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Spring 2016

From Bungalow to Play Space at Hall Orchard

Parts of the village primary school have been swarming with builders over the past few months and perhaps, like me, you have been wondering what is happening. I contacted the school and spoke to the business manager, Matthew Harvey, who invited me to visit to have a look for myself.

When I arrived, it was business as usual for the school: a group of children in the playground enjoying a noisy sports session and inside all quiet orderliness. After “signing in” and receiving my visitor’s pass Matthew greeted me and showed me through to his office.

After introductions Matthew explained that the current building work involves converting the bungalow, previously the caretaker’s residence, from living accommodation to premises that will accommodate facilities for pre-school children and for those who use the after school club. At the present time, the pre-school provision, for children aged 3+ is based in the old Victorian building that has recently been renovated. Children who currently attend Hopscotch are in the Victorian Hall. Due to increasing numbers of children the school needs more space but wanted to avoid the installation of the “dreaded” Portakabins. Currently, the school uses just 40% of the Victorian school building for teaching purposes. This conversion of the bungalow will free it up for 100% use for teaching school age children. Work is progressing extremely well not least because the winter has been reasonably mild, so far. This work is due for completion by September 2016.

Whilst talking about the alterations I had to mention the fantastic work that has been carried out on the renovation of the old Victorian building, including the bell tower, which contains the original school bell. If you haven’t had time to look at the work done here I recommend that next time you are walking that way just take a few minutes to admire the craftsmanship that has been undertaken with this work.

Cranes had to be installed to help with the removal of the bell tower and the pale, sandstone blocks, that provide ornamental edging to the pitched roof, for renovation by professional stone masons. Just nine of the old stones had to be replaced with new. The roof, which looks new, with its dark purple sheen, is all but 20% original. The decorative ridge tiles, seen from the front of the building, are no longer made therefore the originals have been positioned at the front, the plain ones are at the back. Even the gutters and downpipes, although new, have been fashioned to look like they were made in the 19th century.

The interior has also undergone a transformation with modern fittings, suspended ceilings and proper insulation. I would like to thank Matthew for spending time to tell me about these changes and wish the school well for the future with their newly, modernised facilities.

Bean Day Saturday 7th May 2016 for Children

Come to Barrow upon Soar Methodist Church on May 7th to collect your bean kit ready to grow the longest bean. The show schedules will also be available. We have some new categories in the handicraft section that might tempt you to have a try.

Tilly Yates