On Saturday Block 2 (Year 8) pupils at Bedales Prep, Dunhurst worked on the cedar shingle tiling and entered into the task with impressive enthusiasm. One pupil said “This is great. I think I’d like to build my own house one day!” Volunteer pupils from both Dunhurst and Bedales joined in at various times over the rest of the weekend. Old Bedalians Gabriel Langlands and John Russell, who have been instrumental in designing and constructing the pavilion, enjoyed sharing the tasks of the exterior construction with friends and members of the school who will benefit in years to come.
The highlight of the weekend was the 'topping out' ceremony, an ancient Scandinavian ritual to appease the spirits of the forest, which involves mounting an evergreen branch on the structure, in this case the roof gable, to symbolize growth and bring good luck to the building.
The building is a culmination of fundraising efforts with significant contributions from various mini enterprises established by parents and pupils. In addition, Bedales has enabled 25% of the funds raised to go towards the Sam Banks Memorial fund (sbmemorialfund.wordpress.com)
Commenting on the weekend, Louise Banks, said: "It proved to be a very special weekend for us. It was a privilege to be able to work under the expert guidance of timber frame builders and former pupils Gabriel Langlands and John Russell. Doing this alongside current pupils, parents, staff and family friends in the final stages of this beautiful building is an experience that will stay with us. Everyone there enjoyed learning new skills, especially the very satisfying task of laying cedar shingles. Through both the sun and cold winds there was a wonderful sense of camaraderie. The cricket pavilion reflects Sam’s passion for the sport and his many happy days playing and captaining games while at the school. However the building will stand not only as a tribute to Sam, but to the school’s enduring regard for good craftsmanship and the value of team-work to achieve it. We would like to thank all those who have supported the memorial project both over the weekend and in many other ways.”
Keith Budge, Headmaster of Bedales Schools said, “People of all ages and from a range of associations with the school, the village community and the Banks family contributed to this important event in the school’s history. In keeping with the Bedales motto ‘Work of Each for Weal of All’, the roof of the timber framed memorial cricket pavilion was finished with the final shingle nailed in place by Graham Banks to the cheer of a celebratory toast. The Sam Banks pavilion will be a wonderful enhancement to our sporting facilities and a fitting way of commemorating Sam Banks, who was himself such a keen cricketer.”