Auction of painting provides new look for Blackpool primary school

Headteacher Tracy Harrison with pupils Finlay Heighton, Afaf Harrak, Fajer Harrak, Israa Harrak and Taylor Ashmore.
Headteacher Tracy Harrison with pupils Finlay Heighton, Afaf Harrak, Fajer Harrak, Israa Harrak and Taylor Ashmore.
  • A Blackpool primary school has undergone a £200,000 refurbishment
  • They sold the Captain of the Eleven cricketing painting by P.H. Calderon that was bequeathed to them
  • Thames Primary Academy in Severn Road, South Shore, were left the painting by Councillor W.D. Halsted in 1926
  • Last year it was auctioned off for £240,000 at Bonham’s in London
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A Blackpool primary school has undergone a £200,000 refurbishment after selling a painting that was bequeathed to it.

Thames Primary Academy in Severn Road, South Shore, were left the Captain of the Eleven cricketing painting by P.H. Calderon, by Councillor W.D. Halsted in 1926.

Opening of new hall and KS2 learning area

Opening of new hall and KS2 learning area

In 2013, the governors of the school decided the artwork should be sold.

Last year it was auctioned off for £240,000 at Bonham’s in London and was bought by the MCC at Lord’s Cricket Ground and now hangs in the famous Long Room.

The money from the auction has been used to refurbish some of the school and its facilities.

Tracy Harrison, headteacher at Thames Primary School, said: “We had a talk with the children and the staff wanted to make a legacy for now and future generations. The pupils said that they would like improved facilities including new toilets, classrooms and more open learning spaces.

With the money from the auction, we have refurbished the hall and the key stage two classrooms, as well as creating a new learning hub, named The Burrow

“With the money from the auction, we have refurbished the hall and the key stage two classrooms, as well as creating a new learning hub, named The Burrow .

“We have also improved the toilets, redecorated the smaller areas, built a new library space and installed an ICT area.”

Although the new facilities have been available to staff and pupils since September, an official opening ceremony was held on Tuesday afternoon at the school.

The school governors attended the event, as well as Conlon Construction which carried out the building work, and former chairman of governors Bradley Burrows.

Opening of new hall and KS2 learning area

Opening of new hall and KS2 learning area

The school choir also sang at the event.

Mrs Harrison, said: “The refurbishment is wonderful. We cannot believe it, especially the changes from the old hall to the new hall in particular.

“There is now a calmer atmosphere in the school and there is more light and space in the classrooms, which has helped with the children’s indepedence.

“We are delighted with the results of the work. It was a difficult decision to sell the painting but the governors are pleased with the results. It has made a huge impact on the pupil’s education.”

Opening of new hall and KS2 learning area

Opening of new hall and KS2 learning area

Captain of the Eleven painted in 1882 by Philip Hermogenes Calderon

Captain of the Eleven painted in 1882 by Philip Hermogenes Calderon