Restoring the School Trust Sign
15th August 2019
An exciting project that has been happening over the summer is the restoration of the old school deed sign. Until recently, the sign used to hang in the old building above one of the doorways and was very much largely unnoticed and forgotten. It used to hang near the front door, when the main entrance to the school was by the thatched part of the building, but since the main door moved to near the school hall in 2003 most visitors do not go up to this part of the school. The deed was established in 1939, a year after the thatched part of the school was built, however we are not sure when the sign was painted. It was showing signs of wear and tear and was in need of some love and attention. Quotes to restore the sign were well out of the budget of the school and I have been trying, unsuccessfully, to get a grant help cover the cost of the repairs and preserve the sign for future generations. As a last ditch attempt to find a way to restore the sign, Mrs Davies’ husband completed an application for the TV programme, The Repair Shop – and we really did not expect to hear anything. However, within a couple of weeks of sending the application off, the production company phoned the school to find out more about the sign. We had to email them videos of the sign, so that they could see the areas of damage and video Mrs Davies talking about why we wanted to have the sign repaired. They were interested in helping us and arranged to collect the sign by courier so that they could closely assess the damage and decide if they could help.
The restoration experts decided they could repair the sign and on 8th August Mrs Davies had to go down to the Repair Shop’s barn, which is in the Weald and Down Open Air Museum, near Chichester, to film the delivery of the sign. Anyone who knows Mrs Davies will know that she avoids having her photograph taken if at all possible, so the thought of being on TV was not a pleasant one! However the all of the production team were lovely, really friendly and fun and the show’s host, Jay made it very easy to just chat to him and forget that there were three television cameras!
The restoration expert, Lucia, is currently working to repair the sign and the production company are hoping to have it finished for September when the school extension is due to be finished. Once restored, the sign will hang in the new school entrance hall, a link between the oldest part of the school and the newest and in a position where all visitors to the school can see it.