Wigan school's peace garden opens in memory of much-loved assistant principal

The memory of a popular teacher will live on at Wigan school after a peace garden was opened in her honour.

By Gaynor Clarke
Sunday, 17th April 2022, 4:55 am

Staff, pupils and parents at St John’s CE Primary School in Abram were devastated when assistant principal Julie Bramhall died in February last year due to health complications after contracting coronavirus.

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She had worked at the school for 16 years and moved her way through the ranks, while her own children had also been pupils there.

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Julie Bramhall's husband Carl and daughters Kammalah and Tegan at the peace garden

The school community decided to create a permanent tribute to Mrs Bramhall in the form of a peace garden.

A fund-raising appeal was launched and donations poured in, boosted by a member of Mrs Bramhall’s family approaching the managing director of Murphy and asking them to get involved.

The firm donated time and resources to transforming the land and after months of hard work, the garden has been finished.

Features include a fire pit, pergola, trees forming part of the Queen’s Green Canopy and plants.

The school community was devastated by the death of assistant principal Julie Bramhall

There are also book benches designed by the children to reflect Mrs Bramhall’s love of literature.

Principal Laura James said: “It’s incredible and something to really remember her by. It’s a place for children to go to pray and reflect, but also play and learn. There’s a fire pit and stage area, a gazebo, benches, and planters where we will grow food and give back to the community.

"It’s a really multi-purpose space but a peaceful space where we can remember Mrs Bramhall and everything she did for us.”

A memorial service was held at St John’s Church to allow people to pay their respects, as coronavirus restrictions were in place when Mrs Bramhall’s funeral took place last year.

Pupils enjoy the new garden

It was attended by Mrs Bramhall’s family, pupils and staff from the school, senior staff from the Quest Trust, representatives from Murphy and even the intensive care nurses who looked after Mrs Bramhall in hospital.

Afterwards, the peace garden was officially opened in her honour.

The school’s refurbished library has also been dedicated to Mrs Bramhall, to allow her passion for reading to continue.

Mrs James said: “She has been a huge part of the church and school community for a long time and this was a fitting way to remember her.”

The Reverend Carol Close blesses the peace garden