Community News

The corridors were filled with festive cheer and the mulled wine was flowing as we welcomed over 1500 visitors including parents, pupils and the local community to the Victorian Christmas Market at the start of December. Raising a fantastic £1980 to be shared between our two charities - the 1887 Fund and the Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Charity – the biennial event was given a Victorian theme in honour of our 130th anniversary celebrations.

Christmas shopping was the aim of the day for many visitors with an array of gifts, artwork, crafts and cosmetics available from the local business stalls in the busy Richards Hall. The stalls also provided a wonderful opportunity to support some of our talented Abbey alumnae. Milliner, Beverley Edmondson (2005), showcased her beautiful collection of hats whilst Emma Alington (2007) did a roaring trade in her stunning handcrafted ceramics. Our most recent leaver, Lucy Gingell (2010), sold her unique wildlife and pets artwork.

With music drifting through the market from three Junior School choirs and a clarinet and violin duo from the Senior School, many generous parent helpers were on hand to run stalls and support around the School. In the Craft Room they produced an array of Victorian arts and craft treats to keep little hands busy, including tree decorations, paper chains, advent calendars and Christmas cards. Our enthusiastic Junior School pupils took over the Sixth Form centre with games and goodies for sale whilst some dedicated Young Enterprise groups from the Senior School raised money for their ‘businesses’ in the Hardcastle Hall.

In the Lecture Theatre, Graham Maxwell’s amazing bubble show wowed children and adults alike. The interactive show included bubble art, smoking bubbles and even people in bubbles! The entertainment didn’t stop there and Cookie the Clown could be found causing mischief around the School. But, of course, our special guest for the day was Father Christmas himself who transformed the Drama Studio into a magical winter wonderland and greeted many excited children throughout the day. Thank you to all that took part in the festivities and we look forward to continuing our 130th anniversary programme in the New Year.

View more photos here.

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