Ryhope School pupils recreate village pit pony statue after distinctive sculpture was stolen

A school in Ryhope has created a new pit pony after pupils were left upset when their village statue was stolen.

Saturday, 13th November 2021, 6:00 am
Updated Saturday, 13th November 2021, 10:31 am

Pupils at Ryhope Infant School were left ‘sad’ and ‘upset’ after the Ryhope pit pony statue, close to St Benedict’s hospice in Stockton Road, was stolen in October.

The statue was designed to reflect the area’s mining heritage and police say the distinctive statue, which ‘welcomes visitors to their village’, was stolen sometime overnight on Thursday, September 30, to Friday, October 1.

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Children at Ryhope Infant School Academy recreated the pit pony after it was stolen. (Photo by Digifin)

At the time of the incident, village residents shared their disgust at the theft on social media, with suggestions of a crowd-funded replacement being bought.

Now, students at the Ryhope school on Shaftesbury Avenue have come together on a whole school project to recreate the statue to help raise community spirit.

Each year group helped to build and paint the pit horse with Year 1 making the shape, Year 2 moulding the wire around, Reception making the plaster coating and Nursery painting.

Teachers have praised students for their ‘hard work’ and say pupils are ‘extremely proud of themselves’.

Ryhope Infant School Academy pupils made a whole school effort to recreate the pit pony. Picture by FRANK REID

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Emma Lumsden, Deputy Head teacher at Ryhope Infant School said: “When the pit pony was stolen, the children were talking about it in school and were really quite sad about it because they had always seen the statue so noticed when it was gone.

"We teach pupils about the history of mining so they do have knowledge of their heritage – we couldn’t believe it when the statue was stolen, there was outrage within the community so we wanted to do something to lift spirits.”

The School hopes to get in touch to the local community centre and mining group to unveil the new pit pony at an event with the children.

All students got involved in the Ryhope pony pit project.

Ms Lumsden added: “The children have enjoyed recreating the pony and it’s being great getting everyone involved, the statue is such a big part of our heritage so it was awful when we heard it had been stolen.

"Hopefully this project has brought a smile to people’s faces as we’ve tried to make something positive out of a terrible situation.”

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Ryhope Infant School Academy pupil Esme gives their Ryhope Pony a cuddle Picture by FRANK REID

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