By Martin Briscombe:
The Royal Visit 2nd October 1989
We knew she was coming to carry out several functions in Lincolnshire in October, so we asked the Palace if we could invite HRH The Princess Royal open the extension to Kirkby on Bain Primary School. To our delight, they said she would accept.
The school extension was the product of a successful appeal to raise £65000 by public subscription, business donations, local and national charities in 1988. We were fortunate to have a professional fund raiser Mr Peter Fahy living in the village who guided the Appeals Committee: Martin Briscombe (Chair) Sheila Plater (Secretary) Sue Wright, Andy Smith, Stephen Roberts, Rev Steven Pearce, Suzanne Pearce, Simon Sargeant, Margaret Horton, Jean Laughton, Peter Randman and Peter Fahy.
Enjoyable fund raising events included the famous Casino nights and equally successful Race nights, both the brainchild of the unconventional Rev Pearce.
The extension was needed to bring the school facilities for the 60 pupils up to date. The Head Teacher Mr Peter Jackson, The School Governors & Friends of the School Committee, formulated the requirements and specification.
Local builder Michael Sivill was contracted to build to the design of Architect Barry Johnson. Geoff Laughton (from Welsyke Farm) was instrumental in securing the land and indeed turned the first sod with his JCB whist TV cameras rolled.
Princess Anne arrived on time at 3:10 pm on Monday 2nd October as promised. Bunting, flags and balloons everywhere.
A cheer rose as she walked the pristine red carpet to meet the reception committee. She toured the school meeting teachers Sheila Mawer (15 years at the school) and Rose Kimberley, together with School support staff, mums and helpers.
She admired the impressive 44lb cake in the shape of the school, baked by Parent Susan Kind. She took flowers from Edward Rose and a bouquet from 4th year (current year 6) pupil Nicola Underwood.
Princess Anne then unveiled the plaque to commemorate the event and all too soon she was whisked off in her Jaguar limousine, leaving the villagers in disbelief that she had ever been to visit Kirkby on Bain.
Now Pupils and staff could enjoy the new classroom and the improved facilities, particularly the boys who no longer had to go outside to the loo. The Over-the-wall Championship was now consigned to history.
PS: It is rather appropriate to revisit the School first extension of October 1989 just as the third extension is underway in October 2015: A New School hall.
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