Family's Calais caravan tribute to teaching duo

PUBLISHED: 09:00 21 August 2016

Hugh and Mavis Harris.

Hugh and Mavis Harris.


Two former North Somerset teachers are being remembered in the Jungle Camp for refugees in Calais.

Hugh and Mavis Harris devoted their careers to helping young people – especially disadvantaged children – so their family say it is appropriate their memory is kept alive in a settlement where thousands of desperate families have set up home.

Hugh taught at Wrington and Churchill schools, before moving to Westhaven in Uphill. He died in 1979, aged 59.

Mavis taught in Redhill for more than 25 years – the last 19 of them as headteacher. She died in January this year, aged 95.

The couple, who lived in Wrington and Redhill before moving to Worle, had two children – Liz Cole, who lives in Weston and Richard Harris, a retired newspaper editor who trained on the Mercury in the early 1970s.

The link with Calais came about after Richard became involved with charity Jungle Canopy, which sends caravans to France for use as emergency accommodation.

Richard said caravans bearing his parents’ names are now on-site in Calais. One is used as a gynaecology unit, and the other houses a family from Eritrea.

Richard said: “Both caravans are together in the camp, working to help children and their families, just as my parents did for so many years in Somerset.

“I know my Mum and Dad would be really chuffed to know they are being remembered in that way.”

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