Doncaster party to celebrate four centenaries in one event

Edith Cragg with retiring head Mary McCorry
Edith Cragg with retiring head Mary McCorry

They don’t do centenaries by halves in Edlington!

Students at Sir Thomas Wharton Community College put on a super end-of-term spread to mark 100 years since the construction of St John’s Church, Victoria Road Primary School, the completion of the Royal Estate and most importantly, the birth of an extra special resident, Edith Cragg.

With the centenaries coinciding with the outbreak of the First World War, the theme for the school’s traditional tea party was obvious.

The school rolled out the red carpet to put on a very special event for Edith, who was picked up at her home address by the school ‘bobby’, PC Janine Kelly.

She was then taken to school in a police car with sirens sounding, to be greeted by members of Edlington Town Council and the Mayor of Edlington Don Astbury, local councillors, headteacher Mary McCorry, and students from the College Council.

Doncaster’s honorary Town Crier Henry Cryer announced the special arrival to over 100 tea party goers and the whole school community of approximately 1,200 students and staff.

The theme of the tea party was the commemoration of World War One and featured displays put on by the Edlington Hilltop Centre’s Local History Group, who had researched the life and times of Edlington residents during the war.

There was also a display by the Conisbrough and Denaby Re-Enactment Society who wore military uniform typical of the period.

Student Joe George gave a presentation charting Edith’s life over the last 100 years and showed pictures of Edlington from throughout the century showing how things have changed and grown during her remarkable life in the village.

Dinner was served by the students who used traditional ingredients from the turn of the 20th century, with mutton hotpot, vegetables and homemade bread on the menu.

Edith was then given a special performance of songs from the early part of last century by members of the school’s award-winning community choir.

Edith joined student Alysa Muge in an impromptu performance of the First World War song ‘Smile, Smile, Smile’ to a rapturous applause from everyone in attendance.

Bella Strutt, another tea party attendee and currently an amazing 102 years old, gave a ‘Happy Birthday’ wish to Edith, together with Mayor of Edlington, Don Astbury.

The party ended with a presentation of special retirement gifts to headteacher Mary McCorry.

Mrs McCorry has been the head at Sir Thomas Wharton Community College for six years, following a teaching career of 36 years at schools all around the UK.