Double decker bus begins new chapter as Burnley primary school's new library

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A double decker bus, that had reached the end of the road, has been transformed into a school library.

The brand new library bus has been officially unveiled at Burnley's Whittlefield Primary School and is proving to be a hit with children, staff and parents already.

All aboard the official opening of the Whittlefield Primary School Woodland Library Bus are (from left to right) headteacher Mrs Helen Kershaw, Lauren and Carl Everitt  and their children, Madison, Ruby and Charlie and Dave Jones, managing director of VEKA.

All aboard the official opening of the Whittlefield Primary School Woodland Library Bus are (from left to right) headteacher Mrs Helen Kershaw, Lauren and Carl Everitt and their children, Madison, Ruby and Charlie and Dave Jones, managing director of VEKA.

The driving force behind the project was Burnley manufactuer VEKA under its Community Challenge project where schemes could be nominated to make them happen.

Year Six English teacher Mrs Joanne Foster came up with the idea for transforming the bus into a library after it was donated to the school by Moving People.

And while staff had made a start on the project, their aim of turning it into a useable library became an overwhelming challenge they could not complete without help.

Parents, Carl and Lauren Everitt, whose three children Madison (eight) six-year-old Ruby and Charlie, who is three, all attend the school, then nominated the project for the 2BR "big fix."

The double decker before its magical transformation

The double decker before its magical transformation

After online votes were counted Whittlefield was announced as the runaway winner.

VEKA then stepped on board and the transformation was completed within four weeks, with help from dozens of other businesses across the county and 45 volunteers who gave up more than 750 hours of time.

All the seats and the engine were taken out to be replaced with they shelves crammed with books on the bottom deck. The top deck has become a reading area complete with bean bags for the children to relax and read.

The Whittlefield Woodland Library Bus was officially opened by the Mayor of Burnley Coun. Charlie Briggs who is himself a former pupil at the school.

The transformation of the exterior of the double decker is complete.

The transformation of the exterior of the double decker is complete.

And the Everitts became the first family to be invited on board.

Headteacher Mrs Helen Kershaw said: “We are absolutely thrilled with the work that VEKA and all the other volunteers have done.

" It’s phenomenal and we’re so grateful. I even cried a little when I saw the completed top deck.

"Before this, we didn’t have the space for a dedicated library within the school, so it really will make an enormous difference for generations of pupils.

The top deck of the double decker before its amazing transformation.

The top deck of the double decker before its amazing transformation.

"Thousands of children will enjoy the benefit of this inspirational reading space over the coming years."

The eye catching story canvas on the exterior of the bus, featuring Roald Dahl's Big Friendly Giant, was created by Preston based artist Shawn Sharpe.

VEKA Managing Director Dave Jones joined Burnley author Linda Sutherland at the VIP opening along with Paul Duckworth who is heading up the Let's Get Reading initiative across Lancashire.

VEKA’s Marketing Director Dawn Stockell said: “We were thrilled to work on this project.

" VEKA is well known for getting stuck in to charity work, community causes and local projects. It’s a significant part of the company’s ethos and one that we are very proud of.

"We couldn’t wait to roll up our sleeves and get stuck in, and the transformation has been incredible. creating the unique reading space the children deserve.

The top deck transformed into a comfy reading area for the children.

The top deck transformed into a comfy reading area for the children.

"Along with VEKA’s time, suppliers across Lancashire have also been incredibly generous and donated products and services worth over £25,000 to create a welcoming and inspiring space.

"We hope the children enjoy it for many years to come.”