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Youngsters at Dereham infant school cheer as double decker bus is unveiled as their new school library

PUBLISHED: 06:00 05 July 2017 | UPDATED: 13:19 05 July 2017

New double decker bus library at Dereham Church Infant and Nursery School. Jasmin, 7, enjoying the new library. Picture : ANTONY KELLY

New double decker bus library at Dereham Church Infant and Nursery School. Jasmin, 7, enjoying the new library. Picture : ANTONY KELLY

archant 2017

Tickets please! Pupils at one Dereham school will now be queuing up to get on a bus for a journey into the world of books and reading.

New double decker bus library at Dereham Church Infant and Nursery School. Cutting the ribbon is Andy Mash, director of education at Norwich Diocese. Picture : ANTONY KELLY New double decker bus library at Dereham Church Infant and Nursery School. Cutting the ribbon is Andy Mash, director of education at Norwich Diocese. Picture : ANTONY KELLY

That is thanks to a remarkable transformation that has taken place in their playground.

A brightly coloured double decker bus is now virtually unrecognisable from when it arrived at Dereham Church Infant and Nursery school six months ago.

It is now a shiny new library, set for many happy years of reading and inspiring young minds.

The red livery of the old Konect bus is covered in a multitude of colourful vinyl flowers and insects, inside seats have made way for specially designed book shelves just leaving the back bench with plump clean cushions for a comfy place to read.

New double decker bus library at Dereham Church Infant and Nursery School. Picture : ANTONY KELLY New double decker bus library at Dereham Church Infant and Nursery School. Picture : ANTONY KELLY

Upstairs on the top deck there are bean bags and pods, funky lighting strips and more vinyl decoration providing children with a fun space to read with birdseye views across the school playground.

At the wheel is a giant teddy named Buster and attention to detail even included putting on a personalised number plate.

The project was the brainchild of site manager Mike Lynn. “It was just an idea that came into my head,” he said. “I’d been looking at log cabins or an extension on the school but they were very expensive and then I just thought why not have a double decker bus.”

Mr Lynn was given the old bus by Konect as it had been taken out of public service and it was driven onto the site in a pretty basic state.

New double decker bus library at Dereham Church Infant and Nursery School. Picture : ANTONY KELLY New double decker bus library at Dereham Church Infant and Nursery School. Picture : ANTONY KELLY

For the next few months he worked tirelessly, sourcing trades to help with the renovation, to give the school the new library it desperately needed.

David Smith, assistant commercial manager at Konectbus, said their sister company Hedingham Omnibuses in Essex has some surplus double deckers coming out of the fleet.

“We arranged with the school to donate one of these Olympian buses free of charge as it is for a good cause and helps the local community,” he said.

“It was tight getting the bus into the school but it just about got through the gate. It was great seeing the children’s happy faces during the launch. Everyone involved in the project has done an excellent job, the bus looks superb.”

New double decker bus library at Dereham Church Infant and Nursery School. Picture : ANTONY KELLY New double decker bus library at Dereham Church Infant and Nursery School. Picture : ANTONY KELLY

Nic Watkinson of Emotive put in low energy lights, air conditioning for the summer and heating for the winter. It even has wifi so teachers can connect up the school iPads while on the bus.

“It was great fun to do something different for the kids which they will learn from and value,” he said.

David Millar from Dynamics Vinyl was responsible for the decoration. “I was just told to make it colourful and the rest was down to me,” he said. “I’ve never decorated a bus before.”

The library was officially opened by Andy Mash, director of the diocesan board of education, before the excited children were finally allowed on board.

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