Bowls chief ‘amazed’ by schools’ lack of in­ter­est

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - News - By Vic­to­ria Ches­sum

The fi­nan­cial di­rec­tor of Ash­ford in­door bowls cen­tre says he “never wants to be in­volved with schools again” af­ter a lack of in­ter­est in an artis­tic project aimed at young­sters.

Ken Hur­ran spoke about his vi­sion to get a bare block­work wall in the Jem­mett Road premises dec­o­rated with a mu­ral just over a year ago.

He ex­tended the of­fer to 11 Ash­ford schools, he said, for bud­ding young artists to sub­mit de­signs of their choice.

The best one would be cho­sen, and the stu­dents would then come and paint it onto the wall at an agreed date.

The ma­te­ri­als were to be sup­plied by the cen­tre and the school would re­ceive a cash prize of £1,000.

But it was only The John Wal­lis Academy in Mill­bank Road, Stan­hope that ex­pressed an in­ter­est - and agreed to do it.

The stu­dents turned up in their own time at 9am on Sun­day to make a start on their land­scape de­sign, in­spired by land near East­well Manor.

Michael Shep­herd, the vice prin­ci­pal, said: “The Academy is very proud of our stu­dents and con­grat­u­la­tions to Mr Bean, staff and the stu­dents for their achieve­ments.”

An­thony Bean, the sub­ject leader of art, said: “We are very proud of our Year 13 BTEC art and de­sign stu­dents who were win­ners of Ash­ford In­door Bowls Cen­tre’s com­pe­ti­tion to de­sign and paint an out­side mu­ral for their newly re­fur­bished build­ing.

“The de­sign is based on the view of Ash­ford from nearby Wye Downs.

“Stu­dents and teach­ers be­gan the mu­ral last week­end and will com­plete the large-scale paint­ing by the end of this week.

Mr Hur­ran said: “We started this last year and one of the over­all crit­i­cisms was that the schools wouldn’t be able to fit it in.

“So we ex­tended it and gave them all more time.

“We of­fered to pay for all the ma­te­ri­als and we in­vited 11 schools and only four re­sponded.

“I was amazed by the lack of in­ter­est shown, this is an op­por­tu­nity for those who want to go into the com­mer­cial world of art.

“All of the schools said that the pres­sure was so great with ex­ams that they didn’t think they would have time.”

Pic­ture: Paul Amos FM4399343

Stu­dents and Staff from John Wal­lis school pre­pare to paint at the Ash­ford In­door Bowls Cen­tre. From left teacher Man­isha Thur­madoo, stu­dents Ge­or­gia Bun­dock and Adam Wilkin­son, and teacher Michael Bean

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