IN 1946 the then borough’s chief education officer William Hayward was determined to give young people something he did not have as a child - educational opportunities.

And his vision led to the creation of Hayward Grammar School in Great Lever.

After educating youngsters for more than half-a-century, the school in Lever Edge Lane, formally closed and reopened as an state-of-the-art academy school in September 2009 and was renamed Essa Academy.

One former Hayward School pupil has got in touch with us to see if it possible to reunite the people in this photograph which is almost 60 years old.

Norman Carter, who is second from left on the front row, said: “I am in my 70s and have moved around the country quite a lot, but I was rummaging through some old photographs recently and came across one with my class mates when I attended Hayward School on Lever Edge Lane in Bolton.

“I had the picture enhanced by Jessops photographers and have enclosed this in the hope you could perhaps print it and hopefully one or two classmates would recognise themselves and wish to contact me to catch up on life. I know it may be a long shot, but with your help it may just be possible!”

Norman believes the picture was taken in 1961 when he was 15-years-old. The teacher in the photograph is Mr Gordon (“known as ‘Flash’ Gordon to most of us!” wrote Norman.)

Hayward School was originally an experiment in education. By having three schools on the site - a grammar school, a technical college and a secondary modern school - resources between the three were shared, and children benefited from the different types of education provided - from classical to vocational. The idea was to mirror the “experiment” elsewhere, but this was prevented by the introduction of comprehensive education.

Plenty has changed at Essa Academy in recent years. The school moved to new buildings in 2011 which include sports facilities that are available to the local community and in September 2014, Essa Primary School opened in the grounds in separate buildings.

Norman can be contacted on 07788 115503.