School prepares for last ever summer fete following merger controversy

PUBLISHED: 10:44 20 June 2018 | UPDATED: 10:55 20 June 2018

A flashback picture of the school celebrating Ofsted success in 2008  Picture: James Bass

A flashback picture of the school celebrating Ofsted success in 2008 Picture: James Bass

Archant Norfolk Photographic© 2008

School summer fetes promise family fun and a whole host of activities for children to enjoy.

But this weekend a fete at a Great Yarmouth school will also be tinged with poignant memories and a sense of sadness.

Alderman Swindell Primary and Nursery School will be holding its last ever summer fete following a controversial decision to close it.

The school will hold the community fair on its playing field this Saturday from 11.30am to 3.30pm.

Last October Norfolk County Council confirmed plans to close Alderman Swindell and merge it with nearby North Denes Primary School.

Saturday’s event at Beresford Road has the headline of ‘Celebrate Alderman Swindell’ and will have a pop-museum created by pupils looking at its history, including log books and registers from its first year of 1929 and an actor playing Alderman Swindell who was instrumental in setting up the site.

The fun event will also see pupils performing with Yarmouth-based SeaChange Arts and a Punch and Judy show.

A poster for the event says: “Please come and say goodbye on what promises to be a really happy community event.”

Headteacher of 16 years Alison Hopley said: “Alderman Swindell is renowned for its Christmas and summer fairs which are enjoyed by all, including the local community and further afield.

“Proceeds have provided the children with those added extras such as Christmas parties, presents and entertainment.

“It’s sad that this will be the last summer fair, but we want to honour the community that has supported us over the last 89 years.”

“Rides will be free and proceeds will go to Open Christmas Great Yarmouth and East Coast Truckers.

“Over the past 89 years Swindell has touched the lives of many families in the area and beyond.”

When the plans for the merger were revealed they led to a protest march being organised, a campaign being group formed and a legal challenge was launched but proved unsuccessful.

Last month it was revealed a bid could soon be lodged with the government to build a new free school on the Beresford Road site.

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