Lytham St.Annes Coat of Arms
Lytham St.Annes, Lancashire, England


Seafield House School, Lytham

Extract from the Lytham St.Anne’s Express, November 1937.



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 School.
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.

Great Achievements.

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.

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.

T.H.T. From the Lytham St.Anne’s Express, November 1937.