Memories of Blackpool school days gone-by

Arnold School, Lytham Road, Blackpool, in April 1988
Arnold School, Lytham Road, Blackpool, in April 1988

If you pass down South Shore’s Lytham Road, you will notice the absence of one familiar building.

The north building on the site of the former Arnold School is now reduced to a pile of bricks since the bulldozers moved in. The south building remains and is undergoing extensive refurbishment, ready for the site to begin its new life as the Armfield Academy.

Mrs M G Mitchell presented the trophies at the Arnold Junior School sports day, in 1974. 'From left: Paddy Clarke (boys' champion), Mrs Mitchell, the headmaster Mr O P Owthwaite, Susy Morris (girls' champion)

Mrs M G Mitchell presented the trophies at the Arnold Junior School sports day, in 1974. 'From left: Paddy Clarke (boys' champion), Mrs Mitchell, the headmaster Mr O P Owthwaite, Susy Morris (girls' champion)

We take a look back at Arnold School over the ages with our black-and-white archive photographs – some of which give readers a rare glimpse inside the school back in the day.

Arnold School was founded in 1896, by Frank Truswell Pennington and was initially named South Shore Collegiate School.

It moved to the Lytham Road site when Pennington took over and gradually expanded the buildings of an earlier Victorian school. It was renamed Arnold House School and then later Arnold School.

By the time Pennington died in May 1938, he had given the school to the old boys, who elected a governing council.

Aerial view of the South Shore area of Blackpool with Arnold School on Lytham Road in the centre.

Aerial view of the South Shore area of Blackpool with Arnold School on Lytham Road in the centre.

It was Cameron Cochrane, headmaster from 1973 to ‘79, who took the decisive step towards independence and co-education.

The school buildings underwent expansion and development over the years – including the Memorial Hall, gymnasium and laboratories in the 1950s and 60s, the sixth form centre and junior school were completed in 1972, the art and music departments in 1981 and the new preparatory school built in 1983.

The school merged with King Edward VII and Queen Mary School in 2012, with both schools joining together on the Lytham campus in September 2013 and the Arnold building on Lytham Road lying empty for several years.

A view of the �35,000 two-storey block just completed at Arnold School, Blackpool, in 1968

A view of the �35,000 two-storey block just completed at Arnold School, Blackpool, in 1968

The new assembly hall in January 1959

The new assembly hall in January 1959

Arnold School, Blackpool, gymnasium, pictured in January 1959

Arnold School, Blackpool, gymnasium, pictured in January 1959

Susan Outhwaite, daughter of the headmaster, Mr O P Outhwiate, in the new girls' uniform for Arnold School, in 1970. Susan was one of the 70 girls who joined the boys when the school started in September in the new buildings,  in Arnold Avenue, South Shore

Susan Outhwaite, daughter of the headmaster, Mr O P Outhwiate, in the new girls' uniform for Arnold School, in 1970. Susan was one of the 70 girls who joined the boys when the school started in September in the new buildings, in Arnold Avenue, South Shore

Sir William Lyons, founder of Jaguar Cars, took his place again at Arnold School, where he was educated.' He was presented with a framed copy of the Lionel Rouse painting commissioned by Dutton Forshaw to mark the 60th anniversary of Jaguar, in 1982.

Sir William Lyons, founder of Jaguar Cars, took his place again at Arnold School, where he was educated.' He was presented with a framed copy of the Lionel Rouse painting commissioned by Dutton Forshaw to mark the 60th anniversary of Jaguar, in 1982.

The first two women to be elected to the Arnold School govenors pictured at speech day, 1980.  From left: Mr J R Almond (chairman), Dr Alan Curry (speaker), Mrs J Littlechild, Dr R Peach and Mr Richard Rhodes (headmaster)

The first two women to be elected to the Arnold School govenors pictured at speech day, 1980. From left: Mr J R Almond (chairman), Dr Alan Curry (speaker), Mrs J Littlechild, Dr R Peach and Mr Richard Rhodes (headmaster)

Arnold School, combined cadet force inspection

Arnold School, combined cadet force inspection

Arnold School Masters Common Room, 1965

Arnold School Masters Common Room, 1965