• Tue. Jun 25th, 2024

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Durham school’s family tree

Screen Shot 2015-11-16 at 14.23.50Two Durham dads went back to school to join their children and recreate an event first staged 40 years ago.

Peter Bell, 46 and Gary Parnaby, 48, both from Bowburn, planted a commemorative tree at the village junior school to mark its opening in 1975.

Unfortunately that tree needed to be removed to make way for a development project involving the Durham Villages Regeneration Company (DVRC).

So the company arranged for another which Peter and Gary, together with their children Lucy and Scott, both seven, planted as part of the school’s 40th anniversary.

Said head teacher, Jackie Glass:  “Although it was unfortunate that the original tree had to go, it was to allow positive change in the village and DVRC immediately agreed to provide a replacement.  This gave us the opportunity to recreate the commemorative planting with the next generation.  It was a lovely event which brought everyone together.”

DVRC is also supporting the school’s celebrations in other ways – including a photographic project for which it provided disposable cameras.  During the recent half term holiday, pupils were challenged to capture images which represent their village today.

These will go on public display before Christmas and Mrs. Glass added:  “This is a great way to get pupils to think about their village and what aspects of it are special to them. Pupils have enjoyed the school’s 40th birthday celebrations and finding out about the history of the school, as well as considering the changing face of the village.”

DVRC, a partnership between Durham County Council and developer Keepmoat, is making a £5 million investment in Bowburn, building 40 two, three and four bedroomed homes – including some bungalows – for sale and for rent, on the site to the south of Oakfield Crescent.

Youngsters from the school recently opened the show home at The Meadows, with Cllr. Neil Foster, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for economic regeneration and DVRC chair.  He said:  “It is fantastic that the children are being encouraged to look back on the heritage of their community but also to look ahead and see the bright future we’re helping to build for Bowburn.”

The Meadows is the sixth site in the village to be redeveloped by DVRC which has, over the past 18 years, delivered a £100 million plus, housing-led regeneration initiative in County Durham.

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Around a quarter have been made available for affordable rent while the homes sold have attracted local buyers – around 55% from within 10 miles – keeping communities together.  However new residents have also been attracted to old villages, providing a kick start to local economies.

For more information about The Meadows visit www.keepmoat.com and search Bowburn.

By admin