Blackburnian Lent 1984, page 5, From the Study Window

were made most welcome and passed a very pleasant evening. More- and more of our students are going to Durham, and I very much hope that this enjoyable connection will be maintained. Later I attended a farewell lunch at Lloyds Bank, Manchester for their Regional Manager, Mr. Eric West, whom we were soon to welcome onto the Governing Body of the School, Mr. West being himself a distinguished Old Black-burnian. Ash Wednesday fell on February 16th: on this appropriate day, Mr. Stanley Waring, formerly with the Lancashire County Council, took over his new letter-opener and his many-ledgered office as he assumed the role of Bursar in succession to Mr. Hunter. In the evening, the Governors gave at my home a supper party for Mr. and Mrs. Hunter to wish them every happiness in their retirement. Not the least part of a delightful occasion was the presentation to Mr. Hunter of a cake suitably coloured in green and white, and inscribed with various cricketing symbols. The Common Room had already given him a season ticket for the Nottinghamshire County Cricket ground at Trent Bridge, conveniently near to his new home at Southwell to which Mrs. Hunter and himself were later to retire. Towards the end of term, the Dramatic Society produced three comedies: "Ernie's Incredible Illucinations", "Dear Departed" and "The Stunt", with a number of highly successful individual performances; and the term closed with a superb rendition of Bach's "St. John Passion" in the Cathedral. The bad weather at the beginning of the Summer Term gave no hint of what was to come. It was a damp, dismal day on which I drove to an Independent Schools Information Service at Penrhos College in Colwyn Bay, the sea mist being almost continuous; and the Elizabethan Association's Spring Dance, highly successful though it was in respect of its excellent cuisine and the quality of the music provided, could hardly be said to have taken place on a blazing May evening. Buffeted by high winds and driving rain on my way to Silcoates School, where the first Northern Conference of the Association of Registered Old Pupils of schools such as ours was held, I pondered, with little hope, on the possibility of a fine summer. Half-term brought no change: thunder and lightning accompanied some pupils and myself to Cambridge, and, on the Open Day at the University of Edinburgh, another party trudged round the cheerless environs in pouring rain. Not until June was there a sign of change. I spent the first two days in Brussels as a guest of the British Atlantic Committee on a visit to the Headquarters of NATO, SHAPE and the EEC, returning to a very warm and much pleasanter Blackburn. The improvement might have been a flash in the pan, but no: it was more than that. Halfway through June, when I was preaching in the Chapel of Bishop Stortford College, the Headmaster, anticipating an outbreak of fainting (from the heat, not the sermon), gave the order to remove blazers. In the Town Hall on June 28th, there was held the public enquiry into our plan to build on the site between Ormerod House and the Holden Laboratories. To our chagrin, the application was refused: a decision strongly inimical to the future of the school. Our new Bursar supervised the renovation of, and alterations to the school buildings. This took place in tremendous heat, which persisted until the end of August. We returned to school to find the upper rooms of Hartley House converted to smaller study rooms, and the library—sadly truncated—moved down to the premises once occupied by the Church of Christ, Scientist; these premises, recently acquired by the school, have been re-named "Adelaide House", obviously appropriate to a building situated on Adelaide Terrace. Under the auspices of the "Experiment for International Living", Thwaites, our local brewers, generously sponsored a summer trip from Blackburn to Morocco for a group of young people led by Mrs. Hardcastle, whose account of the adventure I found both fascinating and amazing. The Rt. Rev. Peter Nott, Bishop of Taunton and Archbishop's Adviser to H.M.C. Schools, gave a lively and thought-provoking sermon at the Cathedral Service marking the beginning of the new school year on September 8th, 1983. At this time, the Governors were considering anew the future use of the existing school buildings as well as the provision of a sports complex which would include a swimming pool—the latter being a much-discussed topic for some time past. We hope that the plans now approved may soon come to fruition. We welcomed at the beginning of term Mr. D. A. Cooper, former Organ Scholar of Lincoln College, Oxford and subsequently Sub-organist at Wells Cathedral; he has come to Blackburn as the newly-appointed Cathedral Organist, and has taken a part-time teaching post in the school.