A farewell to Hunstanton infant school

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Generations of former pupils visited Hunstanton Infant School on Thursday of last week at the invitation of headteacher Nigel Harvey.

The invite from the staff was to say goodbye to the site before it closes and the children move to the Redgate site later in the year when the new building is completed.

Old log books dating from 1867 and the Punishment Book from 1901 were on display and visitors were fascinated about the reports of day-to-day life in the school and, in particular, those detailing events the war years.

Travelling from Melton Mowbray for the open day Mandy Grantham was surprised to find the log books completed by her father Lewis Peace, who was headmaster from 1955-74.

She said: “I remember the school really well; we lived in the schoolhouse and I have very happy memories of Hunstanton.”

Visitors were delighted to see Ian Money, headteacher from 1986-96, and former teachers Ken Arnott and John Maiden.

Ken Arnott said: “Some I recognised straight away, but others had to give me a clue!”

Former student Mrs Pauline Sampson remembered that as she was very small during the war years she had a Mickey Mouse gas mask that she took to school with her every day.

Her mother Millie Cooper had attended the school from 1920 and Pauline’s son Paul also attended from 1964.

Another three-generation family that had attended the school was represented by Caroline Cairns who said: “This is a lovely opportunity to come and see the school before it closes and meet my old teachers again; my mother Sandra Asker and grandmother Violet Bird were taught here, too, and it has been interesting to see the school records.”

Teacher Mrs Libby Wood donned Victorian dress and showed people around a classroom set out as it would have been over 100 years ago and there was a country dancing display by current students while refreshments were served in the canteen.

David and Suzy Mason from local company Paint me Ceramics presented a commemorative plate to the school that has a fingerprint border made from the prints of all the current students. This and the school records will be on display at the newly- named Hunstanton Primary School in the autumn.

David and Suzy said: “Leia, our eldest, attends the school in year 2; we thought the school should have a memento so we decided to design a plate with the school logo and incorporated current students’ finger prints.

“We are now looking forward to our youngest daughter being one of the first students attending the new primary school at Redgate”