Exmouth primary school re-opens repaired amphitheatre
PUBLISHED: 19:00 26 July 2017
Withycombe Raleigh Primary School held a special event ro re-launch the open-air facility.
An amphitheatre in the grounds of an Exmouth school has been officially reopened following repairs.
A special event was held at Withycombe Primary School to re-launch the open-air venue, originally built in the year 2000.
The amphitheatre had been out of use after its wood had rotted. It was repaired by Mike Thorn, the carpenter who originally built it.
The rebuild, part-funded by the PTFA and a £1,000 grant from the Norman Family Charitable Trust, also allowed the school to dig up a time capsule buried under the amphitheatre 17 years ago.
A spokesperson for the school said: “We opened the time capsule in front of the children to show them what had been buried.
“It was a rather rusty official millennium tin and there were some very random things inside, including some favourite sweet wrappers and a toothbrush.
“There was a piece of old school uniform and a floppy disc, which most of the children had never seen before.”
A brand-new time capsule was buried below the new amphitheatre and filled with items from 2017 - including a fidget spinner.
The capsule exchange was helped by the school’s oldest pupil, Honor Bickley, and the youngest, Harry Pipe.
The new facility was dedicated to teacher Gill Chalkley, who was responsible for starting the school’s successful stomp band.
Under her leadership, the band performed at the Royal Albert Hall, in London, as part of The Proms.
Mrs Chalkey, who retired from teaching last year, was invited back to the opening for the surprise dedication. She was greeted by a performance by the school’s current stomp band and was asked to unveil a new plaque.
The school was visited by World of Country Life mascot Angus and the Exmouth-based attraction’s artwork, which includes school emblems designed by the children last year.
The grand opening also featured the handover of new plans for a classroom block, which will be built in time for the new term to start in September. ‘Raleigh House’ will be the final phase of the school’s development and will be used by year three students in 2018.
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