A list of schools that are, or have been in Rishton.
Please click on one to read about it!
The earliest school remembered in Rishton was at the Hermitage – now Saint Andrews mission. The masters name was Bilsborough. In cottages small schools came into existence at different times for short periods. One of these, facetiously termed Cunliffe College, was held in a cottage adjoining Lower Cunliffe Farm.
The real beginning of the Church Day Schools was in a temporary building, previously mentioned, behind the Harwood Road School. The master was John Green – “Old” John Green. He lived in a cottage attached to Eachill Farm. As he was not certified, no Government grant was received, and for salary he depended on the fees paid by the scholars. No records of the work and progress of the School were kept, except in the memory of his scholars, who are now no longer boys -
“Turning to mirth all things of earth,
As only boyhood can,”
But men a long way on the shady side of fifty, yet who even now bubble with boyish glee at the mention of “barring out day”. The period of his rule is uncertain, but is stated to have commenced 51 or 52 years ago.
The school was opened under Government inspection on the 28th January 1867, the first master being Mr. W. R. Ward, who stayed a little over two years. He was succeeded by Mr. George Needham, who only remained 10 months. Mr. R. T. Blackledge, now Rector of Christ Church, Denton, remained four and a half years. Good work was done during this period. A pupil teacher at this time was John Armstrong, now the Rev John Armstrong, Vicar of Napton, near Rugby. Mr. J. Masheter succeeded Mr. Blackledge, but he only stayed eleven months, and then came Mr. Edgar Turner, who remained only a little over two months. Mr. Charles Butterworth stayed two years, and Mr. George Green a little under a year. Certainly a long array of masters for a period of 12 years.
Mr. P. E. Holden, now a cotton manufacturer, of Ramsbottom and Blackburn, came in June 1879, and stayed here eight years, doing good work, and making the school one of the best in the district. He was succeeded by the present day master on the 2nd May 1887. Since this date many internal alterations have been made in the school buildings to meet the requirements of the Board of Education, the new methods of instruction, and the great increase in the number of scholars, which has doubled within the last 25 years.
This short account of the origin and progress of our Church and Schools indicates a little the interest of our predecessors in them, and the sacrifices they made for them. It should stimulate us to do as much, if not more, for these institutions which have so great an influence in moulding the character of the community in the midst of which they have grown.
To the older Rishtonians these pages will call back vanished scenes and once familiar faces, and revive in the memory many incidents of by gone days. The greater number of the old scholars of Day and Sunday Schools still linger near the place of their childhood, and will, it is hoped, take part in the reunion festivities. Others have gone far away, some to homes beyond the sea, and, if this should fall into the hands of any distant friends, may it be the means of conveying to them from the homeland fond remembrances and the heartiest wishes for their welfare.
A Brief History of Rishton - H. H. Cormack, 1914.