160 Years Commemorated With Cake, Biscuits and an Oak Tree!


The Mistley Norman Primary School has just commemorated its 160th anniversary – with the help of employeesfrom wholegrain ingredient producer EDME.

Members of the team held a raffle to raise money for the school to mark the occasion, asking what the children would like - and what would last over time. The request came back for an oak tree.

“We thought this was a great idea,” said Mike Carr, director at EDME. “Acorns and oaks represent potential and strength. Over the next 160 years, the tree should grow, flourish and produce some fine saplings. These can be used to enhance the coppice - or to be planted elsewhere. A nice bit of symbolism for a lovely school that’s nurturing some great young people!”

At a tree planting ceremony, all the children gathered around to see Mike Carr and head teacher Karen Jones shovelling the soil. They were joined by a few past pupils.

“Mistley Norman Primary School has played a vital role in the community for 160 years,” says Karen Jones. “The teachers are excellent, the children lovely, and the parents supportive. In the few months I’ve been here, it’s been clear what a positive family atmosphere there is. Past pupils say how much they enjoyed their experience at the school, and it’s easy to imagine the same sense of nurturing going on when it was set up in 1856!

“We’re very grateful to EDME for the tree and plaque to commemorate our anniversary – and also for the wonderful 160th birthday cake and oak-tree biscuits they baked for the children using some of their special ingredients.”

At the tree planting ceremony were 4 generations (with a combined age of 193) of the same family who attended / now attend Norman Mistley Primary School.

The oldest, Joan Tebbitt, 90, said all her memories of the school in the 1930s were happy ones. “We did a lot of learning by heart: it was all ABCs and 123s in those days,” she explained. “We were in the old school building then. Now it’s on a different site and there are bright, new classrooms. The children are very lucky to go there – and I’m very lucky to see generations of our family being looked after in such a nice school.”

Joan’s daughter, Lynne Smith, 58, is transport manager at EDME: it was she who organised the raffle among work-mates to raise money for the school’s 160th birthday celebrations. She attended the school in the 1960s, and her daughter Kelly Smith, 39, was a pupil in the 1980s. Kelly’s son, Canpolat Cin Smith, 6, is there now, and will next year be joined by younger brother Emre.

The hole for the 12’ tree was dug by Rose Builders – who have been working with EDME for many generations.