Celebration to honour Lightcliffe School's 150th anniversary

An historic school’s rich history, beginning with the tale of its founding father, is being curated for the community as it marks its 150th anniversary.

Lightcliffe School

Lightcliffe School, near Halifax, was opened in 1869 after a donation from a local family.

A series of events is underway, beginning with church services and culminating in a tea party, to honour the anniversary. And as archives, old registration books and photographs are explored, a search is underway to include past pupils and teachers.

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“A man called Evan Charles Sutherland Walker wanted the local area to have a school,” said headteacher Charlie Woodbridge. “He donated £5,000, which at the time was a substantial sum, plus a plot of land. The school, historically, was built as a long building. At one end lived the headmaster, at the other end the headmistress. The boys were taught at one end, the girls the other.”

Class of 1959, Lightcliffe CE Primary School celebrating 150th anniversary

Church services were to be held yesterday, attended by a number of former teachers, past and present students.

“When the school was originally built, with money from Evan Charles, there were services with the great and good of the community, and this is to honour that,” said Mr Woodbridge.

The school still holds its full archives, with all the old logbooks and registration books as well as photographs of many of its past headteachers.

One prized archive is a letter from a former headmistress called Janet Berry to the school’s treasurer, dated September 1948, in which the then 84-year-old had enclosed a donation for £10 in response to an appeal for financial aid.

Imogen Moss, Phoebe Johnson, Grace Godfrey and teacher Beverley O'Rourke, look through old photos.

She had been one of the school’s first students, she confirmed, joining at age four, and had taught at the school as a teenager before embarking on formal training and returning twice as headmistress.

The school community is to celebrate its anniversary with a community summer tea party on July 17, with each year group now preparing dances and artwork along the theme of a decade.