School's Christmas fayre makes nearly £3,000

IT WAS all go at Sandal Castle School's Christmas Fayre with stalls and goodies in both the school hall and the playground. The event raised £2,916, described by headteacher Nichola Russell as "amazing". Bright wintry sunshine helped people forget the thermometer was standing at just at 4degrees C but everyone still wrapped up well! Santa had a big following in his bright red grotto with a gift bag for every child he met.

Summer fair proved to be a magnet, too!

AS ALWAYS, the school's summer fair in July proved to be a magnet for both parents and pupils - and a sprinkling of former students.

There was plenty of fun as our pictures show with headteacher Nichola Russell having a go at knocking down the cans and youngsters enjoying throwing soaked sponges at a brave target in the stocks. Sandal vicar the Rev Rupert Martin even put the boot in for a 'penalty shoot-out'. You'll find the photo on our Facebook album of the event which made nearly £2,260.


Living Christmas tree is planted on Barnsley Road

SANDAL now has its own living Christmas tree, planted with the help of children from Sandal Castle Primary School, just across the road from the site of the tree. The 2.5 metre Nordmann fir will take a few years to grow to the height of the cut tree provided on Barnsley Road each Christmas by the SCA. The latter is now in place for this year and one will probably be needed next year. After that the situation will be kept under review by the SCA depending on the growth made by the new tree.

The £255 cost of the living tree, which was planted by Wakefield Council employees, is being met on behalf of the SCA by our three local councillors, Monica Graham, Nadeem Ahmed and Richard Hunt, from the ward’s share of the Neighbourhood Improvement Fund.

Monica said: “We will have the benefit of the living tree for many years to come. It’s wonderful that the children are involved because it will give them a moment they will always remember.” They each had their chance of being photographed adding a spadeful of soil.

The council’s arboricultural officer Matthew Stubbings, who was present at the planting, will advise on the tree’s future maintenance. It is on land owned by Wakefield District Housing (WDH) whose tenants involvement officer, Chris Croxall, was also there to watch proceedings.

Headteacher Nichola Russell, who was with her pupils, said: “Our children are at the heart of our local community and we want to do all we can to support community events so it’s a delight to be here today.”

SCA chairman Les Goddard (on the left of our photo) said: “For many years we have provided a cut tree at a cost of about £2,000 which includes council installation and maintenance costs. The money we will save in the future can be diverted to other projects, such as the hanging baskets.”  The SCA will, however, have an annual rent of £50 to pay to WDH for their use of the site.

The lights on the cut tree were switched on  on Friday, December 1, followed by the usual family social at the school, where Santa made an appearance.

Concert boosts Christmas tree fund

The SCA's year ended in fine style with the annual Christmas concert when the guest band was once again Horbury Victoria Youth Brass Band, led by the inimitable Tom Greatorex.

The evening at West Yorkshire Sports and Social Club included a Christmas quiz and a raffle with all profits from the night - a total of £530 - going to the SCA's Sandal Christmas tree fund.

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