Shropshire Star

How Lucy Lunt brought sunshine into lives of blind children in Shropshire

In her elderly, open-topped car, headmistress Lucy Lunt would take her young charges out for rides in the Shropshire countryside, delighting them as, with the hood down, 25mph seemed fast and exciting.

Story time with Miss Lunt at Overley Hall in November 1961.

They enjoyed many happy hours riding around the country lanes, and although the children could not enjoy the sights, they could enjoy the sounds, smells, and sensations around them.

One day David was in a serious mood, and asked her: “Will I be able to do this myself? Drive, I mean?” Only a truthful answer would do. “No David.” “Not ever?” “No David.”

Story time with Miss Lunt at Overley Hall in November 1961.

Miss Lunt suggested that a girl might drive him. After much consideration David responded “All right, that’ll do,” before thumping his hand on the seat and adding “But it’ll be my car.”

For eight years spanning the 1950s and early 1960s Miss Lunt was head of a nursery school for blind children run by the Royal National Institute for the Blind.

Based at Overley Hall, near Wellington, it was one of six Sunshine House Nursery Schools run by the RNIB and Miss Lunt’s role saw her striving to bring sunshine into the lives of the youngsters, boys and girls from all over the country.

The children loved the hall, with its large gardens, and were fascinated when a tree blew down as, through exploring the felled pine, they could for the first time appreciate how high trees were. There were holiday trips to the seaside too.

Overley Hall