Tuesday 23 June 2020

The Early Days of Turton High School

The following text is taken from the Bolton Evening News "Turton Centenary Supplement", 30th October 1972.  The photographs are from other sources (as annotated).

Turton County Secondary School
Buildings of Turton, p13
Bolton & District Civic Trust (1972)

'All-in' school will lead the way

TURTON COUNTY High School is all set to lead the way in comprehensive education for the Bolton district.  When local government is re-organised in 1974 Turton's secondary school will probably be the only school in the area to be functioning as a comprehensive.

Already 1,000 strong, with extensions to accommodate another 500 now at the building stage or in the pipeline, Turton has long been a pioneering school and was the first in the area to introduce GCE level courses for children in a secondary modern school.

But it grew from small beginnings.  When the school was completed and opened in 1953 under headmastership of Mr W. S. Eade, the expected expansion of Turton had not taken place and Bolton children from the Tonge Moor area had to be allowed to attend the new school to make up an initial 228 pupils.

The Head Teacher was Mr Eade and Mr Nuttall is sitting on the front row second right. Miss Yates stood behind Mr Eade. From Turton Alumni Facebook page @turtonalumni.
First teaching staff at Turton County Secondary Modern School.
Photograph from Turton Alumni Facebook page @turtonalumni.

Work stopped

It was in the 1930s that a secondary modern school for Turton was first mooted, when the then surveyor, Mr Reginald Dart, envisaging future housing development, made out a case for a central secondary school to draw mostly from the Turton villages' all-age church schools.

Building work was started in 1938, but had only reached ground floor window sill height by the outbreak of war.  The plans were put in cold storage and the school was not finished for another 14 years.

The present headmaster, Mr John Rudd, took over in September, 1956.

Aerial photograph of Turton School, thought to be taken in the 1980s
From Turton Alumni Facebook page @turtonalumni.