Plans to honour schools’ founding father

Baines Endowed in Marton
Baines Endowed in Marton
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Plans are being put in place to honour the man who helped found three Fylde coast schools

Members of the recently- formed Marton Heritage Group are currently raising awareness that January 9 2017 will mark the 300th anniversary of the death of James Baines, the founder and benefactor responsible for providing, in his will, the funds for the three Baines’ schools at Marton, Thornton and Poulton.

Each school will be celebrating the historic occasion in different ways.

However, the Heritage Group is hoping to place a permanent reminder in the form of a commemorative stone to be situated on Marton Green close to the former Oxford hotel.

The group’s committee members include local author Philip Walsh and chairman of Blackpool Civic Trust, Joan Humble.

Philip said: “We have approved a design, appointed a monumental mason and received outline approval from the Highways Department.”

Yvonne, a former Baines pupil, said: “We now need to raise £2,000 in order for the memorial to be made, engraved and set in place in good time for the unveiling on January 9, 2017.

“To do this we need the help of the public and local businesses.”

Baines Endowed School originally stood on Marton Green in the approximate place for the proposed siting of the memorial. The school was opened on November 1 1897 and closed in 1926 when the children were transferred to the new school on Penrose Avenue where the old tablet stone from the original 
building of 1717 can now be seen.

Jo Grant, the mother of former Gazette Astrologer, Russell Grant, started the individual fundraising with a cash donation.

Phillip said: “This is probably the most important event in Marton’s long history and everyone who donates will have their name recorded and included for posterity in a time capsule which will be buried beneath the memorial.”

For anyone, individuals or businesses interested in giving cash and being involved in a piece of local history a donation page has been set up at /www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/baines

James Baines was a successful woolen draper who lived in the marketplace at Poulton who strongly believed that all children should receive an education no matter what their background.

His will provided for the founding a three schools to provide education for the poor children of Poulton, Marton and Thornton.