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A Special Visitor to Shortstown School January 24th!
A VISIT TO SHORTSTOWN SCHOOL FROM LIZ WALKER A GREAT GREAT NIECE OF EUSTACE & OSWALD SHORT.
Our first centenary event took place on Tuesday 24th January and what a way to kick start our special year. The day started out at 9.30 at Shortstown Primary School when Liz and her husband Barrie arrived. Also invited was Stephen McGlennan from Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV) next door to the school in Shed No1, and Sarah Elam from the Harpur Trust who had awarded our society £990 to pay for the mugs and history booklets to be presented to the children. BBC Look East was there and Stephen Penn from the Beds on Sunday newspaper and a lady from the Times & Citizen.
Liz Walker speaking to the children. It was noted that she was wearing blue - very apt for Shortstown School!
Some of the mugs on display at the assembly.
The children began filing in to the main hall to some very upbeat music but quickly settled down to listen to head Denise Cottam introduce Liz to everybody. Liz then spoke about the early days of the Short brothers and what inspired them to build airships and planes and how they came to arrive in Bedford and build Shortstown. After Liz had finished her talk Denise thanked her and the children gave her a “Shortstown Clap” which was a short & rhythmic clap and really quite fun to hear!
Denise then introduced Stephen McGlennan to everybody and invited Hadia Shazad to the stage. Hadia was the young girl whose design was chosen for the mug and she was presented with a goodie bag and a mug and history booklet by Liz. Liz and Stephen then gave out approx. 40 mugs and booklets to representatives from each class whilst the rest of the school would receive theirs in class after assembly.
Mugs and history booklet.
Denise Cottam receives a gift on behalf of HAV from Stephen McGlennan.
Goody bags were then presented to Liz, Stephen and Sarah to say thank you and another Shortstown Clap followed. Then Stephen gave Denise a package which she opened in front of the assembly which was a beautifully mounted photograph of The Airlander along with a medal. It really came as no surprise that almost every hand shot up when Denise asked what the photograph was. Children in Shortstown are pretty clued up when it comes to The Airlander! The children then made their way out of the hall and the Press and BBC began their interviews.
Liz being interviewed by the BBC.
Our lovely Shorts Building built by Liz Walkers relatives.
Here shown left to right is Liz talking to Peter Trodden from Bellway, Barrie Walker and Jane Harvey Chair Shortstown Heritage.
The visit didn’t stop there our party then moved on to the Shorts Building where representatives from Bellway were waiting to show Liz the inside of the building that her great great uncles had built. This was a great moment for our history society and very kind of Bellway who also provided teas and biscuits. It is testament to the Short brothers that the building could be successfully restored as they always insisted on the best materials available for whatever they constructed.
Shown left to right Peter Trodden, Alan Holmes, Vicki Bowers and Elaine Brown (all from Bellway), next Barrie Walker, Liz Walker, Elizabeth Hodges (Shortstown Heritage) Sarah Elam (Harpur Trust) followed by Shortstown Heritage members Peter Hall, Carol Hall, Jeremy Endersby, and young master Luke Endersby.
To round off our special morning HAV had very kindly invited us to take a tour of Shed no 1. This was something Liz had never done and neither had a few of our members. Again this was an historic moment and one for our village archives. Thank you HAV for making this happen.
All in all a very good day for Shortstown and our grateful thanks to Liz and Barrie Walker for coming to visit us. Come back soon!