St James' school Devonport Way, Chorley.
by Estelle Briers.
(Jul 2010)

St James' Church of England Primary School, Devonport Way, Chorley, Lancashire PR6 0TE

The dedication plaque above the door reads AD 1872. As all the stonework was carefully removed for re-use, it may still exist.
The building was being used by Runshaw College to train Beauty Therapists ( hair removal ) when I moved onto the estate in October 2004.
My earliest photos were taken after the closure, when attempts were being made to find another use for the building so as to save it. But there was no serious campaign. The file p7240005 gives a date of 24/07/05. p2724006 shows the leaking roof.
The roof tiles were removed on 18/07/09 in the space of 3 days. Tiles had illegally been removed the week before.
Dereliction followed. There are photos of the stripped roof in several weather conditions.
Complaints about safety and drunken gatherings were made to the Council and Police. The large car park behind the building was shielded from view. Drug dealing was happening. Fires were regularly started. Youths climbed onto the roof and turret.
Demolition began on 01/04/10. And suddenly stopped again. The site was left in an unsafe state. Councillor Kahn protested in local newspapers about plastic ties at eye level being a danger. I went out and cut them off with secateurs. When the press phoned me about it I said the main danger was the large iron gate hanging on one hinge outside the present school, but they did not seem concerned by this.


the site being re-developed (Jul 2010)