New library bus opens at Parson Drove school

Opening of the new Payne School Library bus by the Mayor of Wisbech Steve Tierney
Opening of the new Payne School Library bus by the Mayor of Wisbech Steve Tierney

A Fenland village school has come up with a creative way to provide a new library for its children.

Staff at the Alderman Payne Primary School in Parson Drove secured more than £20,000 worth of grants to purchase and convert an old double decker bus for the project.

Opening of the new Payne School Library bus by the Mayor of Wisbech Steve Tierney 
Colin Killingworth

Opening of the new Payne School Library bus by the Mayor of Wisbech Steve Tierney Colin Killingworth

And the new facility, which was unveiled during a ceremony on Friday, has been named after the school’s caretaker, Colin Killingworth, who was the driving force behind the project.

Headteacher Sue Blyth said: “He had the idea of getting the bus. Everything he does is for the kids.

“It’s his 70th birthday in August and, as a birthday present, we’ve named the bus after him. He had no idea. He was very moved.”

Wisbech mayor Steve Tierney was invited to open the bus on Friday afternoon, marking the culmination of an 18 month project to replace the school’s old and small library.

Opening of the new Payne School Library bus by the Mayor of Wisbech Steve Tierney

Opening of the new Payne School Library bus by the Mayor of Wisbech Steve Tierney

After the bus, provided by Fowler’s Travel of Holbeach Drove, near Spalding, was delivered to the school last autumn, staff then secured a number of grants to renovate the vehicle.

The main donor was Tesco, which provided £10,000 through its community programme, while the John Bends Charity, which is based in Parson Drove, pledged £4,000.

A further £4,000 was provided by the Foyle Foundation, a national library charity, while £3,000 was contributed by electricity board officials in return for them being able to bury cables under part of the school’s land. Fenland District Council also contributed £500.

Ms Blyth said a former member of staff had made the upholstery for the seats, while March-based Sharman Fabricators had made the vehicle’s fire escape – a slide – and bookshelves were built by Top Knot.

Opening of the new Payne School Library bus by the Mayor of Wisbech Steve Tierney

Opening of the new Payne School Library bus by the Mayor of Wisbech Steve Tierney

Donors were invited to the school on Friday evening to see the finished facility for themselves.

And she hopes the bus will help to inspire pupils in their reading much quicker, and cheaper, than a newly-built library might have done.

She said: “We’ve only got 106 children. There’s no way we could ever have afforded to built a purpose-built library.”

Opening of the new Payne School Library bus by the Mayor of Wisbech Steve Tierney 
Colin Killingworth

Opening of the new Payne School Library bus by the Mayor of Wisbech Steve Tierney Colin Killingworth

Opening of the new Payne School Library bus by the Mayor of Wisbech Steve Tierney

Opening of the new Payne School Library bus by the Mayor of Wisbech Steve Tierney

Opening of the new Payne School Library bus by the Mayor of Wisbech Steve Tierney

Opening of the new Payne School Library bus by the Mayor of Wisbech Steve Tierney