Earlier this year the New Christ Church Primary School entered a competition run by Redcliffe Imaging Ltd, a Bristol-based company who produce wall murals. As part of the entry, they explained that, with their 150th anniversary coming up, they would really love to have an historic Ordnance Survey wallpaper map of Reading which showed the school and its surrounding area as it was in 1880.
Dot Wylde and Headteacher Cathy Doberska with modern Ordnance Survey map of Reading
Cathy Doberska, the Head, said that they "... were delighted when the company contacted them in May to say that they had been selected as winners and that they would also be receiving a copy of the modern Ordnance Survey wallpaper map."
The school hall was refurbished over the summer and the two maps were installed on the walls of the hall over the October half term by Cathy and husband using their amazing wallpapering skills.
Dot Wylde, a former school dinner lady, governor and parent of 5 grown-up children who all attended the school, recently visited with The Whitley Pump to see the maps. We were given a tour around the school and saw the classrooms and the results of recent building improvements. We appreciated how the school uses the space of this 150 year old building and the new extension next door very creatively for the benefit of pupils, teaching staff and others working there.
Cathy and Dot with the 1880 historic Ordnance Survey map of Reading
The school was founded as Christ Church National School in 1868 and was one of the first buildings in Milman Road. Cathy is pleased that the maps "... look absolutely fabulous and the children have really enjoyed finding their homes on the modern map then looking to see what was there when the school was first built".
Headteacher Cathy Doberska says: "I have really enjoyed watching the children lingering in front of the map trying to find their houses on the modern one and then trying to find them on the old one - obviously (usually) without success - which leads to some amazing conversations about how Reading has changed.
It has created a wonderful focal point in the hall, which is the hub of our school, and has put the finishing touches to the refurbishment work we did over the summer... it has provided a great history resource as well as a decorative wonder!"
Jo Burr from Redcliffe told the school that "It was a pleasure to supply the two Ordnance Survey wallpaper maps for the New Christ Church CE Primary School, and we are so pleased it will be an interest point for the children (past and present) of the school."