Whaley Bridge Primary School has been celebrating its centenary with lots of dressing up, singing and cheering the school’s new flag wen it was raised.. Teachers and pupils were in a variety of Edwardian clothes, ranging from co-head Rik Heys in deepest black (and a top hat) to little ones in farmworker caps or parlour maid lacecaps. The other co-head. Fay Walton and most of the female teachers sported headgear which would have done credit to Ascot or TV’s Downton Abbey.
Holy Trinity church just along from the school had been open for only six years when the school started – what an era for local development that was, The entire school filled the church for a special service conducted by Beryl Axcell. She kept the attention of her young congregation, with snippets of information. The opening hymn Morning has Broken was written by Cat Stevens, 50 years ago when the school was 50 years old. The Ink is Black was from the American civil rights struggle of the 60s… the hymn One More Step Along the Way was written as recently as 1971 … and the song Congratulations! was written when Mr Heys was 20.
Pupils read out their comments about the school’s past, present and future. The Rev John Pinner told the children how different a church service like this would have been 100 years ago. Then children would be ‘seen, but not heard’, with no laughter or enjoyment. He led a prayer for the school, and all who learn and teach there.
Then teachers led their little Edwardians back to school for another ceremony, the raising of the school’s new flag. Pupil-members of Whaley Bridge Band played the national anthem as the flag, with its owl images, fluttered in a light breeze.