Statue unveiled

POCKLINGTON School's most famous pupil has been commemorated with a statue in the school grounds.

William Wilberforce was a pupil at the school between 1771 and 1776 and the statue depicts him aged 15.

The Archbishop of York unveiled the bronze figure in a special ceremony on Saturday.

The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, said: "William Wilberforce's faith transformed his life and the lives of countless men and women across the world. He became the change he wanted to see in the world.

"The challenge for us all is to live that faith, with the same passion, to transform our lives and be the change we want to see."

Guests, including members of the Wilberforce family, attended the ceremony. The school commissioned the statue to mark the bicentenary of the abolishing of the Slave Trade Act, in which Wilberforce played a major part.

Funds came from parents, former pupils and friends of the school. The statue stands in a newly created courtyard at the front of the school, known as Wilberforce Court. It was created by Sally Arnup from Holtby.

Andrew Dawes, deputy headmaster, said: "The work of Wilberforce the statesman is well documented. It is less well known that he wrote his first public letter 'denouncing that odious traffic in human flesh' as a teenage boarder at Pocklington School.

"It was a natural choice for his school to commission a statue of Wilberforce the schoolboy. Sally Arnup's bronze is superb. Current pupils and those that follow will identify with Wilberforce's youth and will be inspired by his example."