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It was a party time with a difference in Lindley.

The village was in celebratory mood as 357 pupils paraded around the streets to help the Infants school celebrate its 60th birthday.

There were banners, balloons and even a friendly dragon, in the form of deputy head teacher Antonia McGoverin.

Wearing party hats, the youngsters took to the streets and were cheered by dozens of supporters on the short trip along Lidget Street.

Afterwards in the school’s East Street grounds the children sang songs and head teacher Nicola Beaumont cut a birthday cake.

Many former pupils were invited to join the celebrations and one ex-pupil who enjoyed the ceremony was 75-year-old Dorothy Bottom of nearby Thomas Street.

She recalled the days of the original Infants school which burned down on January 2, 1951.

She said: “I started there in 1942 and finished on December 1953. In those days it was an ‘all-through’ school. I remember the old school, it had been there from the 1890s.

 

“The story about the fire was that the then caretaker was asked to put extra heating on for an operatic show but a more plausible version is that it was due to a lit cigarette butt being casually discarded.”

The fire destroyed the main hall, kitchen, staff room and one classroom. Despite the damage, the school continued to be used under almost impossible conditions.

Finally a new school was opened on September 25, 1954 and in 1960 it became an infants school.

Lindley CE Infant School head Mrs Beaumont, who was deputy head from 2003 and has been head for the last three years, said: “It’s just a pleasure to work at the school.

“It’s just lovely to have the children at such a young age and develop over three years at the school.

“The staff are so dedicated and you tell that they enjoy what they are doing.”

Helen Pearson, a 40-year-old, mother-of-two, said: “I have a little boy, Luke, who is here. It’s been a brilliant school for him.”

And she joked: “They just celebrate everything here! You just feel part of everything they do here and it’s lovely to be part of it.”