School remembers teacher who died in road crash

Teacher Alison Grace
Teacher Alison Grace

A popular Billinge primary school teacher was remembered at an emotional ceremony unveiling a beautiful artwork prepared in tribute to her.

Orrell Lamberhead Green Academy revealed the piece prepared by artist Victoria Hough with the help of pupils in memory of Alison Grace.

Artwork by Victoria Hough in memory of popular teacher Alison Grace, who died last year

Artwork by Victoria Hough in memory of popular teacher Alison Grace, who died last year

Her parents and former colleagues wiped away tears as the artwork, showing a woman with Alison’s red hair gazing across a brightly-coloured landscape, was unveiled.

The piece will be on display in a corridor right in the middle of the primary school to remember Alison, who was just 48 when she was involved in a fatal collision with a car in Billinge last year.

Head teacher Jane Chambers said: “In May 2016 we lost a much-loved and valued member of our family. Alison was a dedicated teacher and a talented artist whose legacy can be seen in both the achievements of our pupils and the fantastic artwork around our school.

“This piece of art reflects the joy and grace which Alison brought to our school. We miss her immensely but our hearts will lift whenever we see this piece.

Alison Grace's parents watch the unveiling of artwork commissioned in memory of their daughter, Alison Grace

Alison Grace's parents watch the unveiling of artwork commissioned in memory of their daughter, Alison Grace

“It was really important to us to celebrate what she had done because she did so many art projects around the school with the children.

“We didn’t exactly want a memorial, we wanted something that stood by itself as a beautiful piece of art. We also wanted to include a figure with flaming red hair like Alison had. In the picture it’s almost as though she’s waving goodbye and pointing towards the future at the same time.

“Her family loved it, they were really touched when they saw it. It is exactly what we wanted to express and it is both beautiful and uplifting.

“It will be located right in the centre of the school so every member of staff and every pupil will walk past it every day.”

Alison's parents Leslie and Eunice Grace with Orrell Lamberhead Green headteacher Jane Chambers and artist Victoria Hough with the artwork commissioned her memory

Alison's parents Leslie and Eunice Grace with Orrell Lamberhead Green headteacher Jane Chambers and artist Victoria Hough with the artwork commissioned her memory

Billinge artist Victoria came up with the overall idea for the artwork based on the school’s wishes and then worked with pupils to make it a reality.

The school says it is also creating the Miss Grace Shield to be presented to the most artistic pupil each year.

Her parents spoke of their gratitude for the school’s support following Alison’s death, which happened as she was out jogging.

She taught in Wigan primary schools for 23 years after originally doing a degree in textile design, receiving several prestigious national awards, and becoming a freelance hat designer.