Burnley school plaque rescued from bulldozers

A distinctive plaque, that has held pride of place at a former Burnley high school for over 60 years, has been rescued before bulldozers move in.

The plaque, which bears the Burnley crest at the former Habergham High School in Kiddrow Lane, will now be restored to its former glory as part of a project spearheaded by Burnley Football Club.

Habergham High School shield removal

Habergham High School shield removal

Ward councillor Charlie Briggs stepped in to save the plaque with the help of his son, Peter who is a warrant officer with the Royal Military Police in Colchester.

Coun. Briggs said: “We asked permission from Lancashire County Council to remove the plaque as we believe it is an important part of Burnley’s heritage and we wanted to preserve it.

“It is going to feature prominently at Burnley Football Club but that is all I can say at the moment.’’

The painstaking operation to remove the coat of arms took three hours and was carried out for free by Burnley company Lite Installations as owner Paul Buckley is a Burnley FC fan.

Charlie Briggs and Brendon Bythell with the shield removed from the former Haberham High School building

Charlie Briggs and Brendon Bythell with the shield removed from the former Haberham High School building

The plaque features a hand that represents Burnley’s motto Hold to the Truth and two bees signifying industry. The image of a lion represents an ancient symbol representing loyalty.

Originally built as Burnley Girls High School in 1951, that is when the plaque was erected. The girls’ school survived until 1981 when it was merged with Burnley Grammar School to create Habergham High School. It became empty in 2006 when Burnley’s other five secondary schools moved into purpose built facilities as part of the £250m. Building Schools For The Future programme.

Gary Pearse, head of estates for Lancashire County Council, said the building would be demolished in the coming months to reduce vandalism and anti-social behaviour. He said: “We are currently seeking the necessary permission from the government to dispose of this site and we are discussing the future development of it with the borough council’s planners, including some leisure provision for local people.”

Habergham High School shield in place before its removal

Habergham High School shield in place before its removal