Grantham school’s centenary celebrations a great success

Mrs Christine Cooper age 93 and Nora English age 93 who were VIP guests of the Headmaster Mark Anderson. 'Also picture is the Mayor Councillor Jacky Smith

Mrs Christine Cooper age 93 and Nora English age 93 who were VIP guests of the Headmaster Mark Anderson. 'Also picture is the Mayor Councillor Jacky Smith

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A festival to mark the 100th anniversary of Huntingtower Community Primary Academy, whose former pupils include the late Margaret Thatcher, has been hailed a huge success.

The event took place in the school grounds on Saturday and was attended by hundreds of people both from the school and the wider community.

Among the visitors were the headteacher’s special guests Nora English and Christine Cooper, both 93, who attended the school at the same time as the former Prime Minister.

Tessa Sheehy, treasurer of the PTFA and one of the event organisers, said: “It was a fantastic day and everyone really enjoyed it. It really is an incredible school. I spoke to one of the ladies who was at the school when Margaret Thatcher was there and she said she was a very serious girl who had a reading ability beyond her years, something she said she is sure contributed to her success later in life.”

Also attending the event were the Mayor of Grantham, councillor Jacky Smith and ex-pupils professor Valerie Gibson and Vernon Gibson who were all presented with flowers.

Headteacher Mark Anderson, said: “I was delighted by the response we had to our centenary celebrations. We had messages from the Queen, Prime Minister and the Minister for Education all wishing us well. The best part to the day was meeting the past pupils and staff. One teacher started her career at Huntingtower in the 50th anniversary year and the oldest pupil to attend the day was 93. The memories and stories that were evoked were wonderful to listen to. I was so pleased with the sense of community that has developed and this really came through on Saturday.”

As well as live music there was a raffle with a £500 first prize, football, bouncy castle, games, stalls and a licensed bar. The entertainment line-up included performances by pupils in Huntingtower’s Got Talent and by the school choir, as well as sets by White Noise, a guitar duet, and singer Jodie Smiles, who came out of retirement to perform at the festival.

Jodie, a former pupil, was well-known on the town’s music scene some years ago.

Now a parent of a Huntingtower pupil, Jodie was very pleased to be taking part.

In September 1914, the school opened with 35 pupils and three rooms, the land on which it was built belonged to the Earl of Dysart who was also known as Lord Huntingtower.