The Duke of Devonshire was the guest of honour at a special event in Hartington to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the village school.
The gloomy weather did not dampen spirits as around 200 visitors enjoyed the commemorative party at Hartington Primary School on Saturday July 9.
Guests enjoyed exhibitions in the school hall including memories, photographs and memorabilia collated from former staff and pupils, as well as a timeline of historic events throughout the school’s 150 years that the children researched and put together. There was also a special musical concert performed by pupils.
Peregrine Cavendish, The 12th Duke of Devonshire, said: “It is fascinating to look back over these many years and to admire the extraordinary achievements of this wonderful school.”
The Duke unveiled two special art projects which pupils had worked on alongside members of the local community. A limestone sculpture depicting a young child and the 7th Duke - who commissioned the school - now sits outside the Lych Gates of St Giles Church.
The monument, designed and crafted by David Annat from the village’s Sculpture Club, commemorates the story of how the school came to be in its current location on The Dale.
Beneath it is buried a time capsule containing items including a programme of the anniversary celebrations, children’s school memories, a photograph of pupils and staff, the school badge and a USB stick with a recording of children singing.
The 12th Duke also unveiled a mural depicting the surnames of all the families who have attended the school throughout the decades, in the form of a tree. This was designed and created by pupils, community groups and local artist Lucy Annat. Around the border is pictures showcasing the village’s volunteer groups.
Former pupil Eva Mannion, 90, commented: “This event is a fantastic way to mark such a special occasion.”
Headteacher Tracy Blackwell added: “It has been such a pleasure to see our past, our present and our future come together to mark this special occasion and celebrate such a wonderful anniversary.”