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Children back at Duxford Preschool after fire




After 73 days since the fire that destroyed Duxford Primary School, the independently-run pre-school welcomed its children back on Monday (October 12).

Duxford Preschool opens in temporary units after the fire which devastated the pre-school and school. Picture: Keith Heppell
Duxford Preschool opens in temporary units after the fire which devastated the pre-school and school. Picture: Keith Heppell

The school was badly affected by a devastating fire on the evening of July 31, which was tackled by 50 firefighters.

It destroyed the pre-school and out-of-school club, and also gutted four classrooms, prompting a major crowdfunding campaign .

The county council has provided three double mobile units , each providing two classroom spaces with cloakrooms and toilets.

Some of the children at Duxford Preschool with staff, from left Carrie Darlington, Kayleigh Kearns, Natalie Hanlon and Pippa Eccleston. Picture: Keith Heppell
Some of the children at Duxford Preschool with staff, from left Carrie Darlington, Kayleigh Kearns, Natalie Hanlon and Pippa Eccleston. Picture: Keith Heppell

Natalie Hanlon, business manager at the school, said: “We are absolutely thrilled – it has been such a long 10 weeks.

“I don’t think we ever thought we’d get here but we have, so we’re really pleased.”

Natalie continued: “We hadn’t seen some of the children since March, because of Covid, and they all came in with absolutely no tears.

“They just ran up the ramp and straight into the school because they were so excited, and that was really heartwarming to see.”

The fire at Duxford C of E Community Primary School on July 31, 2020
The fire at Duxford C of E Community Primary School on July 31, 2020

Natalie notes that the teachers and pupils are currently in temporary accommodation - essentially portacabins provided by the local authority - for the next two years, while a new purpose-built pre-school and out-of-school club are being constructed.

“We couldn't have done it without the support of the local authority," said Natalie, "so we genuinely want to express our thanks to them for everything that they’ve done.”

The damage caused by the fire at Duxford Primary School
The damage caused by the fire at Duxford Primary School

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Praise for fast work that enables pupils to return to Duxford Primary School after fire

Crowdfunding campaign raises thousands after fire at Duxford Community Primary School

Duxford Primary School and pre-school leaders tell of shock at fire - and being moved by community’s incredible response



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