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Youngsters enjoy new bridge named after headmistress generations knew as Miss Emery

PUBLISHED: 16:48 10 September 2019 | UPDATED: 14:17 11 September 2019

Parish council chairman David Hook and Rector Michael Kingston with Hempnall Primary pupils at the opening of the Miss Emery Bridge. Picture: Simon Parkin

Parish council chairman David Hook and Rector Michael Kingston with Hempnall Primary pupils at the opening of the Miss Emery Bridge. Picture: Simon Parkin

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A headmistress who inspired generations of children has been remembered by having a new bridge linking her former school to nature meadows named in her honour.

The new Miss Emery Bridge in Hempnall has been named after the village's former headmistress who died aged 87. Picture: Simon ParkinThe new Miss Emery Bridge in Hempnall has been named after the village's former headmistress who died aged 87. Picture: Simon Parkin

Marjorie Emery, who passed away in May 2018 aged 87, was the head at Hempnall Primary School for decades and is fondly remembered by people in the South Norfolk village for whom she was always known as 'Miss Emery'.

Now today's pupils at her former school will get to walk over the new 'Miss Emery Bridge' to enjoy lessons on nature and the environment in neighbouring fields without having to walk along a busy road.

The newly constructed wooden footbridge is the final part of a lottery funded project to connect two local walking routes across meadows at The Krons.

Pupils from Hempnall Primary School at the opening of the new Miss Emery Bridge that links the school more easily with wildlife meadows. Picture: Simon ParkinPupils from Hempnall Primary School at the opening of the new Miss Emery Bridge that links the school more easily with wildlife meadows. Picture: Simon Parkin

Miss Emery had also been a trustee and secretary of the Hempnall Town Estate Educational Foundation, a long standing charity that issues financial grants to Hempnall parish residents for educational and creative activities, which has been involved in the project.

Hempnall Parish Council chairman David Hook said: "Many centuries ago a very generous gentleman left land to the village of which these two meadows were part and we thought we would open up to the public through a National Lottery grant.

"There is a footpath around, there is a walkway by the river that children can use for pond dipping, and there is a bridge between the two meadows. This new bridge is the final link to connect the footpath network so that the children can come from the school without having to walk along a road.

Charity trustee Barrie Masterson, Hamish Rose, who helped design the bridge, and Jimmy Dye who built the new Miss Emery Bridge in Hempnall. Picture: Simon ParkinCharity trustee Barrie Masterson, Hamish Rose, who helped design the bridge, and Jimmy Dye who built the new Miss Emery Bridge in Hempnall. Picture: Simon Parkin

"Because Miss Emery sadly died last year we thought it would be nice to remember her by naming the bridge after her because of her connection to the school and the charity."

The bridge was opened at a special ceremony attended by primary school pupils and overseen by Michael Kingston, Rector of the Hempnall group of parishes.

Laura Jestico, who now fills Miss Emery's shoes as head teacher, said: "Previously we had to walk along the road which was not good with little children.

Pupils from Hempnall Primary School get to enjoy wildlife meadows after using the new Miss Emery Bridge. Picture: Simon ParkinPupils from Hempnall Primary School get to enjoy wildlife meadows after using the new Miss Emery Bridge. Picture: Simon Parkin

"We are going for our next stage of Eco-Schools so this will be invaluable to us achieving that and we also do Forest Schools so to be able to get to the meadows to use the broader environment rather than just the school grounds will be absolutely fantastic."

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