For the week of 11th February, Taila (my friend and colleague) and myself were back in Lancashire, revisiting the cracking area of Blackburn. The last time we were here, which was two years ago, we had a quite wonderful reception from the Lancashire folk. I did not think it was possible to get a better welcome, however the students and staff of Blackburn outdid themselves.
On the Monday we arrived at Westholme School. Westholme is an independent school set in the countryside of west Blackburn. Our visit here was met by the impeccable manners of the students. After the presentation many of the students gathered round me to ask questions.
The afternoon saw us at Our Lady & St John Catholic School. A quite beautiful school both in its building’s and its staff and pupils.
Tuesday saw us visit Islamiyah Girls High School. Last time we were here I remember it being a very emotional visit. This visit did not disappoint. The kindness and warmth from these students left me deeply moved.
The visit to Blackburn Pupil Referral Unit by its very nature we expected some degree of difficulty. I am quite willingly putting my hand up and saying I was wrong. The students were great, they paid great attention to the presentation.
Wednesday morning, we after our two-year break were back at Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School. Founded in 1509 as a boy’s school, it has become a vibrant school taking all faiths and sexes. Our visit here once again provoked some great discussion.
Tauheedul Islam Girls High School was the afternoon’s venue. I must say what a surprise. This school is a bang to the second modern beautiful building. It truly is quite stunning. The visit here was once again extremely moving and powerful.
Thursday we were back at Witton Park. Ok quick question; how come Blackburn has so may beautiful schools. Last time we were here we ran over our time limit by some considerable way, this time I think we beat that record. The students at this excellent school were very good at difficult questions.
Friday, last day of the week saw us at Pleckgate High School. Yet another beautiful building. Due to constraints of time we didn’t have much time for questions here. Really sorry for that folks.
Built into a hillside overlooking the town Blackburn Central High School brought a fitting end to this part of the GAU Tour. I really don’t know how the students get any work done here for staring out at the view. This school had saved the hardest questions for the last. Oh, my I was quizzed on some very topical subjects.
The Blackburn leg of this year’s tour has surpassed itself. The people of Lancashire were brilliant. We were met with warmth and friendship by pupils, staff and townsfolk alike, thank you so much. I want to say an extra special thankyou to our driver for much of the week Ifty. Ifty is a true gentleman, it was a pleasure for us to get to know him a little.
Well Blackburn as I said at the start “you were belting” there is little I can add to that apart from a massive thank you from Taila and myself.
I look forward to my next visit.