A fond farewell to 120-year-old school

NILABE110722e2, Bennerley school burying a time capsule. Jordan Severn, Oliver Johnstone, Teacher for 30 years Eddie Fahy, Thomas Carvin, Kristen Magee, back, Cllr Val Custance, Angela Leek, Brian Lucas chair governors, Fiona Stevenson acting head, Gerry Richardson deputy education.
NILABE110722e2, Bennerley school burying a time capsule. Jordan Severn, Oliver Johnstone, Teacher for 30 years Eddie Fahy, Thomas Carvin, Kristen Magee, back, Cllr Val Custance, Angela Leek, Brian Lucas chair governors, Fiona Stevenson acting head, Gerry Richardson deputy education.

A COTMANHAY school closed its doors on Friday to mark, not just the end of another school year, but to close a chapter on nearly 120 years of history.

When students return in September, Bennerley Business and Enterprise College, founded in 1892, will be Ormiston Enterprise Academy and the school will be outside of Derbyshire County Council’s control.

To mark the end of an era, teachers and students have had a week of events to bid a fond farewell to Bennerley, including a walk in the Peak District to raise money for Ilkeston Community Hospital and the burial of a time capsule.

Fiona Stevenson has been acting headteacher since former head David Clarke left the school last September.

“I think for the students and the community it’s a sad day to see the name Bennerley disappear,” she said.

Every student from the Bennerley Avenue school took part in a sponsored walk in the Peak District last week, raising £615, which was presented to Mike Perry from the hospital’s League of Friends on Friday.

A time capsule, to be dug up in 50 years’ time, was buried near school buildings at the bottom of Vernon Street, which will be least affected by the £7m of refurbishments new sponsors Ormiston Trust will be implementing.

The capsule contains school uniform and PE kit – set to be changed by Ormiston – as well as a book on the history of the school and a mobile phone.

Students have also created a mosaic from items around the school, such as school crests, which may be lost in the refurbishment process.

Fiona added: “I have found it a very welcoming school and a very appreciative community and one where the students have so much to offer. I wish the community and Ormiston Enterprise Academy the best for the future.”