Kirkby Woodhouse pupils learn about Ashes cricket legend Harold Larwood

NMAC11-2437-1''Michael Pinchbeck, second right, author of The Ashes pictured with Karl Haynes, who played Harold Larwood during their visit to Kirkby Woodhouse Primary School on Monday
NMAC11-2437-1''Michael Pinchbeck, second right, author of The Ashes pictured with Karl Haynes, who played Harold Larwood during their visit to Kirkby Woodhouse Primary School on Monday

YOUNGSTERS at Kirkby Woodhouse this week got the chance to find out more about a famous former pupil from their school - cricket legend Harold Larwood.

The fast bowler from Nuncargate has been at the centre of critically-acclaimed play The Ashes, which was performed at Nottingham Playhouse earlier this month.

Nottingham playwright Michael Pinchbeck, who wrote The Ashes, and leading actor Karl Haynes, who played Larwood in the production, paid a visit to the school on Monday to tell pupils about the play and becoming a successful writer.

The Ashes is the story of Larwood and his part in the ‘bodyline’ tour of 1932/33, after which diplomatic relations between England and Australia soured because of the controversial bowling technique.

Yesterday assistant headteacher Rachel Jones said she and her colleagues decided to contact Michael Pinchbeck after seeing The Ashes at the Playhouse.

She says: “He’s a successful writer and is an inspiration for the children. As well as being local to us, he is passionate about writing.

“He has followed his dream and has become really successful.”

Children at the school spent time learning about Larwood, along with Annesley cricketer Bill Voce, as part of a project they completed last year and they were able to show the visitors their project work.

Rachel said: “Michael talked about how he became a writer. He brought the script in and talked about the script and how he had put it together.

“They did a scene from the play which was just brilliant.

“From Karl’s point of view, he talked about how he had wanted to do acting. For the children, if you have got a dream or an ambition, then it is possible.

“He talked about his career as an actor, research for the play and how they got all the facts for it.

“The children talked about what they had found out about characters.

“It was fabulous. It’s a purpose for the children because they have done all this work.”

Many pupils at the school have also taken part in cricket sessions run by Kirkby Cricket Club - so they were able to ask Michael and Karl plenty of questions about the sport.

Rachel says: “The children were fabulous. The questions they were asking were really in-depth and well-thought out questions.

“They learned so much from them in terms of sport, acting, writing and following your dreams. We were very fortunate - they were lovely.”