Bolton School Former Pupils

Archives and Memories

Old Boys and Old Girls can view copies of The Boltonian and The Girls' Division Magazine from the 1880s onwards at our online archive here.  

The website currently includes the following categories: - The Boltonian, Boys Newsletters, Girls’ Magazines, Spirit, Voice, Girls’ Newsletters, The Bugle, Old Girls’ Association Newsletters, Hesketh House Newsletters, Park Road Newsletters, Speech Day/Prizegiving Programmes, Tillotson Lecture Programmes, The Historacle, Full School Photographs 

Later issues are uploaded as produced. The number of categories has steadily increased over the years, the latest being the Historacle, added in February 2022. 

How to access the archives website: 

Using the domain name OR by clicking on the small square icon ‘Digital Magazine Archive’ at the foot of the School website front page. Both of these options will lead to the Digital Archives front page. 

There are then two options;

Option 1 

Click on Browse on the toolbar. This will take you to a page detailing all the categories of publication that are available, as listed above.

Click on a Category to see a full list of all the issues within each category. Magazines are in decades so a further click will be necessary to choose a particular year.  

Click on the box detailing what you are looking for, this will lead to the actual document. 

Option 2 

The other option is to click on Publications Panel View, which provides the facility to make more specific queries. 

A specific year may be chosen or a range of years may be chosen by using the Year From and Year To dropdown boxes. 

A specific publication may be chosen or any combination of the publications available. 

A specific name may be searched for e.g. Leverhulme. Every reference to Leverhulme will then appear in a table. These may not necessarily appear in date order and a click on ‘Year’ at the top of the Year column will lead to the items being displayed either from earliest first to latest first. 

Three icons appear to the right of each reference identified. A click on the left-hand icon will highlight just the words, the middle one will display the article within which the word appears and the right hand one will display the full magazine. 

We hope you enjoy searching the Bolton School Archives. If problems are experienced then Eric Fairweather, the School Archivist may be contacted at 


The photos shown in this section mostly come from the personal collections of former pupils and staff. If you have any material you would like to share, please send a digital copy by e-mail to If you are unable to do this, you can always send your photographs in to the Development Office and we can scan any old photographs and return them to you.

  • 100 Objects

    The 100 Objects Project aims to celebrate the places and objects that best typify life at Bolton School. Nominations for the 100 Objects were taken during the 2012-13 academic year and a full list can be seen below. Voting for the ‘Top Ten’ Object continued throughout the 2014-15 academic year, and the final list, announced at the two Grand...

  • Scenes from the Past

    We have a vast collection of archive photographs which offer an intriguing insight into what life was like at Bolton School for previous generations.  Each week, on our Facebook page and Twitter and Instagram accounts, we take a look back into the Archive and share a School photograph. We also regularly update the archive photos in our Flickr...

  • Miss Higginson

    In memory of Miss Higginson, who was Headmistress of the Girls' Division between 1954 and 1979, the Old Girls' Association will be publishing a five part biography online. If any Old Girl (or indeed anyone else) would like to offer further reminiscences or anecdotes about Margaret we should be very glad to receive them.  Please send them to the...

  • Margaret Dickinson obituary

    Described by Margaret Spurr (Headmistress, 1979-1994) as ‘the brightest light that ever shone on my Bolton School horizon’, Margaret Dickinson, who taught Maths in the Girls’ Division for 34 years before her retirement in 2006, made a lasting impression on colleagues, pupils and the School itself.  Margaret was born in Prestwich, Manchester, in...

  • From Torpedoes to the Sound of Music

    In spring 2015, Old Boy Malcolm Howe (1948-1956) produced a pamphlet detailing the unlikely connections between Old Boy and inventor of the torpedo Robert Whitehead (1823-1905) and the original von Trapp family singers.  His research, by pure chance, coincided exactly with the School's most recent production of The Sound of Music.  To download a...

  • Camps

    Camps were first introduced to Bolton School in 1910 by the Headmaster, Mr Lipscomb. The first camp was at Filey and there have been camps in most years ever since. These have included sites at Abergele, Aber, Saundersfoot, Fairbourne, Llanbedrog, Grasmere, Howick and Instow. We have photos from some of these camps and would welcome wider coverage...

