NOSTALGIA: Royal visit to new Chorley high school

Princess Margaret with Domestic Science teacher Miss Fisher at the official opening off St Michael's High School, Chorley. Copy picture from Chorley Guardian, October 7th 1965
Princess Margaret with Domestic Science teacher Miss Fisher at the official opening off St Michael's High School, Chorley. Copy picture from Chorley Guardian, October 7th 1965
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Starting high school was certainly a buzz for Iain Halsall, as he met Princess Margaret during his first term.

The Royal member opened the school during a special afternoon of celebrations at St Michael’s C of E High School, in Chorley, in October 1965.

Iain, who now lives in Croston, recalls: “We all had to be on our best behaviour and everything had to be just right as we wore our blazers and ties.

“The headmaster, Mr Moore was in his gown.

“Christine Banks was picked to present flowers to Princess Margaret in the school assembly room. I got a good view of her from where I was sat. Then she went into various classrooms. She spoke to identical twins Myra and Diana Fielding and asked what art work they were doing.

“I also remember watching her from a distance as she planted a tree at the front of the school, which is still there.

“It was such an exciting time to have a Royal at the school. She was very nice and she looked really smart.

“A lot of parents came and took photographs.

“She was there for the afternoon I think but it felt like she was there the whole day.”

The 63-year-old adds he was proud to be part of the founder pupils.

He says: “It was a very good school. There was only around 400 pupils then, now there must be 1,000.

“We were split into four houses: Fry, Kennedy, Temple and Cavell, named after famous people. I was in Fry.

“It was great as the houses were always in competition and we took great pride on our houses. We did particularly well in the swimming competitions.

“I remember choosing our options for our exams. One of the options was between metalwork and domestic science. I not being too keen on metal work, so I chose domestic science and enjoyed it. After school I became a trainee commis chef at Haighton Manor.”

n Does anyone have any photographs from the visit? Email natalie.walker1@jpress.co.uk