December 2014: Island life switched for the Rossendale Valley


A FAMILY has switched life on the small island of Alderney to Helmshore so that their daughters will be able to finish their education living at home.

For the past nine years the Campbell family has lived on Alderney, one of the smaller Channel Islands measuring just three miles by one-and-a-half.

Their relocation was prompted by their eldest daughter Alexandria reaching 16.

She said: “There is no college or sixth form so if we had stayed on Alderney, in order to continue my education, I would have had to move to live on Guernsey with a host family for two years.”

Mum Julie was the only engineer on the island while their father Paddy is a landscape artist. Julie used to attend Haslingden High School and they have family living locally so moving to Rossendale seemed the natural choice.

On the island all three daughters attended the only state school, St Anne’s, despite their ages varying between eight and 16.

The island’s population is less than 2,000 and their former school had less than 130 pupils on roll with each year group having between 11 to 16 pupils.

Now the older siblings attend Haslingden High School. Their new school has nearly 1,600 students with up to 260 in each year group.

Alexandria was the first to move and stayed with her grandparents from September before the rest of the family relocated in November.

They have now settled in Helmshore and Alexandria’s sister Isabella, 13, is also at Haslingden High School while younger sister Jennifer, 8, is a pupil at Haslingden Primary School.

Where they used to live they could see the French coast from their home.

However, Alexandria said: “It is great that there are lots of people here and I love being in a bigger place.

“I am in my final GCSE year and I am doing some after school lessons so that I can catch up. I am settling in really well.”

Isabella said: “I am very happy here and the people are all quite nice.