Burgess Hill’s oldest school holds special anniversary celebrations

Manor Field Primary School's 125th anniversary SUS-150625-145340001
Manor Field Primary School's 125th anniversary SUS-150625-145340001

Hundreds of families gathered at Manor Field Primary School in Burgess Hill on Friday 19th June for a special event held as part of celebrations marking its’ 125th anniversary.

125 red helium balloons were released at 6pm following an exciting programme of music and dance performances by ex-pupils and a newly formed staff band.

Tied to each ribbon were memories written by current and past pupils documenting many happy moments enjoyed at the school.

The event marked the finale of the School’s Expressive Arts Week during which children had enjoyed a host of music, dance, drama and art sessions.

Earlier that afternoon, all classes had taken part in a colourful parade which showcased the learning that had taken place throughout the week.

Two ex-pupils, Matthew Prentice and Kieran Buxton, played a bugle fanfare as the school community watched the mass of red balloons disappear into the skies. The event culminated in a performance by Burgess Hill Marching Band, many members of which are current and past pupils.

Headteacher, Kit Messenger, said “The children and their families are rightly proud of our school’s rich history.

This week’s celebrations have been extremely touching and a wonderful way to bring the school community together to mark this significant anniversary.”

Originally known as Junction Road School, Manor Field Primary School is the oldest maintained school in Burgess Hill, opening in 1890 when Robert Cecil was Prime Minister and Queen Victoria was on the throne.

Past pupils include Lew Norris, designer of the high-speed Bluebird boats and car in which Donald Campbell broke post-war water and land speed records; in the 1950s his company also invented the automatic seat belt.

Report and pictures contributed by Aneela Rose.