BOLTON has fostered many famous sons and daughters over the centuries, but one of its greatest and most well loved is the physician and philanthropist Dr Samuel Chadwick.

This year marks 150 years since the foundation of The Chadwick Educational Foundation in 1868 which supported the establishment of the former Chadwick Orphanage and social housing — much of which is still in use to this day.

To celebrate the momentous milestone Year Six pupils from five primary schools from across Bolton are set to perform a play detailing Dr Chadwick’s life and legacy.

The show, The Remarkable Gift, will by held at the Victoria Halls on June 28.

Preparations for the sesquicentennial have been under way for two years and pupils from Johnson Fold, St Thomas CE, Church Road, Clarendon, and Tonge Moore primary schools have been working on the show since December.

Amy Liptrott, project manager of the celebrations, said: “With this being the 150th Anniversary there’s a lot going on.

“It’s about celebrating Dr Chadwick and his wife and the incredible legacy they left, which still continues.

“Fundamentally they were about supporting those who were less fortunate.

“They were absolutely ahead of their time in ensuring there would be longevity to what they did.”

The Foundation is also appealing for any former residents or staff of the Chadwick Orphanage or family members to contact them to share their stories.

Ms Liptrott said: “We would love as many people to get in touch with us as possible. We would love to meet people and hear and share their stories and for them to come along and see the performance.

“As part of our celebrations we have also had original records dug out, including from doctors and headmistresses.”

Samuel Taylor Chadwick was born in Newcroft House in Urmston in 1809 and was educated at Stretford School.

He took his first steps as a physician aged 14, when he became an apprentice at his uncle Dr John Taylor’s practice in Sweet Green, in 1823, before studying medicine at the University of London in 1828.

After returning to Lancashire and establishing a surgery in Wigan, Dr Chadwick relocated to Bolton and took over his uncle’s practice in 1837.

Over the following years he would go on to take further study in Ireland and Edinburgh, before eventually once again returning to Bolton and establishing eye and ear, nose and throat clinics.

He was later named an honorary surgeon at the Royal Bolton Hospital and elected as a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons.

Beyond his medicinal career, Dr Chadwick married Ann neé Hall, a wine merchant's daughter, and the couple had two children, Sarah and James, who died aged six and five.

The deaths affected Dr and Mrs Chadwick greatly and spurred the couple on in establishing a charitable trust and an orphanage, in what is now Chadwick Street, The Haulgh.

The orphanage addressed the town’s lack of provision for women, taking on only girls, as a previous boys orphanage had been built by James Eden.

Around 80 inmates, as they were known, were housed in the orphanage and trained in domestic service, with girls being taken on by the orphanage into the 1940s.

The orphanage closed in 1961, and the land and property went to Bolton Institute, before it was demolished in 1963.

However, to fund and support their project, Dr and Mrs Chadwick also built a block of model housing on The Hough, between 1868 and 1873 — and the homes are still owned by their charity today.

The housing spanned streets including a row in Halstead Avenue and cost an estimated £22,000 to build — equivalent to around £22 million in today’s money.

During this time Dr Chadwick was well recognised in the town, and statue of him was erected outside the Town Hall by Bolton Council in 1873 — with some reports claiming up to 30,000 people attended the unveiling.

Dr Chadwick died in 1876 and was buried at Bolton Parish Church, However his philanthropy continued even after his death.

In his will £5,000 was left for the establishment of a museum of natural history in Queens Park, and £5,000 for a children’s ward at the Bolton Infirmary, then near Chorley New Road.

To honour Dr Chadwick’s memory, the Chadwick Trust also decided that following the orphanage’s closure, the money continuing to be generated from Chadwick’s housing would be used to benefit the children of Bolton.

To this day the trust continues to fund projects in schools that are often difficult to source for, including schemes to improve libraries and playgrounds and provide staging equipment and lighting.

Ms Liptrott said: “Hopefully the charity will go on another 150 years. I certainly don’t think Dr and Mrs Chadwick believed that in 2018 there would still be primary school children benefiting from their money and know who they were.”

To contact the trust if you were a former resident, member or are a relative of a former resident of the Chadwick Orphanage email