Bolton School Former Pupils

Eva Marshall (nee Leach, Class of 1953)

Eva wrote to School recently with her memories:

“My father was offered a funded place at Bolton School aged 11, which his mother would not allow him to take up. He instead attended a state school, as did my mother, whose formal education lasted only until she was 12. At the appropriate age I entered both the State Scholarship Exam, and the Entrance Exam for Bolton School, I passed both and was awarded a place at both the Girls’ Division and the local state school. My father insisted that I took the place at Bolton School despite it involving some payment of fees. I think those assessments were earnings related; many years later, I found one of the termly bills, which was modest. It was quite sometime after my father died that I connected his wish for me to go to Bolton School with the opportunity which was denied to him.

I enjoyed my years at School, and looking back can quite honestly say that at no time did I feel anything other than support and good wishes; whilst there were obviously girls from differing backgrounds in my classes, we all had the same consideration. I do recall how Bolton School pupils were looked at as special. I particularly remember one day the Headmistress, Miss Varley - definitely a formidable lady - announcing in very firm tones in assembly that “a Bolton School-girl has been seen in WALKDEN without her hat”. Walkden would have been about three bus rides from School, and I do remember thinking that the reputation of the School must be high for someone to take the trouble to telephone from Walkden about the incident, this being, of course, a time when there was not even a telephone in all homes.”