A campaign to save a north Northumberland first school from closure has signed up an extremely high-profile supporter.
During his visit to the county for last week’s Tour of Britain, cycling superstar Sir Bradley Wiggins was persuaded to sign a T-shirt for the Save Embleton School campaign.
The village’s Vincent Edwards CofE First School is earmarked for closure under the preferred option in the ongoing consultation over the future of education in the Alnwick Partnership, but the community is determined to fight off this threat.
As part of this battle, mums at the school created a T-shirt to advertise their campaign, with many being handed out at Embleton School Fair on Sunday in a bid to highlight their action group.
“Georgina Armstrong came up with the idea of printing T-shirts to get our message out to the public and we then decided that it would be fun to give a prize to each adult and child who could get their T-shirts to the most unusual location,” said Vickie Fyffe, who runs the Dunstanburgh Castle Hotel in Embleton.
“My partner Mick and I are keen cyclists and we were on our way to Hartside Fell in Cumbria for the end of Stage Five in the Tour of Britain, when we collected the first batch of T-shirts from Inter-World in Alnwick.
“We decided to take the very first T-shirt up to the finish-line on our bikes as it was such a momentous occasion.
“The crowds were fantastic and the atmosphere was electric. We started chatting to one of Sir Bradley’s assistants and, although he wasn’t signing autographs that day, he made a special exception and signed our T-shirt when he heard how important the school campaign was to us.
“We’d like to auction the T-shirt in aid of the school and anyone interested in making a bid, or taking part in the T-shirt competition, can contact us through the Save Embleton School Facebook page or call 01665 576111.”
Georgina, who owns Georgina’s Cottage Cleaners in the village, added “We have both sent three children through Embleton school.
“We have been very happy with the excellent standards of behaviour and education at the school and it is an essential cornerstone of our village community.
“As the owner of a growing local business, I feel very strongly that the school is also vital to the local economy, as it attracts young, working-age families to our area.
“This view is shared by many local businesses and I would like to thank all those who helped me fund the T-shirts, including the Blue Bell Sambuca, Grey’s Inn and Dunstanburgh Castle Golf Course.”