Former head returns to unveil school bench

Mr Hoare and Will Collier (seated) at the installation of the garden seat

Mr Hoare and Will Collier (seated) at the installation of the garden seat - Credit: Archant

Former headmaster Norman Hoare has made a poignant return to the school he ran for a quarter of a century.

Mr Hoare was head of St George’s School in Sun Lane, Harpenden, for 25 years and returned for the installation of a unique garden bench created by senior pupil Will Collier.

Having achieved an A grade in product design at A-level and off to Loughborough University this week to begin his degree studies, Will joined Mr Hoare, who retired 18 months ago, to mark the installation of his garden bench outside the headmaster’s office.

Will’s ‘onion’ shaped chair is 360 degrees of pine and oak wood which are fitted to a metal frame surrounding a tree, which was donated by Steve McCurdy of Majestic Trees, the father of a former pupil at St George’s.

The tree will grow to about four metres to provide a shady and comfortable spot for visitors and students alike. Each piece of wood for the commemorative bench had to be moulded and heat treated to achieve the same ‘bend’ and many hours were spent in the school’s technology centre perfecting them.


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Will paid tribute to his technology teachers, Ian Cousins and Jason Honey who, with his parents and current headmaster Ray McGovern were present at the private ceremony last Saturday.

Mr McGovern, a design specialist and engineer by training, congratulated Will on his remarkable achievement. He said: “It is a tremendous example for all pupils, especially those starting their experience in the school’s specialist facilities.

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“Will’s imagination produced a unique structure which he then turned into a masterpiece. This has been recognised by A-level examiners and his tutors. His gift to the school marked his seven successful years at St George’s and Mr Hoare was delighted to see the bench and tree established in the school grounds.”

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