  • Aber Camp

    Between the wars the School held a camp at Aber, on the North Wales coast, almost every year during the late June period of Bolton Holidays. The campers lived in bell tents and the cooking was done on a coal fired field range. The first camp was thrown into some doubt because of a national coal shortage. Over the years many staff helped to run the...

  • Agricultural Camps in the 1940s

    Derek Rothwell (1938 - 1945) has written this account of the camp held at Mowbrek Hall Farm, Wesham, nr Kirkham. This camp was set up either in 1941 or 1942 and its function was to help bring in the harvest in Wartime Britain. It was part of the War Effort. The camp was held in August and we slept in bell tents - eight boys in a tent. A wooden...

  • Grasmere Camp

    This camp was held at Bolton Holidays in Grasmere and was the annual camp of the Junior School. The 1935 photos are from Bernard Harrison's photograph album and were loaned for copying by his son Peter (PJH). You can spot the following as young men: F R Poskitt, Alan Walsh, Bernard Harrison, Pip Porter, Jack Howard as well as Messrs Sayers and...

  • Class Reunion - '63, '73, '83, '93 and 2003

    The photos shown in this section mostly come from the personal collections of former pupils and staff. If you have any material you would like to share, please send a digital copy by e-mail to If you are unable to do this, you can always send your photographs in to the Development Office and we can scan any old...

  • The Haselden Album - Images of Bolton School

    A unique insight into Bolton School in the 1930s was brought to light by current pupils, George and Myles Blackwell, through a photo album which belonged to their grandfather, Myles Haselden. Myles Haselden was a former Governor and Chairman of the Boys’ Division, and the Haselden Room in the School was named after him. The photo album contains...

  • Hawick Camp

    Can you help to identify the boys whose names are missing in the list below?     No. Name No. Name 1  Dave Powell 33  John Hodgkiss 2  Mike Taylor 34  Richard Eaton 3  Pete Smalley 35  Johnny Peters 4  Carl...

  • Camps and Journeys


  • Memories of School

    Old Boys, Old Girls and Former Staff of all ages enjoy sharing their memories of School with us, and with their fellow Alumni.  A selection of these stories are noted here. If you would like to share your memories here, please contact the Development Office.  Memories of School are also regularly shared on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram:  Like...

  • The Levers of Darcy Lever - benefactors of Bolton Grammar School

    The north west part of the manor of Little Lever, separated from Great Lever by the River Croal, belonged in 1473 to Sir Richard Tempest of Broughton, Yorkshire, whose daughter married Lord D’Arcy. Hence the name that was commemorated by Fred Dibnah’s traction engine which he drove to Buckingham Palace in 2004 to receive the honour of MBE from the...

  • Thomas Whitehead (1716-1788)

    Thomas Whitehead was born in Bolton in 1716 and died in 1788, the year of the birth of his grandson James, father of Robert Whitehead, inventor of the Torpedo, grandfather of Agathe Whitehead, mother of the von Trapp singers, immortalised in the enchanting The Sound of Music. Thomas is the first Bolton scholar on record to have been educated at a...

  • Martin Wadsworth's "Saundersfoot Souvenirs"

    As we stand at the halfway point of 2020, it goes almost without saying, this has been the oddest and most unusual of years. Lockdown has been a time for reminiscing and this combination of influences has turned my thoughts to Saundersfoot. This was mirrored by one of the Headmaster’s tweets and Throwback Thursday pictures from Development...

  • Martin Wadsworth's "Heads of Department" Quiz

    Below is a Bolton School themed pub quiz round, with a Boys' Division Head of Department from the last fifty years hidden in every answer! How many can you identify? 1. What is the name of dictionary that is recognised as the number one choice for crossword setters and solvers?2. Which company was founded in Oldham in 1884; it lays claim to...

  • Boys' Division All-Star Teams

    Past and present sports coaches of the Boys' Division were asked to compile their "All Star" teams featuring boys who had stood out in their particular disciplines while at School. A selection of these were shared in the Autumn 2020 edition of the Bugle.

  • Girls' Division All-Star Teams

    Girls' Division sports teachers were asked to compile their "All Star" teams featuring girls who had stood out in their particular disciplines while at School. A selection of these were shared in the Autumn 2020 edition of the Old Girls' Newsletter.