School’s out: But photos can take us back to Blackpool classrooms

Girls from Elmslie School visited the 'met' office at Squires Gate and took part in testing wind conditions, with the aid of a weather balloon, in 1961
Girls from Elmslie School visited the 'met' office at Squires Gate and took part in testing wind conditions, with the aid of a weather balloon, in 1961

This school would have just celebrated its centenary.

A piece of Elmslie School can still be seen, as The Elms, on Whitegate Drive, Blackpool, a grade II listing building – now developed into housing. But the independent girls’ school itself closed in 2000.

The Secretary of State for Education and Science, Margaret Thatcher MP chats to some of the girls, after presenting the Elmslie School, Blackpool, speech day prizes, in the Holy Trinity Church Hall, South Shore, in October 1970

The Secretary of State for Education and Science, Margaret Thatcher MP chats to some of the girls, after presenting the Elmslie School, Blackpool, speech day prizes, in the Holy Trinity Church Hall, South Shore, in October 1970

The school was founded in 1918 by sisters Elizabeth, Polly and Peggie Brodie. Initially, it had just 11 pupils and three teachers. The first headmistress was Elizabeth Brodie and she remained until 1952.

In 1922, the school moved into The Elms and later expanded into other buildings on the site. The Elms was originally the family home of William and Sarah Powell, built in 1896 to a design by TP Worthington.

Our 1988 photograph shows three women revisiting the school in 1988, who were among the first pupils at Elmslie and remembered the early days and the strong personality of founder Miss Brodie.

Mrs Audie Stafford (left) was among the first 11 children and said: “Miss Brodie was a tremendous influence on us. She became a true friend and we all used to visit her long after she had retired.”

Elmslie School, Blackpool, in 1985

Elmslie School, Blackpool, in 1985

Miss Dorothy Ford (pictured, standing), said: “The school was strongly academic – which was unusual for a girls’ school of the time”.

In 1941, the school became a day school and by 1945 had 353 pupils.

The Diocese of Blackburn’s Board of Finance ran the school from 1948. In 1987, it became an associated Woodard School.

Our archive pictures show the school throughout the last century, including some of the developments over the years – including new buildings. And even a visit from a rather famous iron lady – Margaret Thatcher! In 1970, she was pictured talking to pupils at the school’s speech day, after presenting the prizes.

Head girl Emma Hodson at work in the new sixth form studies block in the Jubilee Building, watched by headmistress Miss Elizabeth Smithies, in 1988

Head girl Emma Hodson at work in the new sixth form studies block in the Jubilee Building, watched by headmistress Miss Elizabeth Smithies, in 1988

Three women who were among the first pupils at Elmslie remember the early days and the strong personality of its founder, Miss Elizabeth Brodie. 'Mrs Audie Stafford (left), Miss Dorothy Ford (standing) and Mrs Mary Hargreaves. They were pictured revisiting the school in July 1988

Three women who were among the first pupils at Elmslie remember the early days and the strong personality of its founder, Miss Elizabeth Brodie. 'Mrs Audie Stafford (left), Miss Dorothy Ford (standing) and Mrs Mary Hargreaves. They were pictured revisiting the school in July 1988

Elmslie Girls School, opening of the new building

Elmslie Girls School, opening of the new building

Mrs Audie Stafford delivers the blow which initiates the demolition of the wooden classrooms at Elmslie Girls School on Whitegate Drive, in 1987. The school was marking its 70th jubilee in 1988 with a �100,000 extension.  From left: Gillian Clegg (aged nine), Jane Roberts (seven), Mrs Margaret Gledhill (Elmslie old girl), Mrs Stafford, Emma Sherman (headgirl), Mrs Mary Hargreaves and Miss Dorothy Ford (Emslie old girls) and Mrs Elizabeth Smithies (head teacher)

Mrs Audie Stafford delivers the blow which initiates the demolition of the wooden classrooms at Elmslie Girls School on Whitegate Drive, in 1987. The school was marking its 70th jubilee in 1988 with a �100,000 extension. From left: Gillian Clegg (aged nine), Jane Roberts (seven), Mrs Margaret Gledhill (Elmslie old girl), Mrs Stafford, Emma Sherman (headgirl), Mrs Mary Hargreaves and Miss Dorothy Ford (Emslie old girls) and Mrs Elizabeth Smithies (head teacher)

Queen Victoria might have bust her bustle - but the girls of Elmslie Girls' School were getting plenty of fun out of the school's latest sport rugby, in 1984

Queen Victoria might have bust her bustle - but the girls of Elmslie Girls' School were getting plenty of fun out of the school's latest sport rugby, in 1984

The opening of its new science laboratories marked another step forward in the history of Elmslie School, Blackpool, in April 1968.

The opening of its new science laboratories marked another step forward in the history of Elmslie School, Blackpool, in April 1968.