Woman who was a pupil during World War Two cuts ribbon to declare Newton Poppleford Primary School open
PUBLISHED: 12:00 19 June 2019 | UPDATED: 12:48 25 June 2019
A sea of parents and children has celebrated the official opening of the new Newton Poppleford Primary School.
Dozens of attendees cheered as former student Margaret Kimber, 88, and five-year-old Flynn Russell joined together to cut the ceremonial ribbon, marking the facility open.
The event also featured music from the school choir and pupils took part in a traditional may pole dance.
Stuart Vaughan, headteacher, addressed parents, pupils and staff, telling them he hoped the 'long process' would be worth it in the end.
He said: "I think for a village like Newton Poppleford, to have this is amazing - we are fortunate to have a new school.
"There are two special elements, that is the staff and the other ingredient are all the children.
"They are what, together I think, makes this school a very special place."
Pensioner Margaret, who attended the school during World War Two, addressed the crowds, and relayed a poignant message to watching youngsters.
"Years ago, I was little like you," she said. "I attended the old school.
"I had many happy years there. It was a lovely school and the teachers were great.
"So I felt very sad when it was pulled down because it held so many memories of old school friends and teachers.
"But, time moves on and now you have a new school building where you will learn many things, so when you are old like me I hope you will look back and you will say 'I loved my school'.
"With God's blessing, I will and go and cut the ribbon and declare the Newton Poppleford School is open!"
The £3million build of the school got underway in 2017 after the project received backing in 2011.
The funds came from the Government's Education Funding Agency.
The main school building dates back to 1876.
Julia Bramble, chair of the governors, said: "We are very excited that we finally have this new school after years of hard work.
"It will be an asset for all of our children for years to come."