Marton Heritage Group launch fundraising campaign for memorial stone

Hexagon's Business Development Manager, David Smith, CEO Francis Ashcroft, Marton Heritage Group Cha

Hexagon's Business Development Manager, David Smith, CEO Francis Ashcroft, Marton Heritage Group Chairman, Philip Walsh, MHG Publicity Officer, Yvonne Fielding and MHG Secretary, Susan Kershaw. - Credit: Archant

Preston company’s monumental donation for new landmark.

Blackpool’s Marton Heritage Group recently launched a fundraising campaign to appeal for donations from businesses and individuals towards raising funds in order to commemorate the tercentenary of Baines Endowed Schools (1717-2017) by placing a memorial stone at Marton Green, Blackpool to honour benefactor Mr James Baines.

The Group hope to reach their target of £2,000 in record time to enable work to begin on the stone prior to placement in January.

The 9th January 2017 will be a very important date in the history of Marton. On this date in 1717, James Baines of Poulton died. In his will dated 6th January 1717 he bequeathed the school house and the land on which it stood. He also gave other land, the rent of which would be for the upkeep of the schools.

Now, with time being at such a premium, the committee of the Marton Heritage Group, with Chairman Philip Walsh at the helm, were astonished and delighted when Preston company Hexagon Care Services started the ball rolling by offering a generous donation of £500.

Hexagon Care manage a number of Children’s Homes in and around Preston, Blackpool and Lancashire, and is a privately owned National Provider of Children’s Homes and Services who work closely with the majority of Local Authorities nationwide.

Conscious of the company ethos that “Every young person has the potential, they just need the opportunity” - CEO, Francis Ashcroft realized the parallel between Hexagon’s Care standard and James Baines’ generous forward thinking of putting our children first by encouragement, guidance and support. He said: “Many of the children placed in our homes have often missed school for various reasons and just as James Baines recognised the importance of education we, too, are very committed to addressing this situation. Our role is to gradually and carefully ease a young person back into education and enable them to not only re-engage with the school curriculum but also to develop new life skills. We recognise and understand the need for support both in and out of the classroom.”

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Mr Ashcroft added: “We, as a company with over thirty Children’s Homes nationwide, aim to create more positive futures for our children as did James Baines three hundred years ago.”

The first school and three subsequent schools, one of which was built on Marton Green (now the Oxford traffic island) is at the end of Whitegate Drive/Preston New Road and is the intended site for the memorial stone.

All businesses and individuals donating will have their names recorded and included for posterity in a time capsule which will be buried under the memorial along with other items which the children from Baines Endowed School in Marton are compiling.

The Marton Heritage Group would like to publicly thank Hexagon Care Services for acknowledging and recognising, by means of their generous donation, the importance and significance of the occasion and the Group hope to see representatives of Hexagon Care and many other supporters at the unveiling on 9th January 2017.

For any businesses or individuals wishing to donate, please visit The Marton Heritage Group on Facebook or the Just Giving page online at https:/

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