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Former teachers remembered as Hunstanton school opens redeveloped buildings




A familiar name from a West Norfolk school's past is now part of its future after newly renovated buildings were named in his memory.

Eddie Pendall taught English and geography at the Smithdon High School in Hunstanton in five different decades from the 1950s to the 90s.

Now, the school's new art and ICT suites have been named in his honour as the Pendall Building, following extensive refurbishment work during lockdown.

June Pendall, centre, opening the new Pendall building at Smithdon High School with, from left, head boy Jack-Harry Roper, headteacher John Hirst, North West Norfolk MP James Wild and head girl Eleanor Hollin-Hill. Pictures: Ian Burt (42533854)
June Pendall, centre, opening the new Pendall building at Smithdon High School with, from left, head boy Jack-Harry Roper, headteacher John Hirst, North West Norfolk MP James Wild and head girl Eleanor Hollin-Hill. Pictures: Ian Burt (42533854)

His widow, June, opened the new-look buildings alongside their daughter, Hilary Clark, on Friday.

And the school's current headteacher, John Hirst, said his example was still a source of guidance today.

He said: “He sounds like a great character whose energy I for one, envy. I think his values of dedication, community and creating opportunities for young people are those shared by the leadership and staff of Smithdon today.”

The official opening of the Pendall Building at Smithdon High School. (42533880)
The official opening of the Pendall Building at Smithdon High School. (42533880)

More than £1 million was spent on a major revamp of the Downs Road site during the shutdown triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.

In July, the school revealed most of its buildings would be renamed after figures from its history.

The main teaching block is being named the Shaw building after former headteacher Catherine Shaw, who was in charge when it opened in 2000.

And the building housing the maths department is being named after Chris Holt, who was recognised by the Lawn Tennis Association earlier this year for his work as secretary of Hunstanton's annual lawn tennis tournament for more than 40 years.

Mr Hirst said: “It was a little nail-biting to get the building finished in time for the students’ return, but that was achieved and the impact on the learning and wellbeing of all who use it has been truly transformational."

North West Norfolk MP James Wild, who also attended the ceremony, added: "The improvements the school has made both through these buildings and the progress of students is impressive.

"Investing in education will help create more opportunities for young people at Smithdon to realise their potential.”

Prospective pupils and their families can now contact the school office to pre-book tours of the school, while there is also a virtual tour of the premises available through the school website, www.smithdonhigh.org.uk.



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