The new Holy Trinity Church School was opened on Saturday December 9th 1911 by the Bishop of Manchester, Dr. Knox, who praised the enterprise and determination of the members of the church for raising the funds and seeing the work through. The school had a feature unique in Blackburn and possibly unique in the country. Because space was at a premium a roof-top playground was provided for the boys. A seven foot railing was installed to curb any adventurous spirits and staff were always on hand to supervise.
The picture of the boys at play accompanied an article in the Blackburn Times of October 13th 1961, the occasion of the school's golden jubilee. The other photos are courtesy of the dare-devil wizardry of Cottontown contributor Jim Halsall, who, like a World War One ace, has been zooming in on aerial views of the town.
The school closed in July 1972.
It was Blackburn weaver Joseph Cross who, as Secretary of the Amalgamated Weavers' Association, paved the way for the establishment of a convalescent home for textile employees. Poulton was the chosen site and Darwen architect J B Thornley drew up the plans. Known as the Joseph Cross Convalescent home, it provided a haven, a respite for cotton workers.
It was in 1963 that the home changed function and became a college for teacher training. Minister of Education Sir Edward Boyle performed the opening ceremony on April 24th 1964. It was Anne's job to build and administer a library to serve the students who arrived from all corners of the globe. In her engaging, self-deprecating style and with a touch of humour Anne describes how she achieved this.
This video was produced by Eileen Tomlinson in 2010 as a personal memoir, history and tribute to Blackburn's Notre Dame Convent school. The Sisters of Notre Dame moved across town to the Brookhouse site in 1859. Work on the new school was completed in 1862. Later, more land was purchased and the school was extended. For a number of years the Convent was a Boarding school as well as a Day school, later becoming a Grammar school and, in September 1978, a mixed Comprehensive. July 1987 marked the end of Notre Dame education in the town, one hundred and thirty seven years to the day of the arrival of the Sisters in Blackburn. The school later amalgamated with John Rigby High School to create Our Lady and St. John High School. An advertisement offering the site for sale appeared on the 27th July 1989, and demolition commenced early the following year.
Eileen started at Notre Dame at the age of four, remaining at the school until she left at eighteen. Following a period at college, Eileen returned to the Convent to teach in 1960, joining the Notre Dame Old Girls Association, and became Secretary for a number of years. The Association met once a month in the Convent for a social gathering, which was well attended by former pupils and some of the Sisters. Eileen later continued her studies at university, gaining a Doctorate, became a psychologist and, subsequently, a Research Fellow at the University of Manchester for several years; carrying out post-doctoral research in mental handicap for the Department of Health. Later, Dr. Tomlinson worked for the Lancashire Education Authority as an Educational Psychologist.
48 mins 7 secs
This film appears on Cotton Town by kind permission of Eileen Tomlinson.
This production is protected by copyright, and may be used for private viewing only. It may neither be broadcast in any way, including the internet, nor be copied or reproduced either by film or electronic means, without written permission from the copyright holder.
Further information about Notre Dame Grammar School can be found on Blackburn Past
Supplementary information about the wider Notre Dame Order can be found on the following link: http://bfnda.org/
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