FRED Longworth High School is blowing up the balloons for its 50th birthday today.

The Tyldesley school was officially opened on March 7, 1964 and to mark the day, a plaque charting the history of Tyldesley and the school will be unveiled at 3pm.

The school has gone through many changes in its history and the celebrations will mark these as well as its achievements.

Director of business and finance Alex Gallimore said: “Major changes have taken place over the years such as the controversial boundary changes in 1974 when Tyldesley became part of Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council and the change of status to a comprehensive school in 1976.

“These include being awarded Arts College status in 1997, hitting the top 10 per cent of schools in Britain in 2002, being judged as outstanding by Ofsted in 2010 and receiving the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in 2013.

“To commemorate the milestone, a timeline has been commissioned which not only focuses on the 50 years of Freddie’s but looks as far back as 1770 when the first factories and mills were built in Tyldesley.

“The timeline highlights significant historic events such as the opening of Tyldesley Railway Station and the Parish Church, the formation of Tyldesley Urban District, the introduction of trams to Tyldesley and the Great War.”

The school will hold a community fun day on May 5 and is creating a wall of honour from information gathered from former pupils.

The school Brass Band will be giving a short Celebration Concert at 2pm on March 7 and anyone who has played in the band throughout the last 50 years is invited to attend to play along with the current National Champions.