Bolton School Former Pupils

PETER CHANDLER (1958-1965)

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme has long been a feature of Bolton School and the experiences of Peter Chandler (1958-1965), who completed his Bronze Award in the 1960s, will no doubt strike a familiar chord with many Old Boys and Old Girls!

"On 1st April 1962 I signed up to join the above scheme which was organised by School in conjunction with the County Borough of Bolton Education Department and was run by three teachers: JD Hyde; RW Ingham and F Jones.

"There were three parts to the award scheme: the First Series (Bronze Standard) for ages 14-17; the Second Series (Silver Standard) for ages 15-18 and the Third Series (Gold Standard) for ages 16-19.

"Each series of the scheme had four parts to it (this changed later as the award had become too easy to achieve and a fifth part was added). The Expedition and Fitness sections were completed during the last days of the Summer term as we did not do anything too productive in the few days left after the two-week Bolton Wakes Weeks, the exams having all finished.

"Part A was Rescue and Public Service Training and this was actioned by the British Red Cross East Lancashire Branch. We attended a series of lectures at a school in Daubhill, finishing with an examination to obtain a Junior Red Cross certificate.

"Part B was an Expedition – a 15-mile hike, with an overnight camp. Mr Jones took us over to Crown Point in Burnley. It rained so much that we were all too wet to camp out and so we stayed the night in the radio station up there. A group of us missed the bus back to Bolton and were picked up by a lorry which managed to overtake the bus in Ramsbottom – we jumped on at the next stop!

"Part C was Pursuits and Projects for which I chose Piano Playing in which I was required to pass a certain grade.

"Part D – Fitness –was taken care of by Mr Hyde, the PE teacher. My three chosen events were the100 yards, high jump and throwing a cricket ball – in attaining the necessary standards for DofE we were also able to qualify for the School Sports Day and earn house points.

"Having completed the four parts, my record book was sent off to the local Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Committee, chaired at the time by Eric Barker, Chief Constable of the Bolton Police Force, and was signed off in October 1962.

"Despite remembering in great detail what I did to earn my Bronze Award, I have no recollection of whether there was presentation ceremony! No doubt Headmaster Poskett arranged for the awards to be given out during morning assembly."

Peter also recounts completing his Silver Award:

"Well, another 12 months passed, and it was back out on the playing fields again for the Fitness part of the Silver Award. Messrs Ingham, Jones and Hyde were the examiners for the 880 yards sprint, throwing the cricket ball and various physical efficiency tests.

"This part effectively concluded the Silver Award, but within that 12 months my Rescue and Public Service Training was First Aid and to a higher standard with the British Red Cross Society East Lancashire Branch; the Expedition was organised by Bolton County Borough Council and we walked around the Adlington, Chorley and White Coppice areas – two nights camping and at least a 30-mile hike. For my pursuit I trained with the Lancashire Football Association as a Football Referee and earned the Class 3 qualification and became a Junior Referee – at that I refereed in the Bolton Boys Federation and Bolton Sunday School Leagues.

"Bolton County Borough Council controlled the Award scheme and arranged for the Silver Award Certificates and presentation which were given out at School Assembly

"That’s it for another year – the sad thing was that 44 started at Bronze and the numbers were down to about 12 at Silver."