STAFF and pupils at one of Rossendale’s oldest schools celebrated 100 years since building work on the school began.

A tug-of-war and themed lessons, plus teachers and pupils dressed in period clothing, marked the passing of a century since Bacup and Rawtenstall Grammar School laid its first foundation stones.

In 1911, the then Mayors of Rawtenstall and Bacup each laid a foundation stone at the Waterfoot school, two years before it was completed.

Emma Gaunlett, BRGS development director, said: “The whole day was great. It was a lovely precursor to the school’s actual centenary in two years.

“All the pupils and guests were really interested to hear how the school was originally built to include more technical lessons, such as spinning and shoe- making.

“During the day, the school would operate pretty much as it is now, and then in the evening the children would come back to learn the more vocational skills.”

To mark the 100th anniversary, Year 10 pupils re-enacted parts of the original ceremony.

The Mayor of Rossendale, Coun Gladys Sandiford, then unveiled a new foundation stone under the about-to-be constructed English block.

Students also buried a time capsule at the site after hand- picking its contents, which included a school uniform, a memory stick containing a snapshot of school life, plus examples of creative writing.

The school’s neighbourhood police officer, PC Simon Butterworth, even managed to find a period police uniform and threatened to arrest any badly- behaved pupils.

Miss Gaunlett said: “I think the children got a lot out of the day. The themed lessons were really productive, especially the history lessons which saw pupils look at the 1911 census, old-style toys and a 1910 wash day.”

Guests at the event included Rossendale MP Jake Berry, and the chief executive of Rossendale Borough Council, Helen Lockwood.