Guests gathered for an afternoon of music and refreshments as one of Chester’s landmark buildings celebrated its 300th birthday.

The former Bluecoat School, on Upper Northgate Street, welcomed a whole host of guests for its anniversary tea party.

Among those in attendance were University of Chester Vice Chancellor Professor Tim Wheeler, principal of the merged South and West Cheshire colleges Jasbir Dhesi, as well as pupils from the three Bluecoat schools in the city – Chester Bluecoat Primary, Hoole Primary and Bishops’ High School.

As part of the celebrations a specially-commissioned flag was raised by Bluecoat Primary pupil Imogen Last, with help from the Sheriff of Chester Jane Mercer, chair of the Bluecoat committee Christine Russell and Peter Catherall, chairman of Chester Municipal Charities.

The Bluecoat School jazz band then entertained 100 guests including the residents of the Almshouses in Bluecoat Square, staff and volunteers from the 10 charities who are now based in the building and representatives of local community groups.

The building was built 300 years ago as a school to educate boys from poorer families in Chester.

Bluecoat boys wore distinctive deep blue uniforms with yellow stockings, like the one in the small statue above the entrance.

After serving for many years as a centre for education, the building is now owned by Chester Municipal Charities – an organisation made up of 34 historic charities, some dating back to the 12th century.