Pupils brushing up on the past

Sixth formers from Rossall School all kitted up with masks and gloves at Lytham Hall.
Sixth formers from Rossall School all kitted up with masks and gloves at Lytham Hall.
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Overseas students have been getting a unique hands-on with local history.

Nine pupils from Rossall school’s International Baccalaureate have been given the rare opportunity to delve into the dusty archives of Lytham Hall.

Thao Ha (16) from Vietnam dusts the documents

Thao Ha (16) from Vietnam dusts the documents

Over four weeks the students will don gloves and masks to help staff move and clean the ancient archives which have been kept in an a dark, old cellar in the Jacobean part of the hall.

Conservation and renovation works, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, involve transforming the cellar into new toilet facilities, so the Hall’s valuable archives need to be moved and made more accessible.

This gave Hall chiefs the opportunity to talk to the Fleetwood-based students about the history of the former home of the Squires of Lytham, the Clifton family, who ran the estate from 1606 until 1963.

The students have been shown historic maps, estate records and travel journals, while catching glimpses of 19th Century handwritten papers to capture their imagination.

As they have got stuck into cleaning and relocating the papers into new storage facilities, the students have also had to learn about pests that can threaten historic materials.

The students were given health and safety briefing, and were equipped with gloves and masks to guard against dust and dirt while working in the cellar.

Hall project manager Simon Thorpe said: “We are delighted to be able to involve Rossall School in our work at Lytham Hall. The students have shown real interest and enthusiasm and have been working extremely efficiently as a team to move, clean and package these important old documents.

“It’s really valuable work as it will ensure the archives are safe for future years while we undertake the main restoration project.”

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