Fylde, pronounced like “field”, is a rich green plain that runsfrom the coast across unspoilt countryside towards the foothills of the Pennines. The area includes Preston, Blackpool, Lytham St Anne’s, Fleetwood, Thornton Cleaveleys, Poulton-le-Fylde, Garstang and Over Wyre. Fylde is also a region of Lancashire bordered on the North by the River Wyre and on the south by the River Ribble.
Fylde college recently celebrated its thirty-year anniversary (1971-2001). The story of its conception is quite legendary. In 1968, a group of young lecturers formed “College 6”, which they envisaged as a commune style building where students could exercise their own influence on the direction of the college. Although the original plan for a commune never took off, Fylde continues to demonstrate a great sense of community spirit.
The money for the construction of the early accommodation blocks was provided by Furness college, (who were £125,000 under budget after the erection of their own residential blocks). The college buildings were built quickly in the space of just 12 months. In accordance with the left wing ethos of those early lecturers, the college advertised for second and third year students who came largely from the ultra left wing of the university. Fylde college soon became a hotbed for political discussion and student democracy. The blocks of the college were initially to be named after areas of Lancashire but the students rejected this, preferring names such as Lenin and Guevara. Since an agreement couldn’t be reached, the blocks were given numbers instead.
Fylde subsequently grew in later years, acquiring four blocks in 1970, a college building in 1971 and more residence blocks in the early 80’s and 90’s.
Fylde’s influence also stretched beyond its college. It set an early precedent by being the first college to appoint a student counselor, Mrs Greta James, in 1971. Mrs James later went on to found the University counseling services. Students and staff from Fylde were also instrumental in helping to form the Pre-School centre.
The motto adopted by Fylde is “In arvo quaerere verum” which means “seek truth in the field.” This refers to the university motto “truth lies open to all” but also makes reference to the world outside the University.
Fylde’s coat of arms display four gold coloured sails which remember the agricultural prosperity of the area. The red rose of Lancashire can be seen in the centre, flanked by two circles that represent the rivers Wyre and Ribble. Fylde’s windmill emblem is taken from a sketch of the Thornton Windmill at Marsh Mill. The sketch depicts a drying room and a balcony which are both typical of Lancashire windmills.