MORE than 250 children brought Bolton to a standstill as they gathered in the town centre to celebrate the lasting legacy of Dr Samuel Taylor Chadwick.

The pupils from schools across Bolton congregated in Victoria Square at the feet of the statue of the historic figure, to mark 150 years since the establishment of the Chadwick Educational Foundation in 1868.

Walking from Victoria Hall, the youngsters, complete with handmade banners denoting their schools, recreated the crowds which assembled for the statue’s official unveiling in 1873 — which according to some accounts topped 30,000 people.

Once in the square the pupils were joined by Canon Dr Chris Bracegirdle, the Vicar of Bolton, who led them in a brief history of Dr Chadwick and his wife Anne, followed by prayers, before they sang a rendition of Happy Birthday. The Mayor, Cllr Elaine Sherrington, was also in attendance.

The pupils have also been rehearsing for a specially written play entitled The Remarkable Gifts of Dr and Mrs Chadwick, charting the lives of the Bolton philanthropists, which they will perform today.

Amy Liptrott, project manager of the anniversary celebrations, said: “It has been a fantastic day. The children have really enjoyed themselves and it’s a great way to mark the memory of a man who gave so much to help young people.”

Peter Liptrott, chairman of the Chadwick Foundation added: “I think it’s important for the children to connect with Bolton’s heritage and they shown tremendous amounts of enthusiasm. Dr Chadwick and his wife were major benefactors and it’s nice that there’s an awareness of them after 150 years.”

Dr Chadwick was a renowned physician and an honorary surgeon at the Royal Bolton Hospital.

However, when his and wife Anne’s children died in infancy the couple were greatly affected and spurred on to establish a charitable trust and orphanage on The Haulgh. After serving young girls of Bolton for close to 100 years the orphanage was closed and demolished in 1963, but the trust continued to provide vital funds to support the education you young people across the town.