It’s a soldiers’ story as regiment’s back

Weeton Primary School has taken on more than 80 new pupils with the Duke of Lancasters coming home. Pictured is headteacher Chris Horrocks with some of the pupils.
Weeton Primary School has taken on more than 80 new pupils with the Duke of Lancasters coming home. Pictured is headteacher Chris Horrocks with some of the pupils.

A FYLDE coast primary school came alive with noise and chatter as the lion cubs of England celebrated an historic return home.

Soldiers from The Duke of Lancaster’s regiment – known as the Lions of England – formally took control of Weeton Barracks last weekend.

The 2nd Battalion has returned to the North West after a three-year tour based in Cyprus, from where it has supported operations in Afghanistan as the Army’s theatre reserve battalion.

Term

And with them came 82 new primary pupils ready to take on the new term at Weeton Primary School, which usually has 100 children on the roll and is the only school in Britain sited on military base.

Headteacher, Chris Horrocks, who has worked at the school for 22 years, has seen seven different regiments come and go from the barracks.

He said: “You do get used to the changing faces but it doesn’t make it easier saying goodbye to children you would love to keep throughout their entire school life.

“The changeover is always very carefully planned, it is vital for the families everything is in place, we want them to feel happy when they arrive.

“But it’s the children who face the biggest changes, youngsters from Cyprus are used to starting school at 7.30am and finishing at 1.30pm.

“Here they start at 9.30am and finish at around 3pm, so the younger ones have been tired by the end of the day.”

Joshua Wilson, 11, left the Episkopi School in Cyprus to live in Weeton.

He said: “I like being back in England, it was too hot in Cyprus, there was never any rain, it is a lot cooler here.”

Jenna Kew and Gemma Barlow, both 9, attended the Episkopi School before moving to Weeton Primary.

Gemma said: “I’ve been to four schools now but this time I have moved with friends so I know a lot of faces.

And Katie Adams, 10, who was born in Cyprus, said: “I think Weeton Primary is really nice, better than other schools.”