Extract from the Lytham St.Anne’s Express, November 1937.
CLOSING DOWN OF SEAFIELD
WIDELY KNOWN SCHOOL WHICH HAS BEEN IN EXISTENCE FOR OVER 100
AFTER ninety years' existence
Seafield School at Lytham is to close down. Its going will cause a pang of regret
to many people in Lytham St. Annes. That regret, like the ever-expanding ripple on
the lake when a stone is thrown on the placid surface of the waters, will reach a
good deal further.
Old Boys throughout Lancashire, and Old Boys in many parts of the British Isles,
will feel sorrow at the passing of their school. With the immediate Lythamites, as
apart from those who received their early education there, it will be as the end of
a cherished institution. Lytham, in a sense, will not be Lytham without Seafield
It was founded in 1847 as a school for little boys, writes one of the former
pupils, by the Misses Tait, who were assisted in the early stages by Miss Fanny
Townsend, " a lady of strong character." She afterwards went into partnership with
the Taits, and later a Miss Oxley joined Miss Townsend for a period.
Mr. John Sisson Slater, M.A.; came on the scene as, an assistant master, and
eventually married Miss Townsend. Under his enthusiastic and able guidance the
school took on a broader purpose, educating boys of older years and laying the
foundations of an education which led many of its students on ultimately to the
well-known public schools and to the universities.
When Lancashire was Prosperous.
Seafield reached its height under the control and direction of Mr. and Mrs. Slater.
It was a school for boarders and day pupils, accommodating about fifty boys. Those
were the days of expansive prosperity in Lancashire and general trade, when money
was plentiful. boys came to Seafield from all parts.
In a recent reference to Seafield, a newspaper recalled the names of many men who
were at Seafield-Sir George Agnew, William Edward Leach, of Rochdale; William
Garnett, of Quernmore Park; Col. Slater (Bolton), F. Hardcastle, M.P., A. Hampson
Lord, J.P., W. H. Hartley, Burnley; Rev. A. Crofton, late Vicar of Codicote,
Herts.; Ben Walmsley, Capt. Stanley Musgrave, Horace Bleackley, Herbert Shepherd
Cross, who became M.P. for Bolton; A. N. Hornby, a past captain of the Lancashire
County Cricket XI; and Sir James Travis-Clegg, the late chairman of the Lancashire
County Council, These are but a few. Seafield boys rose to positions of eminence in
all parts of the world. Of more recent pupils half the Lancashire Hockey XI
attended Seafield in their early days.
Dr. J. S. Slater, who later was called to the Bar, and was a former chairman of the
Urban District Council, continued his active control of the school for many years.
Seafield stood alone as the only house in the road for many years during his
career, and he attached the field extending to Church Road to the school for the
purpose of a home farm, having other land at the Woodlands.
When Dr. Slater relinquished control the school passed into the hands of the late
Messrs. J. Bouch M.A., and E. C. Pochin M.A., and for the past three years Mr.
Keith B. Sewell, M.A., has been the principal, at first having a partner.
The high achievements and traditions of The as built up by Dr. Slater have been
admirably carried on and sustained by the succeeding principals, but as so many
once well-to-do people in the County sadly admit times since the war are vastly
different. There have be great changes and many old -private schools in Lytham St.
Annes have passed out of existence. And so Seafield lacks the support boarders and
day pupils which alone would keep the doors open.
Former Features Recalled.
T.H.T. From the Lytham St.Anne’s Express, November 1937.
When reference is made to the home farm, thoughts turn to the old Billy go with
long horns, which roamed the field for many years. It provided much sport for the
boys in that it was always keen on a fight. Old Boys well remember.
And then, again, the older generation of Lytham men will recall the great Fifths of
November at Seafield in the more spacious days. A huge bonfire was built in the
corner of the playing field on the south of the house, a there were glorious
displays of fireworks with a distribution of parkin and toffee. Seafield Guy
Fawkes' night was institution.
So great was the enthusiasm of Dr Slater in the affairs of the school that he
constructed a small swimming bath in the school grounds. One of the Old Boys,
writing of days at the school, says: "There was a holiday once a month, when the
boys were given 2s. or 2s. 6d. out of their purses, which were collected at the
beginning of the term, and those boys not visited by their parents were marched
into the town to spend the money."
Only two shops were visited-one toy shop, the other a sweet shop, amount to be
spent on sweets be: limited to sixpence. This boy says spent three happy years at
Seafield before going on to Charterhouse. And now, at the end of 90 years this fine
old preparatory school, it n be said "Farewell, a sad farewell, to thy greatness."
The school closes at the end of term.