Hope Brook School Official Opening

Hope Brook Church of England Primary School has finally been officially opened, just over two years from when it was intended, after the closure of the centuries old Longhope C of E School and Hopes Hill School back in 2001. The occasion was a well-organised and well-attended affair, with music and prayers by pupils of the school, a lengthy speech by the Chair of Governors, Mr Peter Sanigar, who hinted at the problems involved in this new schools' rocky development. But at last enjoying what has finally emerged as the school for the future of Longhope.

The Headteacher, Mrs Rowena Brace, then spoke of the unusual package that had appeared by post. It was a scrapbook put together by the children of North Walls Community School, Orkney, wishing the school good luck for its' future. The Orkney school has links with our village school, united by the two Longhope names, and the lifeboat disaster of many years ago, which has brought us both together. The scrapbook was much admired and will be treasured by the school. (So if anyone from Orkney reads this, please pass on the grateful thanks from the villagers down south!!)

The school was then officially opened by Mr Shoo Rayner, an author and illustrator of children's books, who told many witty tales of his life as a schoolboy and how he became famous. He then unveiled a wooden plaque, made by Mr Walwin, a local wood sculptor. Refreshments were laid on in abundance to complete a wonderful opening ceremony.

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