TWO former teachers at a Barnoldswick secondary school are undertaking a mammoth history project.

They are creating an archive of West Craven High School, to put on record the pupils, teachers and events through the years.

June Ryan, a French and German teacher from 1972 to 2009, and Kath Dowthwaite, who taught PE between 1973 and 2005, have appealed for any photographs, memorabilia or recollections of school life over the last seven decades.

The archive they have so far collected aroused much interest when it went on display in the hall when the school opened its doors to show off new building works.

But they hope to continue adding to it to build up a complete picture of its history, since it was built in 1942.

June said: “Lots of things have come to light, but there are some gaps, which we hope to fill. We are interested in interviewing older members of the community about their memories of the school in its early years.”

The school, in Kelbrook Road, was formally opened during the war years in 1942 and pupils moved from the old building in Gisburn Road.

June said: “As each classroom was completed, classes were moved one by one, so that the building could not be taken over for war purposes.”

The first headmaster was Mr Oxley, who served from 1942 to 1950 and was followed by Mr Hartley, who is said to have been a strict disciplinarian and then in the sixties by Mr Cook.

Among former teachers, who attended the recent open day, were Margaret Jackson, who taught home economics from 1967 and became senior mistress, Gill Craven, home economics teacher from 1981, Chris Whale, PE teacher from 1963 and Lindon Shaw, who taught art, between 1966 and 1991.

West Craven originally had just 400 pupils, but as the register grew so did the school and over the years extensions have been gradually added. It was first built as a two-storey building, but a third was added in 1950s/60s, which blew off into the quadrangle in fierce winds – a school hall was also later added.

It is known that the quadrangle was used for growing vegetables in the Second War World as part of the ‘Dig for Victory’ call and all pupils had to carry their gas masks at all times .

June and Kath also know that in the the early days of the school, clogs were the main footwear for many.

Among its well known past pupils are Lancashire cricketer Glen Chapple and singer John Rawnsley, who returned to help West Craven to help celebrate its special golden jubilee in 1992.

If you can help with information or images for the archive, you should get in touch with the school.