Girl is sixth generation of family to join same school

Loyal lesson

Girl is sixth generation of family to join same school

Grace Birchenough became another in a long line to attend St Paul’s school almost 140 years after her great-great-great-great-grandfather Jonathan Bradley first went there in the 1870s, according to Daily Mail.
Jonathan’s daughter, Letitia, went to the school from 1900 and her daughter, Renee

Dawson, attended during the early 1940s. Two decades later, Renee’s daughter, Louise Dodd, went to the same school. Louise’s daughter, Eleanor, was a pupil from 1989 to 1995 before enrolling Grace last week.

‘Like mafia’

Louise, 46, said: “We’re like the mafia, our family’s everywhere. But seriously, it doesn’t seem like two minutes ago that I was walking Grace’s mum to school for the first time.
“Grace has just turned four in June so she doesn’t understand the link with history, but it’s great to have her as ‘one of us’,” she said.

Besides those from direct family line, countless other uncles, aunts and distant cousins were also pupils at the school in Stalybridge, Greater Manchester. Louise said: “We’re as closely linked to the school as we are to the church, and we’ve seen it change with the times so much over the years while remaining such a good quality school. With little Grace starting out now, we’ve all been reminiscing and realising how much the school has changed.”

Renee, now 79, who was also a dinner lady at the school for 22 years said: “There used to be a fireplace in the class that we would all sit around in winter. The teacher would be adding logs to the fire.”

Janet Hand, who’s been headteacher of the school for the past ten years said: “It’s quite extraordinary to have so many members of the same family going  to this school. It opened in the 1850s, so you can imagine how much it would have changed since then.”

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