Spennymoor Primary School transform old pacer trains into school library

Once old trains, these carriages have now been transformed into a library and a wellbeing space for the pupils. Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

After pupil numbers increased dramatically, Kirk Merrington Primary School had to make the tough decision to give up their library for more classroom space.

It was something that School Secretary Lesley Smith was desperate to change so she came up with a novel way to bring a library back to the school.

Two years later, Lesley had secured two Pacer train carriages, and with the help of sponsors and an international construction company, Kirk Merrington has now officially opened its new library and well-being hub on board the trains.

Take a look around the converted train library

Lesley Smith said: "In an age of technology, devices and instant access to information, it's very easy to overlook the critical importance that reading plays in the development of young people.

"Through circumstances outside of our control, our purpose-built library space had become bookshelves in a corridor and we could all recognise the potential impact this would have on our ability to stimulate and inspire the minds of our pupils through reading." 

Pupils at Kirk Merrington are overjoyed with their new library

Headteacher Nicola Murray commented: "The energy, passion and relentless enthusiasm that Lesley has put into this project is genuinely inspirational.

"For facing into every challenge and set back with a positive attitude and for her tenacious pursuit of what is best for our pupils, Lesley is an unbelievable asset to our school and an amazing role model, inspiring generations of young people from our community to love books and reading."

Lesley added: "Excitement has been building for such a long period of time and a lucky few pupils have been given exclusive access to the library to make sure we've got everything just right.

"For me it's always been about creating inspirational spaces to encourage young people to pick up a book and start reading. Our dressing up rail has proved an instant hit with our initial testers and seeing our costumed pupils devouring books in the exciting setting of a railway carriage has made it all so worthwhile."