Photo Gallery: Former Norwich City star Darren Huckerby opens Loddon Junior School library

A STAR guest was joined by Alice, a Cheshire Cat and a Mad Hatter as he visited Loddon Junior School on Wednesday to help open their revamped library.

Former Norwich City player Darren Huckerby was the guest of honour as he cut the ribbon to the overhauled library in front of excited children and more than 20 parents and members of the school's PTA.

The library had benefited from fundraising from the friends of the school, and a competition was held to help redesign the room.

Year 6 pupil Abbie Silk, 10, won with her Alice in Wonderland-inspired idea, and as a result the library was transformed with playing cards hanging from the ceiling and other decorations to help accompany the new seating and books.

Abbie, who was dressed as Alice, said: 'I am really pleased it looks really good, it is quite how I imagined it with all the cards flying down.'

Other children dressed as their favourite characters from the books as they read from poems, books and their own compositions to the assembled parents and their star guest.

Mr Huckerby thanked everyone for inviting him along and said he was very impressed with the standard of the children's readings. He said: 'I thought everyone read beautifully and for five or six of them to stand in front of all these people and speak so eloquently is fantastic.'

Most Read

The library will also continue to benefit from new books, with each class given the chance to choose a theme for the books.

Carol Carver, treasurer of the friends of the school, said: 'I think it looks fantastic compared to what it was.

'It is lovely seeing the children all excited about it, and it makes the fundraising efforts worthwhile.'

The school is also welcoming new headteacher Mark Devereux, who joined from Saxmundham Middle School four weeks ago.

Describing the change to the library, he said: 'You wouldn't recognise it as the same room. It wasn't an attractive place for children to sit and read and we believe that reading is central to what we do and the library is the centre of the school and to create a warm place for children to sit is vital.'

He added that the children were very excited about seeing the changes and that their faces in the morning were an 'absolute picture'.

Mr Devereux had been the headteacher at Saxmundham Middle for three years and two terms, having previously been the deputy headteacher at Worlingham Middle.

His new school, in Kittens Lane, Loddon, has 177 pupils across six classes from Year 3 to 6.

He said: 'Everyone is very friendly and I have been made to feel very welcome.'

He added that he thought the close relationships with Loddon Infant and Nursery School and Hobart High School, which are both on the same road, were very special and he was keen to develop that further.

To see a picture gallery of photos visit

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter