WITH his unmistakeable big collar, big shoes, bald head and black glasses, the award-winning comedian Harry Hill brought his unique brand of madcap mischief to the Winchcombe School recently when he dropped in to officially open the new buildings.
It was a day the pupils and adults would never forget, and came about thanks to a letter the school’s headteacher Felix Rayner wrote to the stand-up and TV presenter after sitting in the audience of his show, TV Burp.
A tour, an unveiled plaque, ribbon cutting and balloon release all featured as part of the day, which even saw the entire school perform The Winchcombe Song for the comedian, who told the Newbury Weekly News he was blown away by the welcome.
“The headteacher came to the Burp recording and wrote to me, and I just thought what he told me sounded like a good and worthwhile thing to do; that they had done a good thing here and thought it would be good to come and see it.
“The kids are great, and it’s very much like the school I went to in the 1960s, low rise, and it’s great they found the money to do it up like this, you hear so many stories about cutbacks and things it is unusual today and glad to see it.”
Mr Rayner said he was extremely grateful to the TV star for giving up his time.
“It’s great for our school, our school is on the up, I wrote a letter and he wrote back and said if he can he will, really appreciated that,” he said.
“We are delighted with the new space which will benefit local children for many years to come. As a single unit, it can be used to its maximum potential and is a great place in which to learn. With this building the school will go from strength to strength – the learning lights will shine bright.”
West Berkshire Council worked in partnership with the Winchcombe School on the re-modelling.
Part of the old school site was sold to fund the new developments, and with more than £2m in the pot contractors Willmott Dixon began work in April 2011.
A new Foundation Stage area, community rooms, a central learning hub and specialist language units were built, as existing classrooms were refurbished.