Memories of school days are set in stone

October 27 2020

A PERMANENT memorial to the school where generations of Mangotsfield children were educated has been officially unveiled.

The sculpture marking the site of the former Mangotsfield C of E School

A PERMANENT memorial to the school where generations of Mangotsfield children were educated has been officially unveiled.

Four former pupils of Mangotsfield Church of England Primary School pulled the cover from a sculpture of a boy and girl reading on a bench, which stands at the gateway used by pupils for more than a century to enter the school from St James Street.

The £15,000 cost of the project has been paid for by Cotswold Homes, the developer which built new homes on the site of the school after it was demolished in 2018.

Staple Hill and Mangotsfield ward councillor Michael Bell and the Mangotsfield Residents Association pushed for a permanent memorial to the school, which was open from 1876 until 1999, when staff and children moved to a new school in Emersons Green.

At a socially-distanced ceremony to unveil the statue on October 12, Michael thanked Cotswold Homes director Liam Rinn, who worked with him to ensure the school received a fitting memorial after the development of 21 homes was finished in March.

Liam said the firm felt it was important to ensure the school was remembered in the community and said: "Hopefully it's something which will be there for generations to come."

Residents association chair and community pastor Clive Heath dedicated the memorial and highlighted the school's importance, not only as a seat of learning but also in teaching Christian beliefs after it replaced the nearby Dame School, and as "a big part of Mangotsfield history".

The sculpture was created by Tom Whitehead, who grew up in South Gloucestershire but is now based in Yorkshire. He was unable to attend due to having a child self-isolating under Covid-19 rules. Clive paid tribute to his "fantastic" work.

Did you attend the old Mangotsfield Co f E Primary School? If our article has brought back memories, write to news@kingswoodvoice.co.uk