Former Staff

Baines School former teachers

From time to time we will be uploading information on the former teachers of the school.  This will take the form of staff that have left the school but have a story to tell about what they have been doing or for those that have sadly passed on. 

As for the headteachers there have only been 18 known headteachers since 1717.  In the early days there is believed to have been other headteachers but these were not recorded.  In the time before James Baines left money in his will there was one headteacher on the current site William Smalley (1708 - 1717) and three prior to him. 

HAROLD ELLIS TOMLINSON MA PhD FHS (1916-1997) heraldic designer

Ellis retired on 19th July 1974. Here is the report on his life in the school written that year and published in the Poultonian.


July 19th, 1974, will mark the retirement from teaching of Mr. H. E. Tomlinson, but not, we trust, the ending of a connection with Baines Grammar School which goes back to 1928.

It was in this year, from Sir John Deane's School, Northwich, where, incidentally, he had been taught French by an Old Boy of Baines, that he entered FormlH of the school in which, boy and man, he was to spend forty of the next forty-six years. In this year began the dedication to Founder's which has endured so strongly.

After graduating (Hons. II, French) in 1937, he acquired in 1938 a teaching diploma — some of you have perhaps seen him wielding it — and thereafter two years' experience at Rochdale G.S., before returning to join the Staff at Baines "temporarily" in 1940. Since then he has been a part of the school, teaching French, primarily, but at least five other languages on occasion, not to mention Art, R.I. and even (the horrors of war!) Maths.

In 1941 he began to identify himself closely with Soccer in the school, starting U.I 2, U.I 3 and U.I 5 Xl's and taking over the running of the existing U.I 4 Team. Looking after four teams must have taxed the energy and enthusiasm of even H.E.T., and no doubt accounts for the sylph-like slimness of that youthful and athletic figure whose face we remember beaming exultantly at us from early photographs of victorious school teams. More recently, he has been responsible for U.I 2 and U.I 3 teams only, but the record of his teams through the years has been notable. In brief they have appeared in 31 Cup Finals and have won 20 of them, and their normal record in ordinary games against school teams some of them hapless sacrificial victims — has been uniformly impressive. Hundreds of boys have been helped to develop a life-long love of the game under the enthusiastic stimulus of a willing, knowledgeable, and inspiring coach. It goes without saying that he assumed responsibility for the Founder's football teams throughout his career as a housemaster, even after appointment as Senior Housemaster in 1960.

It would be quite wrong to assume that Mr. Tomlinson, football fan extraordinary though he is, is not also a man of all round talents and wide interests. More than "forty years on he is still a member of the school Choir, and he has acted many times in school plays. We remember with particular pleasure a sensitive portrayal of Feste, not the easiest personality to define amongst Shakespeare's ambivalent fools. He has played for various Staff teams at Badminton, Table Tennis, Soccer (of course!) and, at least twice to our knowledge, when unable to escape, at Cricket. He was an officer in the A.T.C. for four years, he has been Secretary of the School Sports Committee for very nearly a quarter of a century, on the Old Boys' Committee for longer than that. President of the Old Boys' Association in 1957 and Editor of the Old Boys' section of the magazine for 28 years. We owe him in this latter capacity, and here gratefully acknowledge it, a debt of gratitude for help with the proof reading of the Poultoman.

Nor must we forget that he is a Herald. A fellow of the Heraldry Society since 1962, he has been designing Civic Coats nf Arms since 1943. It is often Mr. Tomlinson s heraldic beasts that stick out their tongues or glare disdainfully at us from imposing civic and corporation arms. His Latin mottoes tax our brains he is the perpetrator of those puns, and his ingenuity and local knowledge which enable the conflicting claims of amalgamated civic authorities to be harmoniously resolved. At home, and all over the Commonwealth, the expert eye can recognise in scores of arms the unmistakable hand of H. E. Tomlinson, F.H.S.

He is himself unmistakeable, a schoolmaster of an older style a scholar, a character. As they did to those of Goldsmith s famous village schoolmaster, many school generations ot boys must have listened with awe to his words of learned length and thundering sound, to his scholarly exposition, to his comic comparisons, irreverent nicknames and exuberant phraseology. We are sure they listened to him with profit as well as pleasure. He may appear to contradict himself sometimes — like Walt Whitman he is large, he contains multitudes. Though "BootI" as an anguished exhortation to immediate physical action, gave place over the years to the more supplicatory entreaty, "Think!", and both yielded in time to the compromise newcomer, "Control!" which in turn expired before the permissive "''Have a dabble", the essential message has always come over loud and clear. Do what ever worthwhile you attempt with all your powers of mind and body and spirit.

