‘Somewhere Only We Know’

Eskdale School Choir with Alistair Griffin
Eskdale School Choir with Alistair Griffin

‘Somewhere Only We Know’. That is the message Eskdale pupils are sending out - with the help of a famous former pupil.

Fame Academy star Alistair Griffin is backing parents and pupils in their fight to prevent a merger with Caedmon College.

He has joined marches and public meetings and this week spent time at the school recording an Eskdale version of the Keane chart hit.

Students also did pieces to camera about why Eskdale is special to them and Alistair, originally from Castleton, has also interviewed England cricketer Adam Lythe, another school success story.

Alistair told the Gazette: “We have been working with the choir but also with the school on producing a song we are going to sing together so there will be an amassed choir of voices.

“The lyrics and the song title are both reflective and appropriate.

“I spent three days at Eskdale this week and having been a pupil myself, I think these lyrics reflect the situation that Eskdale and the children are in.

“People from Whitby know how great Eskdale is and know the special things about it. We are trying to get a message to the powers-that-be in North Yorkshire.”

The song recording and video clips which capture a wider snapshot of day to day school life could form part of the responses to the consultation.

Alistair says he is on board with the campaign to “help and support”and because without the school ethos and support from staff, careers like his and Downton actress Joanne Froggatt’s may never have happened.

He added: “It is not just sentimental and thinking ‘they were the days’.

“Education is so obsessed with data a and numbers and I am sure that Eskdale want the best in that department but it also has a culture of music and the arts and allows people like myself an outlet and for me, a career was forged out of that.

“Coming from the Valley, the class sizes, there are four people in the year so I found it a lot easier to settle at Eskdale, I grew up at Eskdale and it gave me the confidence to go on stage and have a go at music.

“I suspect if I had not, my career might not have happened.

“Mr Bradley helped Joanne along the way to drama school and was very influential. It gave us an alternative to a purely academic way forward.”

Alistair added that the school campaign was also about protecting Whitby.

He added: “I don’t think it is right that it is being rail-roaded.

“There are big things in Whitby at the moment with Eskdale, the hospital tourist information. People in offices miles away think they can do what they like.”