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Saturday, 26 July 2014

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Barrow school’s balloon soars to southern France

A BALLOON launched as part of a school’s 40th celebrations travelled nearly 1,000 miles before landing in a French vineyard.

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what goes up Pupils from St Pius X Primary School in Barrow release 224 balloons to mark the school’s 40th anniversary. One of the balloons, inset, landed in a French vineyard almost 1,000 miles away

The helium-filled balloon travelled from St Pius X Primary School, in Schneider Road, Ormsgill, to the south of France.

Four others also crossed the English Channel and landed in other parts of France.

The school released 224 balloons to celebrate its 40th anniversary on May 2 – emulating the release of 244 balloons on the school’s first day of opening on April 22, 1974.

Staff and pupils attached their names to the balloons with contact details of the school for the finder. The furthest balloon found so far has been in Béatrice Morel’s vineyard, 982 miles away by car, in Gironde, France.

She emailed the school attaching a picture of the label as proof. She said: “I am pleased to inform you that we have just found a red balloon. The balloon has been found in our vineyard.”

Parent Teacher Association member Angela Baker said: “I think it’s great. We didn’t expect any to come back. We were making plans to buy lollipops for the children as consolation prizes because it looked like they were all going out to the Irish Sea.”

Headteacher Amy Bates told this morning’s school assembly that the balloon which travelled furthest was sent by Year four pupil Levi Lavery, eight. It was also announced that the other four in France were found in or near Brittany and Normandy. A number of other balloons were found in the south of England.

Mrs Bates said: “We never thought a response would come that far. I’m so surprised.

“Getting five from France is really quite unbelievable. Must have been a good win that day. I think the children are really surprised.”

The closing date for receiving balloons is today but the school expects it may receive replies for years to come.

Mrs Baker said she was surprised by the quick response.

She said: “Within about three days we had our first reply back. The wind must have changed direction and sent them off south.

“We did it so the children could do something that was done 40 years ago.”

The closest response the school received was from Chester.

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