Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting WN NEWS to 80360 or e-mail us
We’ll build boat as tribute to teacher
BOATBUILDERS: Teacher Chris Bell with pupils Will Brown, Kate Rushby-Jones, Becky Parker, Robbie Stevenson and Jordan Laverick. Picture by John Anyon. BUY THIS PHOTO: worcesternews.co.uk/pictures/sales. 27079801
PUPILS at the Chase School in Malvern are putting all hands on deck to build their own boat in memory of a much-loved teacher.
Staff and pupils at the school was devastated when head of business and economics Derek Lang died suddenly, aged just 48, after suffering a heart attack during February half-term.
Mr Lang was described by headteacher Kevin Peck as a “special” teacher who contributed beyond the call of duty and made a “unique and lasting impression” on his pupils and colleagues, and so they wanted to do something special to honour his memory.
Remembering that Mr Lang once served in the Royal Navy, Chris Bell, one of his colleagues in the business department and the school’s sailing co-ordinator, thought it would be fitting if pupils designed and built a boat in his memory.
His pupils were described as “totally fired up to help” and so, after a business studies lesson focusing on raising finance, the Derek Lang Project was officially under way.
The ambitious project will cost about £1,500 and pupils have been hard at work raising support.
Mr Bell said: “They have written to the Chase Association asking for a bursary, asked for donations from fellow students and approached our local timber merchants with regards softwood and plywood.
“Derek is very sadly missed at the school and a boat seemed a very natural memorial. When I rolled the idea out to my students, they were totally fired up to help.”
The boat’s design is being based on that of the Grand Banks dory – a traditional fishing boat that was commonplace in parts of the USA in the mid-19th century.
Mr Bell said this was the obvious choice as Mr Lang had spent time teaching in North Carolina earlier in his career.
Construction of the boat is expected to last into the summer holidays, and a fitting name for the vessel will be chosen once it is complete.
The project has already won the backing of Travis Perkins, Worcester’s Premier Timber and Morgan Motors. Anyone else who would like to support it can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.