Blackrod Primary School has been awarded a £10,000 grant by The National Lottery Heritage Fund to explore the schools’ heritage through a collation of oral histories, research, written memories, and artifacts spanning five decades of life in school from the 1940’s through to the 1990’s.
Blackrod Primary School, a school based in the west of Bolton is abundant with history, a heritage which has never been explored and which is the driver for the project, 'Blackrod Remembered.’ Working with a core group of 25 children ‘Heritage Hunters’, aged 7-11 years of age the project is exploring five decades of life in school. The project started in April 2023 and has been made possible by money raised by National Lottery players.
Blackrod was once a major coal mining centre with most of the working male population employed in the pits. However, at the time of the depression in the 1930’s, many collieries closed. Scot Lane Colliery employed 700 miners but closed in 1932, bringing hardship. The school opened following the depression in 1939 as a senior school before becoming a primary in the 1960's. The school educated local children post the depression and through World War II. Many children educated at the school continue to live in the local community, themselves with children and grandchildren attending the school.
The project, supported by The National Lottery Heritage Fund is enabling children to look at the history of the school including the fashion influence on uniforms, technology, punishment, school trips and dinners. Children are thinking about local landscapes, looking at the building, surrounding school grounds and background landscape. Children are investigating education through changing times including through the wartime. Past pupils, staff and governors have been invited to bring in past photographs and children have received oral history training conducting interviews of past pupils and staff, collecting, and recording their memories and following the lives of former students, staff, and governors. Children are working with historians to fill gaps in historical evidence and secure local history at risk of not being shared. The project will culminate in a mural, working with an artist to interpret what they have learnt visually and there will be a digital exhibition for the community. Children will learn valuable skills of historical enquiry and will gain a knowledge and love of the school and community which they will be able to share with others.
If members of the community have links to Blackrod Primary School and would like to get involved in this project as a volunteer or would like to contribute a memory, artefact or evidence please email email@example.com. We would love to hear from you.
Mrs Mead, Head Teacher at Blackrod Primary School said, "We were delighted to have received funding for the Blackrod Remembered project. Thank you to National Lottery players. Blackrod Remembered is a great success as children are learning skills of historical enquiry, listening to others, preparation and planning. To all members of our school and local community who have brought their memories to our children, we would like to thank you. We are excited to see the exceptional work of our children and look forward to the end of project exhibition."