Air raid siren signals return to school

DUNKIRK spirit will in out in force at Copleston today as classes at the arson-hit high school resume - with a little help from a borrowed air raid siren.

DUNKIRK spirit will in out in force at Copleston today as classes at the arson-hit high school resume - with a little help from a borrowed air raid siren.

The fire which devastated parts of the Ipswich school on August 27 also damaged the bells which are used to signal the beginning and end of lessons.

To combat the problem, a Second World War siren has been drafted in from Clifford Road Air Raid Shelter Museum which will ensure the first day back runs smoothly.

Headteacher Laurie Robinson said: “Until the school bells are replaced, we are using a siren to announce the change of lessons. We needed something that sounds loud and the students study the Second World War.


You may also want to watch:


“It all adds to that Dunkirk spirit.”

As reported in later editions of yesterday's Evening Star, Mr Robinson has also revealed that the cost of repairing the school could run to half a million pounds.

Most Read

Mr Robinson said: “We have still not had an assessment as to the overall cost and a lot will depend on today and tomorrow.

“Once the demolition has taken place there will be an assessment as to whether the ground floor is stable or whether the building has to be reduced to foundation level. But I can say £100,000 is a massive underestimate. I think we are looking at about £500,000.”

Meanwhile, the upper floor of the central school building, which used to house the staff room, offices and a science lab, was demolished yesterday.

Soon after the fire had been extinguished, a large crack appeared in one corner of the art deco structure, which is part of the original school built in 1939, forcing surveyors to condemn the building.

Mr Robinson said: “We're already getting excited about designing a more modern facility. It's a step on the way to getting the school back to normal.”

Temporary science labs, classrooms and a drama studio will be delivered on Thursday and Friday.

Year seven students and the year 11 prefects return today at 8.30am, as do sixth formers who start at 9.45am.

Years ten and 11 will start at 8.30am on Monday, September 11 and years eight and nine will start at 8.30am the following day.

Students are asked to go directly through the main entrance and into the school hall.

Has your family been affected by the Copleston fire? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter