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Young People



The Story of a Blackpool School


About this book:

  • ISBN: 190 452 463X (hardback)

  • Published 2009

  • Price £19.50

  • 236 pages

  • Illustrated with 216 colour and black and white photographs

About the Book:
Just over 140 years ago a teacher and staunch Methodist named Thomas Ward moved from Bolton to Blackpool and set up a small private boarding school among the fields and dunes of South Shore. Three years later, in 1871, he moved his growing establishment into a fine new building - Arnold House. The name, chosen in memory of the great reforming Headmaster of Rugby, defined the character of the place. Speedily it became one of the most successful and respected of Blackpool's many private schools.

Only twenty years later, after Thomas Ward's death, his school collapsed. But the name, traditions and buildings were taken over in 1901 by a charismatic leader - Frank Pennington, 'moulder of men'. His school was founded on Christian principles and a tradition of service. He set out to train young men who would lead in their professions, but above all would conduct themselves with honour. The approach is summed up in the motto he chose, which has endured to this day: Honor virtutis praemium. Honour is the reward of virtue.

Eight Headmasters later and seventy years since Pennington's death, Arnold has seen many changes. From private school it enlarged as a Direct Grant boys' grammar school. For over twenty years it was flanked by a sister Arnold High School for Girls, dominated by another remarkable personality, Miss Catherine Moore. The abolition of the Direct Grant system forced Arnold back into independence, and then to the enrichment of co-education. Today it stands proud as an establishment with high academic standards, outstanding sporting success and rich traditions of music and drama.

Yet despite these changes, Arnold remains what it has always been: a school founded upon values, commitment, service and loyalty. Virtue and honour - not in any namby-pamby sense, but as rocks of character on which families, communities and nations can be built - remain at its core. And now, in 2008, Arnold has become part of the larger scholastic community of the United Church Schools Trust, whose values and commitment mirror its own. As it moves forward, this History is offered to past and present Arnoldians as a reminder of the foundations on which the future will be built.

About the Author:
Martin Holdgate grew up at Arnold, for his father Frank Holdgate was appointed Headmaster in 1938 a few months after Frank Pennington's death. He himself attended the school until 1949, serving as Head Boy in his last two terms. Since then he has watched the development of the school through all the vicissitudes of the later twentieth century, serving as a Governor between 1981 and 1988 and again between 1994 and 2004. He was Chairman of the Governing Council from 1997 until his retirement. He therefore brings a lifetime of knowledge of the school, enriched by personal memories of many 'goings on' there, to the task of re-writing its history.


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To Order:


To order this book please contact:

The Bursar
Arnold School
Lytham Road
Lancashire, FY4 1JG

telephone: 01253 346391 or see website: www.arnoldschool.com

By the same author:

The Story of Appleby in Westmorland

Penguins and Mandarins



Copyright © Hayloft Publishing Ltd