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Special Visitor For Grand


Former Helmdon resident returns from Australia

by Laura Corcoran


An ex-student who attended Helmdon Primary in 1939 was in the village as the school opened its new classroom.


The school has 120 pupils and has suffered from a lack of space for some years.


Headteacher Sue Blackburn, teachers and governors decided in 2006 they needed another classroom to improve the learning environment.


Sue said:  “The extension will provide us with a brand new state-of-the-art classroom and toilet block as well as providing increased facilities which will be available for use by the local community.”


Seventy-five-year-old Joan McCann was a student at Helmdon School when she was six.


She moved to Helmdon as her father was rector in the village from 1938 – 1948.


Mrs McCann, formerly Miss Ball, moved back with her family to Australia when she was 16.


She wanted to return to Helmdon to see what the village is like today.


She said: My mother was Australian and my father was English.


“We moved from Australia to England when I was three.”


Mrs McCann is now discovering Helmdon and getting involved in everything that’s going on and meeting lots of new people.


She added:  “It’s a lovely place.”


And of her old school, she said: “It’s very modern.  It’s lovely.


“When I came to school 70 years ago I was educated there.


“I loved my teachers.


“When I came back after all these years it was a vast change from 1939.”


Mrs McCann hopes to celebrate her 76th birthday in Helmdon.


 The Brackley Post - May 23rd 2008




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