19 November 2014 by Lucy Johnson
Nick Young, teacher from the Royal School for the Blind, tells us about how Edward Rushton, whose story is currently being told in Unsung displays and events across the city as part of DadaFest International 2014, continues to be an inspiration to the school:
“Every family has its treasures and keepsakes that remind them of where they have come from and possibly point a way to the future. The legacy of Edward Rushton is no exception. Our school is rightly proud to have Rushton amongst its founders. His philanthropy, philosophy and integrity in the face of opposition, particularly in relation to the slave trade, remain an inspiration to the people of Liverpool and beyond.
Our prize keepsake is that the school continues to flourish and is now in its 223rd year. Rushton’s portrait has pride of place in our Board Room overseeing the work of Trustees, Governors and Staff as they meet to discuss and develop the work of the school.
In 1991 Queen Elizabeth paid a visit to our school and opened our water garden with its central feature, a water fountain. This fountain had been formed from one of the portico pillars removed from the school chapel as it was demolished to make way for the new Hardman Street extension in 1931, establishing a moving link with our past.
When Hardman Street building eventually closed in 1958 the great bronze doors, ten feet high and five feet wide, and the bronze side door were transferred to our Wavertree School. The front doors hang in our entrance hall with their relief motifs. The side door, with it’s motifs, which our children love to rub and feel, hangs outside McGregor Hall. Once again Rushton breaks through from the past to touch our present. Above the opening where this side door was removed from, is carved the following quote from Edward Rushton;
Christ heals the blind
For who denies
That in the mind
Dwells truer sight
Than in the eyes”
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