New arrival at Blyth school proves a hit with children

Pupils at a Blyth school have been celebrating the arrival of their latest feature.

By David Sedgwick
Thursday, 31st March 2022, 10:17 am
Updated Thursday, 31st March 2022, 10:32 am

Last year, The Dales Specialist school received a former train to be used as a reading library.

Now, thanks to the generosity of Texo, an industrial services provider based in Blyth, they have a specially constructed platform for their school train.

The company designed and funded the £20,000 platform, giving the children access to their Class 144 Pacer Train.

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Official opening of the new Dales School Station train platform with Blyth Town Council deputy mayor John Potts, headteacher Dr Sue Fisher and TEXO divisional director Alan Conway.

A special opening ceremony took place on Wednesday with special guest Alan Conway revealing the new station sign and pupils performing a personalised song alongside professional songwriter, Sam Slatcher, from Citizen Songwriters.

Alan Conway, divisional director of TEXO Port Services, said: “When we learned about this wonderful project, we immediately realised that it was something for the Texo Foundation to look at supporting.

"We are extremely proud to be involved in such community projects, and hope that by taking this project from concept to delivery, we are able to positively affect the lives of others in our local area.

"I hope this unique library is enjoyed by many for years to come."

Children at the Dales School on their new train platform.

The Dales School headteacher, Dr Sue Fisher said: “We are overwhelmed with the generosity of TEXO.

"I would like to say a big thank you to Chris Smith, TEXO group managing director, Donny Marshall, divisional director of TEXO Engineering & Fabrication, and to Alan Conway for making it all happen and for providing us with such a fantastic resource.

"Not only will the platform provide access to the train, but it will also help to provide children with additional needs travel skills for the future, reading enjoyment and career aspirations.

"We look forward to working with TEXO for STEM projects based around the train.

Pupils perform with Sam Slatcher at the official opening of the new Dales School Station train platform.

"I would also like to thank Henkel LTD for donating the much needed Loctite weather-proofing products for the train.”

The train will be used as a ‘Reading Together Library’ to help engage children with reading, funded in conjunction with the Laurel Trust, and set to open in May.

The Dales School is hoping to secure additional funding to develop a railway course to help children develop career aspirations linked to the railway and local businesses.

The train will be used to teach independent train travel, as well as a railway safety course led by Network Rail.