TABLES were groaning under the selection of delicious goodies presented to lucky guests at a Darlington school Christmas party.

Hummersknott Academy invited the grandparents of students along for an afternoon of music, entertainment and a scrumptious tea produced by the Year 11 pupils.

Between them, they conjured up 400 sandwiches, 110 sweet mince pies, 110 butterfly and fairy cakes, 110 jam and cream scones, and 110 mini quiches – all fresh-made on the morning of the party.

Food Technology teacher, Karen Raine, said: “We had to ensure a high standard of catering as the people we were serving know about cooking. Anything not up to standard went in the bin.”

Year 11 student, Liz Parr, helped with the preparations and said how much she enjoyed getting involved as she does a lot of baking at home.

After being welcomed to the 26th year of the Hummersknott Christmas Party by Head Teacher James Keating, the guests were served tea and coffee by Year 7 students, while Head Girl, Hannah Crawford, introduced the performers.

Everyone enjoyed a piano recital by Ben Barley, performances from the school’s orchestra, Jazz band and choir, accompanied by Music Teacher, George Ford, and a lyrical duet by Jessica and Charlotte Rayner.

There was a free raffle, and a game of Bingo, called by History teacher James Salmond, using a Bingo machine lent by Cockerton Band and Musical Institute.

The grand finale was an extract from the school’s Christmas pantomime, Aladdin, performed with gusto by the pupils.

Guest and former Darlington Mayor, Charles Johnson, who was attending his first party with his wife Carol, said: “What an absolutely fabulous community event. It’s good to see the hall full with so many appreciative people. All the performers and students are a credit to the school.”

Party organiser and Faculty Leader, Rob Snowball, who has been involved for more than 20 years, added: “We’ve had a wonderful afternoon, enjoyed by young and old. It’s lovely to be able to showcase the talents of the students, and their grandparents must be very proud of the youngsters’ achievements.”

Mrs Raine thanked all the Year 11s for the fantastic catering, and the hard-working waitresses and waiters from year 7.