NINETY-six-year-old Olive Gray, born just four years after Ashleigh Primary School opened, could well be the school’s oldest surviving former pupil.

Mrs Gray, who now lives in Blackburn, went to the then Spring Bank Central School from 1928 to 1932. She spoke of her fond memories after reading of the school’s 100th birthday celebrations taking place throughout this year.

She said: “It was a wonderful school and it was a happy time for us. The head was called Mr Lithgow. There was the cane then and I may have had it once or twice.

“Back then, the girls did cookery and the boys woodwork. Philip Worth was a teacher there and there were two teachers who were sisters called the Jepsons. I enjoyed all my classes, especially geography, and the teacher was Tom Anderton.”

Mrs Gray’s late husband, George, was the boss at Gray’s schoolwear shop in Blackburn. She has two children, Geoffrey and Jean, three grandchildren and a great-grandchild. Present headteacher Ian Matthews said: “I am delighted to hear about Olive’s memories of school and would like to invite her for a look around to see how it has changed. We have had a few people get in touch as we plan our centenary celebrations, including former headteacher Colin Cronshaw. I would love to hear from more former pupils and staff.”