Mrs. Tomlinson also retires in July, and the whole School will wish them both many years of happy retirement, in which they will long be spared to continue to practise the doctrine they have so long, so enthusiastically and so successfully preached.


Ellis was born at Northwich in Cheshire and in 1928 moved to the neighbouring county of Lancashire, where he was to spend the rest of his life. He liked to describe himself as a “Welsh-Cestrian”. He became a boy a Baines and in 1933 was senior prefect. He gained a degree in French from the University of Manchester and taught French for most of his life, but teaching apart Ellis life was dominated by two passions – Blackpool FC and supra omnia – heraldry. Later he returned to Baines as a master in 1940 becoming a legend in his own lifetime affectionately known to generations of boys as 'Toss'. He loved his football and was a great fan of Blackpool FC. He was an early Fellow of The Heraldry Society, and in 1985 was awarded a PhD from the University of Lancaster for his thesis French Historical Elements in the Civic Heraldry of the United Kingdom.


There can be few, if any, areas of civic, academic and other corporate heraldry that did not benefit from Ellis’ subtle and intelligent touch. His heraldic work began in the 1940s and he was instrumental in the design of arms for many organisations including The Independent Broadcasting Authority, The British Airports Authority, Herefordshire County Council, the towns of Port Elizabeth in South Africa and Wagga Wagga in Australia; The Northern School of Music, universities in this country and overseas and many building societies, and a number of boroughs. Looking through back numbers of The Gazette the Editor located a piece in 1977 which recorded that Ashford Borough Council had commissioned Ellis to design an achievement.


His heraldic publications were The Heraldry of Manchester (1944), The Heraldry of Cheshire (1946), The Armorial Bearings of the Caernarvonshire County Council (1950) and Heraldry in Insurance (1950). He provided the illustrations for Sir George Wollaston's Heraldry (1960) and C.J. Smith's The Civic Heraldry of Warwickshire (1974). His doctoral dissertation was on French Historical Elements in the Civic Heraldry of the United Kingdom (1985).  Other publications included a history of Blackpool FC


Tomlinson was heraldic advisor to the Rural District Councils Association from 1954 to 1974, and to the Association of District Councils. He designed arms for many local authorities and corporate bodies in England, Australia and South Africa. Some of the English towns he designed coats of arms for included, Irlam, Wrexham, Frome, Prestatyn, Waveney, Urmston, Knutsford, Durham, Teignbridge, Calderdale, Pocklington and Bolton.

More notable English arms included those of


Spennymoor – this included the town motto which was a pun on the town name Spe Nemo Ruet which means with hope nobody shall fail.

City of Salford - the arms combine elements of the five local authorities that formed the new city of Salford in 1974.  

Baines School – like many of his designs Ellis used elements of the history of the school in the new coat of arms. The ham bone from the Baines family coat of arms, the market cross for Poulton and the red rose of Lancashire


Kenilworth – this was a commission from the local historical society to the well renowned heraldist Ellis Tomlinson, The coat of arms includes the castle at Kenilworth depicted in red to symbolise the red sandstone in the town. 

Gemmological Association of Great Britain

Football Association of Wales – he designed this in 1951 for the 75th anniversary of the FA in Wales.

Australian Arms include

City of Canterbury (NSW) – he designed this on the occasion of the centenary of the Municipality of Canterbury and is based on the UK City of Canterbury Arms

Hurtsville – this was designed for the centenary of the city an includes a large cross of St George. Not due to an English connection but St George is patron saint of the city and it sits on the Georges River.

Rockdale – the city includes Botany Bay and therefore has depicted Captain Cook’s boat – the Endeavour.

Wagga Wagga – this includes wheat stalks and a ram’s head and was designed In 1965

South African arms include those of in the Western Cape for George, Wellington, Worcester, and the South African Institute of Electrical Engineers.

University of the West Indies


Ellis also designed the coat of arms for two Melbournes, the famous one in Australia and the lesser known one near Derby.