Pupils make their mark on Old Grammar School

Harborough schoolchildren outside the Old Grammar School in Harborough with their slate designs
Harborough schoolchildren outside the Old Grammar School in Harborough with their slate designs
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Harborough schoolchildren are to leave their mark on the Old Grammar School’s 400th anniversary restoration project.

Youngsters from all of the town’s seven primary schools have created their own personal slate pictures that will be incorporated into the refurbished building.

The roof slates were distributed to schools in May and children were asked to create images of anything they thought was important to them.

The slates, complete with artwork, were presented to representatives of the builders who are carrying out the restoration.

They will become part of the roof of the renovated building to form a sort of time capsule that could last for a century.

The Old Grammar School is undergoing a £400,000 restoration funded by the Market Harborough & The Bowdens Charity and by public donations. The idea of using artwork from town schools was the idea of Mark Brown from WW Brown & Sons, which has been on site renovating arguably Harborough’s most iconic building since January.

The project is expected to be completed in October.

Mr Bown said: “When we were working on plans for the site, roofer Paul Kilbourn suggested contacting town primary schools and Jim Jacobs from the Market Harborough & The Bowdens Charity pointed out that the roof has eight parts to it and there are seven primary schools in the town.

“It meant all the schools could take part, leaving one for the charity to create their own image.

“This is the most comprehensive renovation to the site since the 1970s and the materials we are using are designed to last a century, so it will be a fascinating time capsule for Harborough residents in the future.”

Mr Jacobs, from the Market Harborough & The Bowdens Charity, said: “The children involved have created all sorts of images – from self-portraits to pictures of a football trophy that had been won by their school team.

“Their artwork will now become part of the fabric of the most recognisable building in the town which has stood at its centre since 1614.”

Contractors WW Brown are a family business based in the town since 1895.

But even they weren’t around when the building had its first facelift in 1868.

The school was founded in 1614 by Robert Smyth – whose name now adorns the town’s senior school in Burnmill Road.