Thursday, 22 January 2009

Harrowgate Hill Primary School Treasure Hunt

This morning the School Council from Harrowgate Hill Primary, in North Road ward, visited the Town Hall to take part in various activities. They were welcomed in the Council Chamber by the mayor who answered the many questions thrown at him by what was a very enthusiastic and knowledgeable bunch of kids.

Then David Allaway, the Mayoral Support Officer, who turns out to be a fount of historical and anecdotal knowledge about the town, gave them a history of the town and its Council. For me the most interesting part was his dissection of the coat of arms. I hadn't realised how many of the pubs in the town centre are named after aspects of Darlington's history which are also represented on the coat of arms.

One amusing story featured a previous Bishop of Durham, David Jenkins, who many will remember as a firebrand social reformer. As he entered the diocese over the bridge at Croft to be installed as Bishop, the tradition is that he is welcomed by being presented with the Conyers Falchion, the sword used to slay the Sockburn Worm (or dragon). This slaying is represented on the coat of arms. David Jenkins, as befitted his radical image, began waving the sword around his head on the bridge, little realising that if he dropped it, a couple of million quids worth of metal might plunge into the river.

The pupils then held a meeting of their School Council, where amongst other things they discussed school dinners and their next charity day. The discussion was excellent: polite and well-informed, and extremely well moderated by their enthusiastic young teacher.

Various other activities including a town hall treasure hunt, and an exercise to decide the best qualities a local councillor should have were admirably led by Paul Dalton from the Democratic Services Department.

All in all an excellent three hours which I think the kids really enjoyed too.

No comments: