Can you tell what it is yet? School to unveil Rolf Harris artwork
A RARE piece of artwork painted by Rolf Harris during a visit to Notts in the 1970s, is to go on display at a school's 40th anniversary celebrations.
Rolf Harris painted the picture of a Fijian girl during a visit to Hempshill Hall Primary School, in Bulwell, in 1979.
Current head teacher Helen Ridge was a newly-qualified teacher at the time of Rolf's visit and she remembers vividly how the veteran Aussie star came to paint the picture for a children's TV programme.
She said Marcia Puckey, who was the school's head at the time, was approached by the BBC with a view to including pupils in a new programme called Rolf on Saturday, OK!
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"Permission was granted and as a result a film crew accompanied by Rolf, the pop group Brotherhood of Man and magician Clive Webb, spent the best part of a week rehearsing for the show.
"The actual filming took place at Dayncourt Centre, in Arnold, and I recall that some of our pupils dressed up in flat caps and neckerchiefs to perform a song called Boiled Beef and Carrots."
The tune, extolling the virtues of the typical English dish, was a popular music hall song made famous by Harry Champion.
Mrs Ridge said: "We were bussed there and back until everything was in place.
"We still have the completed film and are trying to make it available for viewing at the 40th anniversary event.
"Rolf was wonderful with the children during his visit and in his own inimitable style put together the picture in rapid time, signed it and presented it to us.
"In view of what's been happening at the school in recent years, with building projects and the like, it is a wonder that the picture has remained in good condition and that it has not been damaged or discarded."
Hempshill Hall Primary is holding its 40th anniversary celebration on February 26 when Mrs Puckey, who was its first head teacher in 1973, will make a welcome return.
Mrs Ridge added: "It would be wonderful to see any of the past pupils who were involved in the 1979 filming or indeed anyone who has been associated with the school either as a pupil, parent or staff member." For details contact her on 0115 915 3275.