Mill on the Brue’s Harry the donkey with five-year-old Isla Rawlingson-Plant


A little donkey is set to deliver Christmas dinner to more than 160 staff and pupils at Bruton Primary School. The much loved six-year-old donkey Harry, is a popular attraction at the nearby Mill on the Brue Outdoor Activity Centre. He will follow owner Matt Rawlingson-Plant, ‘plodding onwards’ through the streets of Bruton, ‘carrying his precious load’ in specially designed paniers.
Matt Rawlingson-Plant, came up with the idea after his five-year-old daughter Isla was cast as a donkey in last year’s school nativity play.

“Isla loves Harry, as do most of the children who visit Mill on the Brue’said Matt Rawlingson-Plant, “but she was a little disappointed with her role last year.
“I explained that a donkey, like Harry, was important to the Christmas story, by taking Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem from Nazareth, and it helped bring the nativity story to life for her. I thought it might do the same for her school friends on the last day of term.”

The catering team at Mill on the Brue Outdoor Activity Centre provide the school’s daily meals. They use locally sourced meat and grow their own vegetables on site. On Friday 18th December, Harry will carry a menu including a roast turkey dinner through Bruton High Street to the school, which is less than a mile away from the award-winning centre. The Centre’s minature Shetland pony – Miss Effie, will also accompany Harry on his journey.

Headteacher of Bruton Primary School, Mrs Lucy Dowdle, says: “It will be a lovely surprise for the children. Christmas is a magical time for children and this will just add an extra sparkle and create a wonderful memory for the pupils. The children have been learning all about the nativity and the true meaning of Christmas and I can’t wait to see their faces when Harry arrives. The school may have to treat him to a chorus of Little Donkey!”