Students attend memorial service to Professor Hawking

Date published: 17 June 2018

Three students got the chance to witness the memorial service at Westminster Abbey in London to one of Britain’s most influential modern-day scientists.

The students had to be aged 12 to 15 and Oliver Norris, Megan Lucas and Fatima Shaw were selected to go.

Whitworth Community High School’s Dan Crook said: “I discovered that some of the tickets were being allocated to schools and so I applied online and five were allocated to Whitworth.”

It was announced in assembly than something ‘science related’ was happening and any interested students were asked to apply. Of the six that did, three were selected for the whistle-stop train trip to London.

Mr Crook said: “It was a really amazing experience for all of them. At the service Benedict Cumberbatch did a reading, as did Tim Peake and we saw Piers Morgan and Carol Vorderman.

“We felt like we were celebrities especially when we came out of the church and there were 600 people waiting outside and the bells were ringing.

“The students got to see his resting place and the memorial flag bearing his name that was also put into the hole in the church floor along with his ashes. Both will now be sealed up forever.

“They then got to look around the church and see the memorials to the many other influential people there including Sir Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin.”

Before heading back the same day, the students also had chance to do some sight-seeing in the capital.

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