming too small.
A new Church of England school was built in Queen Street in 1838. It was called the National School and was attended by children of all denominations.

In 1867 the Inspector was so impressed with the school he prefaced his remarks with ...........

"This is one of the best schools, if not the best I have visited"

The National School became redundant in 1915 and was demolished in 1935.

The town's population was still growing and more school room was needed.

The Roman Catholics had their own "Dame School" held in Paradise Cottage, Hindle Fold Lane run by the wife of Mr James Lomax. A new Roman Catholic Church , Our Lady and St. Hubert's, and school were completed in 1859 and paid for by Mr. Lomax. In 1882 the same benefactor provided funds for an extension to the school and three years later paid for St. Hubert's Hall to be built providing further amenities for the school and church. Pupils were taught from infant through senior school until reorganisation in 1947 when the juniors joined St. Wulstan's School and the seniors of that school moved to the renamed St. Hubert's Catholic Secondary Modern School. Infants remained in a separate school at St. Hubert's.


British School, Barnmeadow Lane, Gt Harwood

British School. My last stage performance was here in a Youth Club Pantomime and even without
the fire there was no chance of an encore.

In 1963 a new, large secondary school accommodating pupils from a wide area was opened a few miles away at Billington and St. Hubert's Secondary School closed. Four years later a new St. Hubert's Infant and Junior School was opened off Harwood Lane and the old school was closed and eventually demolished.

 

The Congregational Sunday School built in 1856 was organised as a day school in 1866 and in 1879 pupils transferred to the new British School in Barnmeadow Lane. The building reverted to a Sunday School in 1909 when the children decamped to the Western Council School in Rushton Street.

rear of British School

 

The large hall was often used for local events especially after the Mercer Hall was converted to swimming baths and is now The United Reformed Church.

Much of the building was destroyed by arson in 1973.

 

St Johns School, Great Harwood

St John's Church of England School. I attended Sunday School, took part in some talent
contests and had a solo in a Youth Club Review here. I had a fine singing voice back then

 

 

 

 

With pupil numbers increasing the pressure on space was mounting at the National School and St. John's Church of England School was built in St. John's Street. Opened in 1889 the school still houses junior classes.

 

 

In 1895 the Parish Church Boys School (New Boys) was built on Commercial Road. Sold to the County Council in 1936 it became the Western Council Junior School and later Western County Junior School.

Parish Church Boys School
Is there any sight more depressing than an overgrown play ground? This was my junior school where I had some academic
and sporting success. I scored many memorable goals in this yard, well I can remember one.

New Boys front, Great Harwood

 

 

 

Not a school anymore, the children having moved into what was the senior school on Rushton Street, the building was boarded up for many years until given a new lease of life.

Rushton St senior school, Great Harwood

 

 

The British School closed in 1909 the pupils moving to the Western Council School in Rushton Street which later became a Modern Secondary School until this role was taken over by Norden School in Rishton. It is now a Junior School and adult education centre.

Infants School, Rushton St, Great Harwood

 

 

Infants School, Rushton Street.

 

They don't build 'em like this anymore. Much as I remember it from my early
school days but what do they use for goals now the air raid shelters have gone.

St. Hubert's School also had to cope with increasing numbers but in 1912 St. Wulstan's Roman Catholic School, also on Rushton Street, was built. Opened in January 1913 it became an Infants and Junior School in 1947 seniors transferring to St. Hubert's Secondary School.

Ash St School, Great Harwood

 

 

 

In 1915 the Parish Church School, Ash Street was built and took the remaining children from the National School which was closed.

 

During a Youth Club Review of "Oklahoma" here my friend's boisterous performance with a
pitchfork caused much mirth amongst the audience and much anxiety amongst the cast.


New St Huberts School, Great Harwood

 

 

 

 

The new St. Hubert's Infant and Junior School was opened in 1967 and the old one was demolished.

 

New St Johns Infant School

 

 

 

St. John's Infant department moved to a new building in the 60s too.

Northcliffe School, Great Harwood

 

 

 

 

The opening of Northcliffe brought an end to school building in Great Harwood, so far, however with present demographic trends it is likely that only replacements will be needed in the future.

Map of Schools

 

Places > Buildings > Schools

 

Sources

Old Harwood, Louie Pollard and Harry E. Eaton, Great Harwood Civic Society, 1973. Pages 1, 13 and 22.
People and Places in Great Harwood, Louie Pollard. Page 29.
1066. Great Harwood from William the Conqueror to the Millennium, Louie Pollard, Great Harwood Civic Society, 1999. Pages 17, 20, 21, 23, 24, 25.
Festival of Britain Programme, "Our Town", 1951. Pages 25 - 27.

 

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