Mr E. H. Holden

I have no idea how this photo has found it's way into my mother's photographs. A search of the Internet revealed two E H Holden's in the north-west, not including numerous cars! The first reference is a science teacher at Bacup and Rossendale Grammar School. Quote from "Seventy-Five Years" A history of Bacup and Rawtenstall Grammar School. "Mr. E.H. Holden had been appointed in 1913 to teach Chemistry in the day-school and also to be head of the Technical Institute housed in the new building. Anyone
who served under Mr. Holden would expect him to succeed, and to keep the school heading in the right direction. "

E H Holden
"There was no science taught, so I started afresh with Chemistry under Mr. Holden... It was due to Mr. Holden's enthusiasm for his subject that I went on to do a degree in it at Manchester University later. In our year Annie Earnshaw, W. Watson and I all went together - two women and one man - to do Chemistry Honours. We were two out of only about six women at Manchester in that year, so that speaks well for Mr. Holden's drive. This was 1917."

"Mr. Holden firmly believed in keeping noses to the grindstone. No "resting on one's laurels" was permitted in the Lower Sixth, for the subjects to be taken as "Principal" (normally three in number) were normally offered at "subsidiary" level at the end of the Lower-sixth year, just to keep the candidates (not to mention their teachers!) on their toes. As Dr. Ormerod points out, the classes at this time were considerably smaller, since it was then possible for pupils to leave at 14, but there were full-scale school examinations and reports every term, also half-term tests, with lists in order of merit on each occasion. Never a dull moment for the staff!"

The other EH Holden was an MP, duly knighted. He represented Heywood about the same time. Actually sooner. He was instrumental in persuading the powers that be to allow the building of a secondary school in Heywood.

"Through the offices of the local M.P. Mr E H Holden, they succeeded in arranging a meeting with the Board in Whitehall, circumventing the LEC. Mr Holden supported their cause vigorously, and three months later the Board relented, and wrote to the LEC agreeing to the proposal, but perversely demanding that the premises be considerably extended even beyond the plans submitted. Had there not been room for expansion on the existing site, it is doubtful if the School would have been sanctioned, as the cost of acquiring new land and of building afresh would have been prohibitive. In the event new plans were submitted to the Board, which finally approved them in March 1908."

It seems that both EH Holden's were heavily involved in education in the early part of the 20th Century. My gut feeling is the picture relates to Bacup and Rossendale. We had family up the valley as my mother would say.

Having passed the 11 plus in 1960, I had the option of going to Bacup and Rawtenstall or Stand Grammar School. As I went to Stand Grammar School, it seems I had a narrow escape!
Both excerpts are taken from Histories of the respective schools. Easy to find on the Internet.


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