Protect heritage

Queen Mary School, Lytham, cricket team in 1945
Queen Mary School, Lytham, cricket team in 1945

AS the campaign to save KEQMS as an independent school continues, some parents are determined to preserve the heritage of the school.

They have formed an Archive Group to ensure none of the school’s 104-year history will be lost should development plans go aheadat the senior school this summer.

The group is planning an inventory of historical items, and will commission a DVD of the whole school as a memento for past pupils and staff.

KEQMS parent Liz Bickerstaffe said: “Some hard lessons were learned prior to the closure of Queen Mary, when there were no formal plans to preserve the school’s heritage and many records were shredded and items of historical interest were discarded, or removed.

“Dedicated staff had the foresight to save some pupil records, significant artefacts and to commission a video of the entire building and sell copies to those who wanted a record of the school which had played an important part in their lives.

“Records and artefacts relating to King Edward VII and Queen Mary Schools are already archived at KEQMS, and an additional archive for KEQMS is also to be established over the coming months.”

Donations are invited from readers who have photographs, books, trophies, report sheets, QMS school magazines or other artefacts which could be shared as part of the archive.

Express readers are invited to leave them at the senior school office at KEQMS, with their name and contact details.

The long-term aim is to make the archives more accessible, and to establish a website with a catalogue of all records.

The group is investigating the digitisation of the records, which is likely to be time-consuming and costly.

Currently, anyone with queries about their family school records can contact the school’s voluntary archivist, Stanley Kitt, for information on (01253) 734092.

The school Parents and Friends Association is staging an Evening of Nostalgia on Friday, May 11, with the aim of celebrating the history of both schools and discovering some of the hidden gems in the archives.

If anyone would like to be a part of the Archive Group, or has queries relating to items for donation, they can contact Liz Bickerstaffe at lizzibick@yahoo.co.uk.