80 Years Chronology

80 years of Whitehough

  • 1936

    Alderman A. Smith outlines programme of educational development for Nelson to the Education Committee which includes the creation of Camp School.

    No location was identified but they considered that “the moorland air on the hills near Nelson was quite as beneficial as any at the seaside.”

    You can view the press cutting HERE.

  • 1937

    Whitehough Farm, Barley, announced as site of new Camp School, at a cost of £4,000 (today’s equivalent of £274,000).

    “Every child [in Nelson] would at some period of their school life visit for a week or two”

    The costs of the new camp school later increased to £5,754 (today’s equivalent of £395,000)

    You can view the press cutting HERE.

  • 1938

    The Camp School officially opened and welcomed its first visitors.

    You can view the press cutting regarding the opening HERE.

  • 1939 -1945

    The camp School was forced to close due to outbreak of WWII.

    The site was used as a residential school for “delicate” children.

  • 1945

    The site reopened and 19 females from Mansfield Secondary School arrived, the first school to visit after the closure.

    You can view the log book entry about their visit HERE.


  • 1955

    Ken Oldham appointed as the first full-time Headmaster of Whitehough.

    Ken Oldham was Headmaster until his retirement in 1983 and oversaw 50,000 visits.

    You can view the press cutting regarding Oldham’s appointment here.

    View the story in The Leader Paper here.

  • 1968

    Visit by BBC to record interviews with Ken Oldham about trips that Whitehough ran to the Alps, Dolomites, Austria and the Pennine Way.

  • 1969

    Nelson Grammar School walked the Pennine Way.

    You can view the press cutting about their 250 mile adventure HERE.

  • 1972

    A group of Belfast children brought to Whitehough by the local Rotary club made the local headlines for their ‘unruly’ behaviour and for the entire group being sent home early.

    You can read the article ‘No need for local guilt’ HERE.

  • 1975

    Tapping Johnny, the Whitehough ghost makes his first appearance.

    View ‘The Tapping Phantom’ press cutting HERE.

  • 1977

    ‘The Pennine Way’ by Ken Oldham is published

    ‘Read the article about the Headmaster’s book on Pennine Way’ HERE.


  • 1990

    Whitehough became under threat because of cash fears.

    View the press cutting HERE.

    Additionally, in September 1990, Whitehough held its first public open day.

  • 1993

    £50,000 refurbishment of Whitehough approved by Lancashire County Council.

    Read a ‘£50,000 refurbishment scheme at Whitehough’ HERE.

  • 2004

    On the 11th February 2004, Whitehough’s longest serving headmaster, Ken Oldham, died.


  • 2015

    Whitehough Camp School was closed by Lancashire County Council.

  • 2017

    Burnley FC in the Community acquired 125 year lease of the Whitehough Site and reopened the facility.

    Read the ‘Whitehough to be saved!’ story here.

    Burnley FC stars Jack Cork, Chris Wood and Adam Legzdins alongside the Mayor of Pendle, Councillor David Whalley, were on hand to officially reopen Burnley FC in the Community’s (BFCitC) Whitehough Outdoor Centre. You can view the full story HERE.

Whitehough Activities - Offsite Canoeing