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Harpenden school celebrates 160th birthday by unveiling mural

PUBLISHED: 16:00 19 November 2018

The Bishop of St Albans with pupils and staff from St Nicholas CE School.

The Bishop of St Albans with pupils and staff from St Nicholas CE School.

Archant

A Harpenden school has celebrated its 160th birthday with the unveiling of a 11-metre playground mural.

The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Rev Alan Smith, visited St Nicholas CE School last Thursday to unveil the artwork.

Headteacher Rizelle Crouch said: “The children have been thoroughly engaged with the project. Not just in the painting, but also in the design.

“The school council gathered ideas for the mural, which traces a timeline from Queen Victoria’s reign in 1858 when the school was founded, to the present day.

“We have been delighted to have the bishop with us to celebrate this milestone in our school community’s life.

“So many people have played their part in making this project happen.

“It’s a wonderful example of what can be achieved when we work together as a team.”

The mural also shows landmarks in local history, such as the Nickey Line steam train.

Different decades are represented by a variety of colours: with the sombre hues representing the Victorian era giving way to the bring colours of the ‘60s.

The mural’s project leader, town artist Liz Sergeant, said: “It was a privilege to work with the school on such an enjoyable project.

“The children have been so enthusiastic. It was such a thrill today when the bishop drew back the curtains to reveal the finished work, to hear them excitedly pointing out the images they had painted to one another.”

Liz was in residence at the school for three weeks to allow every child, from reception to Year 6, to paint parts of the design themselves.

School council member Alfied, 10, said: “We suggested emoji, Minecraft figures and the Bloodhound, which all feature on the 2018 board.”

One of the parents, Emma Roberts, said: “It’s a beautiful mural. My boys have been very proud of their involvement.”

Although the school opened in 1858, it did not move into its current building until January 1865.

Before then, children were taught in Sunday School cottages at the front of St Nicholas Church before moving to a room in the Old Red Lion Inn on High Street.

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