Tree planting marks school links to anti-slavery movement

A former Mayor of Sleaford and his wife have planted a mulberry tree at William Alvey School to mark the abolition of slavery in Britain and the school’s links to the anti-slavery movement.

Coun Anthony Brand and William Alvey School headteacher Stephen Tapley planting the mulberry tree. EMN-220702-175650001
Coun Anthony Brand and William Alvey School headteacher Stephen Tapley planting the mulberry tree. EMN-220702-175650001

Coun Anthony Brand and wife Harriott planted the tree near the gates on Thursday, unveiling a plaque explaining its significance - there were many mulberry trees in the garden of abolitionist William Wilberforce’s birthplace in Hull.

William Alvey’s great grand nephew married the daughter of famous 18th Century potter Josiah Wedgewood who supported the movement and printed slogans on ceramics.

Headteacher Stephen Tapley said it was great to do something tangible to recognise slavery still exists. “You see statues pulled down on television but this is a more positive symbol.The year six children have been fascinated looking into the history of slavery and the amount of money involved in compensating slave owners.”

The plaque placed on the wall outside William Alvey School explaining the newly planted mulberry tree. EMN-220702-175154001

The school has been working with the Brands’ tree planting scheme, planting more than 70 oak saplings.