Dame Vera helps school celebrate

DAME Vera Lynn visited Hellingly Community Primary School last week and enjoyed an afternoon of activities for its 100th anniversary.

The school near Hailsham celebrated its centenary year by asking Dame Vera to unveil a new mosaic designed and made by the children.

Dame Vera also cut a special birthday cake.

The children sang to their special guest including one of her famous songs The White Cliffs of Dover.

Pupils, parents, teachers and governors attended for the special occasion.

The visit by Dame Vera was followed by a tea and cakes for more than 200 past and present pupils, staff and parents on Saturday and then a celebratory supper in the evening.

There was a display of artworks and an exhibition of photographs of the school throughout its history.

There was a photograph of Dame Vera Lynn during a wartime visit to Burma, where she is pictured with a great grandfather of one of the school’s pupils. Dame Vera met the great grandchild, with the photograph, at the celebrations.

Kyra Ward, headteacher, said, “This has been a very special year for us at Hellingly celebrating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, the Olympics and of course our own 100th birthday.

“This has been a unique experience for the children as they have had the chance to research each decade in depth - learning songs, exploring art and dressing up in the fashion for that time. They have looked at the school log books which hold amazing memories of what it was like to be a pupil in 1912.

“It has been extra special having Dame Vera Lynn here to share this with this. Roll on the next 100 years.”