Coniscliffe Carving ClubCLUB members have carved their way into a school’s affections by producing a lasting legacy of their close links.

For the past 16 years Coniscliffe Carving Club has used the village school hall each Tuesday evening to pursue its hobby.

To thank High Coniscliffe C of E Primary School, near Darlington, many of the 60-strong membership have spent the past seven months producing a wooden panel carved with scenes from fairy-tales and the school motto of ‘I can if I try’.

The school’s oldest and youngest pupils, Alfreda Batty, 11, and Phoebe Hodgson, four, joined club members Keith Hardisty and Duncan McConnachie in officially unveiling the 34 panels as staff, parents and pupils celebrated the occasion.

Head teacher Wendy Aitken said: “It is beautifully done and lovely for the school. Even though they have never met, the children consider the club members to be their friends.”

Mr Hardisty said the club had started at the school with just 12 members in 2000 and now had more than 60.

“We wanted to give something back because the school has been so helpful by allowing us to use this facility,” he said.

“We decided to make the wooden equivalent of a quilt and the theme of fairy-tales was chosen by the school. The children were involved in the designs and 34 squares, measuring 7x7in were carved and attached to a frame edged with oak that was attached to the wall.”

Around 20 club members turned up for the unveiling taking questions from pupils and demonstrating some of their equipment and skills.

Mr Hardisty said: “We use very sharp chisels and it requires time, patience and skill, but it is very rewarding and we are delighted with the final result for the school.”