Idyllic school days watching pond wildlife

Rossall Junior School 150th anniversary in the early 1950s
Rossall Junior School 150th anniversary in the early 1950s
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How many schools on the Fylde coast can boast such an idyllic scene with pupils watching wildlife on their own pond?

This was time spent away from the classroom for boarders at Rossall Junior School in the early 1950s. Sadly, within a couple of years of this photograph being taken, a teacher drowned in the pond behind the old prep school, and it was filled in.

Last Sunday almost 200 guests, including parents and former pupils, helped Rossall Junior School celebrate its 150th anniversary. There was a chapel service, lunch, a game of marling-waldron (a kind of rounders) and a chance to see archive pictures, including the three we print here today, and other memorabilia.

The prep school opened in 1861 with one master, Mr JR Pursell, in charge and just 28 boys in its care. Rules were much tougher then – boys were thrown into the swimming pool to make them learn to swim and diving from the top diving board was compulsory!

Between 1935 and 1939, boys were sent from London to Rossall to escape the bombing and an army hut was built for refuge.

By the mid-1950s, numbers had increased and the school saw its first inspection. The campus was developed, seeing a new dining hall and teaching block erected in the 1970s, and in 1976 the school went co-educational.

In 1978 the first XV was the first Prep School team to tour Holland and all matches were won. The first seven female boarders arrived in 1983.

Today the Junior School cares for 145 children aged two to 11 and continues to be as thriving as it was in the early 1860s.

n The school is keen to build up its archive and welcomes photographs from old pupils, sent to marketing executive Helen Lockley by email at h.lockley@rossall.org.uk.