75 years in Ormskirk

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From the first issue of Campus Link, the news letter aimed at keeping local residents up to date with what’s going on at Edge Hill:

Edge Hill University is preparing to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the opening of its Ormskirk campus next month.

The University, then a teacher training college for women, first came to Ormskirk on 2nd October 1933 after relocating its main campus from Durning Road in Liverpool.

The H-shaped main building, which is still the centrepiece of the campus today, was unveiled by Lord Irwin in a tree-planting ceremony, who then unlocked the door of the main entrance and declared the college open.

The building housed 176 students, 13 staff, a matron, a secretary and two cooks in four residential halls – Clough, Stanley, John Dalton and Lady Margaret – all named after members of the Derby family.

An article published in the Ormskirk Advertiser just prior to the opening of the campus says: "Ormskirk has now become an important centre for Higher Education. A stretch of the green fields between St Helens Road and Ruff Lane was chosen as the site of the college, and here during the last two years the buildings have been slowly rising until today they stand as one of the finest and most modern of their type."

The ladies attending the new 1930s college had very different experiences to Edge Hill students today. Their days started at 6:15am with ‘lights out’ by 10pm and any spare time was spent on morning prayers and cooking classes.

Edith Greenwood, 84, who studied in at the college during its first year in Ormskirk, says: "I must have been one of the first to use the new building in Ormskirk. It was a tremendously exciting time – everything was so new and modern. It was obviously built well if it’s still being used by students today.

"It was a big change for the girls who had come from Liverpool. They were used to all the noise of a busy city and then they found themselves in what felt like the countryside!"

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