A Sleaford primary school is collaborating with an artist for a project to create a permanent plaque to commemorate its founder.
William Alvey School previously worked with renowned artist David Mackie and ArtsNK to produce 18 roundels that form the successful ‘When in Sleaford’ Town Trail, which includes the school’s own bronze memorial to the 72 former pupils who died in the First World War.
Headteacher Stephen Tapley explained: “We have asked David Mackie to produce a bronze roundel in a similar style to the ‘When in Sleaford’ roundels commemorating the work of William Alvey, which we are hoping to hang up in Lloyds Bank.”
William Alvey died on August 10, 1729, aged 60. He was a merchant and a gentleman, who lived in a fine house in Northgate, Sleaford, which still stands forming part of the Lloyds Bank branch. You can see his wife’s initials, EA., over the handsome, but now blocked, front doorway.
Mr Tapley said: “William was quite a wealthy man and was obviously interested in education, for he was the bursar of Carre’s Grammar School for several years. He was also a churchwarden of St Denys’ Church, who felt the need to do something to help the poor children of the town.”
In those days only wealthier families sent their sons to school, while ordinary boys and girls were uneducated.
William left orders in his will that a new school should be set up in Sleaford, leaving part of his income from 53 acres of farmland at Fishtoft, near Boston, to the vicar of Sleaford and six other trustees to pay for the teaching of poor children of Sleaford to read, write, sew and knit.
Mr Tapley said: “The current children have written a sort of biography describing how they thought he might have grown up and lived his life.”
The school still celebrates Alvey Day each year, when pupils attend church and the vicar receives £2 for preaching a sermon in remembrance of William Alvey.
Mr Tapley said: “It is important we remember how we got here and what went before. We are grateful for William Alvey’s vision and we are keen to continue his legacy in the spirit in which he originally set up the school in 1729.”
To fund the project pupils were asked to bring in spare 1p and 2p pieces, seeing which class could collect the heaviest amount. They collected 190kg, which is just under £550.
Mr Tapley took the ‘coppers’ in a trolley to cash in at the bank recently and hopes to arrange an installation day with the current Lloyds branch manager.