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Children's author returns to school to paint 'fabulous' mural

PUBLISHED: 16:49 01 October 2019 | UPDATED: 16:50 01 October 2019

James Mayhew, a former pupil, spent two days working on the mural with pupils and his partner and collaborator Toto. Photo: Matthew Nixon

James Mayhew, a former pupil, spent two days working on the mural with pupils and his partner and collaborator Toto. Photo: Matthew Nixon

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A children's author and illustrator has returned to his primary school to paint a mural with the help of his partner and school children.

The mural was worked on by children of all ages from Blundeston CEVCP school. Photo: Matthew NixonThe mural was worked on by children of all ages from Blundeston CEVCP school. Photo: Matthew Nixon

James Mayhew, from Bungay, a former pupil of the Blundeston Church of England primary school, was invited back to paint a mural which celebrates the school's history and location.

Alongside his partner and collaborator, Antonio Martinez, who has worked in stage design for many years, the children's author had students from every year group help in creating a mural which shows the school's ties to the Church of England and to Blundeston.

Mr Mayhew said: "It's showing landmarks like the church and the pound. There's also a strong link to Charles Dickens.

Two students put the finishing touches on some of the mural's flowers. Photo: Matthew NixonTwo students put the finishing touches on some of the mural's flowers. Photo: Matthew Nixon

"I came to the school 50 years ago so it's very strange to be coming back. This building was never even here before, but it's lovely to be here.

"All the classes have been involved, each year is painting over the next, so with every class the painting gets richer.

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"Each child added something to the painting, and I hope it lasts so they can show it to their children one day and say 'I painted that bit, I did that flower'.

"The children have been fabulous, they're so well behaved."

The mural took two days of constant work, and as it neared its completion, Mr Martinez said: "I think it looks brilliant. I'm very happy.

The school's headteacher, Helen Laflin, added: "We have been delighted to welcome James to our school with Antonio. He has worked for two days with all the children in the school to create a fantastic mural in our hall.

"The mural celebrates us being a Church of England school and our strong links with our local church. It also makes reference to our links with Charles Dickens and is a beautiful way to celebrate our new vision for the school as a place to flourish."

Deputy head Craig Easterbrook added: "We have 200 children in the school and pretty much all of them have been involved. It's great."

Mr Mayhew has written and illustrated many children's books. His newest book, Koshka's tales, comes out in bookstores and online next month.

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