Denton school’s bee-utiful tribute to Manchester victims
Thursday 6th July 2017 @ 13:46 by Tom Greggan
Denton & Audenshaw News Tameside

Staff and pupil at Russell Scott Primary School in Denton have come up with an artful way to spruce up their playground and pay tribute to the 22 victims of the Manchester attack.

While construction work continues on the new playground and playing fields at the Clare St site, the safety fences and boards are creating a bit of an eyesore.

So, Russell Scott decided to enter the ‘Ivor Goodsite Hoarding Competiton’, which enables children of all ages to unleash their artistic skills on site hoardings which become large canvases for their imaginative creations.

An in-school competition was held so pupils from each year could submit a design but after the attack on the Manchester Arena on May 22nd, the school came together to create a lasting mural.

The fantastic mural will be on proud display at Russell Scott for years to come.

Headteacher Steven Marsland explained: “We had a competition within school so the children could submit their own designs. But then we had the terrible tragedy which changed the mood of our city, the mood of our town and the mood of our children and community. We had a big think about it and we all got our heads together as a school. We decided that we would do something to recognise what has gone on but also something to recognise the strength of our communities and our people.”

The result is a fantastic, Lowry-esque mural, including iconic Denton features. “We’ve got the mills of Denton,” Mr Marsland said. “We’ve got the old Wilsons mill on there and the old Moores’ chimney because we were a big hatting mill town ourselves.

“We’ve also got all the workers during the industrial revolution; the ‘bees’ of Manchester, with the mills acting as the hives. Then we’ve got the new beginning; the flowers at the front with the young and the vibrancy of children. We’ve also got the twenty-two bees as a finishing touch, to represent those who died in the attack in Manchester.”

The fantastic mural is currently being framed by Tameside Council so it can be preserved and shown at the school for a long time to come. Deputy Leader Cllr John Taylor had nothing but praise for the finished piece of art. He said: “I was absolutely amazed by the artwork when I saw it. To see the bees in there, all the history around the industry, especially in Denton with the hat factories and the link with Lowry, it’s a fantastic piece of artwork and I can’t wait to see it go up. Well done to the young people who have done this; it just shows the talent we have in Tameside, doesn’t it?”

Once the mural is framed, it will be put in place on the safety fences while construction work carries on. When the work is finished, Russell Scott have plans to give it a permanent home.

“It’s going to be put here at the front of the school,” Mr Marsland said. “It’s really, really good so if anyone wants to come down and see what we think about our own community, the community of Greater Manchester and it’s hard-working people, it will be there for everybody to come and visit.”