A Ruddington legend has been busy again – this time launching her new book about a very specific bit of our village history.
You may or may not have realised that 2017 marked the 50th anniversary of James Peacock Infant and Nursery School‘s move from St Peter’s Rooms on Church Street to its current, larger premises at Manor Park.
At the time of this half-century celebration, Barbara Breakwell was a School Governor (from 2009 to 2018) and also the Treasurer of The Friends of James Peacock School.
“I like local history and, having been a teacher for 30 years, I wanted to record how important schools are in communities – particularly in a place like Ruddington where generations of the same families have attended the school,” explains Barbara.
“As Treasurer of The Friends, I applied to the Co-op Community Fund to become a local cause with the aim, if successful, to be able to produce a publication. This is the initiative that, when customers use their membership, money is donated to a local cause. We were chosen and the monies we received have funded the publication – and enabled us to offer it for free.”
Whilst there is a brief history of the school pre-Manor Park, which explains the importance of James Peacock to Ruddington, Barbara’s new book’s primary focus is the years 1967 to 2017.
“I was reminded of a lot of interesting things during my research, not just about the school but the changes in lifestyle generally in this period,” she says. “The aim was always to offer my book to the pupils and staff present at the school in the academic year 2017/18 – as a reminder of them being there at this landmark time – then to offer it to past pupils and staff who contributed their memories and then to anyone else interested in it.”
The Co-op funding enabled a total of 1,250 copies to be printed. “They have been done by Adlard’s as we wanted to support our local businesses, and I subsequently learnt that members of the Adlard family attended the school,” continues Barbara.
Copies have been made available to the children who were pupils at the school in 2017 and the offer has now been extended into the wider community and beyond. Barbara has received requests from all around the country and even from Australia and Greece!
Sessions at the Co-op enabled 250 copies to be collected, whilst visits to the Wednesday and Saturday Coffee Mornings in the village made sure the book was available to a wider audience.
Barbara added: “Once again, thanks are expressed to the amazing Co-op Community Fund for funding the book’s publication.”
There are still books available for anyone who may be interested. If you’d like a copy, please email Barbara at email@example.com.
With thanks to Graham Wright via RUDDINGTON.info and Barbara Breakwell