School saves war memorial

The memorial room window from the former Collegiate High School which is now being built into the new Aspire Academy buildings

The memorial room window from the former Collegiate High School which is now being built into the new Aspire Academy buildings

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​A new multi-million pound school will feature a war memorial and cherished relics from the past as a flagship piece of in its new facilities.

School bosses at Aspire Academy, the merged Bispham and Collegiate high schools, and members of the Blackpool Grammar School War Memorial Foundation have ensured a memorial to the fallen of the First World War will be featured in the new £14m academy.

The school is under construction at the former Collegiate High School site, off Blackpool Old Road, while pupils are currently housed at the site of Bispham High School, on Bispham Road.

A towering three-storey structure will also house the neighbouring Highfurlong Special School, with a shared entrance, when the schools move in next September.

Plans are underway to have the memorial stained glass fitted in the school entrance to maintain the previous schools’ heritage.

Deputy principal John Topping said: “The building work is flying by now, it’s looking really good.

“All the previous structure of Collegiate has gone and the steel structure is coming on really quite quickly.”

The shared entrance to both schools is set to house the five stained glass panels which commemorate members of Blackpool Grammar School who were killed in the First World War.

Mr Topping added: “It is so very important that we commemorate the sacrifice that was made by so many from across the Fylde coast, during conflicts up to the present day.

“Five stained glass panels that commemorate the fallen members of Blackpool Grammar School during the First World War were, last year, carefully removed from the former Collegiate High School Memorial Room and will feature in our new buildings.

“We want to be sure that heritage continues.”

Earlier this year, a hand-carved sculpture of the old Collegiate logo and motto in Latin was salvaged from the building.

It is hoped that sculpture will now be incorporated in to a remembrance garden, placed in the grounds of the new academy.