Highfield School reflects rich and fascinating history of area

UNTIL 1769, the site that Highfield School is built on was land common to Layton, Bispham and Marton.

This common land was enclosed and individual farmers were given pieces of the land according to how much farmland they owned.

Roads were made, one being Milkers Gate Lane, now known as Highfield Road, this divided land in the north.

Farmer

About midway on the south side between Common Edge Road and St Anne’s Road, 19.5 acres were given to John Hull, a farmer.

The land was rough pasture and Highfield School was built on part of the original Hull land.

The land was acquired by Richard Rossall in 1881 who created a farm on the land.

A total of 20.5 acres of the original land was sold to Charles Smith in 1927 who was keen to revive the trotting business in Blackpool, (this is a modern version of chariot racing).

A track was made outside the large field with a stand to the west side, however it proved unpopular and the land was sold to Blackpool Corporation on April 10, 1931.

The school was built and opened on April 24, 1933 as Highfield Elementary School with the purpose to serve the Marton Moss area.

The original logo of the school, with the ears of corn was supposed to represent that it was an agricultural area, but it is doubtful that corn was ever grown in this area.

The school was designed by J C Robinson, who also designed the Hawes Side Library. He was the architect for the borough between the wars.

The original plans for the school were for two separate schools, one to accommodate 400 boys and one to accommodate 400 girls.

However, due to financial restrictions only half the scheme was completed, so the school opened as a mixed school for boys and girls.

The school was built surrounding an inner courtyard in the form of a quadrangle.

The cost of the school was 19,270 and it opened its doors in 1933 with 280 pupils.

The school year ran from age 11 to 14 and accommodated many pupils who had been unsuccessful at the 11+.

The speciality of the school was rural science.

There were two headteachers. John Charnley was head of the boys’ school and Annie Hadfield was head of the girls’ school.

The school divided into separate schools for boys and girls, with separate entrances and it was not until 1960 when the schools were amalgamated under the headship of Dora Bloomer, with 900 pupils on roll.