A place to remember Veronica

The late Veronica Summerill.
The late Veronica Summerill.

THIS beautifully-crafted chair has been unveiled at a school in memory of one of its governors who died after an illness.

Veronica Summerill was a governor at Blackhall Colliery Primary School for around seven years before she lost a battle with ill health a year ago today.

Pictured with the reading chair at Blackhall primary school are(left to right) Janet Evans with seven year old Charlotte Lapworth, Samantha Palmer, David Evans and Joanne Palmer.

Pictured with the reading chair at Blackhall primary school are(left to right) Janet Evans with seven year old Charlotte Lapworth, Samantha Palmer, David Evans and Joanne Palmer.

The school has raised funds for a wooden storytelling chair in memory of 49-year-old Ms Summerill.

Her relatives, including teenage daughters Samantha and Joanne Palmer, sister Janet Evans and nephew David Evans were at the Middle Street-based school earlier this week to see the stunning tribute.

David, 31, from Blackhall, who is also a school governor, said: “As well as being a school governor, Veronica was also a member of the Friends of the School.

“It’s great that they decided to do this and get the chair for her.

“It’s hopefully going to be there for as long as the wood lasts.

“We’re quite touched, it’s a brilliant thing they have done.”

As well as being mum to former Blackhall Colliery Primary pupils, Samantha, now an East Durham College student and Joanne, who attends Easington Community Science College, Ms Summerill also has a son called John Summerill, 31.

The Friends of the School raised the money for the solid oak chair, which has been hand-carved by Consett-based wood carver Tommy Craggs.

Pupils at the school told Tommy they wanted a “fantasy” chair and he has incorporated dragons, nymphs, a seat which looks like a book and a tree’s ‘face’ over a period of two weeks.

Both teachers and children will sit in the chair to tell stories and remember Ms Summerill and the seat will be situated in a revamped garden in one of the school’s quadrangles.

School headteacher Denise Wilkinson said: “It’s absolutely stunning – I have not seen anything like it.”