Official Opening of New Building at Longparish School
10 Dec 2005
John Woodcock with the school's original foundation stone
John Woodcock with the school's original foundation stone
Click for a full size picture
John Ellicock, Catherine Hewitt, Geoff Dunford and the original school bell
John Ellicock, Catherine Hewitt, Geoff Dunford and the original school bell
Click for a full size picture
The Chairman of Governors of Longparish Church of England Primary School, John Ellicock, gave the background to the new building which was officially opened today.
"Ten years ago,the school faced an uncertain future; the number of pupils had fallen to fifty and we were going to lose more teachers as a result. The Governors realised that the basic problem confronting the school was its fabric."
He gave the background to the subsequent improvements to the school, costing well over £1 million pounds, of which the village had to find nearly £200,000.
It now has nearly 100 pupils, and is confident that the recent OFSTED will give it a good bill of health.

The first school on the site was built in 1837 by the Rev Henry Woodcock, whose descendant, John Woodcock - former cricket correspondent for the Times - spoke at the opening ceremony. He said that his grandfather was born before the battle of Waterloo, and he doubted whether there were many people alive today who could say that.
Geoff Dunford, a local farmer, traced down the original school bell, which was made from remnants of a bell in the old church. Together with Catherine Hewitt, who was at the school before the war, they rang the bell, now installed in the playground.

"Many congratulations to John Ellicock and his fellow governors on driving forward this ambitious project; it has secured the future of the school and given the village a welcome new resource. Since the closure of the school at Hurstbourne Priors, my constituents have crossed the border into Romsey to go to school and it was good to see at first hand the new premises, and meet staff and parents."
 
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