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Rutlish School Memorial Garden

Chair of Governors, and ex pupil, Mr Peter Norrie writes about the Memorial Garden at the Rutlish School.

Mr Norrie writes about his idea for the garden and how he considered designs from students which were developed at Student Council meetings with the Headteacher and Assistant Headteacher.

Mr Peter Norrie writes,

Several years ago I initiated a project to convert what I knew as the Blenkinsop Garden into a Memorial Garden for the ‘Rutlish Fallen’.

Since I left the School, a long time ago, the Blenkinsop Garden has just been left out to pasture and became heavily overgrown, very damp, no light and far too many trees blocking the light out from each other.

A number of stakeholders financially supported the project apart from myself that includes The Rutlish Foundation, Rutlish School/Rutlish Governors, The PTA and more recently an extensive contribution via the PTA from the Co-op. 

In terms of the design of the Memorial Garden, I had some preliminary drawings from the boys of the School and the latest design in the photograph similarly has come from the boys of the School.

It has always been my ambition that somewhere in the Memorial Garden will be the full list of all Rutlishians who died in battle and clearly the list will be dominated by the 98 Rutlish boys who died in WW1 & 83 who died in WW2. Once we have found a suitable place to achieve this in the Memorial Garden an annual Remembrance Service may be conducted.  There is no doubt, like so many schools, that the two World Wars defined Rutlish School in the 20th century.

As we move through the 21st century with now an invisible enemy the School are going to use the Memorial Garden to teach lessons . And you can imagine the type of lessons to be taught.

The Memorial Garden clearly will be a garden to sit in, a place to reflect, a place of peace and silence when appropriate. When I imagined the lay out some years ago, I was firmly of the view that the Memorial Garden should have a path so people can walk around it. Not unlike other Memorial Gardens. To that end I have always wanted the Memorial Garden to have a number of benches in it where people could sit and this is the purpose of this narrative. 

I am looking for 12 high quality benches to be located around the Memorial Garden and I am looking for sponsorship of each of these benches to the ‘Rutlish Fallen’. Sponsorship an be anonymous or the bench can have the sponsor’s name on it. In fact, I am looking for 11 sponsors as I will sponsor one bench myself. The cost of each bench should not be more than a few hundred pounds and certainly less than £500. If any member of the Rutlish Family would like to sponsor one of these benches can they please contact the Rutlish School Business Manager, Louise Quin, via email.

Louise and Rebecca Doherty, another member of the SLT, Rutlish School, have largely organised the Memorial Garden structure that you see in the photograph. 

Thank you Peter Norrie,
Chair of Rutlish School Governing Body, Chairman, The Rutlish Foundation. I can be contacted via email, click here: email.