FORMER pupils, staff and parents whose children attended Brooklands School have paid tribute to the institution after it was forced to close its doors last week.
The Newsletter received a flood of messages after it broke the news the Eccleshall Road school had passed into the hands of administrators with members of the public recounting their memories of a “magical” school with “wonderful teachers” that would be a massive loss to Stafford.
Sophie Kenny, 21, a pupil at the school between 1996 and 2003, said she was deeply saddened by news of its closure.
Miss Kenny, currently studying film production at Arts University Bournemouth, said Brooklands had played a key part in shaping her future, nurturing her artistic and literary ambitions.
“To me, it was a magical place - similar to Hogwarts in the Harry Potter books,” she said. “The building was old and held so many secrets.”
Miss Kenny said she would remember fondly the school’s many traditions.
“I remember vividly, when it was each child’s birthday, we would get a personal book from the headteacher.” she said.
“The thrill of sports day, walking under the long willow trees at the end of the field pretending we were swinging from thick forest vines like Tarzan, carving our names on the old wooden desks alongside the names of children who sat there decades before us.”
Commenting on Facebook, Emma Dainty called the school’s closure “a total tragedy”.
“Brooklands was a fantastic school, with a fantastic body of staff,” she said. “Children were happy and thriving there and this really is a massive loss.
Anne Glover, who worked as a PE teacher at Brooklands in the 60s, told the Newsletter it was sad to see the dedicated staff at the school facing redundancy.
“I taught there for 15 years and my granddaughter was there,” she said. “My daughter was very touched by the way the staff handled it.
“It must be devastating for them, but they are most con- cerned for the welfare of the chil- dren.”
Mrs Glover’s daughter Alison Glover Nagata said the day the school had announced its closure had been “an extremely sad day for all” but praised the “dedicated staff ” for being professional despite the difficult circumstances.
“Brooklands was a fantastic school which will be a massive loss to Stafford,” she said.
Acting chair of governors at Brooklands, Chris Lewis, told the Newsletter he had spent the past week at the school working with staff to try to relocate pupils, and they had been pleased to find places for the whole of year six at St Bede’s School in Bishton.
“It was important to keep them together if at all possible,” he said.
Charlie Northcote, headteacher at St Bede’s, said the children at the school were excited to welcome the class from Brooklands whom they had come to know well over the years during regular inter-school competitions.
“We were very pleased to have been able to help in that respect.”