Beth Robinson, a year 7 student at Nova Hreod School, has been united with a model railway engine, built by her great-great-grandfather, that sits in the headteacher’s office.
Reginald Hicks was a railway engineer and award winning model builder, creating fully working model railway engines from his coal house workshop in Moredon during the 1920s and 30s.
“I’m quite proud of my great great grandad,” said Beth. “My mum, auntie and gran were chatting about the engine that he built at Moredon School, and Gran was worried that it might have been thrown away. I was shocked to find out that it’s here at Nova.”
Reg worked on the model during the 1970s with the help of Moredon pupils and metal work teacher John Wintle. In an interview with the Swindon Advertiser of the time Reg said, ‘while the teachers teach the theoretical side, I can supply the practical,’ in an early example of community learning that perhaps would not be quite so straightforward today.
Nova community coordinator Tom Wilkes said, “the locomotive has been a feature of the head’s office ever since Moredon School became Hreod Burna, then Hreod Parkway, and now Nova Hreod.”
Reginald died 21 years before Beth was born, but his legacy lives on in the very school Beth now attends. She said, “it’s made me really interested to find out more about who my great-great-grandad was and what he was like.”
Pictured: Beth with Nova headteacher Julie Tridgell and Reginald’s legacy to education at Nova Hreod