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Tuesday 24th November 2015 @ 12:57 by Becky Cahill

World famous fashion icon Dame Vivienne Westwood was back home on Monday in a bid to inspire Glossop teenagers to follow in her footsteps.

Dame Vivienne – who as Vivienne Swire left Glossop Grammar School in 1958 – was a few hundred yards up the road at Glossopdale Community College.

She was there to ‘set alight’  Britain’s Global Entrepreneurship Week with a message to fashion and business students.

It was all about inspiring the next generation of budding entrepeneurs, urging students to make the most of their talents and opportunities and, for head teacher Steve Playford who showed Glossop’s most famous person around, it worked.

He said: “It was fantastic, a great day for the college. Dame Vivienne’s visit gave the students a real buzz, it really meant a lot.

“She was very complimentary about the college and its future.”

In a question and answer session, Dame Vivienne smiled and answered a straight ‘no’ when asked by a student if she ever considered designing a school uniform, telling the girl she liked the ‘traditional look’.

In the art and textile department she chatted about fashions  and fabrics to teacher Gwen Osbaldeston and her students.

She also met former pupil Alice Pike, who was accepted at the University of Arts London College of Fashion where 2,000 students applied for 20 places.

Dame Vivienne’s tour of the classrooms included insights into her career, how she got involved in the fashion industry, and her rapid rise into the higher echelons of the world’s top designers.

But there was also times for lingering look backs, growing up in the post office her parents bought for £100 in Tintwistle.

She has never lost her love for the hills and rolling countryside of the place she still calls home.

Dame Vivienne now combines fashion with her role as an activist, an ardent anti-fracker and an advocate for a dramatic change to the world’s economic order.

Minutes into her visit she was talking to students about her anti-fracking views. Urging them to form an activists group to fight issues that included global warming which she said would be disastrous for the entire world.

She also stressed the importance of a green economy and the fairer distribution of wealth.

In an impassioned speech, she said: “Austerity is a crime against humanity, there are people in London living three to a room because London prices are so expensive.

“Yet many buildings built by speculators are empty.

“The only way out is the green economy, what is good for the planet is good for the economy, we would have more teachers, more nurses, a fairer distribution of wealth.”

Full story in this week’s Glossop Chronicle.